Football! Six Prop Bets and My Super Bowl XLVI Pick (Includes Video Analysis of Kelly Clarkson Anthem-Singing)
Finally, the Super Bowl is upon us, and when you head out to that neighborhood party this Sunday, you may need some fabricated incentive to have a rooting interest in the game. I get that.
Kelly Clarkson: Take the under on anthem length.
Sure, you can do it the ultra-lame way by buying a couple squares for five bucks and hoping that you randomly secure the second digit of each teams' score at the end of each quarter. (And I mean ultra-lame with a capital ULTRA.)
Or you can get your sports fan pick-me-up through the exotic world of proposition wagers, a much more civilized, intelligent, "thinking man's" way to amp up the intrigue-o-meter.
So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite prop bets for this weekend and my pick for the game:
6. Kelly Clarkson National Anthem Rendition UNDER 1:34 +100
While Jeremy Shockey might be a little angry that one's focus would be divided during the Star Spangled Banner, I say what's more American than wagering on the length of the national anthem? The only thing more American is actually taking the time to scout previous Kelly Clarkson national anthem performances, and embedding them in this post.
So here you go:
Got her at an NFL game....
...an NBA Finals game....
....and a baseball game.
All three performances went under (barely) 1:34. I don't feel great about this bet, mainly because the gargantuan stage that is the Super Bowl lends itself to the singer's drawing out long notes to remain the center of attention for every possible second he or she can. The flip side is that Kelly Clarkson performs this song so often, she has her way of doing it where it's almost like pressing play on a recording. Even in the third video above, she draws out the word "wave" for an extended scream, and it still goes under.
So let's go with efficiency and history, and hope we cash in.
5. Giants score or punt first -- SCORE +115
The reasons I like this bet:
1. The last time these two teams played in Week 9, the game was scoreless at halftime. Second times around tend to go opposite of the first. This game should have more scoring, so inherently +115 on "Score" feels good.
2. The Patriots have been notoriously slow starters this season in several games. All we need here is for their defense to let the Giants in field goal range early in the game.
3. It's "score or punt," so anything other than those two (turnover, missed field goal) is sort of like a foul ball in baseball where the bet stays alive. The way the Giants are playing offensively, if they have a drive end in a "stay alive" result, I like them much more to subsequently score after that than have to punt.
4. Longest touchdown scored UNDER 51 1/2 yards -115
Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com in his prop bet opus does the heavy lifting on the empirical statistics for this one and the numbers are very favorable. The teams combined for only 11 touchdowns longer than this all season (actually longer than 49 1/2 yards, which was Barnwell's number) and combined only gave up five.
The Patriots play a "bend but don't break" style of defense, and offensively will try to move the ball with quick, short passes to keep the Giants' pass rush off of Brady. Both of these are highly favorable traits for this bet. (WARNING: I had this same bet sewn up back in Super Bowl XLIV and Tracy Porter's pick-six did me in. Long scores can be spawned many ways. Just know that going in.)