As Whitney Houston walked up to the microphone at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991, the players and crowd in attendance removed their helmets and placed hands over hearts.
Meanwhile, a thousand buffalo sauce-drenched fingers watching at home pressed the “start” function on oven timers and wristwatch chronometers. And when the late songstress belted her last note at the 2:15 mark, the half of them that “took the over” broke into drunken, slightly richer revelry.
Welcome to the Super Bowl prop bet: a tradition born on the wide-set shoulders of one William “The Refrigerator” Perry’s tumble into the end zone in 1985 and every bit as much a part of game-day festivities as the commercials or the halftime show since.
Some never change: you can always bet on the game’s MVP, the number of points scored by each team, the over/under, etc.
Others, like the yearly length of the anthem, veer more ridiculous.
Here, we guide you through a few of the best, no matter which way you choose to throw down your doll hairs. (All odds from Bovada as of February 3rd)
Super Bowl MVP
Cam Newton (-130); Peyton Manning (+275); Luke Kuechly (+1400); Field (+3300)
Twenty-seven of the 49 previous MVP winners have been quarterbacks. If you’re as bad at math as I am, that’s more than half. Then you look at the game itself and you’re talking about two of the game’s most high-profile faces.
Cam is the guy that “Dabs” for hate and gives touchdown balls to kids for love. Peyton is the guy that sells pizza, insurance and the myth that he can still throw a ball farther than 20 yards downfield. Despite the presence of two of the best collective team defensive units in recent memory, it’ll be hard to see anyone else getting the votes other than the two guys under center. Omaha.
Heads (-150); Tails (-150)
This could go either way… unless you’re Green Bay or Jerome Bettis. They’re not in the game so, we say it’s a coin toss.
Will Peyton throw a Pick 6 in the game?
Yes (+300); No (-500)
Peyton’s career Super Bowl stats? 3 TD; 4 INT. Peyton’s stats this season? 9 TD; 17 INT. There’s also the fact that Carolina had a league-leading 24 interceptions during the regular season (four of them for TDs) and Peyton’s arm is now made up of the same thing they use in those inflatable air guys at used car lots.
What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach?
Orange (+125); Blue (+300); Clear (+400); Yellow (+400); Red (+600); Green (+1000); Purple (+1000)
Conventional wisdom would be to go with one of the team’s primary colors, but conventional wisdom doesn’t take into account that Peyton Manning is fueled by drinking the blood of Cooper.
Will “Left Shark” make an appearance on stage during the Super Bowl Halftime Show?
If this happens, I think it’s safe to say that the halftime show will have jumped the (left) shark.
What color will Beyonce’s footwear be when she comes on stage for the halftime show?
Black (+150); Gold/Brown (+250); White (+300); Silver/Grey (+500); Any Other Color (+500)
This is what we’ve come to?
Make sure you get out and vote, America.
— Matt Wink
Main image from Levi's® Stadium