Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter
Super Bowl XLV prop bet advice for both sharks and suckers.
Sharks and suckers alike will be throwing cash around on Super Bowl prop bets — banking on Christina Aguilera’s National Anthem, the opening coin toss, the Black Eyed Peas’ halftime show, the Gatorade shower, the MVP and everything in between.
Here’s a quick look at the best Super Bowl party prop bets, along with advice on where the smart money should play. For consistency’s sake, all odds and lines are courtesy of Bodog.com.
(For the average Joe who doesn’t speak in Vegas tongues — when the odds are -150, you must wager $150 to win $100; when the odds are +150, you win $150 on a bet of $100. Just FYI.)
How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the National Anthem?
Over 1:54 (-160)
Under 1:54 (+120)
Christina is a platinum blonde songbird known for her love of the vocal scales, while alter-ego Xtina is known for her penchant for leather chaps. Aguilera's most recent renditions of Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” came in at 1:52 and 1:54 prior to Games 6 and 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers.
The overwhelming bet will be the Over; but upon video replay review of her Game 7 performance in Hollywood on June 17, 2010, it may not be possible for her to top 1:54 without remixing the song — which Whitney Houston did with her 1:55 effort (which featured an 11-second “Brave” finale) before Super Bowl XXV.
How long will Christina Aguilera hold the note “Brave” at the end of the National Anthem?
Over 6 seconds (–140)
Under 6 seconds (EVEN)
Once again, unless Xtina goes Whitney on us — which is an outside possibility for a recently 30-year-old mother on the heels of a divorce who is looking to prove that she’s still got it on a global stage — holding “Brave” for longer than 6 seconds is a stretch. Her Game 7 Celtics-Lakers “Brave” finale was 5 seconds.
There are also a few sucker bets — on whether Aguilera will wear a cowboy hat (+300) or have a hair color other than completely blonde (+175). The only betting option is “Yes.” Even if she comes out dressed as a brunette cowgirl, these are toilet bowl bets.
What will be the result of the Super Bowl XLV coin toss?
Heads and Tails are tied at 22–22 all-time. So, the “visiting” Steelers can’t use the split stats to decide which side of the coin to call. Either bet is just as savvy and/or ridiculous. But history has shown that “tails never fails” — unless you are the old man at the gas station in No Country For Old Men, he was right to call “heads.”
Team to win the opening coin toss?
Pittsburgh Steelers (-105)
Green Bay Packers (-105)
The NFC has won twice as many coin tosses as the AFC, with a 30–14 edge all-time. The NFC is also on a 13-year streak of winning the Super Bowl coin toss.
However, teams that have “won” the toss carry a 21–23 record in the Super Bowl. Case in point, the Steelers have won six Super Bowls but only one coin toss (1–6 all-time). On the other side, the Packers are 3–1 in Super Bowls and 2–2 in coin tosses.
The pregame focus will be on former Packers quarterback Brett Favre and Cowboys owner (and the $1.1 billion “Palace at Dallas” party host) Jerry Jones. But after kickoff, neither Favre nor Jones should be much of a topic of conversation for FOX’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.
Unless this game is a blowout, there will be no reason for Buck and Aikman to drop F-Bombs or keep up with the Joneses. The Under is the play on both fronts.
How many times will FOX mention “Brett Favre” on TV during the game? (From kickoff until final whistle, live commentary only, must say “Brett Favre” exactly)
Over 2.5 (-150)
Under 2.5 (+110)
How many times will FOX show Jerry Jones on TV during the game? (From kickoff until final whistle, live pictures only)
Over 2.5 (-135)
Under 2.5 (-105)
What will Fergie be wearing when she first appears on stage during the Super Bowl halftime show?
Pants (Below Knees) (EVEN)
Shorts (Above Knees) (+350)
Thong/G-String/Bikini Bottom (+1000)
The 35-year-old Dutchess has still got it, no doubt — her new Dr. Pepper Cherry commercial proves that. But after the “Breast Super Bowl Ever” with Janet Jackson, don’t expect the NFL to allow a spring break Super Bowl halftime show with any thong, th-thong, thong, thong action.
There’s a chance for a skirt, dress or shorts. But expect Fergie to go with the tight pants, skimpy top look that Miss Jackson (Super Bowl XXXVIII), Gwen Stefani (XXXVII) and Britney Spears (XXXV) rocked in three separate Super Bowl shows.
Regardless, Fergie will be the first woman on stage at halftime since Janet’s “wardrobe malfunction” — snapping the Social Security streak of Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and The Who.
Much like Xtina’s sucker bets, Fergie Ferg has a dud, on whether she will be dressed as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader at any point during the halftime show. The only betting option is “Yes” (+500). But if you’re throwing away money, thong (+1000) is a better bet.
What color will the Gatorade be that is dumped on the head coach of the winning Super Bowl team?
Lime Green (5/1)
In the Steelers’ previous two Super Bowl wins, Mike Tomlin was doused in yellow Gatorade and Bill Cowher was soaked in ice water.
Over the past 10 Super Bowls, four coaches have been lucky enough to get water, two had yellow, one had purple, one had orange and Bill Belichick avoided the tradition twice — before getting a melted ice bath to cool off after Janet decided to heat up his third Super Bowl win in four years.
If Tomlin wins again, it has to be water — the ultimate sign of respect, since H2O isn’t sticky, is stainless and relatively painless. However, if Mike McCarthy wins his first Super Bowl, Cheesehead-yellow Gatorade is in order for the leader of the No. 6 seed road warriors.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Odds to win Super Bowl XLV MVP.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB (3/2)
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT (7/2)
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT (15/2)
Greg Jennings, WR, GB (12/1)
Troy Polamalu, S, PIT (15/1)
James Starks, RB, GB (15/1)
Mike Wallace, WR, PIT (16/1)
Clay Matthews, LB, GB (18/1)
Charles Woodson, CB, GB (18/1)
15 other players (25/1 to 60/1)
With 44-of-45 Super Bowl MVPs (Dallas’ Randy White and Harvey Martin were co-MVPs of Super Bowl XII) coming from the winning team (Dallas’ Chuck Howley refused the award after losing Super Bowl V), this prop bet is dependent on picking the Super Bowl champs.
Quarterbacks have won 23-of-45 all-time, defensive players have been honored eight times, running backs have seven, receivers hauled in six and one kick returner took MVP to the house on Super Sunday.
The third time will be a charm for Ben Roethlisberger if the Steelers win. Big Ben is on the Terry Bradshaw MVP plan, having watched receivers Hines Ward (XL) and Santonio Holmes (XLIII) take home the award. In his day, Bradshaw took a backseat to running back Franco Harris (IX) and contortionist Lynn Swann (X) before earning back-to-back in Super Bowls XIII and XIV.
If the Packers raise the Vince Lombardi Trophy, only odds-on favorite Aaron Rodgers should be considered an MVP candidate. A-Rod is nearly in Peyton Manning no-brainer territory. Although Peyton needed nine seasons to rip the Super Bowl monkey off his back, Rodgers’ six seasons to date have arguably been more trying — after aging in dog years behind Favre for three seasons.
Put it this way, unless one of the Packers pulls a Desmond Howard (XXXI) and makes it impossible to vote for anyone else, Rodgers will make like Bart Starr (I and II), who earned a political MVP victory in Super Bowl I over the late, great wild child Max McGee — who had seven catches for 138 yards and two TDs, including the first points in Super Bowl history.