With Super Bowl Sunday fast approaching, what are your favorite prop bets and why?
Giants' Cruz will torch Pats
If I'm going to enter the slippery slope of prop betting, I'm going to win. Therefore, I will rest my dollars on Victor Cruz's longest reception being over 27.5 yards.
The Giants' passing attack has been on fire, and Cruz, the undrafted second-year surprise, has become Manning's first or second look on almost every passing play, especially on deep balls. Cruz has torched weak secondaries, upper-echelon secondaries, man coverage, Cover 2, Cover 3, Cover 11 -- it doesn't really matter. And he has surpassed the 27.5-yard mark in seven of his past 11 games. (Isn't there this great new show called "Numbers Don't Lie"? Exactly.)
If the odds to win this bet aren't already in my favor, it appears Cruz will be covered out of the slot by the extremely vulnerable Julian Edelman. Edelman, a multitasking kick returner, wide receiver and defensive back for the Patriots, was torched by Baltimore's Anquan Boldin and Joe Flacco in the AFC Championship Game. With Edelman facing the more talented Manning and Cruz on Sunday, expect more of the same. Much more of it.
In case you are wondering how I will be spending my winnings, well, any high-end salsa recommendations out there?
Counting the seconds during the anthem
My favorite prop bet is the length of the national anthem. As a sportswriter for 23 years, I've sat through a lot of national anthems, and you can tell after about five notes whether you are going to be there for a while. This year you can wager whether Kelly Clarkson will exceed 1 minute and 34 seconds.
A standing rule: Two minutes or longer, and the anthem is really about the singer and not the song. And life is better for everyone when it's just about the song. Ask Steven Tyler or Christina Aguilera.
Madonna in fishnets? That's easy money
By Sarah Spain
My favorite prop bets are always the ones that have little or nothing to do with the actual game. The spread, the over/under, the number of touchdowns by a particular player or the score at halftime -- those bets are far too "real" for this gal. I'm not much of a gambler, so I'd rather go down swinging on the most absurd, silly, unpredictable bets possible.
That being said, there are a couple of football-related doozies this year. Bovada.LV is letting fans bet on how many times David Tyree's 2008 Super Bowl catch will be shown on TV during the game, not including halftime (over/under of 1). Also on Bovada.LV, you can bet how many times the network will cut away to Eli's big bro and Indy's hometown hero (for now), Peyton Manning, during the game, not including halftime. The over/under is 3½.
I'll leave those for the rest of you and put my money down on the truly ridiculous: bets involving anthem signer Kelly Clarkson and halftime performer Madonna. Bovada.LV is offering the following: Will Kelly Clarkson's bare belly be showing when she sings the national anthem? (Nope.) What color will Madonna's hair be when she begins the halftime show? (Apparently there's a chance Madge might dye her hair halfway through.) Will Madonna wear a hat at any point during the halftime show? (And cover up that newly dyed hair?) And, my favorite: Will Madonna be wearing fishnet stockings at any point during the halftime show? (Duh. That's like asking if cameras will catch Eli making the "Manning Face.")
I'm really thinking about putting down a few bucks on the fishnets and Clarkson's concealed innie. Now if I could just get a hold of both ladies' costumers. I could be a rich, rich woman.
Kelly Clarkson dressed for success
By Amanda Rykoff
Ah, the Super Bowl. It's not just the biggest sporting event of the year, it's also the biggest gambling event of the year. According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, Super Bowl XLVI is "expected to be the biggest bet Super Bowl ever, with over $10 billion wagered on the game worldwide," making it "the largest bet single-day sporting event in history." Why so much money on the line? Because you can bet on everything from the actual game outcome (New England minus-3; how boring) to what color Madonna's hair will be when she performs at halftime (blonde is favored at 1-4) to what color Gatorade will be showered on the winning coach (yellow is a 7-4 favorite). The number and absurdity of the prop bets associated with the Super Bowl shows that you really can bet on just about anything.
What's my favorite prop bet for this year's Super Bowl? I was tempted to go with the number of times David Tyree's miracle 2008 catch would be shown during the broadcast. Would you believe the over/under is set at an unfathomably low one time? But that seemed too easy and obvious (take the over). My favorite is not just one but a series of prop bets associated with Kelly Clarkson's performance of the national anthem. Yes, America, before the teams even take the field, you can wager significant amounts of money on four different aspects of the former "American Idol" winner's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Will Clarkson be wearing NFL merchandise while performing? Oddsmakers have set that at 3-2 (I say she won't). How long will it take her to complete the performance? The over/under is set at 1 minute and 34 seconds (I will take the over). Vegas has also set a line on whether Clarkson will be showing off her bare belly. I'm going with no on this one and so does Vegas (1-3 odds). Most important, will she mess up the lyrics (a la Christina Aguilera last year)? A $100 bet wins $250. I say keep your money -- Clarkson is a professional and will not flub the words.
Enjoy the game on Sunday.
Bank on LeBron
By Adena Andrews
I'm not a betting person, but if I were, I would put my money on: Who is going to score more points on Super Bowl Sunday, the New York Giants or LeBron James?
It seems like fun and you can't go wrong when you incorporate two sports into one bet.
James and the Miami Heat will take on the Toronto Raptors at 1 p.m. ET on Super Bowl Sunday. The last time James played against the Raptors, he scored 23 points. Eli Manning and the Giants scored 24 in their regular-season matchup against the Patriots. This prop bet is going to be a nail-bitter.
If James has rocket packs in his shoes, as he did on Sunday when he soared over John Lucas III, my money is on LeBron to drop at least 30 points on the Raptors. The Giants' point total will be low because the Patriots have had two weeks to prepare and will be ready to take away New York's scoring opportunities.
Whatever the final scores, we all come out on top with a Sunday filled with sports.