It's almost here, just two days away. It's Super Bowl LIII, or as I like to call it "Christmas Day for degenerate gamblers." There is no more gambled upon event each year than the Super Bowl, with an estimated $6 billion slated to be wagered this year, and that number includes both legal and illegal wagering.
You may be at a party this weekend buying squares on a sheet, or just making handshake wagers with a neighbor. Whatever the case, there's a good chance you'll be dumping at least a sawbuck or two into that $6 billion pool. One way to have some fun with even the most trivial aspects of the game is via prop bets, where you can bet on everything from the coin toss to what color Gatorade will be used to douse the winning head coach.
So if you don't want to go too deep on the outcome of the game — my game picks in the playoffs have been largely terrible, so I'm all about prop bets this Sunday — here are five prop bets on which I will be betting my own money (all lines are from BetOnline.ag):
Gladys Knight will kneel during the national anthem NO -200
Kneeling during the national anthem was a much bigger topic last season than it's been this season, which is probably a big reason why television ratings are back up. I have a hard time believing that Gladys Knight, handpicked by the NFL, will use her stage to do something incredibly polarizing. Also, at age 74, merely getting down to a knee and back up is probably a bit of a chore. For a frame of reference, NO on a player taking a knee is a heavy, heavy -700 favorite, so this is great value on Knight!
Adam Levine wearing a hat during the halftime show NO -300
Maroon 5 is the halftime act this year, and I've scoured the inter-webs (we call that RESEARCH, kids!), looking for videos of Adam Levine performing in a lid. I can't find any evidence that he has some sort of hat fetish. In fact, being an avid viewer of The Voice, I can tell you that Levine has a fantastic head of hair. Why would you hide that?!
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Tom Brady OVER 0.5 Interceptions -110
If Dee Ford hadn't lined up offsides toward the end of the AFC title game, Tom Brady would be sitting at home this weekend, having gone out with a three interception performance. As it was, he still threw two picks in the game, and had an uncharacteristic 11 picks during the regular season. I think Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh will get pressure a few times this game, and the Rams secondary will turn Brady over at least once in this game. Good value here.
First play of the game by Patriots, sack or running play +100
The last two games, in the divisional round and the AFC title game, the Patriots have opened the game with long, clock-eating drives of around eight minutes. I can't imagine they won't try to do the same thing in this game, and that means opening with a run against one of the more overrated rushing defenses in football.
New England Patriots convert a fourth down -140
If you're going to bet on a team converting a fourth down, you want a team that is inclined to go for it on fourth down a disproportionate number of times. So say hello to Bill Belichick, who's been known to go for it on fourth down in his own territory. All we need are a few fourth and short opportunities, and this one will cash easily!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.