MIAMI — You know it’s Super Bowl Week – or more specifically, Super Bowl Prop Bet Week – when dedicated gamblers are running stopwatches on old YouTube videos such as the pregame festivities of Game 5 of the 2011 World Series.
No, an old baseball game is unlikely to contain any clues to who will win Sunday’s big football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
It might provide a scouting report, though, for one of the first bets that can be made – a pre-kickoff wager on just how long it will take singer Demi Lovato to belt out “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The over/under is two minutes flat. This is no random bet, however, such as whether the pregame coin toss will be heads or tails. You can research it, namely by going back to Lovato’s past national anthems before major sporting events. It’s all about analytics.
That night in 2011? She clocked in at a brisk 1:46. She also came in under two minutes for a Thanksgiving Day football game in 2008, Game 4 of the 2012 World Series and Game 4 of the 2015 Series. So that’s four historic data points to bet the under.
But – and there is almost always a “but” when it comes to gambling, let alone absurd gambling – what about Lovato standing in a Las Vegas boxing ring in 2017 before the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight?
That one went a lengthy 2:11.
Is that an outlier? Or is it the most telling performance because it was the most recent? In 2008, she was just 16 and trying to establish herself. Maybe nerves caused her to run through the anthem. Now at 27 and with multiple Grammy nominations to her credit, will she make America wait for her?
What about the historic trends? Eight of the past 10 Super Bowl anthem singers went under two minutes. It’s far more common for quick renditions (Billy Joel sprinted through it in 1:24 back in 1989) than long ones (Alicia Keys took 2:17 in 2013).
It’s all part of the fun, or the profit, or the frustration. Prop bets get more popular every year. Apparently wagering on the absurd has a lot of appeal. The basic line is Kansas City giving 1 point, but that’s sort of boring.
MGM Grand’s list of prop bets runs 32 pages long. You can bet on pretty much anything via the BetMGM App.
You think Kansas City’s Mecole Hardman will score the first touchdown in the game? It’s 22-to-1. Total number of punts? Over/under is 6.5.
Here are some of the more intriguing:
Will the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins score more goals against the Washington Capitals on Sunday than combined field goals made by the Niners and Chiefs?
First quarter total score?
Team to use the first coaching challenge?
Both teams, -110
Either the Chiefs or Niners will finish the game with four points. (It’s only happened once in NFL history, back in 1923 when the Chicago Cardinals lost 10-4 to the Racine Legion.)
Jersey number of the player who will score the first touchdown of the second half?
(and so on)
Will the NBA Milwaukee Bucks score more first-half points Sunday against the Phoenix Suns than the combined full game points by the Niners and Chiefs?
And while this isn’t allowed in Nevada, in New Jersey you can bet through Borgata what color the first postgame Gatorade bath will be?
No Gatorade Bath +1100
Before betting, you may want to research the historic trends and the Chiefs and Niners preferred beverages. It’s all out there if you want it. Just ask Demi.
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