This is a list of 10 Real But Ridiculous 2011 Super Bowl Prop Bets — all of which have nothing to do with the actual game itself — along with their odds (explained here) and my supremely expert betting advice that is absolutely GUARANTEED to win you CA$$$$$H!!! (Not really). Enough brief explaining, let’s get to the bet$:
10. How long will Christina Aguilera hold the note “Brave” at the end of the National Anthem?
(Time starts from when she starts saying “Brave” until her the note ends. If she says the full word twice wagers will be No Action.)
Over 6 seconds: -140
Under 6 seconds: EVEN
BET: Under. This is a classic prop bet where the odds are clearly titled towards the more fun/ridiculous option to bet; it’s amusing to bet money that Christina Aguilera will hold a note for a stupidly long amount of time, but is anyone actually flying to Vegas so they can very confidently lay a bunch of money on Christina Aguilera holding a note for a not-that-long amount of time? That’s like buying a ticket to The Mechanic and rooting for it to be mostly ok.
Don’t fall into the “fun” trap – take the boring angle. 6 seconds is really, really long, and if there’s any pregame memorial ceremony (as in, something honoring the victims in Tucson or The Egyptian internet), it’ll guilt Christina into being slightly less exhibitiony with her performance, plus the Super Bowl tv schedule is exceedingly rigid. Take the even money and pray for Xtina sanity.
9. What Color will the Gatorade be that is dumped on the Head Coach of the Winning Super Bowl Team?
Clear/Water : 2/1
Lime Green: 5/1
Bet: Yellow. It’s the favorite, sure, but the past two Steeler Super Bowl victories (each in the last 5 years) included yellow Gatorade baths — one on coach Mike Tomlin in 2009, and one on running back Jerome Bettis in 2006 (coach Bill Cowher received a clear bath that year). Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy has not, at least to my Googling fingers, received a Gatorade bath yet, but all the Super Bowl baths in the past decade have been either Yellow, Orange, or Clear, so definitely avoid the longshots here (Lime Green? Cahhmannnn).
If you believe the Steelers have a 50% chance of winning the game and a 90% of using yellow Gatorade if they do, and that the Packers at least have a 60-80% chance of using yellow Gatorade if they win, then laying $100 on Yellow to win $150 isn’t such a bad proposition. Orange at 3-to-1 isn’t a bad bet if you’re feeling adventurous, but Clear at 2-1 seems a little uninspired. Nothing about this paragraph is absurd.
8. How Many Times will FOX mention “Brett Favre” on TV during the Game?
(Wager is on the number of times “Brett Favre” will be mentioned on TV during the Game from kick off until final whistle. Live commentary only, Any Taped or Past Video does not count towards wager, must say “Brett Favre” exactly.)
Over 2.5: -140
Under 2.5: EVEN
BET: Under. As ubiquitous as Favre has been (ubiquitous means “penis penis,” right?) on sportscasters’ lips over the past 15+ years, I don’t see how he’ll come up during Fox’s on-air Super Bowl broadcast more than once, and during that conversation, I can’t imagine Buck and Aikman saying the full name “Brett Favre” three distinct times, rather than just “Favre” or “Dr. Textypeens”.
Betting against announcers’ tendencies to mention Brett Favre is a tricky proposition, but the whole “Aaron Rodgers drafted but sat while Favre played” backstory should be covered in the 27 hours of pregame, and at Even Money, taking the “Under” here is a smart bet; the “Over” odds are almost certainly inflated because Vegas doesn’t expect anyone to make the way-too-boring opposite bet, like betting against Christina’s long note, only penis.
Are we aiming for FUN here or SERIOUS CASH MONEY? NEITHER?? OK, FAIR ANSWER. BUT I STAND BY MY YELL WRITING.
7. Who will the Super Bowl MVP of the Game thank first?
Does Not Thank Anyone: +200
Bet: Teammates. You have to figure, if Green Bay wins, Aaron Rodgers is the overwhelming favorite to be the MVP (barring a substantial game from Clay Matthews or Charles Woodson, or an unusually gaudy statline from a receiver in their usually-balanced passing attack), and Rodgers is nominally both Christian and Jewish, like me, and I never thank God for sh*t. And I won a LOT of Super Bowls with untackleable Barry Sanders in Madden ’93.
If Ben Roethlisberger wins MVP, a God-thanking is nearly certain (if there’s ever been a time for him to more consciously play up his faith, it’s this Sunday), but even if the Steelers win, Roethlisberger’s probably only about a 60% bet to be named Most Valuable — receivers have won the MVP in the Steelers’ last two Super Bowl wins, plus Roethlisberger’s stats haven’t been overwhelming in the playoffs thusfar and a defensive player could very plausibly determine the outcome for the Steelers.
Take ‘Teammates’ at 2.5-to-1. Who doesn’t like Teammates?
6. Will Christina Aguilera wear a cowboy hat while singing the National Anthem?
BET: No. Bodog.com is not currently offering a “no” option to bet on, but in case someone does, I just searched the Getty Images database for “Christina Aguilera Cowboy Hat” and found ZERO pictures of her wearing a cowboy hat out of more than 15,000 photos of her. Merely appearing in Texas shouldn’t reverse this overwhelming trend, especially when she’s probably aware of this prop bet existing and won’t want to be predictable, plus she grew up in Pittsburgh and surely would get called out for being pro-Dallas or just being flagrantly faux-country.
If you can’t find the “No” offered somewhere, then just stay away from the “Yes” – it’s basically throwing money away for a decent but unspectacular 3-to-1 return. If Jessica Simpson were singing the Anthem, on the other hand, then that’d be a different story – we’d get to see the odds reach the rare “blabillion” mark.
5. If there is a picture of someone holding the Lombardi Trophy on the Cover of the USA Today on Monday February 7th, who will it be?
(If 2 or more people are holding trophy all wagers will be No Action. Must be a clear picture of 1 person holding the trophy or wagers will be No Action.)
Aaron Rodgers: 3/2
Ben Roethlisberger: 3/1
Troy Polamalu: 12/1
Clay Matthews: 15/1
Mike Tomlin: 18/1
Mike McCarthy: 18/1
Any Other Pittsburgh Player: 2/1
Any Other Green Bay Player: 2/1
Any Other Person: 15/1
Jerry Jones: 100/1
Bet: Clay Matthews. Aaron Rodgers at 3-to-2 is a pretty safe bet, and I also like “Any Other Pittsburgh Player” at 2-to-1 for the reasons I listed in the MVP bet above, but as far as big-money longshots on this list of stupid prop bets go, what’s wrong with throwing a twenty on Clay Matthews at 15-to-1 to snag $300?
Matthews is extremely identifiable, Fox has bent over backwards to cut to him on the sidelines non-stop during every Packers broadcast, and Troy Aikman (and most other color commentators) constantly refer to him as “my pick for Defensive Player of the Year” (which he just lost out on), so you know that if he has a memorable game (scores a TD, or like 3 sacks and a forced fumble), coupled with sportswriters’ Oscars-like desire to display advanced knowledge by not always picking the predictable choice, he’s got a shot at MVP even if Rodgers’ stats are excellent.
A picture of Matthews holding the trophy alone isn’t exceedingly likely, but certainly better than 15-to-1. Although, I do enjoy the concept of “Any Other Person” at 15-1, in the event that, like, Keith Urban just runs onstage and is like “YEAH!!!”
4. Will Fergie be dressed as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader at any point during the Halftime show?
(Must be completely dressed as an authentic Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for Yes to be graded as the winner.)
Bet: Yes. Like the Xtina Cowboy Hat prop, here’s another bet with only a “Yes” option. I was initially going to write how stupid betting “Yes” would be, given that the Dallas Cowboys have nothing to do with this game and dressing as a Cowboys cheerleader would only further rub in the fact that Dallas didn’t even come close to playing in the Super Bowl at their home stadium, plus the outfit would be as cliched as it would be nonsensical, so why even take the chance?
Then I remembered that these are the Black Eyed Peas performing. Taking 5-to-1 odds that they’ll do something cliched and nonsensical is prrrobably not the worst idea in the world.
3. Who will FOX show first on TV during the game?
Jessica Szohr (Aaron Rodgers’ Girlfriend): -140
Ashley Harlan (Ben Roethlisberger’s Fiancee): EVEN
BET: Szohr. I’ve watched every Steeler game this season and can’t recall offhand a deliberate cut-away to Ashley Harlan in any of them, and the last thing she or Roethlisberger needs is even more personal attention on them during a media-blitz filled week (not that this would stop Fox from cutting to her, just that she’d probably request not to be filmed, or at least sit somewhere less conspicuous).
Dropping money on Szohr (a hot actress) at -140 won’t exactly net you Press Your Luck Big Bucks, but in terms of likelihood, it’s practically Smooth Jimmy’s Lock Of The Week.
2. Which region will have the higher local TV Rating?
Green Bay: EVEN
BET: Pittsburgh. Even though Packers fans have the added excitement of not having been to the Super Bowl as recently as their Steeler counterparts, keep in mind that Wisconsin is littered with pockets of Bears fans and Vikings fans, whereas no one from outside Pittsburgh has moved to downtown Pittsburgh in about thirty years (take it from me and my thirty Pittsburgh friends living within three blocks of each other in New York.)
Pittsburgh consistently dominates local tv ratings for NFL and NHL games (the city just had the second-highest local rating for the NHL All-Star Game even with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both not playing), plus the actual Pittsburgh city limits are extremely narrowly defined — rest assured, literally nothing will be occurring in the city Sunday night without seven tvs nearby. If just one disgruntled Bears fan in Wisconsin goes to bed early out of protest, this one’s money in the bank.
1. Which Super Bowl commercial will have a higher rating on USA Today’s annual Ad Meter?
Bud Light 11/4
Pepsi Max 6/1
BET: Other. The best Super Bowl commercials usually come from slightly less obvious names who’ve put all their eggs into one thirty-second Super Bowl basket, so they have to make their one moment extra-memorable. Even if Bud Light or Pepsi hits the mark — Pepsi will surely have at least one celeb cameo that USA Today will gush over — they’ll each likely have several commercials throughout the broadcast that’ll obscure their water-cooler impact the following day, whereas some other company (think GoDaddy’s first Super Bowl year) will generate the most buzz. All the commercials will be mediocre, of course, and everyone will complain about how bad they were this year and forget that Super Bowl commercials were never good, but that whiny sentence isn’t an option.
At 2.5-to-1, taking The Field is a solid bet. Come onnnn, comic geniuses at IBM…….
Although, what’s to stop some USA Today culture columnist from throwing a bunch of money on a longshot here and totally rigging the results? Pocket some quick cash, fly to Tahiti, and laugh into a Mai Tai while his former industry crumples? Now that you’re busted, that person, please contact me so I can hop in.
HONORABLE MENTION: Will Any Live Animal Appear on Field During Half Time Show? (Human Beings Don’t Count)
This is my favorite bet of the entire list by far, but I don’t see any way it’ll be “Yes” and obviously I’m not gonna put money on “No” and root against animals somehow appearing onstage with the Black Eyed Peas. Just know that this bet exists, and we’re all winners.