Shut down your work for the day and call your bookie, it’s time for Kmarko’s annual Super Bowl Prop Bets Mega Blog!
The old school Stoolies know the deal, but I know we have a ton of new fans so I’ll give you a brief introduction to your new favorite Super Bowl blog. This is the world famous Kmarko Super Bowl Prop Bets Megablog. Welcome. You know how when you prepare for the Super Bowl you look at both teams, find the strengths and weaknesses, analyze the X’s and O’s, try to get inside the mind of the coaches to figure out their game plan, obsessively check injury reports to see which side might have a soft spot to exploit, and compute all that data in your head to decide who has the edge and who will take home the Lombardi trophy?
This has none of that. We’re here for the fun shit. We’re here for hair color. We’re here for song performances. We’re here for Al Michael’s references. We’re here for Gatorade baths. You want some thoughts on the spread and over/unders, go ask a nerd. You want to know what a pop star is gonna wear to sing the National Anthem, buddy, saddle up. You’re in the right place.
Not sure what # year this is because everything has been deleted from our archives obviously. All I know is the year I started it I went 10 for 10 and from then on it was destiny that I had to do a Prop Bets blog every Super Bowl. As someone who doesn’t gamble because I had to quit because I was abnormally bad at it* and literally could not afford to lose any more money, I’ve displayed an astounding knack for correctly guessing the dumb shit that happens during the Super Bowl football game.
(*Seriously, if I had to rank the things in life that I’m worst at, picking sports spreads would be top 3, if not #1. I literally cannot pick a game correctly. I know a lot of stuff. I’m great at daily fantasy. Put a game spread in front of me and I will pick the wrong side, every. single. time. I WANT to gamble. I want to feel the rush. I want to talk about bad beats and crazy backdoor wins. I just simply cannot afford to do it because I lose all of my money. Just some background, that’s how I ended up talking about P!nk’s hair.)
Anyway, the second 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.
Third year, a solid 8 for 11.
Respectable. Trending upwards heading into last year. And it ended up being…okay. Just okay. Profitable which is all that matters, but I strive for perfection.
5 for 8 with all the ones I was confident about and went heavy on cashing.
Which brings us to 2018. Pats vs. Eagles. Awesome game and HUGE game for Barstool. Two of our biggest fanbases going head to head in Minnesota. Going to be incredible on its own, but you know how we can make it even more incredible? By winning a bunch of money on all the dumb shit that happens!
Anyway, it should go without saying, but I tried to focus on bets with good or close-to-good odds for either side, to make it more fun. I mean there are obviously a ton of -400 or -600 props I could throw on here to beef up my totals and get some checks in the win column, but that’s not how I roll. I’m not that type of guy. We’re here to break down the tough ones. The props people are scared to touch. The props people don’t have 15 hours to research on the internet because their job isn’t literally to sit in an office scrolling through the internet for dumb shit. That’s me, I do that.
Oh and to my previous point, I almost forgot – if you can believe it, there’s something that can make this even better. Yup, the Prop Bets blog is now officially sponsored by The Action Network, the premiere site for sports betting information with analysis from the sharpest minds in sports betting, real-time betting data, and the ability to track your bets on the web and on the go. They’ve got everything you need for the game – Super Bowl analysis, 52 picks for 52 props*, real-time updates on every move by bookmakers. All the stuff that I just told you I stink that, they’ve got it covered.
And the best part if you can get 30% off a year membership by using the code KMARKO52. Awesome deal, and if you take betting seriously, I wouldn’t pass that up.
(*Love the site but I have not yet read a word of their prop analysis. 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 – whether that’s good or not is up to you to decide)
So let’s get into it. Got 10 official Kmarko Prop Bets lined up. Let’s cook.
1) The National Anthem.
The first bet of the night is by far the highlight of both prop betting and this blog: the length of the National Anthem. Easily my favorite and easily the most fun. You’re at the Super Bowl party, you probably just got there about 20 minutes ago, you’re still warming up from outside, haven’t even fully purveyed the spread yet to see if there’s buffalo chicken dip this year or just spinach artichoke again, still wondering if you’ll get a seat on the couch or be stuck on a shitty folding chair in the back again, kind of nudging your girlfriend to stop talking and grab a prime spot. Then the TV screen goes quiet and the announcer’s voice comes on instructing people to remove their hats and you sprint up to the front with your iPhone out on stopwatch mode. All the girls are like, what the fuck? Who is this loser, what’s he doing? Their lame ass boyfriends are shaking their heads, I don’t know babe, some guys take sports way too seriously, guess he’s a big fan of the artist or something? But a few of the guys in attendance know. The prop betters know. They nod at you in solidarity, a small but meaningful gesture letting you know you’re not alone, they’re on your side, and not only that, they’re thankful that you took the lead in being the official timer. You’ve established yourself as the king of the prop betters and once people get a few drinks in them they’ll migrate over and start talking to you about what you have, how much money you put down, they’ll quietly fist pump with you when Al Michaels mentions the name Donald Trump. But for now, it’s all eyes on the anthem, and there’s nothing that makes you feel more alive than the tense moments as “home of the brave” hits and you wait for the last note to end as time winds down. Incredible. What a rush.
This year: we’ve got Pink. Now long time readers know I used to spend a ton of time on this one on my own, breaking down and analyzing Youtube video after Youtube video of past performances, tendencies, attitude, stage presence. I’d deconstruct them psychologically – what point of their career are they at? Are they trying to announce “I’M BACK” or are they happy to be on the tail end of their career? How patriotic are they? Do they really want to sell it or do they just want to do a respectful rendition and get off the field? How much of an attention whore are they? How badly do they want to stay in the spotlight for as long as possible?
But long time readers also know that, like a gift from the Gods, a National Anthem king swooped down from the clouds and entered our lives.
The Mad Maestro.
Who is he and where did he come from?
In 2014, back when the comment section was thriving, a user named “MadMaestro” left a lonnnngggggg analysis of the National Anthem. He then reached out to me personally via email. In his own words:
I have a major passion for classical music. 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. Currently I live in Michigan, teaching, freelancing and I do Development Consulting for Non-profit Arts organizations. 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.
The singer that year was opera singer Renee Flemming, so his knowledge made sense. And he nailed it.
But it turns out he didn’t just know classical music – he knows MUSIC. He has emailed every year since, nailing the over/under each time.
He was a late response last year and his feedback actually made me CHANGE my initial pick, and it was a winner. I am forever indebted.
So it would be dumb for me to even try anymore when I have this invaluable resource at my disposal. I shot him a message asking for his advice. He replied that he was finishing up a brass band tour and could get it to me tomorrow evening. Perfect. I’d expect nothing less Maestro.
True to his word, he hit me up the very next day.
So now, without further ado, is the Mad Maestro’s official take.
Here’s my take for the anthem this year. I don’t do much social media, but the #IRideWithMaestro hashtag was nice of you to push last year. Good luck with the picks. I hope this helps.
I’m glad it’s Pink doing the anthem this year. She defines the standard for an American Rock & Roll/Pop voice. Rough and smooth at the exact same time. A vocal range of over three octaves puts her in a special league of lyric or mezzo-soprano. The anthem only covers an octave and a half. Pink can sing this in any key she wants and do a circus trapeze at the same time. The Wonder Woman of voice-pipe will be handling our national anthem and we should all be grateful. When she sings, her expressionism is extremely refine. Whether she is belting at the top of her register or whispering at the bottom, Pink is in control and dominating the hell outta her music. I think that’s a great sign. The Star Spangled Banner is wonderful tune for sopranos and tenors alike. Most people approach this song with concern for the ‘B’ section and the coda. If you can’t hit the high note on ‘glare’ and ‘free’ you’re in trouble. Pink’s voice is stronger in the low register, compared to that of her diva sisters. This gives her an advantage when approaching the musical phrases. The ‘A’ section is where all the low notes are, and that’s where Pink can drill for that sweet music crude.
The famous Viennese symphonist and maestro, Gustav Mahler, once said in regards to performance, “If you think you are boring your audience, go slower not faster.” I think that principal applies to Pink. She has every excuse to milk this anthem for all it’s worth. Being a diva isn’t about having incredible talent. It’s about dedication towards putting all your passion into every single note, as well as the space between the notes. Pink doesn’t sing music, she embodies music.
2:00 minutes? Hah. I say over. I was reading somewhere that the average time over the last 20 years of SB anthems is 1:55. Fake news. I don’t believe people consider the real world implications of performance or have an understanding of what constitutes the beginning or ending for prop bet purposes. This is not Moneyball. I looked up some of the shortest offenders on that list and many of them are held hostage to accompaniment (Billy Joel, Dixie Chicks, US MILITARY Choir, Backstreet Boys etc.). That doesn’t leave any room to bend the tempo of the tune. When Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey sang their anthems, they had a full friggin orchestras accompanying them. They both went slightly under 2 minutes… because they had too. Lots of times national anthem performers sing an arrangement, that isn’t their own. As long as Pink is up there by herself, and sings a rendition in 4/4, she’s going long.
2 minutes 7 seconds, Pats over the Eagles 34-20, and Brady is a five time Superbowl MVP.
We’re going over folks! #IRideWithMaestro
THE PICK: OVER 2 MINUTES
(Disclaimer: his sports prediction at the ending is not officially Kmarko endorsed, no idea how he fares outside of instruments and vocals).
2) Pink’s Hair Color.
Once again, I know when to defer to those who are more knowledgable than me about certain topics. In fact I’ve often said my biggest strength is understanding my weaknesses, which in turn makes my weaknesses my strengths so therefore I have no weaknesses.
Let’s check in with a Barstool blogger.
Okay that didn’t go as well as the Maestro. Not a lot of conviction behind that take. Gay Pat thinks blonde hair is an example of motherhood and sets a good example for her daughter, but not for any particular reason, he just kind of thinks that. A brunette couldn’t possibly know anything about having a child.
Despite his shaky analysis, I do agree with blonde. Pink is older, wiser. She’s become a feminine symbol and an outspoken advocate. Just feels like she is past all her crazy hair colors. I mean she performed at the Grammys with plain blonde hair, a shlumpy tshirts and mom jeans. Let her vocals do all the talking for her.
Now her taking a knee when she’s done, that’s an interesting question. I could see that. But as for hair, I’m pretty sure she’ll be plain old blonde.
THE PICK: BLONDE
3) Coin Toss
A lot of people think a coin toss is 50/50. That is correct. In fact it’s the very definition of 50/50. If you were to try to explain a situation to someone where two outcomes are both equally likely, you would use a coin flip as your example, because you’re smart and you learned math.
But what people forget about math, is that it’s for nerds. Math does not apply to a Super Bowl coin flip. When the ref walks out there to the middle of the field in front of millions of people, he’s not just “flipping a coin”: he’s flipping a Super Bowl coin. A big ass special edition coin surrounded by mystique and intrigue. The atmosphere, the surrounding, the significance of the moment all play a part in how that coin lands.
Some people say tails never fails. Some people say heads because they’re sheep and front runners.
Me? I’m a firm believer that I have the power to influence a Super Bowl coin flip. I’m literally never wrong about it. It’s the only thing that makes sense. That I have the ability, through typing these words, to decide which way a coin will fall. So I am going to test this theory. I am going to flip the coin that has been sitting in my desk drawer since the day we moved in, and whichever way it falls is the way the Super Bowl coin will fall.
Wow. Heads it is.
THE PICK: HEADS
4) First Player To Score.
Rob Gronkowski (NE) 15/2
Brandin Cooks (NE) 9/1
Danny Amendola (NE) 10/1
Zach Ertz (PHI) 10/1
Dion Lewis (NE) 10/1
Jay Ajayi (PHI) 12/1
Alshon Jeffrey (PHI) 12/1
LeGarrette Blount (PHI) 14/1
Rex Burkhead (NE) 14/1
Chris Hogan (NE) 14/1
James White (NE) 14/1
Nelson Agholor (PHI) 16/1
Corey Clement (PHI) 18/1
Torrey Smith (PHI) 18/1
Tom Brady (NE) 25/1
Nick Foles (PHI) 33/1
Any Other Touchdown Scorer 4/1
No Touchdown Scorer 75/1
I’d like to phone a friend Regis!
This is, quite literally, the most Smitty video ever. I love it so much. I can’t stop watching it. I love Smitty so much. Buttholeishness. Incredible.
So Smitty’s got Corey Clement. He actually told me this pick the day after the Eagles won without me even asking. He was just sitting at his desk muttering about stuff and said hey, Clement is gonna score the first TD, book it.
Do I trust him? Do I put my money and reputation in the hands of Smitty?
That’s a tough one. A part of me feels like he’s taken so much shit this week and dealt with so many clean shots that he’s due for a HUGE W.
The other part of me doesn’t like this pick at all, not even a tiny bit. Like there is a 0% chance I put my money on Corey fucking Clement.
It’s a tough choice though. If the Pats score first I have a really strong feeling it will be a rush or screen pass to James White. James White or Dion Lewis, but if I had to pick one, I’d say White.
BUT – I feel like the Pats have been starting slow. I have this sneaky suspicion that the Eagles are going to come out and punch them in the mouth**. That they’ll mount some long drive and score first and have all the Philly fans going absolutely bonkers while at home we’re all like, wow, do the Eagles actually have a shot? Could this happen?
That’s what I have a vision of in my head, like a clear premonition. Smoke more weed Keith.
Anyway, I think Blount scores. I think they drive it down to the 2 and LeGarrette punches it in. In my personal Vision Quest I just had, that’s what I see happening.
THE PICK: LeGARRETTE BLOUNT
*This is a tough bet to put on here because there’s like 100 people who could score first and you’re just randomly picking one. It takes a big man to put something like this on here that has like a 95% chance of affecting my final record. I’m not really a big man but I’m willing to pretend.
**I am officially rooting for the Patriots by the way. We sell SO MANY t-shirts when Boston teams win and I’m trying to go on vacation.
5) Total number of Donald Trump tweets during game.
Over Under 2.5
Didn’t want to get political but have to get a Trump prop in here. It would be irresponsible not to. And as someone who has been accused of being both the leader of Libstool, the website for the elitist betacuck, by the elitist betacuck, AND the conservative leader of Breitbart Jr all in the same two month span, I think I am uniquely qualified to present this topic as straight down the middle as possible.
We’re not talking policy approach here. Not debating tax cuts and treatment of the disenfranchised and climate change and international treaties.
We’re talkin’ Twitter.
And I LOVE Twitter.
It remains one of the most amazing marvels of the modern era that Twitter has not found a way to monetize a service that people in this office literally cannot live without. But that’s a different conversation for a different day. Speaking about stocks that suck, the DOW is shaky right now.
Trump’s favorite thing to brag about has hit a little bit of a rough patch. He’s getting blasted from all angles from all the usual suspects. Now people are calling him out for inflating State of the Union numbers. If that’s true and he actually DIDN’T have the highest ratings of all time? Oh man. Big trigger for Donnie. Despite his doctor’s claims that he’s the most mentally fit human being to be born in the history of Man, I don’t know if anyone is stable enough to withstand that much without melting down. And Twitter is usually the outlet he uses to melt down.
Two lines of thought here when you try to think about Trump psychologically:
1) He knows the spotlight is off of him, every eyeball is on the biggest game in the world, no normal people who aren’t bloggers and/or prop betters are on Twitter, so why waste his gems.
2)….He knows the spotlight is off him, and he wants to do everything in his power to get it back.
Let me hit up our politics blogger to hammer this out. Got to try to get a hold of him in between rounds at Augusta in order to do a course review for content wink wink.
After talking it out with Riggs I think we both came to the conclusion that he is too entertainment savvy to try to out-tweet the Super Bowl. What worries me is all the extenuating factors and the fact that he is unpredictable. As are current events. What if I post this blog then Sunday afternoon somebody finds Hillary’s emails? What if they #LockHerUp? What if Colin Kaepernick holds a public rally in the Jamba Juice at Trump Tower? What if Little Rocket Man releases his doctor’s report with a lower BMI? What if Crazy Jim and Sloppy Steve and Pocahontas and Dicky Durbin and Sneaky Dianne and Jeff Flakey and Al Frankenstein and Liddle’ Bob Corker and Wacky Wilson and Little Marco and Lyin’ Ted and Low Energy Jeb and Crazy Bernie and Cryin Chuck form a mega coalition like a modern day political Avengers and take to the airwaves live on primetime with Psycho Joe and Dumb as a Rock Mika and Crazy Megyn hosting?
You can’t predict any of that. All you can do is go with your gut and what feels right. And I think the rational choice here is under.
THE PICK – UNDER 2.5
**Try to say or read “Liddle’ Bob Corker” without LOL’ing. I literally can’t do it. I cannot type out the two Ds in “Liddle” without laughing. Take away the politics behind it – that is the most emasculating, humiliating, hilarious insult name of all time, ever.
6) Justin Timberlake’s First Song.
Can’t Stop the Feeling!: 1/1
Suit & Tie: 15/1
Rock Your Body: 50/1
Purple Rain: 100/1
I know this is #6, but it’s the last one I am writing. This whole article is done, and now I’m at JT’s halftime song. Because truth be told, it made me feel so upset that I couldn’t focus on the rest. Couldn’t have fun. The halftime song is my THING. It is by far the hardest thing that I nail every single year. Yeah I was joking around about the coin flip, but this one I actually could figure out every year
But this year? It’s almost impossible. Because I can’t get into Justin’s head space.
Who is Justin Timberlake?
He’s always been very cut and dry. He’s had his persona, and he stuck to it. He was the boy band pop star of all pop stars. Then he grew up and was the sexy more-mature-pop guy. He did an album with electronic beats. He did one with orchestral beats. Each album consistent with the image of who he was.
But who is that now?
Is he an artist in transition?
That’s what we all thought was coming, when he started teasing his new music. He released a trailer looking like this.
He named his project “Man of the Woods.” Look at the freaking cover of it!
He was literally Bon Iver. And I didn’t hate it at all. I love Bon Iver. I was excited for the new JT sound.
…Then he dropped the first single.
A Timbaland produced electro-funk song named Filthy.
It was like a song dragged over from the discard folder from Sexy/Back infused with corny meme catchphrases and a beat that was a cacophony of robot noises.
The next one at least had a sitar in it, but it was still a Neptunes produced track with Pharrell dropping onomatopoeias all over it.
This is wh