Last week I made my sixth annual set of Super Bowl prop bets -- and for the fifth year in a row, I bet actual money on them. $11 per bet, 11 bets -- $121 total. Over the five years I've improved every year, from losing $14.41 in 2010 up to winning $19.56 last year.
How did I fare this year? Did I improve yet again? Let's have a look...
Will it snow during the game? - The media was frothing at the mouth at the potential for a freezing, snowy Super Bowl. I banked on the coldness not coming anywhere close to the hype -- and that was a good call. It did snow in New Jersey on Sunday night, but not until about three hours the game. And, therefore, 4.5 hours after people stopped watching the game. My $11 bet on "no" was a winner, unfortunately at 1/5 odds. Sam's result: WIN! Running tally: 1-0 (+$2.20)
Short anthem with no gloves or tears drawn.
How long will it take Renee Fleming to sing the National Anthem? - I figured as an opera singer, she'd easily blow past the 2:25 over/under mark. And she started very slow; I started celebrating early when it took her forever just to get through the first line. Then, Renee Fleming picked up the pace -- and this one wasn't even close. She finished in around two minutes (depending on whether her little flourish at the end counted)... significantly shorter than the 2:25 over I'd banked on. Sam's result: Loss. Running tally: 1-1 (-$8.80)
Will Renee Fleming wear gloves when she starts singing the National Anthem? - All of my other weather-related bets were predicated on decent weather. For some reason here, I went against that and thought she'd wear gloves. It was a balmy 49 degrees when she sang the anthem. Forget the gloves, she barely needed a coat. Sam's result: Loss. Running tally: 1-2 (-$19.80)
Will Knowshon Moreno cry during the National Anthem? - This bet came from Knowshon Moreno crying during the Anthem during a random regular season game earlier this year because he was feeling "the emotions of the game and being so blessed to play it." I figured if THAT game overwhelmed him, the Super Bowl might damn near kill him. And while Fox was nice enough to focus its cameras on him a lot during the Anthem, no tears fell. He's so complex. Sam's result: Loss. Running tally: 1-3 (-$30.80)
Will the power go out in the stadium during the game? - I knew the power wouldn't go out, but the sports book wouldn't let me bet on "no." The only option was yes, at +2000. I made the bet knowing I was really making a donation to the fine bookies of Antigua -- don't spend it all in one place, guys. Sam's result: Loss. Running tally: 1-4 (-$41.80)
Which female sideline reporter will be seen first on TV after kickoff? - Fox didn't even remember they'd hired female sideline reporters until the 3rd quarter; not exactly a great day of TV exposure for Erin Andrews or Pam Oliver. I ended up betting on Pam Oliver for various reasons; the main one being her odds had a better payout and it was a coin flip. I lost that coin flip. Erin Andrews finally made it on TV in the 3rd quarter, right before Pam Oliver. Sam's result: Loss. Running tally: 1-5 (-$52.80)
Is it corny to say "no hat, no shirt, lip service"?
Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless during their halftime performance? - I called this free money when I made the bet. Of COURSE they'd be shirtless. And, naturally, they were. I should've just dropped the $121 into this bet. (Unfortunately, at -120, the payout on my win was only $9.17.) Sam's result: WIN! Running tally: 2-5 (-$43.63)
How many times will "12th man" be said during the game? - I thought the commentators wouldn't mention the "12th man" that often since the game wasn't in Seattle. Yeah, that didn't stop them as they searched for things to talk about during the blowout. If the game had been close, I might've had a chance -- I bet under two times. I didn't hear it -- I've acquired the skill to tune out the Buck/Aikman broadcasting team -- but they must've said it at least three, because the reputable people at the overseas sports book said I lost. Sam's result: Loss. Running tally: 2-6 (-$54.63)
What will Bruno Mars be wearing on his head at the start of his halftime performance? - I reasoned this one out so well. Where was this foresight on the rest of these bets? I figured he'd want to go hatless to replicate his breakout 2012 Grammys performance. He didn't just replicate that performance by going hatless -- he also basically replicated the outfit from it. This was my big win of the day, at +250 I won $27.50. Sam's result: WIN! Running tally: 3-6 (-$27.13)
How many times will Peyton Manning say "Omaha" during the game? - After his center snapped the ball over his head on the first play, he wasn't calling many audibles OR running much "draw 'em offsides" shtick. I bet over 27.5 mentions -- not even close. Sam's result: Loss. Running tally: 3-7 (-$38.13)
What will be the lowest temperature during the game? - One more bet on it being warm; one more win. The over-under was at 28 degrees and it might not've come within 10 degrees of that. I wish I could celebrate more, but, again, the odds were weak. I bet $11 on the over at -150 and only won $7.33. Sam's result: WIN! Running tally: 4-7 (-$30.80)
So yeah. At 4-7 and a loss of $30.80, it was my worst showing in my entire run of doing this. Next year I'm going to need some serious redemption.
This post was originally published on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Sports.