Let's give some props to the folks who come up with offbeat Super Bowl props.
From concussions and retirement announcements to Manning brothers sales pitches and the halftime show set list, this year's menu wins a trophy for creativity.
Here is a sampling, courtesy of online bookmaker BetDSI, with suggestions on which side to take. Recommendations are based on hours -- okay, minutes -- of research.
1) Will Rob Gronkowski be medically cleared to play?
Yes -150 (risk $150 to win 100), No +120 (risk $100 to win $120)
New England's concussed tight end absorbed quite a blow against Jacksonville, but early indications are that he is improving. The Patriots will do everything within the league's concussion protocol rules -- and maybe something outside of them -- to get Gronk on the field. (And if you want an additional play on Tom Brady's favorite target, the Over-Under on how often the announcing crew will utter "Gronk" is 3.5.)
2) Total number of Donald Trump tweets during game?
Over 2.5 (risk $115 to win $100), Under 2.5 (risk $115 to win $100)
A perusal of something called the Trump Twitter Archive indicates that the president tends to send out his missives in the morning. With an early evening kickoff, one would think that he will have just completed a round of golf and be preparing to dine. Trump delights in dissing the NFL, but it's doubtful he will choose to put a damper on America's favorite sports event.
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3) Length of "National Anthem" (by Pink)
Over 120 seconds -180 (risk $180 to win $100), Under 120 seconds +140 (risk $100 to win $140)
Now we come to the gold standard for Super Bowl props. The average length of the last dozen renditions has been 1 minute, 58 seconds, though four of the past five have gone beyond two minutes. Pink's latest recording consists of 13 songs that average nearly four minutes in length, so she is not fond of the quickie tune. However, in light of those last 12 years, the imbalance in the odds seems extreme.
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4) Length of "America the Beautiful" (by Leslie Odom Jr.)
Over 80.5 seconds (risk $115 to win $100), Under 80.5 seconds (risk $115 to win $100)
A YouTube search for a version by the performer from "Hamilton" came up empty. I did find him belting out "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a Mets game three years ago in a brisk 1:50. And the Schuyler Sisters clocked in at below 80 at last year's Super Bowl. On the other hand. Lea Michele took about 110 seconds in 2010 and Alicia Keys dragged out her adaptation to well over two minutes in 2013. The operatic Odom should stretch his out somewhat..
5) Justin Timberlake's first song during halftime show?
Can't Stop The Feeling! +150
Rock Your Body +400
Cry Me A River +500
True Colors +800
Love Never Felt So Good +900
What Goes Around...Comes Around +1000
Suit & Tie +1500
Field - Any Other Song +200
Finally, a fetching price on a prop play. The hit-to-be on Timberlake's latest recording is "Filthy," so it's almost certain to be included in the set. Artists tend to hold back their most popular tunes until near the end of a performance, which means we can get Filthy-rich with a big play on the less familiar number.
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6) Will Al Michaels or Cris Collinsworth say "dynasty"?
Over 2.5 -130 (risk $130 to win $100), Under 2.5 +100 (risk $100 to win $100)
These guys tend not to repeat themselves. Even if they did, the term is unlikely to come up until the closing minutes of the game - and only if the Patriots are leading. These odds should be flipped. We should not hear "dynasty" more than twice, unless Al and Cris are forced to tease to the old TV series drama by the same name.
7) How many commercials will Peyton Manning appear in during the broadcast?
Over 2.5 (risk $115 to win $100)
Under 2.5 (risk $115 to win $100)
The elder Manning represents Nike, Papa John's, Nationwide, DirecTV and Gatorade. An early list by AdAge of companies that plan to advertise makes no mention of those. Since Peyton was ubiquitous on Nationwide ads during the season, it would be surprising not to see at least one. These spots are expensive, though, so I don't foresee more than a couple. (P.S., there is also a prop for Eli.)
8) How many Anheuser-Busch commercials will be aired during broadcast?
Over 4.5 -150 (risk $150 to win $100)
Under 4.5 +120 (risk $100 to win $120)
The most deep-pocketed ad buyers rarely air more than one per quarter. Indeed, the beer company had four in each of the past two years, one in each period. (Keep in mind that Michelob, which often makes an appearance is under the vast Anheuser-Busch umbrella.) So, let's wrap things up with a win at attractive odds. We can all drink to that.
9) Will Bill Belichick announce retirement after game? (Must be shown on broadcast)
Yes +2,500 (risk $100 to win $2500), No -5,000 (risk $5,000 to win $100)
Seriously, of the gazillion possibilities related to this game, is there one less likely than the intensively private Patriots coach telling the nation in front of the cameras that he is hanging up the hoodie? Even if he does retire, which is far-fetched on its own, any announcement would come days or weeks later in a more controlled setting. Sure, the odds are steep, but this is taking M&Ms from a baby.
10) Will Tom Brady be wearing a bandage on his right hand?
Yes -130 (risk $130 to win $100), No +100 (risk $100 to win $100)
The Pats' QB noted Monday that the dozen stitches likely will be removed in the next few days, so a bandage would seem unnecessary. Brady is a tough old bird who habitually hides any sort of ailment and eschews gloves during games, so I cannot envision a wrap of any sort. Besides, I recall a childhood cut that required stitches not needing a bandage for this long.