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Prop Bets: Sinful selections of sinister Super Bowl wagering

Look, I ran out of a “s” word for gambling OK?

Super Bowl LV - The Weeknd Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TW

Every year, people gamble on prop bets. Do you know where your prop bets are at 4 a.m. in the morning? They are out, being wagered by the furious sweathogs in Vegas; but not just there, in sportsbooks now across the country, as legalization takes hold. Digitally, as COVID-19 forces everyone to stay home with their sweat.

This is the time of year where for one, just one article dear readers, we turn Pride Of Detroit into our own degenerate bookie. Ryan Mathews and myself are making picks on our favorite prop bets. That’s right: Mr. Mathews is legal now, no longer do we need to call in BovadaKing69 for this one.

So as you watch this game, keep these wagers in your heart. Know that we have laid down our shirts for this. We shall win some shirts and lose some shirts. But we lived. Carpe diem. That’s Latin for “get that bag.”

Will Any Scoring Drive Take Less Time Than U.S. National Anthem Length?

Yes -350

No +225

Chris: I like this one. We’ve done kneeling and forgetting words to the anthem to death. I haven’t done this one yet. I like it. Spicy, juicy even. Spicy juicy.

Most Super Bowl anthems hover just around two minutes, which means that we’re within two minute drill territory, hence the odds tilted well in favor of “Yes.” Bear in mind, however, it is expected to be raining at Raymond James Stadium, which means we could be in for some slip-n-slide action all over the place.

Ryan, you’re not far from being a weather expert, what are your thoughts here?

Ryan: I want it to be wetter than when Prince knocked it out of the park with the greatest performance in Super Bowl history. Give me a 14-7 game where everyone is hoping to keep the ground underneath them with each step. Give me chaos.

Another thing clearly tilting this prop in the favor of a “Yes” outcome is the arm of Patrick Mahomes and the legs of Tyreek Hill. I wish there was some kind of prop where I could get some better than even odds on a “Touchdown scored in less than two minutes but not during the final 2 minutes of the game.”

Sportsbooks have fundamentally changed my life, and it’s probably not for the best, but we’ll get to that later. YES -350

Chris: Something tells me this is going to get mired in muck. I don’t think either team is going to give away a score for free. It’s probably not accounting for late game scenarios as much as I’d like, but I do have to take NO +225 just because I don’t believe drives will come easy here.

How Many Wardrobe Changes Will The Weeknd Have During The Super Bowl 55 Halftime Show?

OVER 0.5 -380

UNDER 0.5 +240

Chris: This is a thing everyone’s fallen in love with. It’s all the rage. Very hot. I don’t know how they do it, and honestly, I’m convinced they’re using some sort of CGI technology to scam the hell out of everyone.

Or the pants just rip away and it’s all cool like that. Anyway, OVER 0.5 -380 for me. I don’t know what kind of clothes The Weeknd likes to wear, but I fear these kinds of shenanigans are league-mandated now. They’ve got a chart that shows viewership goes up during a wardrobe change, or something.

By the way Ryan, am I supposed to use the “The” in The Weeknd? Like with The Ohio State? He’s not just Weeknd? I feel genuinely out of my element with this halftime act.

Ryan: Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been listening to The Weeknd (you got it, Chris) since his days as a Tumblr icon, back even before House of Balloons. His cover of “Dirty Diana” is probably the closest thing we’ll ever get to hearing a voice like Michael Jackson again in our lifetimes. As far as pop music in its truest form is concerned, The Weeknd is consistently making definitive records in a way only the greatest from the genre were able to do. He had busses full of tweens singing along to “Can’t Feel My Face” and parents were just, like, cool with it? Like, he got nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award for that song. However, unlike Mitchell Trubisky, The Weeknd has yet to claim victory for a Nickelodeon award.

I hope he doesn’t buy into the wardrobe craze, but 0.5 is just too low for me to hit the under: OVER 0.5 -380

Will The Weeknd Mention Canada During The Super Bowl 55 Halftime Show?

Yes +400

No -700

Chris: The only reason I know The Weeknd is from Canada is because of Uncut Gems. I just felt like I should mention that. Boy, that was a really cool movie. I should probably go watch it again. No other movie gets me in the gambling mood like Uncut Gems. What a great, chill, relaxing movie. Adam Sandler just doing zany hijinks. What’s better than that? Nothing. Yes +400.

Ryan: Totally agree about the very family film that Uncut Gems is at its core. The redemption story of George Bailey pales in comparison to Howard Ratner’s very calm, chill, and totally satisfying character arc—only one of these things is true.

Look at us, we’re simpatico: give me the awesome +400 odds on Yes.

Who Will Throw More Touchdown Passes In The Game?

Patrick Mahomes -0.5 -115

Tom Brady +0.5 -115

Chris: This one is probably as close as you’ll get. Both quarterbacks threw three touchdowns in their respective conference championship games.

But I feel like this is some sort of way of getting us to tip our hands as to who we like in this game to win it, because I feel whoever throws more is probably also winning the game. Maybe my analysis is sophomoric; it usually is. Patrick Mahomes -0.5.

Ryan: I get what you’re saying, Chris, and I think you’re likely right, but I could also see the Chiefs still winning this game and Mahomes is left tied with Brady’s touchdown total for the night. Since they’re both at the same odds, I think I like having that hook with tomato-free Tom Brady +0.5 -115.

What Will Patrick Mahomes Do First?

Throw a TD -350

Throw an interception +275

Ryan: The thing about Mahomes is he’s been the large adult crush of both Chris and myself since the night we watched him get drafted from a hotel room in downtown Philadelphia. We both knew he would be good, and correct me if I’m talking out of turn, Chris—but we didn’t expect him to be a guy on the “best quarterback of all time” trajectory.

I’m going to thoroughly enjoy him beating the alleged “GOAT” and adding that jewel to the crown that will adorn his head yet again for the second year in a row—and won’t move after his playing days are over. Throw a TD -350.

Chris: You say all that “we didn’t know” but I at least knew he still deserved to be draft higher than Trubisky.

I’m going to fade Ryan here. Tampa’s defense is pretty stout, and everyone’s on nerves in a big game like this. As much as I trust Mahomes in the long haul, I like taking the odds on a flyer for Throw an Interception +275. Everyone will freak and panic but it’s just one play. Chile.

Antonio Brown Receptions

OVER 3.5 Receptions -145

UNDER 3.5 Receptions +110

Chris: I almost forgot Brown was on the Buccaneers. Boy, they sure assembled a cast of misfits and miscreants down there. Remember that month in 2019 when we were all aghast at Antonio Brown, and each week there was some way he was one-upping that obscenely gross foot of his? We had a hot air balloon and all these videos of Jon Gruden sounding exasperated—Gruden of all people, exasperated!—at the antics and begging Brown to just play football.

Then... There was that story of alleged sexual assault and it stopped being funny, but also stopped being in the news, like how it always happens? Hey, remember when the league was running all those anti-domestic abuse ads? I wonder what happened to all those.

Anyway, not to kill the mood. Brown has only been targeted three times in each game in these playoffs, although he was certainly seeing more during the regular season. Tricky one, but I’ll go with recent trends. UNDER 3.5.

Ryan: On top of everything Chris said—which I completely co-sign—Brown is still dealing with a knee injury that caused him to miss the NFC Championship Game. With so many other weapons on that team in the way of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski, I feel very confident taking the UNDER 3.5 receptions here.

What Will Happen To The Price Of Bitcoin During The Super Bowl?

Price of Bitcoin goes up -150

Price of Bitcoin goes down +110

Chris: This feels like one big trap. Talk with your bookie very carefully before taking this prop. What does this actually mean? It could up by the first quarter, but then down in the second? I’m assuming they’re talking about price before and after the Super Bowl. Let’s go with that.

Listen, I’m something of a crypto expert myself, having made roughly $25 on the great Dogecoin surge of 2021. Bitcoin is a bit big for its britches. Plenty of coins and cryptos to go around. My guess is, some nefarious actor is about to Bogdanoff the whole thing. What better time than when all of America sits mesmerized by a beautiful Mahomes pass? Goes down +110.

Scenario B, without a Bog situation, they seem like, uh, prime selling hours, or something, listen I made the pick already just go ahead.

Ryan: Don’t try to explain Bitcoin to me, don’t try to explain the “mining” practices, don’t try to talk to me about any cryptocurrency at all. I don’t even feel compelled to explain why I feel this way. Just leave me alone.

That’s not to say I don’t want to see people make their money. Hope it goes up for y’all out there trying to make a buck in this economy. Gimme Goes Up -150.