Slate’s Super Bowl Prop Bets

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 4 2010 11:01 AM

Slate’s Super Bowl Prop Bets

Nevada casinos and online gambling sites will take in tens of millions of dollars in Super Bowl bets this year. A good percentage of that take will come from " prop bets ." Many of these have to do with football the number of touchdown passes Peyton Manning will throw, for instance. Others are a bit divorced from the on-field action: the number of times Peyton's father Archie Manning will appear on television (the over/under is four), the number of times Who guitarist Pete Townshend will deploy his signature windmill move (over/under 5.5), and the color of the Gatorade that will be poured on the winning coach ( you can get 8-to-5 odds on clear/water ).

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Josh Levin Josh Levin

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.

While those wacky wagers might be enough for some people, Slate wants to create appealing gambling opportunities for every football-watching man, woman, and child. Print out the list of propositions below, make your picks, and see who at your Super Bowl party has the keenest eye for Hurricane Katrina references and talking-animal commercials.

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Inspirational stories:
References to the Haitian backgrounds of Pierre Garçon and Jonathan Vilma: over/under 4.5
References to Saints "uniting" New Orleans: over/under 4.5
Number of CBS pre-game features in which New Orleans jazz musicians (Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, etc.) talk about Hurricane Katrina: over/under 0.5

Hometown flavor:
References to Bourbon Street: over/under 1.5
Shots of the French Quarter: over/under 4.5
References to any food item associated with New Orleans (gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, etc.): over/under 4.5
Reference to any person, place, or thing associated with the state of Indiana (Indy 500, John Mellencamp, Gov. Mitch Daniels, etc.): over/under 1.5

CBS promos:
Shots of featured cast members of any CSI show in the stands: over/under 1.5
Commercials for or mentions of the Masters: over/under 7.5
Commercials for or mentions of Undercover Boss , the new reality series premiering after the game: over/under 14.5
Will Jim Nantz make a pun on Undercover Boss at any time during the game (referring to a wide receiver as "under covered," for example)? yes/no

The halftime show:
Announcers' use of the phrase "Who Dat?" before or after The Who go on stage: over/under 0.5
Will there be a reference to Peyton Manning as a "wizard," specifically as a pun on "Pinball Wizard"? yes/no
Will " Magic Bus " be used as bumper music at any time? yes/no
Will deceased members of The Who John Entwistle or Keith Moon be mentioned by broadcasters, stadium announcers, or onstage? yes/no
Will Entwistle's replacement Pino Palladino be named? yes/no
Will a mention of Keith Moon lead to a mention of Warren Moon? yes/no

The game:
References to Peyton Manning studying film: over/under 3.5
References to Drew Brees studying film: over/under 0.5
Will there be a graphic of a grade-three ankle sprain ? If so, will that graphic rotate to better see the ligament in question? yes/no
Will Saints kicker Garrett Hartley's four-game suspension for taking Adderall be mentioned? yes/no
Will anyone other than Drew Brees or Manning attempt a pass? yes/no
How many plays will be subjected to replay review? over/under 4.5
Which will happen first, illegal shift or lining up in the neutral zone?
Will the referee's mic go dead for more than a second? yes/no
Will a penalty flag be waved off at any point? yes/no
The first time a coach throws a challenge flag, will he struggle to remove it from his pocket? yes/no
Will Gumbo get his revenge on Reggie Bush ? yes/no
Will the first tackle to report as eligible be eligible to take a head-of-household standard deduction or eligible only to take the single- or married-filing-separately deduction?

Family:
Will Peyton's mother Olivia Manning be mentioned by name? yes/no
Will Peyton's older brother Cooper Manning be mentioned by name? yes/no
Will Peyton's wife Ashley Manning be mentioned by name? yes/no
Will Drew's wife Brittany Brees be mentioned by name? yes/no
Will any other player's wife, child, or sibling be mentioned by name? yes/no

The commercials:
Ads featuring talking animals: over/under 3.5
Ads that encourage you to go to the Web to watch the "uncensored" or "extended" version: over/under 2.5
Which beverage will be featured in more spots, Coke or Budweiser?

Miscellaneous:
Will there be acknowledgement that it's the 44 th Super Bowl with the 44 th president in office? yes/no
Shots of Kim Kardashian in which the announcers make no reference to Kim Kardashian because they have no idea how to do it tastefully: over/under 0.5

Psyched for the Super Bowl this Sunday? Check out this Magnum Photos gallery on football. 

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