I bet $121 on stupid things for Sunday’s Super Bowl. How did I do?
The Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. I was far, far more focused on Kelly Clarkson, end zone dances and the Mannings who weren’t in the game.
Last week, keeping with my tradition, I didn’t just spotlight some of the crazy Super Bowl prop bets available… I actually bet on them. And also keeping in tradition, I do a wrap-up post after the game to show how I fared.
Let’s have a look at how my $121 in Super Bowl 46 prop bets turned out…
1 | Who will Barack Obama pick to win the game?
I took the Patriots at 5/6 odds, figuring Obama sees New York as a lock in November but thinks Massachusetts might need some work. I overestimated his willingness to make ANY potentially-divisive decision this year, even one as frivolous as this. In his pregame interview, Obama staunchly refused to make a pick. On the plus side, that makes this a push, so I get my $11 back.
Sam’s result: Push. Running tally: 0-0-1 ($0)
2 | Will Kelly Clarkson forget/omit at least one word of the national anthem?
I would’ve bet “no”… but they didn’t offer that. So I had to bet that yes, she would follow in Christina Aguilera’s not-so-proud footsteps. Kelly, of course, did not forget or omit a word, so I lost this one handily. I’m SO moving on. Yeah. Yeah.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 0-1-1 (-$11)
3 | How long will it take Kelly Clarkson to sing the national anthem?
I took over 94 seconds and it was excruciatingly close. I got massively lucky. I’ve seen reports of sports book that had her a fraction under and a fraction over. The book where I made this bet timed her at just a fraction of a second over 1:34, and paid out my 5/6 odds. (Not to call shenanigans on the industry… but I might want to speculate my book called it over because they had more action on the under. It’s a sketchy, sketchy world on Antigua.)
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 1-1-1 (-$1.83)
4 | Will [the NBC broadcasters] Al Michaels or Chris Collinsworth say “Tebow” during the 1st quarter?
I got a lot of heat from friends for picking no at 5/6 odds… so I’m happy to have won this one. I figured the broadcasters would actually focus on the game during the first quarter… and also, I noticed that the Bronco-free weeks really quelled a lot of Tebowmania.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 2-1-1 (+$7.34)
5 | What will be the first touchdown celebration?
This is the most painful one of the day for me. I bet “any kind of dance” at 2/1, passing up “spike the ball” at 2/3. I was hoping Victor Cruz would score first, since he’s a known dancer. Victor Cruz DID score the first touchdown. He DID salsa. But right before he did, he dropped the ball on the ground. I knew the second it happened that counted as a spike, and the sports books agreed with me. I’m so disappointed — I was totally ready to figure out a joke about how it was finally a GOOD mix of salsa and… New York City!?!
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 2-2-1 (-$3.66)
6 | What will Madonna be using to start the Super Bowl halftime show?
I decided to pick “handheld mic” at 2/1 instead of “headset” at 1/3. This one was such a comical loss that I barely even got any texts and tweets about it. Just one. “You botched that one.” That was it. Madonna came out wearing a headset — then switched to a handheld for the rest of her performance.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 2-3-1 (-$14.66)
7 | Who will be shown on camera first, Archie or Peyton Manning?
Were they even at the game? If they were, NBC decided to give them zero screen time. Perhaps they were both locked in closets pondering how somehow Eli turned out more successful than both of them. The sports book called this one a push since neither was shown. [Edited to add: Apparently Archie was shown and they didn’t see it. I emailed them — I never expect to hear back — since this would’ve been another win for me.]
Sam’s result: Push. Running tally: 2-3-2 (-$14.66)
8 | How many times will Gisele Bundchen be shown on TV during the game?
I figured NBC wouldn’t miss the chance to organically show a supermodel and I was right. (If only I could’ve bet on how many times they’d promote Smash. Somewhere, Taylor Hicks is still shaking his head.) Gisele was shown and I was paid on my bet at 2/3 odds.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 3-3-2 (-$7.33)
9 | How many times will David Tyree’s 2008 Super Bowl catch be shown?
I also took a ton of heat for picking “under 1” on this. But I said at the time I just didn’t see the context… and that proved true. After Mario Manningham’s catch in the fourth quarter, rather than showing the helmet catch, NBC focused on Tyree (in street clothes) on the Giants sideline. It was moderately glorious.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 4-3-2 (+$4.77)
10 | What commercial will have the highest rating on USA Today‘s ad meter?
I went with Volkswagen (at 17/2), figuring their combo of Star Wars and dogs would bring them the title for the second year in a row. Then every single advertiser decided to use either a dog or nostalgia in their ad. So a lame slapstick Doritos commercial was highest ranked. (The odds for Doritos were 6/1.) I didn’t mind taking down this loss; it’s rare to find such viable big money opportunities in Super Bowl prop bets and this was a chance I had to take.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 4-4-2 (-$6.23)
11 | How many average viewers will the Super Bowl receive?
Last year’s got 111 million, and I thought that 117 million for this year seemed excessive… even with the NFL’s popularity of a runaway freight train or Burns campaign. I bet under 117 million at 1/1 odds, and that was the correct pick — this year’s Super Bowl checked in at 111.3 million.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 5-4-2 (+$4.77)
That’s right… I actually came out in the black this year for the first time ever! Of course it happened in my first Super Bowl after online gambling became 15 degrees sketchier and I have no hope of ever retrieving my money.
For reference, in 2010, I lost $14.41. Last year, I went 4-6-1 and lost $13.58. So after three years of Super Bowl prop bet gambling, I’m down a whopping $23.22. That sounds completely unexciting and borderline the Jerry Seinfeld break-even zone… but at least I’m not down $363, right?