A couple years ago I had a sports blog called Journeymen. The tagline was “Sports – elevated,” and the idea was to write about sports from a heady, cerebral perspective. Ideas are seamless in theory. In practice, however, I found that mostly I wanted to write about gambling. The death of the blog may have been my season long attempt to pick NFL games against my friend’s baby. Whichever logo she grabbed, crawled towards, or drooled on was her pick. I, on the other hand, did a painstaking amount of research: listening to podcasts, hitting up the requisite websites, and watching games. I lost.
This is a long-winded way of saying that you should never, ever take my gambling advice. Luckily for you, I’m not here to offer advice on what bets will win this weekend, I’m here to tell you what bets will make for the most entertaining viewing experience. Make these six bets and you may not win any money, but of anyone at your Super Bowl party, I guarantee you’ll have the best time losing it.
Just kidding. Betting on the coin toss only certifies you as a degenerate. No one in their right mind should bet on the coin toss.
(Tails has won two years in a row).
THE LENGTH OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM (OVER 2 MINUTES AND 20 SECONDS)
The first time I made this bet was for Super Bowl XLVI, otherwise known as the second time the Giants beat the Pats. A friend and I went heavy on the over, and this lead to us singing the national anthem for our Super Bowl party. It also lead to the most exciting national anthem I’ve ever heard, as I rooted intensely for Kelly Clarkson to hold every note to its fullest. Nothing makes you feel more patriotic than hanging on to every syllable of the Star Spangled Banner. And what musician doesn’t want to milk the biggest limelight possible?
Later that night, since the Pats lost and I was crushed, my ex called. Now we are married. This bet is the gateway to greatness.
I love the first touchdown bet because it makes the game gripping at least until a touchdown is scored. To maximize the “grippingness” I recommend taking a player from each team. I recommend taking a favorite and a longshot. I recommend taking the quarterbacks (Cam Newton 7/1, Peyton Manning 66/1).
WILL A ROUGHING THE PASSER PENALTY BE CALLED IN THE GAME (YES -110)
Why the Broncos will record a Roughing the Passer: Cam Newton named his son Chosen. The dude has an ego. The Broncos D will want to keep that ego in check.
Why the Panthers will record a Roughing the Passer: Peyton Manning might have the highest broadcaster approval rating of all time. Broadcasters are typically middle aged white men. So are referees. They allowed Peyton Manning to fling himself to the ground in the divisional round match-up against the Steelers, then get up and throw a 34 yard pass. They will protect him against any and all roughing.
Why you will be glad you made this bet: because any time a quarterback drops back to pass and feels the slightest bit of pressure your heart rate will spike and you’ll feel truly alive.
MARGIN OF VICTORY
If you think, as most people do, that the Panthers will roll, why not put your money where your mouth is? Panthers winning by 25-30 points is paying out at 16/1; 31-36 points is 25/1; 37-42 points is 40/1; and 43+ points is 50/1. Put a few bucks on each and enjoy the rout.
WHAT COLOR WILL THE LIQUID BE THAT IS POURED ON THE WINNING COACH?
You’ve reached the end of the game. You are several beers and many nachos deep (or several nachos and many beers), and you have work tomorrow. But there is still one more opportunity to make money. The Gatorade bath! Since 2000, water has hit seven times, and orange (the favorite at 5/4) has hit four. Blue has only hit once, but it’s a primary Panthers color, and the odds are 3/1. I’m going blue, so you know what that means. Pick orange and Paypal me a slice of your winnings. Lord knows I’ll be needing them.