Will Kelly Clarkson Screw Up The National Anthem?

It’s time for another look at a couple Super Bowl prop bets. The list of available props on 5 Dimes has absolutely exploded since our last post, so there are a ton to choose from.

A lot of these are pretty funny. I love the phrasing on this one:

coach celebration only, must be shown live or replayed on NBC broadcast before final whistle sounds
Sport drink on field before game ends +100
No liquid celebration before game ends -140

If I ever for some random reason end up managing a small indoor soccer arena, or a minor league baseball stadium,  I’m definitely putting up a sign that warns “No liquid celebration before game ends!

But, I digress. On to the the Super Bowl prop bet analysis!

Today I’ll tackle one serious prop bet and one more lighthearted option. I’ll start with the one which actually involves the game.

Team To Score Longest Touchdown

This first prop bet was requested in a comment on yesterday’s post. Because it involves actual football happenings between the sidelines, it most likely has a bit of statistical backing behind it, so it may be a tough one to beat. But hey, it’s worth a look.

NYG scores longest TD +105
NE scores longest TD -125

What does your gut say? Yesterday’s blog comment suggested the New York Giants, but my intuition says to go with the New England Patriots.

The Pats are favored to win, which means they ought to score more touchdowns. And more touchdowns means a better chance that one will be a long one. Plus, their offense is tilted heavily towards the pass, which ought to lead to long touchdowns (though the same can be said of the Giants).

But, let’s look at what has actually happened this season:

GmNYG OppW/LLongest Off TDOther notable TDNE OppW/LLongest Off TDOther notable TD
1WASLpush (6yd)WAS 9yd INTMIAWNE 99yd pass
2STLWNYG 22yd passNYG 65yd FUMSDWSD 26yd passNE 17yd pass
3PHIWNYG 40yd passBUFLNE 26yd passBUF 27yd INT
4ARIWNYG 29yd passOAKWNE 33yd rush
5SEALNYG 68yd passSEA 94yd INTNYJWNYJ 10yd passNE 3yd rush
6BUFWBUF 80yd rushNYG 1yd rushDALWNE 8yd pass
7MIAWNYG 25yd passPITLPIT 7yd passNE 2yd pass
8NEWNE 14yd passNYG 10yd passNYGLNE 14yd pass
9SFLNYG 32yd passNYJWNE 18yd pass
10PHILNYG 24yd passKCWNE 72yd puntNE 52yd pass
11NOLNYG 72yd passPHIWNE 41yd pass
12GBLNYG 67yd passINDWIND 33yd passNE 21yd pass
13DALWDAL 50yd passNYG 47yd passWASWWAS 49yd passNE 37yd pass
14WASLWAS 20yd passNYG 3yd rushDENWNE 33yd pass
15NYJWNYG 99yd passMIAWMIA 19yd passNE 1yd rush
16DALWNYG 74yd passBUFWNE 39yd pass
WCATLWNYG 72yd pass--------
DIVGBWNYG 66yd passDENWNE 61yd pass
CONFSFWSF 73yd passNYG 17yd passBALWBAL 29yd passNE 7yd rush

I realized in going through the game logs that sometimes the longest touchdown is scored via a defensive play or a kick or punt return. Since the prop doesn’t explicitly restrict the longest touchdown to an offensive play, I’m going to assume in the rest of this analysis that a long interception return would be valid as the winning longest touchdown.

The Giants were a long-TD machine this season. Then again, the Patriots were a long-TD-prevention machine. However, tally up the above, and the Giants appear to be more likely to score the longest TD in any given game against an average opponent:

Longest TDsNew York GiantsNew England Patriots
Overall12/19 (63%)10/18 (56%)
In Wins8/12 (67%)9/15 (60%)
In Losses4/7 (57%)1/3 (33%)
Avg Longest43 yds30 yds

Looking at the percentages for the Giants in a win and the Patriots in a loss, if this season’s results hold, then in the case of a Giants Super Bowl win, they’d likely have also scored the longest touchdown.

On the other hand, the percentages for New England in a win or New York in loss are roughly equal. That could mean that even in a New England win, the Giants have a decent shot of registering the longest touchdown.

Together, the two trends imply that despite being the underdogs in the game, the Giants might actually be on even terms with the Pats — or even slightly ahead — in the longest touchdown competition. Given that the Giants are the underdogs in this prop, the choice seems clear enough.

Conclusion: Value in NYG scores longest TD +105

Will Kelly Clarkson Screw Up The National Anthem?

This prop bet is clearly in response to last year’s Christina Aguilera fiasco, in which she omitted an entire line of the national anthem. That omission played a large part in her anthem being shorter than the posted duration over/under.

“omits/forgets” includes: any word left out, any unplanned pause during the Anthem
Clarkson omits/forgets a word of Anthem +500
Official Anthem no words omitted/delayed -900

Kelly Clarkson has performed at several high profile sporting events, including the World Series, the NBA Finals, and the Indy 500. I doubt that the Super Bowl will be such a step up that she’ll crack under the pressure.

She’s nothing if not professional, and will be cognizant of the fact that Christina messed things up last year. Reviewing several videos of her previous anthems, it seems she has it down to a science. They are very consistent, and she never looks hesitant or lost.

Not only that, there is always the outside chance that we get an Ashlee Simpson moment, with the anthem pre-recorded to avoid any miscues.

It seems the signs overwhelmingly point to a by-the-book performance. The only danger here is that 5 Dimes will be overly strict with the “unplanned pause” part of the above definition. Still, I think the odds of a mistake are substantially less than the 1 in 10 break-even rate implied by the -900 line.

Conclusion: Technically, there seems to be value on Official Anthem no words omitted/delayed -900 … IF you are willing to trust 5 Dimes to fairly grade the “unplanned pause” aspect of the bet. However, we’re reluctant to pull the trigger here with so little actual evidence. It seems like a lot to risk without being very sure of the edge (which we’re not).

OK, that’s it for today. Again, please leave a comment if you have a certain prop bet you’d like us to analyze.