NFL: Mike Kern’s Super Bowl prop list, starting with Gladys Knight
It’s the one day most bettors look forward to more than any other. And not because you can take a shot at the point spread, or the over-under. I mean, anyone can do that in every other week on the NFL calendar.
This is different.
The Super Bowl is a chance to bet almost anything else involved with the biggest game of the year. Seriously. If you look hard enough to can probably find a way to take whether or not Roger Goodell will get verbally assaulted by Sean Payton again. Or something like that. Maybe it could even have to do with his T-shirt.
But we digress. For whatever it’s worth, I’ve been doing this for about a decade now for the Philadelphia Daily News, with my good friend Ed Barkowitz. Here’s a few suggestions on what you might want to be looking at. Again, for better or worse. I’ve had years where I did very well, and others when I pretty much got Mushed. But it’s always with good intentions.
For starters, I always put something on the national anthem. This time you can go with what outfit Atlanta native Gladys Knight might wear, or what kind of microphone she’ll use, to whether any of the Pips will be joining her. I stick to the time element. I almost always go with the over, just because. A lot of folks who are asked to do this tend to stretch it out for all it’s worth. So I’m seeing the number under two minutes, at around 1:50, which seems a bit on the low side compared to other years. Give me the over. If nothing else it gives you something to root for before the coin toss. Remember it’s from the moment she starts until she hits the last note of “Brave.” I’m not sure who’s responsible for the official timing, but I’ll take my chances that it’s on the up and up.
And if you think a Pip might be up there with her, you can get 3-1.
I usually take a stab at the halftime show, but admittedly I know very little about Maroon Five. Sorry, my age is showing. I could ask around for help, but I’m just going to stay away. There are some fairly decent odds available for those who think you might have an inside clue. And it gives you a reason to watch the halftime show. Or you could just go eat and drink some more. Nothing wrong with that either.
If you think Jim Nantz will say “Romostradamus,” in case Tony Romo makes a prediction that comes true, you can get 3-1 on that. And if you think Tiger Woods’ name will somehow come up, since Nantz does like to bring the golf up, you can get 5-1. Either one is doable.
If you’re into that sort of thing, the over-under on President Trump tweets is five.
This one I kind of like, though you’ll have to wait to find out if you cash: Rob Gronkowski to retire before the first game of the 2019 season is 5-1. I think this is it for the big boy, either way. Consider it a future investment.
Since every Super Bowl that the Patriots are in has been close, you might want to take either the Pats or Rams to win by 1-6 points, at 7-2 for the Rams and 13-4 for the Pats. Beats those even-money propositions. Same with the highest scoring quarter. I’d try the third, at 9-2.
Hey, the over-under on commercials is 96, if you’re so inclined. You can even count them, just in case.
How about the Rams lead at the half but the Pats win, at 5-1? That’s not a stretch. Or no scoring in the final two minutes, at 3-1. Again, not impossible. The over-under for lead changes is two. The over-under for longest touchdown is 50 yards. I’d go for under. And you can get 3-1 on someone scoring a TD on fourth down. These teams do tend to go for it. You can also get 2-1 that there will be a lead change in the fourth quarter.
As for who’s going to score the first TD, Chris Hogan is 15-1. I like going for longer odds on this one. Gronk is 9-1, as is James White. Rex Burkhead is 10-1. That being said, maybe Tom Brady gets in on one of his patented quarterback sneaks. That’s 50-1. Hmmm. For L.A,. you could get Todd Gurley at 6-1, C.J. Anderson at 7-1. Or maybe Justin Reynolds at 10-1. Remember Mr. Belichick has a knack for taking away an opponent’s top weapons. Just saying.
I also like to place a few cross-sport wagers. Because, well, why not? They’re out there. Sometimes there’s value to be found. Like say total goals for Arsenal and Manchester City in their match versus Rams sacks. I know little about the other football, but I do know the Pats usually know how to protect their main guy.
Here’s a few others to ponder: Jared Goff to throw for more yards than Manny Machado’s next contract in millions. Hey, if Manny only gets like 175-200 it’s probably a good play. Or Kyrie Irving to score more points on Feb. 3 (at home against Oklahoma City) than Rex Burkhead’s rushing yards. The Rams do have a pretty solid interior defensive front. Or you could do Irving’s assists in that matchup versus the number of James White receptions.
If you’re a Villanova fan, you can take the Wildcat points against Georgetown on Sunday in South Philly against the highest receiving yards by any player on the Rams. Or you can obviously go the other way too. I’m just throwing them out.
How about Connor McDavid goals versus the Canadiens against Gronkowski TDs? Or Tiger's first-round score at the Masters in April against Todd Gurley’s rushing yards. I might lean toward Tiger there. And finally, Pats to score more points against L.A. than the Red Sox scored in the 2018 World Series (28). Sounds reasonable enough, if you like the Pats.
You can bet a few, or attack en masse. The mind boggles. Me, I’m just rooting for Gladys to do me right and go long early. Then we’ll take it from there.
And if you actually do count the commercials, I feel for you. This coming from someone who will be clocking the anthem. Go figure.