Super Bowl counterprogramming doesn’t get much better than the Puppy Bowl series on Animal Planet. But things went into overdrive in 2015 when the format was changed to a team-based competition. Betting lines for this year’s Puppy Bowl XIII are on the board; Team Ruff, the two-time and defending champions, are favored by 7.5 points at press time over Team Fluff. The broadcast begins at 3 PM ET (and Pacific) on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5.
The Puppy Bowl shouldn’t be taken too seriously. This year’s event was filmed over the course of two days in October and edited down to a three-hour program fit for broadcast. The rules are open for interpretation; it’s like NFL football, with two teams of 39 puppies – all of them available for adoption. The winning team will receive the Lombarky Trophy.
Aside from the “game” itself, there are a number of props available for who will be named Most Valuable Puppy. For example, you can bet on whether the MVP will be mixed-breed (–500) or a pure-bred (+300). Pure-breds took down each of the first five MVP awards; since then, mixed-breeds have won six of the last seven.