Bleeding Gums Murphy must be rolling over in his grave. Not only are people singing the National Anthem more quickly, we also have bubblegum pop invading this year’s NFL picks on the Super Bowl props market.
Jason’s 2014-15 postseason record: 3-3 ATS, 3-2-1 Totals
Football may be a man’s sport, but the Super Bowl is no longer a man’s television event. Just like every mainstream entertainment product in today’s marketplace, the game itself is merely a platform for a larger spectacle, designed to extract maximum dollars from the easiest demographic to exploit: 15-year-old girls.
Scoff if you will, but accepting this truth is important if you want to make money on your Super Bowl XLIX entertainment props. Sports are chaotic, especially football, but the “entertainment” you’ll see on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m. ET, NBC) will be carefully rehearsed, choreographed, and cleansed for maximum profit. That makes these events much more predictable than whatever mayhem the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots unleash upon one another. And it’s also why these Super Bowl prop bets are usually capped at $50.
Play Them Off
Having said that, one of our most reliable entertainment props hasn’t been so reliable the past few years. Betting on the U.S. National Anthem going OVER or UNDER a certain length used to be pretty easy: Bet the OVER in most situations. It’s the Bleeding Gums Murphy Rule. The exception is when a singer with limited lung capacity – say, Billy Joel – is given the job.
Unfortunately, last year’s performer had the lungs of a blue whale, and she still broke the rule. Opera singer Renée Fleming raced through The Star-Spangled Banner in just 1:53 (UNDER 2:25). That’s three out of the last four Anthems going UNDER, depending on how your online sportsbook interpreted Christina Aguilera’s performance (with the extra “oh”) at Super Bowl XLVI. Perhaps these singers have been instructed to get on with it, like Oscar acceptance speeches.
Menzel > Manziel
This year’s Anthem singer is Idina Menzel. Full disclosure: This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this person. But it doesn’t take much research to find that she’s a Tony-nominated Broadway singer who ended up doing Disney movies and Glee. In other words, perfect for the target demographic. Despite being a belter, Menzel also sang the Anthem at the 2014 MLB All-Star game in 1:59, which is UNDER the 2:01 total posted on the NFL odds list at Bovada.
Given the recent Anthem results, perhaps it’s appropriate to add the UNDER to your NFL picks this year. But allow us to offer a safer alternative: Will Menzel forget or omit at least one word of the official Anthem? We highly recommend NO at –600. Yes, Aguilera flubbed her rendition a bit, but these things are rare, and Menzel’s background suggests she’ll have her version rehearsed to perfection well before she takes the microphone.
Please Welcome… Up with People!
And now we have to talk about Katy Perry. Not only does she hit the target demographic right on the head, Perry was also willing to “defray the costs” of being the halftime entertainment. Ah, the new NFL. Full disclosure: I have (knowingly) heard exactly one Katy Perry song in my life, and that was because I was a DJ at the time. It was that “Friday Night” song with the taking too many shots and the waking up next to some stranger and all that. Wholesome.
Again, even if you don’t know Katy Perry from Gaylord Perry, there’s still plenty of low-hanging fruit on the Super Bowl props market. For example, how many times will Katy Perry be mentioned during the first half? Try OVER 2 (–130). What will she be wearing when she starts singing? Skirt or dress (–125). Which song will she perform first? Probably that “Roar” song that already got used during Cincinnati Bengals games, and on NFL Gameday (7-5). It ain’t rocket surgery, folks.