Yesterday’s R. Kelly review was a terrific guest spot from Scott Spinelli, but I realize now what a terrible thing I’ve done by posting it at the start of this particular week. Because as loyal readers know, this week is Super Bowl week on the blog! That time-honored tradition moves into its second annual week today, as we here at Kevin Reviews Things prepare you for the upcoming week of Super Bowl madness.
Last year, we discussed Super Bowl prop bets, the last 10 years of halftime shows, my girlfriend’s chicken wing dip and the Super Bowl TV spot for GI Joe: Retaliation. Some things will change this time around: I’m not re-reviewing all those shows, I have no interest in rewatching that Madonna mess and I no longer have a girlfriend. But we very well may get another GI Joe: Retaliation spot! Hooray for reshoots and Channing Tatum!
Today, though, is gambling day, as we discuss five notable prop bets for you to considering during the Super Bowl. (Disclaimer: I do not actually support gambling, unless it’s gambling on youth basketball games. Just kidding. Maybe. NEXT!)
The Coin Toss
Will the opening coin flip be heads or tails?
I know, I know…we covered the coin toss last year, and nothing has changed. The coin still has two sides. One side is known as the “heads” side. One is known as the “tails” side. The only possible exception would be if Harvey Dent acts as the referee.
However, it’s worth noting this year that Vegas has changed the coin-toss odds, because Americans are wholly intelligent human beings. Since a coin toss is a 50/50 proposition, a “fair” line would be -100 for both heads and tails – essentially, you bet $100 to win $100. But that wouldn’t make any money for the oddsmakers, so the line last year was at -110 for each side. And now, it’s been bumped up to -120 – bet $120 to win $100 in what is literally a 50/50 proposition!
Will this stop people from betting on the coin toss, however? Of course not!
Grade: F (Winnability: C, Creativity: F, Fun Factor: F)
But if you had to pick: Tails never fails! (Note: I posted this last year and heads was the result. But go with tails again, because I’m stubborn.
Jay-Z At The Halftime Show?
Will he appear with Beyonce? (Yes +110, No -150)
I am all aboard the “Yes” train for this one, though the odds-on favorite, at least according to the bet, is that we won’t see HOV. If the Black Eyed Peas can pull Slash out of their respective rears for the show two years ago, halftime act Beyonce can get her husband on stage, right? Besides, let’s go through Beyonce’s most well-known singles to see what she might play in her set:
- “Crazy in Love” (featuring Jay-Z): THE Beyonce song. This launched Ms. Knowles’ career into the stratosphere in 2003, and 10 years later, it hasn’t come close to getting old. There’s simply no chance Beyonce chooses not to play “Crazy in Love” during the Super Bowl halftime show. It’d be like Madonna not playing “Like A Prayer” during her set, or Tom Petty not playing “Free Fallin'”, or The Rolling Stones not playing “Satisfaction”. This is the song that has defined Beyonce’s career. It will be played.
- “Baby Boy” (featuring Sean Paul): I don’t remember this one, but it apparently hit #1 on the charts in 2003. I doubt it’ll get played because of the old-ish factor, but if it does, you can bet Sean Paul won’t show up. Speaking of which, has anyone seen Sean Paul since 2006?
- “Check on It” (featuring Slim Thug): Who the hell is Slim Thug? Anyway, this song was #1 for five weeks, so it might very well be played. With Jay-Z doing the Slim Thug verses, perhaps?
- “Irreplaceable”: I don’t think this song exactly fits the mold of a Super Bowl halftime show, but it is a 2x Platinum single, so there’s that. Maybe Beyonce can duet with Colin Kaepernick on this as Alex Smith stares down Jim Harbaugh the whole time?
- Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It): Nothing says football like a song about single ladies! Am I right, guys? Regardless, this is probably B’s biggest hit ever (4x platinum), and it would be foolish not to expect it.
I’m not really sure why we went through that whole exercise (and there’s also a new Destiny’s Child song, and a reunion possibility there), but the bottom line, Beyonce absolutely has to play “Crazy in Love”, and do you really think she’s going to play it without Jay? There’s a better chance of her playing it with Nick Van Exel.
Grade: B (Winnability: B-, Creativity: C, Fun Factor: B+)
The pick: Allow him to reintroduce himself.
How Many Players Attempt A Pass?
You know Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick will be passing, so this bet comes down to a few different possibilities: an injury, a trick play or a garbage-time throw. Let’s go through those possibilities one by one:
- Injury: Flacco started all 16 games for Baltimore this year and has started the first 80 games of his NFL career. Kaepernick, despite taking a bit of a beating as a running quarterback, has started nine straight games, including the two in the playoffs. Not likely.
- Trick Play: Two players threw passes for Baltimore this year: Flacco and backup Tyrod Taylor. Two players threw passes for San Francisco this year: Kaepernick and Alex Smith. Not likely.
- Garbage-Time Throw: Flacco is taking every snap in this game no matter what. If San Francisco finds itself up 28 points in the fourth quarter, you could very well see Smith get a series for the heck of it. But would he even throw at that point?
The over doesn’t look good here, and it comes in at +290. But it’s a fantastic bet to make if you’re going over, because you’re going to be the one person in the room cheering for a Ray Rice halfback-throw option or a random Tyrod Taylor appearance.
Grade: B+ (Winnability: A-, Creativity: B-, Fun Factor: B+)
The pick: Under. Sorry, Alex.
The National Anthem
Will Alicia Keys’ anthem last longer or shorter than 2:15?
The greatest prop bet of my life is still Christina Aguilera’s anthem from 2011, which came up short by a full one second, to the general delight of a room of 20 people. I’ve never felt so unpatriotic before in my life – but you could cut that tension with a knife. Now, we have Ms. Keys on hand, with a rather lengthy time put forward by the oddsmakers. But I love the under on this one – 2:15 is a long, long time for a national anthem. For comparison’s sake, Aguilera went just 1:52 in 2011, and if anybody’s going to break the bank time-wise, it’d be her, right? Also, Jennifer Hudson from a few years back clocked in an epic performance at 2:11 – still four seconds short of this year’s proposed time. I feel fantastic about the under in this bet – but you’ll be checking your stopwatch the whole time.
Grade: B (Winnability: B-, Creativity: B, Fun Factor: A-)
The pick: Under, unless this girl is literally on fire.
The Ravens vs. The Big East
What number will be higher – the Ravens’ total amount of yards on offense, +45.5, or the combined point totals of Providence, Villanova, Marquette, Louisville, South Florida and Connecticut, -45.5?
These sport vs. sport bets are outrageous, and this is my favorite of the lot. Much like last year’s Tom Brady vs. the Big Ten bet, it’s yardage vs. college basketball points. Let’s examine:
The Ravens: Averaging 425 yards per game in the playoffs. Averaged 352 yards per game in the regular season. Playing the 49ers, who allowed an average of 415 yards per game in their first two playoff games, and allowed 294 yards per game in the regular season. 350 sounds like a happy medium here, no? Add that to 45.5, and you’re at 395.5.
The Big East: Marquette (70.1), Louisville (74.0), Connecticut (70.7), Villanova (69.7), South Florida (61.2) and Providence (68.4) combine to average about 414.1 points per game. Subtract 45.5, and you’re at 368.7. And those point totals are overall – which means you’re factoring in the games against the Central Florida Gulf A&M International Colleges of the world. In the Big East, those numbers are going down. Only the strong survive! (Until next year, when the conference blows up.)
Just so you’re sufficiently ready for this one – Villanova and Providence tip off at noon on the BIG EAST Network, Louisville and Marquette duel at 2:00 on ESPN and UConn and USF get going at 2:00 on the BIG EAST Network as well. Check your local listings, boys and girls.
Grade: A (Winnability: B-, Creativity: A, Fun Factor: A)
The pick: The Ravens. Remember this when Flacco is racking up yardage in garbage time with bombs to Torrey Smith. You’ll thank me later.