More dollars are wagered on the Super Bowl than any other American sporting event and the oddsmakers look to capitalize on the cross-cultural interest by offering up a bevy of "proposition bets" or "exotics" -- many of which have only a passing connection to the game itself. (Like betting on the coin toss.)
Bovada is offering nearly 500 prop bets for this year's game. Here are the 15 most interesting wagers on the board -- with our picks.
How long will it take Alicia Keys to sing the national anthem?
• Over/Under: 2 minutes, 15 seconds
Will she forget or omit at least one word of the anthem?
• Yes +150 (3/2)
• No -200 (1/2)
Our pick: No. She's no stranger to performances of this scale, so she won't be rattled. And, yes, while she's tweaked lyrics in the past ("Obama's on fire!" at the inauguration ball), it says here she'll play it straight.
Will Beyonce's hair be curly/crimped or straight at the beginning of the Super Bowl Halftime show?
• Straight -140 (5/7)
• Curly/Crimped EVEN (1/1)
Our pick: Curly/crimped is the bet here, the look she chose for her last show of such a massive scale at Glastonbury in 2011.
Will either Jack or Jackie Harbaugh be shown on TV wearing any clothing that has either a 49ers or Ravens logo on it during the game?
• Yes +200 (2/1)
• No -300 (1/3)
Our pick: No. Both parents have said they'll wear neutral clothes and there's no reason to believe they'll go back on it. Free money.
How many times will the game be referred to as the Harbaugh Bowl or Har Bowl or Super Baugh during the game?
• Over/Under 2 1/2
Our pick: Over. Maybe the easiest bet on the board.
Who will be shown first during the game?
• Jim Harbaugh 1/1
• John Harbaugh 1/1
• Split screen shot of both 4/1
Our pick: Split screen. Hard to say here, which is why the value of 4-to-1 on the diplomatic solution is so attractive.
How long will the post game handshake/hug last between Jim & John Harbaugh?
• Over/Under: 7.5 seconds
Our pick: Under. Regardless of the outcome, they'll have plenty of time to talk it out away from the cameras.
How many times will Harbaugh be said during the game?
• Over/Under 20 1/2
Our pick: Over. Hard to imagine CBS going under this number given it's primacy among the Super Bowl storylines.
What Color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the Head Coach of the Winning Super Bowl Team?
• Clear/Water 7/4
• Orange 5/2
• Yellow 5/2
• Green 13/2
• Red 13/2
• Blue 13/2
Our pick: Yellow is the smart play here if recent history is any indicator.
Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first?
• Teammates 5/4
• God 5/2
• Coach 12/1
• Family 12/1
• Owner 15/1
• Does Not Thank Anyone 9/4
Our pick: Hard to say. As always it depends on the winner, but you bet against God at your own peril.
If Ray Lewis is interviewed on TV after the game on the field or in the locker room how many times will he mention "God/Lord"
• Over/Under 3
Our pick: Over. A likelihood in any case, a mortal lock if they get him on the field still pumped with adrenaline.
What will happen with the Dow Jones the day after the Super Bowl?
• Market Up -140 (5/7)
• Market Down EVEN (1/1)
Our pick: Pass. Leave this one to the financial wonks.
What will be the highest tweet per second rate during the Super Bowl?
• Over/Under 15,000
Our pick: Over. Obama's re-election set the current tweets per second record with 327,000, which broke the mark of 116,000 set during the Spice Girls' concert at the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics. The previous record was Usain Bolt's 100 meters run in London (80,000). Given Twitter's constant rise, it's safe to say Sunday's game will top 15,000 at some point.
Will the game go to overtime?
• Yes (Overtime) +600 (6/1)
• No (Overtime) -1000 (1/10)
Our pick: No. There's not enough value here to bet on the first Super Bowl ever to go to an extra frame.
What will be higher?
• Kobe Bryant Points Feb 3rd vs. Detroit +51/2
• Randy Moss Receiving Yards Super Bowl XLVII -51/2Our pick: The way Kobe's been passing it lately, why not take a punt on the 49ers' self-proclaimed G.O.A.T.?