Shut down your work for the day and call your bookie, it’s time for Kmarko’s annual Super Bowl Prop Bets Mega Blog!
Think this is what, the 3rd year doing it? 4th? I can’t be sure, because 5 minutes after we hired the new tech team, all my past ones disappeared from the archives never to be seen again. But all I know is 2 years ago I went like 10 for 10 or something and launched into national prominence as an expert on Super Bowl props. My parents have never been prouder.
Last year wasn’t as great. I think it was around 50-60% success rate, because I got a little too tricky – messed around with like, Russell Wilson’s Pass Yardage vs. the National Oil Barrel Prices or something. I don’t know, I just remember at one point I went from talking about the Seahawks’ offense to writing a paragraph about the new King of Saudi Arabia and his worldview of the global economy, and that’s when things kind of went off the rails.
But let’s get into it. Got 10 official Kmarko Prop Bets lined up. Almost all bets/lines were taken off of Bovada. And as a general rule of thumb I don’t read a single blog or article from anyone else about prop bets so these are all un-influenced, straight from my brain.
SUPER BOWL PROP BETS
NATIONAL ANTHEM OVER/UNDER 2:20
My favorite bet every year and one that sets the tone for the entire night. Everyone is still settling in to the party, making a little plate for themselves, chit chatting about this and that – then somebody steps up to the mic and you have to yell at everyone to shut the fuck up as you hold your iPhone out in front of your face on Stopwatch mode. Your finger hovers over the Start button ready to pounce as soon as they make their first sound, then it becomes the most intense couple of minutes ever where you end up screaming for them to either carry that final note forever or hurry up and cut it off. You win and you’re in a nice positive mood for the rest of the game, you lose and you’re already in the hole.
Anyway this year it’s Lady Gaga. First thing I thought the instant I heard that name was “Over.” “100 times over.” But then I saw the total: 2:20. A really, really long time. And let’s take a look at the past 10 results for the Anthem:
Super Bowl 40 – Aaron Neville & Aretha Franklin 2:08
Super Bowl 41 – Billy Joel 1:30
Super Bowl 42 – Jordin Sparks 1:54
Super Bowl 43 – Jennifer Hudson 2:10
Super Bowl 44 – Carrie Underwood 1:47
Super Bowl 45 – Christina Aguilera 1:54
Super Bowl 46 – Kelly Clarkson 1:34
Super Bowl 47 – Alicia Keys 2:35
Super Bowl 48 – Renee Fleming 1:54
Super Bowl 49 – Idina Menzel 2:04
Yes Gaga is incredibly theatrical, and I have no doubt she’ll make this about herself. I could give her 2:10 for that, maybe even 2:15. But 2:20 is pushing it. Only Alicia Keys’ obnoxious ass has topped that in the past decade.
Confidence Level – 6 out of 10. Definitely not ruling out Gaga hitting “Lannndddddd of the freeeee….” then pausing as she wraps herself in a cloth, steps into a gigantic egg, has a crew of 50 servants in nothing but loin cloths pick her up and carry her to the end zone, where she emerges 10 minutes later wearing butterfly wings and belts out “and the home of the brave.”
If there was a way to bet on exactly what I just described, I would 100% hedge with it.
THE BET: UNDER 2:20
But wait…wait a minute…what’s that…could it be…yes I think it is…it’s…IT’S THE MAD MAESTRO’S MUSIC!!
Email received yesterday after I had finished writing this blog:
Hey Kmarko, glad to see you’ve been doing well these past two years. Just wanted to point out that the over/under for Lady Gaga’s national anthem is 2:20. Doesn’t that seem a bit long? The TV airtime costs more than $150K per second and they want those commercial breaks. And if she performs without accompaniment, singers tend to push the tempo a bit faster.
Last year with Idina Menzel, they had a perfect over/under of about 2 minutes. I didn’t wanna touch that prop bet. But this year, it’s on the high side again. You can find LG singing the anthem on youtube. And while she does take her sweet time, that was for a much smaller audience. Maybe 120 million people in the SB audience this year? She’s a pro. Gaga won’t be wasting any of our time. I’m taking the Under.
From out of nowhere!! Like I said, my old blogs are deleted from the archives, and I didn’t have the Maestro’s email address saved, so I figured the Mad Maestro would just have to live in myth and folklore for the rest of time. And right as I’m thinking that, he pops up from the abyss. Amazing. And him confirming my initial bet raises my confidence level to an 11 out of 10.
And for all you new little Stoolies not well versed in Barstool history – here’s the quick story of the Maestro. My first Prop Bet blog ever I guessed the over/under for Rennee Fleming doing the anthem, and went with the Over. In the comment section someone named “The Mad Maestro” left an incredibly long analysis of opera singers, so I obviously followed up via email. And ended up with this.
At 3:08 PM, Kmarko
Hey man. very intrigued by your comment on the anthem. Can you please fill me in on your opera qualifications and expertise a little more. Need to see what I’m dealing with here. Lot of money and pride on the line.
At 6:05 PM, The Mad Maestro wrote:
I felt compelled to comment for the first time ever on your site because I have major passion for classical music. First a little about myself. I’ve been a classical instrumentalist for 15 years. A degree from the New England Conservatory and the Peabody Conservatory of JHU. Gigged with dozens of ensembles all over the east coast and even worked in administration with the Boston Symphony and Baltimore Symphony.
I have plenty of Operas under my belt. Both as a performer and as a spectator. Classical music is more than how I make my living, it is my life. There.
While I’m not a professional Opera soloist, there are some facts and clues that I saw that “lead me to believe” that the likelihood of Renee Flemming going over 2:25 is very low. I think Bovado messed up on this one. 2:25 is the time they set. If the over/under was 2:15, I wouldn’t touch it. I need this bet as part of my parlay and I’m taking it just to boost my payout.
Reasons for under 2:25 national anthem.
1. Recorded Orchestral Accompaniment. If she hits a high note and holds it, there is no conductor there to cue the orchestra back in (Therefore she can’t hold notes as long as she wants. Only Italians do that.) She’ll hold her notes for a metrically prescribed amount of time to keep consistency. I also heard there will be 12 Helicopters doing the fly over this year. I know the Air Force has impeccable timing but it’s prolly easier if they have an exact ETA.
2. Military Chorus. Super Bowl 39 Pats vs Eagles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ETrr-XHBjE
They fly through it. So fast that they even did a reprise and had plenty of time left over for some bitchin trumpet fanfares. When Flemming mentions “reverent,” “exultant” and “patriotic,” as a musician, to me, none of those imply slow. I think Patriotic implies fast. Marching tempo in fact. Which is the tempo of the Star Spangled Banner.
3. In Comparison to others. All I really learned from this was how I could potentially lose this bet. 2:25 is a great time for this Prop. I remember it stipulates starting from the “first note” to the “conclusion of brave.” A long orchestral introduction could screw me over. Beyonce’s was like that. They started the music playing then introduced her, then she took the mic and ate up like 20 seconds before the first word came out. Even then, I still clocked it at about 2:23.
The major unknowable is what Renee’s arrangement of star spangled banner would consist of. Since it is surely classical, with likely tribute to patriotism, I’m expecting something like the Super Bowl 39 version or even like Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl 25.
In conclusion, your logic of her wanting to make a “big slash” and holding high notes through eternity, because she’s “Opera,” is an error. I’m sure the word Diva is more appropriate for her than anyone else, but more than that, she’s a pro, and there are plenty of things out of her control. Live orchestra? I’d be less confident. No Military Chorus? Less confident. I don’t have a clue about the other props I bet on. But what I would call “a lock,” is that there will be no lolly gagging in the tempo of our national anthem this year.
Take it for what it’s worth. I hope this helps.
Viva la stool
P.S. I understand everyone’s resistance to opera. But I’m recommending 2 operas for you Kmarko. Pagliaci (the sad clown opera). It’s only 90 minutes. The best short opera out there. And Salome by Strauss. Depending on the performance, there could be a bunch of titties dancing around on stage.
Needless to say, he nailed it, and we all made money.
I always chose tails my entire life because I’m a contrarian. Then it became kind of cool and trendy to pick tails and losers started saying things like “tails never fails” so I switched to Heads one year in my blog and it instantly lost. Never again. Heads is for front runners and pussies with no sense of identity or character or intestinal fortitude.
THE BET: TAILS
How many times will “dab” or “dabbing” be said by the announcers during the Broadcast?
Any experienced Super Bowl Prop Better will tell you you take the under on these bets, always. Doesn’t matter what the hot topic of the year is, the commentators will always say it less times than you think they will. Last year it was Deflategate, the biggest story ever, and we ended up pushing at 2 after Al Michaels barely squeezed it in in the 4th quarter. Cam will do a dab after a touchdown, someone will say “and there’s the famous dab” one time, and that will be it. WORST case scenario is we push with a follow up, but I just can’t see it being said 3 times.
Also, when I originally picked this I had it in my head that it was Al Michaels and Collinsworth calling the game. When I remembered it’s Nantz and Simms I actually feel even better about it. Al has become very self aware of these bets. Depending on what side of the action he took we could get a classic “Dab Dab Dab Dab Dab Dab” outburst with 3 minutes to go in a 35-14 game.
Of course, I always get the feeling we’re teetering on the edge of Phil Simms having a full breakdown on air, and some just pure verbal diarrhea involving 43 Dab mentions is certainly not out of the question.
THE BET: UNDER 2
How many times will Cam Newton do the Open Shirt Superman motion during the game?
Ok we all get it – Cam Newton’s a showboat. He’s a cocky arrogant braggart who has no respect for the game and dances around simultaneously disrespecting The Shield and corrupting the youth of America. He’s the reason we have to blindfold our kids and stuff them in the closet in the basement every time the Panthers are on television. Nobody knows why this is for sure – I did some background research on this (old journalism trick) and asked a frequent Writer of Letters-To-The-Editor at the Charlotte Observer and a Random Internet Commenter who goes by the name “TrickyDick69″ what they thought it was. They both said it’s because he’s black.
But even after this revelation, I still have a good feeling that we’re hitting the under on this one. I mean it’s 2.5. That’s just way too many Superman Shirt Motions. I have no doubt he’ll bust it out on his first big 30 yard run or touchdown run – it’ll be the first one out of his bag. MAYBE he’ll even do it a second time, at a critical juncture of the 4th quarter. But more than twice? The same move? Cam’s way too cool and creative for that. I’m sure he’s got a whole bunch of dabs and quans and Soulja Boys and Wobbles in his bag of tricks, too many to be worried about doing the same old celly over and over.
THE BET: UNDER 2.5
Will Mike Carey be wrong about a challenge?
Mike Carey stinks so bad that it defies all human reason. I mean the guy was a referee for how long? And he gets EVERY SINGLE challenge wrong when they put him on TV?
There’s only one explanation. Mike Carey has been playing a long con so he could bet on himself for this prop during the Super Bowl and make a shitload of money. Have everybody load up on YES, move the line and then profit. I bet you the guy is the most intelligent and proficient student of the rule book in the history of the NFL and he’s just been playing a character on TV all year to get some attention, like a classic WWF Heel. Either by choice or because Goodell made him do it for social media traction.
THE BET: NO
Which song will Coldplay play first during the Halftime show?
I’ve nailed this one 2 years in a row but I gotta be honest, it’s tough this year. First let’s rule out what it won’t be: Fix You. No shot they come out with a slow jam. You think they’re going to open up the Super Bowl halftime show with that slow ass synthesizer? What’s next, The Scientist? Have everybody crying and thinking of their ex’es? So we can cross that one off the board. Next off the list is Head Full of Dreams. I’ve never heard of it. Next, I’m going to take Speed of Sound and Clocks off. Those are some of the classics that I feel like you gradually go into in the middle part of the show, not come right out with. Which leaves us….
WIN: VIVA LA VIDA +400
This was my initial gut call before even seeing what the options were. So I’m going to stick with it. My gut has gotten me pretty far in life. I was wavering back and forth between this and the next one below, but once I hit the Youtube and those opening chords came in, I could instantly envision it opening up the halftime show.
PLACE: ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME +200
This is the one that has me questioning Viva La Vida because this is a great option also. It’s upbeat, it’s fun, and mainly, it’s their hit song out right now. You don’t open a concert with it, but if you’re trying to make a good impression at the Super Bowl in front of a trillion people, it would make sense to roll with this one.
SHOW: SKY FULL OF STARS +400
This is a nice little sleeper pick and KFC’s official prediction. Upbeat, current. I don’t think they open with it but it deserves a mention if you want to go contrarian.
THE BET: VIVA LA VIDA +400
What color will Beyonce’s footwear be when she comes on stage for the Halftime show?
Probably the most audacious bet I’m taking on for the entire game. Trying to get inside the mind of a woman when it comes to her outfits is a hard…nay, impossible task. It’s basically pure guesswork, and as you can see from the previous entires, I don’t just guess around here – I do cold hard research. But I need some action on this just for the fun of it – for the fun of staring at the TV holding my breath waiting to explode when I see the color of Beyonce’s damn heels.
If nothing else, it will give me and the girls at the party something to bond over.
Anyway here’s my approach:
First, I Googled “Beyonce Performance” and tallied the shoe color for the first 10 images.
Results: Gold, Black, Black, Black, Gold, Black, Gold, Black, Black, Black.
Then, I called a professional mathematician in a national Thinktank and gave him my results and told him to run the numbers. He came back with a data spreadsheet full of correlations with the conclusion: go with black, or maybe gold.
So if you want to play it smart…
The Smart Bet: BLACK +150
But if you want to live life on the edge like I do…
THE BET: GOLD/BROWN +250
(Also I’ll be totally honest, I had a little trouble differentiating between gold and silver in the Google images because I’m slightly colorblind, so Silver/Grey at +500 could quite possibly be a strong play here if you wanted to go off the board)
Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first?
“Shout your boy out” -God
The hard part about this bet every year is the “first” caveat. Take this year for example – the obvious money is on Cam being the MVP. So if we play the numbers and assume it’s Cam, who does he go with first? Is he a big God guy? Let’s ask his dad:
“The great evolution of Cam comes from a close-knit family, prayer, character building,” Cecil Newton Sr. said. “I pull him in my laboratory and polish him off at the end of every season, tell him what works, what doesn’t work. But there are a lot of people that work with Team Cam that make him the very refined person he is today.”
Now let’s ask this random blogger who popped up when I Google’d “Does Cam Newton Like God”
We all know he’s a HUGE teammates/coach/fans/city guy, but I feel like you save that one for last. Kind of build up to it. Get everyone out of the way then finish it off with “THE BEST FANS IN THE WORLD” as everyone screams and cries and confetti drops down on your head and you hit the dab and walk off. God is who you start off with, get the Big Guy out of the way early.
Also feel like God is big into the prop bet game, and he can kind of sway this one in his favor, being all-powerful and shit. Not saying it’s fair.
THE BET: GOD +200
What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach?
Ah, the infamous Gatorade prop bet. First let’s take a look at past results, courtesy of OddsShark:
Super Bowl 35 Yellow Baltimore Ravens
Super Bowl 36 None New England Patriots
Super Bowl 37 Purple Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Super Bowl 38 None New England Patriots
Super Bowl 39 Clear New England Patriots
Super Bowl 40 Clear Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl 41 Clear Indianapolis Colts
Super Bowl 42 Clear New York Giants
Super Bowl 43 Yellow Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl 44 Orange New Orleans Saints
Super Bowl 45 Orange Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl 46 Purple New York Giants
Super Bowl 47 None Baltimore Ravens
Super Bowl 48 Orange Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl 49 Blue New England Patriots
Hmm, no clear pattern here. Not a lot to work with. My algorithms aren’t coming up with much. So when that fails, I go to my next favorite method:
Looking at what color they had during the Conference Championship game.
Got to imagine they want to keep it consistent right? You win with orange, you keep orange. Or does that make too much sense.
THE BET: Orange +125
WHO WILL HAVE MORE:
KEVIN DURANT (OKC) POINTS -6.5 -110
PEYTON MANNING (DEN) COMPLETIONS +6.5 -110
Here’s where my DraftKings expertise comes into play.
Ok – I’m not going to underestimate Manning too much: yeah, he’s a noodle arm and can’t throw a spiral and can’t throw it from hash to hash in the air. Yes he only completed 17 against the Pats, and the Panthers D is way better. But you never know how many of those stupid little bubble screens and 2 yard hooks he’ll complete, especially if the Broncos are in catch-up mode. So I’d set our worst case scenario of Peyton completions at 22.
Meanwhile we’ve got Kevin Durant. KD. NBA MVP. His past 10 games: 37, 28, 33, 27, 44, 32, 24, 26, 30, 24 points. Average = 30.5. The matchup this bet is going on is a Saturday night 9 PM game against Golden State – huge game, taking on the former champs and the current MVP, crowd going crazy. Exactly when the superstars come out to play. I’m honestly expecting 45 points out of Durant, but I definitely think the worst case scenario floor is 30. Which puts our bet here basically at Peyton Manning over/under 23.5 completions.
Peyton has not hit that number since Week 6 against Cleveland, in OT.
Based on my simple math (and a whole lot of guesswork), Durant is the mathematically approved play.
THE BET: KEVIN DURANT POINTS -6.5
Good luck to everyone this Sunday. And just a reminder, prop bets are a collaborative effort. I always love to get feedback from people and hear their expert analysis on completely random shit. Remember the Mad Maestro from 25 minutes ago when you were reading the top of this blog? Single handedly convinced me to change my National Anthem bet due to 10 paragraphs of in depth analysis on opera singing. So if you strongly disagree with one of my plays here, or have a different one you think is a winner, leave it in the comments or hit me up @KmarkoBarstool so we can all get rich* together.
*I really hope you just use these to bet a couple hundred bucks with your friends at a Super Bowl party. If you tweet me that you lost your entire month’s rent to your bookie because Beyonce came out in green and yellow space boots, you don’t deserve to have a house in the first place.