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written by Sam Greenspan

I bet real money on Jennifer Hudson’s National Anthem, The Who’s halftime show and Reggie Bush’s yards versus Kim Kardashian’s measurements.

Last year, I did a list on the 11 Weirdest Super Bowl XLIII Prop Bets — finding those crazy bets that are only offered up once a year.

After the Super Bowl, I reviewed how my predictions fared… and, I was happy to say, I did pretty well.

Now, a year later, I’ve got a little bit of a budget to work with for this website, so rather than just talk about all the crazy Super Bowl bets out there — I actually went ahead and made them.

I dug through the totally-not-sketchy world of Internet gambling sites to find 11 weird, obscure and ridiculous prop bets for Sunday’s Super Bowl. And I bet $11, naturally, on my pick for each one of them. (That’s right: Checking in at $121, this is officially the highest budget 11 Points list ever.)

1 | How long will it take Carrie Underwood to sing The Star-Spangled Banner? (From starting note to last note sung.)

Over 1:42 – 6/5
Under 1:42 – 2/3

Last year, Jennifer Hudson sang the National Anthem and the over/under time was set at 2:01. Carrie Underwood isn’t quite as much of a belter. (She also didn’t play a completely extraneous role in the Sex and the City movie that was seemingly added when they realized, “Holy shit, we just wrote a movie about a version of New York City where there are no black people.”) But I digress.

I did what (I’m guessing) the oddsmakers did: I typed “carrie underwood national anthem” into YouTube. I watched five versions of her doing the National Anthem and, while they are all close to the 1:42 mark (clocking in between 1:35 and 1:41) — she never goes over 1:42.

It’s a fast anthem, and she does it with no frills — none of those runs that female singers do where they cover their ear with one hand and lift the other hand up and down corresponding to the notes they’re singing. I’m banking on her keeping it tight for the Super Bowl… if anything, I’m hoping she has some nerves, and they speed her up.

I bet $11 on the under, to win $7.33. Almost all the prop bets have sucker payouts like that. I wouldn’t normally make them. But, ya know, it’s for journalism.

2 | Over/under jersey number of the player to score the first TD

Over 25.5 – -125
Under 25.5 – -115

As I researched this one, I realized the hidden implication — it’s really asking “Which team is going to score a touchdown first?” And I’ve got to think it’s the Saints. Primarily because I was in New Orleans last month and I can tell you: If the Saints don’t score first, there are going to be enough heart attacks in that city to drive hundreds of good people to an early (above ground) grave.

The reason this is a question of who’s going to score first: Almost every single offensive threat on New Orleans has a jersey number that’s less than 26… and almost every single offensive threat on Indianapolis has a jersey number that’s more than 26.

The Saints receivers all fall under that modern trend where they eschew a traditional wide receiver number, something in the 80-89 zone, for one in the teens. Plus, the three primary Saints runners are all under 26 (Mike Bell, Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas), as is Drew Brees. That’s covering almost every offensive threat.

Of the main threats on the Colts, only Peyton Manning and receiver Austin Collie have jersey numbers less than 26.

I bet $11 on the under, to win $9.57. That’s me, basically, betting on the Saints scoring a touchdown first and keeping the residents of New Orleans alive.

3 | How many times will CBS announcers fully mention Hurricane Katrina during the game? (Specifically “Hurricane Katrina”; from kickoff until final whistle.)

Over 2.5 – 2/3
Under 2.5 – 6/5

First of all, bravo to Bodog for allowing people to bet on this. I laughed out loud when I saw this bet on the board.

You know Katrina is going to come up. The Saints more or less pulled the city together after the hurricane. It just depends how much CBS wants to play that card.

The deciding factor for me was the fine print: The announcers must say the full phrase “Hurricane Katrina.” Not just “Katrina” or “hurricane” or “the devastation” or “Reggie Wayne played his college ball here in Miami as a member of the Hurricanes” or “Walking on Sunshine was a song by Katrina and the Waves.”

While Katrina will certainly be mentioned, I just can’t see the announcers saying the full phrase “Hurricane Katrina” three or more times during the Super Bowl. So I bet $11 on the under to win $13.20. Hey, a slightly profitable one!

4 | Who will have more: LeBron James free throws made (at home against the Knicks on Saturday, 2/6) or Saints plus Colts first quarter points?

LeBron free throws (+1.5) – -115
Saints/Colts points (-1.5) – -115

Inter-sports bets are a great part of the Super Bowl prop bet slate, so I hopped on two of them. Here’s the first.

I’m from Cleveland. I’ve been a masochistically loyal fan of all three Cleveland teams since I was old enough to understand sports. I cried after the 1997 World Series and continue to call glue factories seeing if they’d be willing to take John Elway off our hands. LeBron James is a once-in-a-generation athlete who, basically, is Cleveland’s only chance to win any kind of championship for the foreseeable future.

That being said: He’s just not that great at shooting free throws. Other than his tendency to take the ball, dribble for 22 seconds, then fire up a fallaway 22-footer, the free throws are the most frustrating element of his game.

I looked through his stats from this season. He’s only made 14 free throws two times this year. He’s made 17 once. Usually, he makes about seven.

I think both (NFL) offenses are going to come out firing — so I could easily see a 14- or 17-point first quarter. Even if not, I still feel fairly confident on this bet with a seven-point first quarter.

I took the Saints and Colts combine total, giving 1.5 points as well. (Meaning if they score 14, LeBron would have to make 12 or fewer free throws for me to win.) My bet was for $11, to win $9.57.

5 | How many times will CBS show Kim Kardashian on TV during the game? (Live pictures only, kickoff until final whistle.)

Over 2.5 – 4/5
Under 2.5 – 20/21

Kim Kardashian is dating Reggie Bush of the Saints… that’s the only really good celebrity connection to the game. (Cuts to Peyton Manning’s brothers and father do not count as good celebrity connections.)

Even though Kardashian is arguably the most egregious famous-for-no-reason-other-than-she’s-famous celebrity in the country, she’s photogenic, scandalous and, most importantly, CBS’s primary way to keep the average female viewer watching the game. (It’s like the Jessica Simpson-Tony Romo thing. Even women who really ought to know better are inexplicably fixated on TMZ-friendly celebrities.)

So I bet $11 that Kim Kardashian will be shown more than 2.5 times during the game. I could win $9.17. Who else are they gonna show? “Hey, look, it’s the stars of the hit CBS sitcom Jenna Elfman Doin’ Wacky Stuff! What a great coincidence that they’re at the game.”

6 | Will they show a replay of [Saints owner] Tom Benson celebrating the missed field goal against Tampa Bay from the regular season?

Yes – 5/2
No – 4/13

If you’re unfamiliar with this, here’s what happened. During the regular season, the Saints had a chance to win a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a field goal. The kicker missed, but Tom Benson thought he made it, started celebrating… then looked shocked and humiliated when he realized the kick missed. You know, a rich guy looking foolish. The REAL American dream.

FOX aired this clip two weeks ago as the Saints were lining up for a game-winning field goal in the NFC Championship.

So will it air during the Super Bowl? If it comes down to a field goal, definitely. But what about in other cases?

I’m gambling on the entertainment value of the clip. It’s quite good, and I feel like CBS is going to want to use it. So I’m hoping that they’ll use any Saints field goal attempt (or any camera shot of Benson watching from his box) as a reason to run it.

I bet $11 that they will run the clip, to win $30.25 — tied with one bet that’s coming later in the list as my highest potential payout.

7 | How many times will Pete Townshend [of The Who] do his legendary windmill move. (Must be full 360-degree rotation and shown on TV.)

Over 5.5 – -190
Under 5.5 – +155

Tough one here. Performers generally tend to bring out their signature moves (or fleshy chocolate right breast) for the Super Bowl halftime show, so you’ve got to think Pete Townshend will bring out his windmill guitar move. (Better than him bringing out his laptop and showing us the photos he’s been downloading lately, that’s for sure.)

Once again, the caveats made the difference for me here — specifically the one that says the full 360-degree rotation has to be shown on TV. I just don’t think the camera will be on him for six or more full rotations. After all, the performance can’t be that long — he’s got to get to New Springfield for their daily Who concert.

I bet $11 on the under, to win $17.60.

8 | Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first?

Coach – 9/1
No one – 5/1
Family – 4/1
God – 4/5
Teammates – 2/1

If Arizona had managed to get here like last year, that “God” pick would be a bunch stronger bet — Kurt Warner has started every sentence he’s said in the last 12 years with “Thank God.” But neither Peyton Manning nor Drew Brees strike me as particularly god fearin’. I really can’t think of any known Kurt Warner types on either the Colts or (ironically) Saints.

That takes God off the board. Peyton definitely wouldn’t thank his coach — I’m not sure Peyton knows the coach’s name. Brees seems too humble to thank no one. Peyton might thank his family, since they’re such a prominent part of one of the media-created Super Bowl storylines (his dad played for the Saints but is rooting for the Colts). And, of course, there’s no guarantee that a quarterback will win MVP anyway.

In the end, I decided to go with teammates at 2/1. I don’t love it — I feel like a Saints player might thank the city of New Orleans first, and Peyton Manning might thank himself — but it’s my favorite of the available choices. I bet $11 on teammates, to win $22.

9 | Who will have more: Indiana plus Northwestern points (in their 2/7 college basketball game) or Saints plus Colts rushing yards?

Indiana and Northwestern (+65.5) – -115
Saints and Colts rushing (-65.5) – -115

I went to Northwestern. I never thought I’d see the day when they’d be playing Indiana in basketball and be the favorite. But here we are in opposite land, where hot snow flies up.

Regardless of Northwestern’s awkward venture into the middle of the Big Ten standings, neither they nor Indiana are a particular offensive juggernaut. In conference play, Northwestern averages 67 points per game, Indiana 62. Assuming the inevitable sloppy game, they’ll probably come up with around 130 to 140 points.

So… based on the 65.5-point (!) spread, will the Saints and Colts combine for around 200 rushing yards? Even though they’re both passing teams, I’d venture to say they will.

After betting against LeBron earlier, I’m betting against Northwestern now. (You can see the inherent pessimism associated with being a Cleveland and Wildcats fan oozing out here.) I bet $11 on the Saints and Colts total rushing yards (-65.5), to win $9.57.

10 | Which Super Bowl commercial will have a higher rating on USA Today’s annual ad meter?

Anheuser-Busch / Budweiser – 20/29 – 9/1 – 9/1
Coca-Cola – 8/1
Family First (pro-life ad) – 12/1
Doritos – 12/5
The field – 11/4

Abortions for all! (Booooo!)
Abortions for none! (Booooo!)
Abortions for some, Tim Tebow commercials for others! (Yaaaay!)

Anyway, I couldn’t decide between Anheuser-Busch and Doritos, so I decided to play the numbers game and bet on the field.

I put $11 on every ad not by Anheuser-Busch, Go Daddy, CareerBuilder, Coca-Cola, Family First and Doritos, to win $30.25. It’s tied for my highest potential payout. Let’s hope the pro lifers don’t want to vote in the ad meter poll run by the Liberal Media.

11 | What will be larger: Kim Kardashian’s total measurements (36-24-39) or Reggie Bush’s yardage total?

Kim Kardashian’s 36-24-39 (-38.5) – -115
Reggie Bush’s yards (+38.5) – -115

By far my favorite prop bet of the year. I swear, if Kim Kardashian’s voluptuousness down below costs me $11, I’m going to blow a cow.

It took me a minute to figure out what was going on in this bet but, basically, you add up Kim Kardashian’s measurements (36+24+39 = 99) and compare them to Reggie Bush’s total rushing and receiving yards.

With the spread of 38.5 (aka a spread of Kim Kardashian’s hip/butt measurement), you’re deciding whether or not Reggie Bush will get more or less than 60 total yards (not counting his punt return yards). He’s a huge wild card — sometimes he dances around behind the line for an hour and loses three yards, sometimes he dances around behind the line for an hour and gains 50.

Call me a sucker for media hype, but I have a feeling about Reggie Bush. I bet $11 that Reggie Bush’s total yards added to the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass will win me $9.57.

I think that sentence pretty much sums up what I do here at 11 Points (and, by extension, what I do with my life).

Overall, I bet $121 with the chance to win $168.08. Yes, I would’ve been better off just putting all of it on one color in roulette. No, that wouldn’t have been close to as much fun.