How did I do on my 13th year of betting real money on the dumbest Super Bowl bets I could find?
I was hoping for big things here in my 13th year of betting real money on the dumbest prop bets I could find for the Super Bowl. So before I cancel my seven-day trial of CBS All Access (although it is tempting to plow through the entire history of The Neighborhood), let’s take a sweep through to see how I did on my Super Bowl LV prop bets.
1 | Who will win MVP of the Puppy Bowl?
It’s becoming a real reverse Rosencrantz and Guildenstern up in here as the Puppy Bowl bets are truly just “flip a coin” — yet I’ve now been wrong for all four years. I bet the MVP would be a female dog. The MVP was a male dog. I don’t even know what to say about my Puppy Bowl futility at this point.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 0-1-0 (-$11)
2 | Will Miley Cyrus side boob be seen?
My thought was that the TikTok Tailgate for “vaccinated health care workers” wasn’t a side boob occasion. And it wasn’t… but, as you can see in the photo above, it was incredibly close. Football and Miley Cyrus side boob at the TikTok Tailgate for vaccinated health care workers are both a game of inches.
I won my -350 bet to take down a $3.14 payout.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 1-1-0 (-$7.86)
3 | Which will be said first during Amanda Gorman poem: Chiefs or Bucs?
The Super Bowl wanted to incorporate the fastest-rising talent in the country into their broadcast, thus they decided to include poetry for the first time every — but someone at the NFL must’ve realized “Wait… poetry?” so they got in and out of it real fast. Amanda Gorman delivered her brief, pre-recorded poem about the honorary captains of the Super Bowl just before the coin toss — with nary a mention of the teams in the Super Bowl. This bet was a push.
Sam’s result: Push. Running tally: 1-1-1 (-$7.86)
4 | National Anthem length
I had a feeling it might be a rough betting day when I got a tweet the night before the game about a leaked anthem length — and it was far over the over-under line. Where I’d taken the under.
It turns out the reporter who leaked the video was spot on — Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan summarily blew past the 2:00 mark in short order. I had them at 2:21 (counting the introductory guitar solo) and the book had them at 2:14. Either way, I got destroyed on this bet.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 1-2-1 (-$18.86)
5 | Coach to show nostrils first during the game
While both coaches were prime candidates to flash their nostrils, I figured Andy Reid would be first since he had fewer effs to give and also a longer history of mask struggles. The initial TV shot of both coaches featured their masks, so it was a wash. But with 10:50 left in the second quarter, the broadcast had a split screen of the coaches… and Bruce Arians adjusted his mask, showing side nostril. I won with Miley not showing side boob, lost with Arians showing side nostril. It’s an unforgiving game.
There was another shot at the beginning of the third quarter that took any plausible deniability out of the equation as Arians went full nostrils.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 1-3-1 (-$29.86)
6 | How will Sarah Thomas wear her hair?
I predicted Sarah Thomas, the first female referee in a Super Bowl, would wear her hair underneath her hat, as she often would during games in cooler conditions. Unfortunately, I was steered wrong by the weather forecasts, and it was in the 60s in Tampa for the game.
So we got ourselves a pony tail.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 1-4-1 (-$40.86)
7 | First Anheuser-Busch brand commercial to run?
I predicted Anheuser-Busch would pull the same move they pulled a few years ago, where they gave their first slot to their brand that needed attention the most. That year it was Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer; this year, I figured that was Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer. I became even more optimistic when the Ultra seltzer commercial was released in advance of the game and showed a high-concept, high-budget ad based around celebrities and their look-alikes.
Anheuser-Busch didn’t have a commercial until (I believe) the second quarter, when they led with… Bud Light. By that point, I was basically out of faith that I’d win any bets, so it was no surprise to me.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 1-5-1 (-$51.86)
8 | First interracial couple shown in a commercial
I thought this bet-that-probably-shouldn’t-have-been-offered was resolved in the very first commercial of the game, with a trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s movie Old. The makeup of the interracial couple in the ad was a Hispanic man (Gael Garcia Barnal) and a white lady (Vicky Krieps, who’s from Luxembourg).
I bet on Black woman with white man as the first interracial couple with the other option a Black man and white woman. I figured I lost. And I did lose… but maybe not on this? The sportsbook ruled “Black man/white woman” the winner, even though I’m not sure when that happened. Was it later in the game? No idea. But these floating internet bookies are really black boxes of one-way information, so I’m not going to get any clarification.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 1-6-1 (-$62.86)
9 | The Weeknd first song performed at halftime
I bet a strategic longshot here with Earned It, trying to win one bet to make the day pay off. I’m not sure what song he led with — I don’t really know the difference between most of his spooky sexy jams — but I know it wasn’t Earned It, which he played later in his set.
At this point, I was literally one inch of Miley Cyrus bikini top of being 0-fer on the day.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 1-7-1 (-$73.86)
10 | How many times will Gisele Bundchen be shown?
Finally, a bet where I had some confidence. After doing this bit for more than a dozen years, I know how infrequently they cut to the skyboxes — even for players with famous wives. So I bet under 1.5 appearances during the broadcast. And I nailed this one — finally — as Gisele was shown zero times until right after the game ended.
I finally had another win under my belt, and believe it or not, on a positive money line of +165. So I took down $18.15, a downright celebratory event in this tundra of a gambling day.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 2-7-1 (-$55.71)
11 | Which will be higher: Brady passing yards or GameStop’s closing price on 2/5?
I locked in this bet in early, even before GameStop started regressing to the mean. I felt pretty confident in Brady — after all, I figured he’d throw a million times against the Chiefs (although I assumed it would happen during a furious comeback, not during a blowout the other direction).
By Friday, I was pretty much assured I’d win outside of a Brady injury, as GME closed at $63.77. Brady only threw for 201 yards — fewer than I would’ve predicted — but that was more than enough to triple up GameStop. Sadly, at -350, my win was only worth $3.14.
Sam’s result: Win! 3-7-1 (-$52.57)
With these results, my lifetime betting acumen drops below .500, at 67-68-8. My financial tally drops to -$161.68. This year was my worst showing ever losses and accuracy (prior worst: losing $30.80 after going 4-7 in 2014).
On the bright side, this more or less guarantees I can’t stop doing this bit and I’ll be back next year to do it again.