My annual ritual of blowing $121 on Super Bowl bets — this year on things like Lady Gaga’s outfit, Deflategate and Peyton Manning commercials.
It’s the first week of February, and that means it’s time for my annual Super Bowl betting list.
Every year, I find 11 ridiculous bets you can make on the Super Bowl (in a gray area-legal online fashion) — and I actually make them. Yes, now every single website on the entire cyber writes about Super Bowl prop bets. As far as I can tell, I am still the only person who actually puts down money.
This is my ninth (!) year covering Super Bowl prop bets and my eighth year wagering real money on them. Let’s review my history…
2009 – I went 6-3-2, but wasn’t betting for real.
2010 – I went 4-7, lost $14.41
2011 – I went 4-6-1, lost $13.58
2012 – I went 5-4-2, won $4.77
2013 – I went 6-5, won $19.56
2014 – I went 4-7, lost $30.80
2015 – I went 6-5, won $7.75
2016 – I went 3-7-1, lost $29.60.
That gives me a lifetime record of 38-44-6 and I’m down $56.31.
Will this be the year I recapture the magic of 2012, 2013, and 2015 and come out profitable? I think I’ve got a chance. Mainly because I went pretty with-the-grain this time around.
Here are the 11 weirdest prop bets being offered for Super Bowl 50, all of which I actually made…
1 | How long will it take for Luke Bryan to sing the U.S. national anthem?
Over 2:07.5 -140 (71/100)
Under 2:07.5 even (1/1)
Luke Bryan is a big new variable for me here — the first male singer to take on the anthem in the nine years I’ve been doing this. And, like I do every year, I went through YouTube to watch some of his past performances. It’s been my tradition to bet the over (and it’s worked for me seven out of the past eight years) — but I can’t do it this time around. I couldn’t find a single past anthem performance when he crossed the 2:07.5 mark, and in an environment where it’s possible to get a tiny bit nervous and rush, I can’t see this being the first. So I’m breaking my tradition and going with the under. Don’t let me down, country singer I’ve vaguely heard of!
I bet $11 on under with a potential win of $11.
2 | Will any player kneel during the national anthem?
Yes +400 (4/1)
No -700 (7/50)
I feel like the “kneeling during the anthem” controversy was more of an “early in the NFL season” thing… but then again, with the way things are going, in between the time I publish this list and the game, there will be 50 new reasons why a player would conceivably want to kneel.
Still, the Patriots are basically the NFL equivalent of the Trump administration, so they aren’t going to do it. And the Falcons will, most likely, abide by the “it’s not about any individual drawing attention to themselves, the Super Bowl is about the team” mentality. So even though I was super tempted to bet yes, I’m going with no.
I bet $11 on no with a potential win of $1.54.
3 | How many times will Donald Trump tweet during the game?
Over 1.5 -115 (87/100)
Under 1.5 -115 (87/100)
Easiest bet on the board. He’s doing a televised interview pregame. Someone famous will mock it. He will hop on Twitter to blast them. That’s one. And for the second one, he’ll probably praise Belichick and Brady, since they… um… didn’t not endorse him back in November.
I bet $11 on over with a potential win of $9.57.
4 | Will the fire alarm be triggered at either team’s hotel the night before the game?
Yes +190 (19/10)
No -250 (2/5)
This bet is on the board because a drunk New England fan (aka a New England fan) pulled the fire alarm at the Steelers’ hotel the night before the AFC Championship. It seemed like an isolated incident, but apparently it’s not. According to various NFL sources, hotel fire alarms get pulled before big games all the time — especially when you’re playing New England. I’m going to take a risk here and go for the big payout. Yes, someone will pull the fire alarm. With a 99.9 percent chance it’s the fire alarm at the Falcons’ hotel.
I bet $11 on yes with a potential win of $20.90.
5 | How many times will “deflate” or “Deflategate” be said on TV during the live broadcast?
Over 1.5 -120 (83/100)
Under 1.5 -120 (83/100)
The deflated balls controversy was a big part of this season and now the Super Bowl; the Patriots made it to the end despite Brady’s four-game suspension at the beginning of the season over deflated balls. But the commentators are pretty complicit with the NFL’s wishes, and the NFL’s wishes are, “Pretty pretty please move on.” My best guess? Deflategate gets its one perfunctory mention, then is never discussed again.
I bet $11 on under 1.5 mentions with a potential win of $9.13.
6 | What will the prominent material be made of [sic] on Lady Gaga’s first outfit during halftime?
Cotton/polyester/tweed even (1/1)
Spandex or lycra +200 (2/1)
Fur or fake fur +250 (5/2)
Leather or suede (real or fake) +350 (7/2)
Silk +400 (4/1)
Lace +450 (9/2)
Velvet or velour +450 (9/2)
Metal (gold, silver, etc.) +500 (5/1)
Rubber or plastic (not see-through) +500 (5/1)
Any other +500 (5/1)
No material (nude or see-through material) +1200 (12/1)
Meat +2000 (20/1)
I’m pretty sure this entire bet was made JUST to get those 20-to-1 meat dress odds in there. But that’s old Lady Gaga. Her latest trend has been to dress much more elegant and refined. So as ridiculously lame as it is, I’m trying to claw my way back to profitability this year, and I’m going with cotton/polyester/tweed at even money odds. That’s me. The guy at the horse race track who bets the favorite to show. The guy at the craps table who only puts down a minimum bet on the pass line. The guy who sends back his chicken at Applebee’s because it looks medium rare.
I bet $11 on cotton/polyester/tweed with a potential win of $11.
7 | What will Lady Gaga play as the first song?
Bad Romance +110 (11/10)
Edge of Glory +200 (2/1)
Field (Any song not listed) +225 (9/4)
Born This Way +600 (6/1)
Just Dance +750 (15/2)
Applause +1000 (10/1)
Poker Face +1200 (12/1)
Paparazzi +1500 (15/1)
I did some research and it turns out Gaga has revealed that her setlist will be “career spanning.” That made me think Poker Face could start it off. But she also posted a behind-the-scenes video on Twitter back on January 17th that shows a choreography rehearsal for Bad Romance. (Which is probably why it has the lowest payout.)
And yet… I can’t get the image out of my head of her starting slow and soft, just sitting at a piano — and then letting the show build to a crescendo. That feels very Lady Gaga. And it makes me think of songs like Edge of Glory, Paparazzi or (not on the board) You and I. Since Edge of Glory has a very loose thematic connection to the Super Bowl, I guess I’ll go with that. I don’t love the pick, but it’s the only one I could reason my way into.
I bet $11 on Edge of Glory with a potential win of $22.
8 | Will the word “lacrosse” be said on TV during the live broadcast?
Yes -250 (2/5)
No +170 (17/10)
“Lacrosse” could come up because New England’s honky wide receiver du jour is former college lacrosse player Chris Hogan. He’s been a go-to target for Tom Brady in their two playoff games so far. And I’m betting “lacrosse” WILL be mentioned. Above all else, the whole “he played college lacrosse and was undrafted and now he’s in the Super Bowl wow New England is creative Belichick Belichick Belichick slurp slurp slurp” is such textbook commentary fodder. And Joe Buck and Troy Aikman aren’t exactly creative types who come up with innovative or insightful talking points.
I bet $11 on yes with a potential win of $4.40.
9 | How many commercials featuring Peyton Manning will air during the game?
Over 1.5 -175 (57/100)
Under 1.5 +145 (29/20)
It’s tempting to say over 1.5, since Manning is in so many commercials, Super Bowl or not. But I’m just not seeing it this year. Some commercial teasers are already leaking and I’m not spotting any signs of Peyton. It’s possible that, a year since his last game, people have moved on. One commercial is certainly possible — but I don’t see two.
I bet $11 on under 1.5 with a potential win of $15.95.
10 | Will “Houston, we have a problem” be said on TV during the live broadcast?
Yes +250 (5/2)
No -400 (1/4)
Ugh. Even though the Super Bowl is in Houston and even though, as mentioned before, the commentators are remorseless cliche regurgitating machines, I don’t foresee this exact phrase coming out. (Unless there’s another blackout at the stadium. Remember the blackout? What fun times we all had.)
I bet $11 on no with a potential win of $2.75.
11 | If the Patriots win, will Brady, Belichick or Kraft be seen shaking Roger Goodell’s hand on TV?
Yes -175 (57/100)
No +135 (27/20)
This is a great one. The Patriots have loathed the NFL commissioner ever since the Deflategate suspension (well, probably long before that, when he gave them a slap on the wrist for one of their other cheating moves, but especially since Deflategate). If they win the title, will he hand them the trophy? And then, will they shake his hand? Belichick won’t. Public perception, forgiveness, etc. be damned, Bill Belichick DGAF. Brady’s more media savvy, so he probably would, just to put the whole thing in the past — although he probably won’t be in position to do so. And Kraft definitely would, because we’re now in an era where soon-to-be-even-richer white dudes are putting aside their differences to wallow in their mutual crapulence. Kraft will also be the one who will have the opportunity for the handshake, and I say he goes for it.
I bet $11 on yes with a potential win of $6.27.
So, if I win all 11 bets, I’ll take down $114.51. Not a spectacular — or even rationalize-able — ROI on $121 in bets, but hey, no one goes deep into the world of prop bets for the money.