For the 12th year in a row, I bet real money on ridiculous Super Bowl bets including the Puppy Bowl, butt cleavage and the XFL.
Fine. I did it.
I have not written on this blog in quite some time. Despite being totally out of writing rhythm, all week long I agonized over whether I would take the hours (and spend the money) on this annual tradition or not. I finally caved Thursday. Then I found out it had been so long since I logged into my website that my host had locked me out. So I had to get that all resolved. Which brings us to now. Riveting stuff, all that.
For the 12th year in a row, this is my column on the weirdest Super Bowl bets. And this is my 11th year in a row of betting real money on the outcomes. Every year, online sportsbooks put up ridiculous Super Bowl-related bets with terrible odds. And every year, I, and probably at least a few hours, pump money into the Antigua-based offshore bank accounts of the casino owners. My tradition is to spend $11 per bet, for a total of $121.
My overall record after 11 years is… 57-57-7. That’s right. I’m dead even. After all those bets, I’m down $76.19.
Will this be the year that I somehow hit a few long shots and get back into the black? Will this be the last year I do this column? Are there any other solo people out there still running general interest blogs like this one? So many questions. So many cliffhangers.
Here are the 11 prop bets I made on Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. And, as always, I bet $11 real American dollars on each.
1 | What will be the first letter of the name of the Puppy Bowl XVI MVP?
A-J -120 (1/5)
K-Z -120 (1/5)
I reviewed the rosters for the puppy bowl and here’s what I found:
Number of dogs with names A-J: 21 listed as “starters” + 24 listed as “backups” for a total of 45
Number of dogs with names K-Z: 21 listed as “starters” + 30 listed as “backups” for a total of 51.
I know that it’s rare that a bench player in any sport will win a championship MVP, but I’m looking for any edge I can get. Plus one of the dogs in the K-Z range is named Michael Scott, which works for me.
I bet $11 on K-Z with the potential to win $9.16.
2 | Will any player solicit a prostitute during Super Bowl week?
Yes +700 (7/1)
No -1500 (1/15)
Well, despite how the sportsbook phrased the question, the matter at hand isn’t really whether any player will solicit a prostitute during Super Bowl week — it’s will anyone get caught? It’s already late Friday when I’m placing the bet and no player has been caught picking up a prostitute yet. Even though it’s not lucrative, I’m betting no.
I bet $11 on no player getting busted for solicitation to win 74 cents. Sadly, that’s not my worst potential payout of the day.
3 | Length of the national anthem by Demi Lovato
Over 2:04.5 -125 (4/5)
Under 2:04.5 -105 (20/21)
I’ve been doing this list for, as stated earlier, 12 Super Bowls now and I’ve never seen two sportsbooks have such a big discrepancy on possible anthem length. One has the over-under at 1:56; another has it at 2:04.5.
There are several videos of Demi doing the national anthem. The one I’m going to base this off is her anthem at the 2015 World Series, where she seems to go pretty leisurely (even taking what appears to be an unrehearsed pause at one point when cheers pick up) — and she still clocks at just 1:58.
By the way, Demi Lovato was 16 years old when I started doing these Super Bowl lists.
I’m betting $11 on under 2:04.5 with the potential to win $10.47.
4 | Which beverage brand commercial will air first during the Super Bowl?
Anheuser-Busch -180 (5/9)
Mountain Dew/Pepsi +160 (8/5)
Coca-Cola +375 (15/4)
Any other brand +500 (5/1)
It’s hard to bet against Anheuser-Busch here. They’ve got to be the biggest Super Bowl ad buyers over the past few decades. Pepsi is tempting, as they tend to go harder than Coke when it comes to the Super Bowl, but I’ve got to think it’s A-B. They’ve got a lot of ads to get through. Bud Light at least a few times. The Clydesdales for Budweiser. At least one of their hard seltzer brands. Probably Stella Artois. Maybe this is the year King Cobra finally gets its moment.
I’m betting $11 on Anheuser-Busch to be the first beverage brand to air a commercial to win $6.12.
5 | What will be the first song of the halftime show?
Get Right +280 (14/5)
Play +395 (79/20)
Let’s Get Loud +415 (83/20)
Hips Don’t Lie +475 (19/4)
On the Floor +625 (25/4)
Whenever, Wherever +735 (147/20)
Waiting for Tonight +800 (8/1)
Jenny from the Block +800 (8/1)
She Wolf +1000 (10/1)
Love Don’t Cost a Thing +1200 (12/1)
If You Had My Love +1400 (14/1)
Ain’t Your Mama +1400 (14/1)
Booty +1500 (15/1)
Beautiful Liar +1600 (16/1)
Loca +1600 (16/1)
Waka Waka +1700 (17/1)
So the halftime show is Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, and that list has songs by both. The oddsmakers and I both believe J. Lo will get the first song — she’s the bigger star, it makes sense. Before I even saw the odds, I was thinking Let’s Get Loud. There are definitely plenty of others that make sense — J. Lo isn’t exactly lacking in songs about getting various parties started and/or dance floors filled — but I’m going with my gut.
I’m betting $11 on Let’s Get Loud as the first song to win $45.65 — my biggest potential payout of the day.
6 | Will J. Lo show butt cleavage?
Yes +250 (5/2)
No -400 (1/4)
How, you might ask, will we be defining butt cleavage? Fortunately, the sportsbook included a definition to clear up the ambiguity.
Look. The chances of butt cleavage aren’t great. But I’ve got to take a big swing on an outlier at some point, and this was my best chance on the list.
So I’m betting $11 on yes, butt cleavage for all with a payout of $27.50.
7 | Will Julia Rose or Lauren Summer be shown flashing?
Yes +2000 (20/1)
No -5000 (1/50)
This is my second “casual female nudity” bet in a row — and I had plenty to choose from. Various books also had bets on wardrobe malfunctions, visible side boob and even whether Lizzo shows up wearing a thong.
I had to look up the names, which took me back to the World Series when these two ladies managed to flash the camera. It would be quite a nice payout if I bet on them flashing and they did it — but come on. It’s so much harder to flash on camera at the Super Bowl where the stands aren’t visible for most of the game, versus the World Series where you’re getting a look at the people behind home plate for a minimum of five hours.
I’m betting $11 that the World Series flashers will not also become the Super Bowl flashers for a payout of… 22 cents.
8 | How many times will the XFL be mentioned during the broadcast?
Over 1.5 -140 (5/7)
Under 1.5 +110 (11/10)
I initially laughed at the sheer idea of the XFL 2.0 getting a shoutout during the Super Bowl, let alone two — except that Fox Sports is one of the broadcast partners for the new league. The season kicks off less than a week after the Super Bowl so maybe — maybe — Fox will want to promote their next football project to its the massive football-watching audience. Ultimately, though, I decided that would happen in commercials, not during the broadcast itself by the guys in the booth. Partnership or no partnership, it’s still the XFL. Tommy Maddox isn’t walking through that door.
I bet $11 on under 1.5 mentions of the XFL during the broadcast for a payout of $12.10.
9 | Will a John 3:16 banner/sign be shown
Yes +300 (3/1)
No -500 (1/5)
Apparently this sportsbook believes in the power of time travel.
I bet $11 on no John 3:16 signs appearing at a Super Bowl in the year 2020 (I’d even toss in no Austin 3:16 signs for good measure) for a potential payout of $2.20.
10 | Will any touchdown celebration be a salute to Kobe?
Yes +140 (7/5)
No -170 (10/17)
Is it crass to make Kobe Bryant-related Super Bowl bets? The fine oddsmakers of the high Caribbean seas don’t seem to think so — basically all of them have at least one Kobe-related bet. (Things like J. Lo or Shakira wearing jerseys, mentions on the broadcast and such.) I went with this bet because… I think it will happen. Kobe touched countless other professional athletes and the wound of his shocking tragic accident is still very fresh. I could absolutely see a player doing a Kobe tribute as part of a touchdown celebration.
I bet $11 that a player will pay tribute for a payout of $15.40.
11 | Will Andy Reid eat a cheeseburger before the end of the Super Bowl broadcast?
Yes +1200 (12/1)
No -7500 (1/75)
It’s a funny bet and, much as I wish I could believe Andy Reid would want to either celebrate his triumph or drown his sorrows in an on-field cheeseburger orgy, I just can’t.
I bet $11 that Andy Reid will not eat a hamburger on live TV for a payout of 14 cents.
So, if I win all of my bets, I will take in $129.70. Most of it hinges on J. Lo’s song- and butt crack-oriented choices.
As life should.