Tommy Hollywood’s Super Bowl LI Betting Guide

This Super Bowl is gonna be LI(t) (sorry, wow I'm so sorry)

The Super Bowl is finally upon us, and I for one could not be  more thrilled. For those of you that listen to Second String, or have followed me for the last few years, you’re already aware that I’m a bit of a gambler. Okay, a lot of a gambler, but it’s not my fault. When your favorite football team is worth watching, you don’t an added incentive to enjoy watching a football game. Being a Browns fan, I haven’t watched a worthwhile football game since Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards were on the team.

Now that you can sympathize with me, allow me to make you rich. You see, the Super Bowl is without a doubt the best day of the year. You drink all day, eat like shit, and possibly alienate family members because of your drinking and gambling. I genuinely feel bad for other countries that they don’t experience the joy America does every year on the first Sunday in February. It’s the ultimate, for lack of a better term, trump card. “Oh, we have universal healthcare and aren’t that racist!” Don’t care, no Super Bowl.

Thus, the fact that we can legally (not really) gamble on the Super Bowl makes the day that much better. And on Super Bowl Sunday, you can gamble on anything. No really, that’s not hyperbole. This may be overwhelming for some, but not me. I thrive in the chaos that is Super Bowl Sunday. So let me guide you through the madness and win you some cash so you can buy back the forgiveness of those family members I mentioned before.

The Game:

The game itself should be a good one. The two most productive offenses in the league facing off against one another to prove once and for all that defense, does not in fact, win championships. The Pats are favored to win by 3 and the total is set at 59. I’ve been wrong betting against the Falcons all year, but I will continue to do so Sunday. I think the Pats get their deflategate redemption and win this game 42-35, hitting the over in the 3rd quarter. Official pick: Pats (-3), o/59.

Now, onto the best part — prop bets.

National Anthem:

Luke Bryan is singing the National Anthem this year, and the total time line is set at 2:09. There are a few factors that are important to consider here. First, Bryan sang the National Anthem at the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, where it only took him 2:03. That was at an exhibition baseball game, this is at the most watched sporting event in America.

Second, we just had an election that was, in a word, turbulent. America’s been a bit torn lately, and it’s up to Luke Bryan to remind this country how “great” we are (no pressure Luke). Coupled with the fact that I got absolutely MURDERED last year by Lady Gaga when she added the second refrain onto the end of her anthem at the Super Bowl, I am wary of betting anthem unders. So, if you’re reading this Luke, remember: “you’re not a true American unless you go over on the National Anthem.” – Mother Theresa. Official Pick: Over 2:09

Coin Flip:

Now this one’s a bit of coin flip (I’ll show myself out). Tails is a heavy underdog this year at +460. This is because tails has been the result of the flip the last three years in a row. Tails being such a heavy underdog is the result of something called, “the Gambler’s Fallacy.” This theory explains how gamblers trick themselves into believing that if something occurs many times in a row, the likelihood of that event occurring again decreases. Since I’m not one of those idiot gamblers, tails is the obvious choice for your money. Much like stereotypes, “tails never fails” exists for a reason. Official Pick: Tails +460

Player Odds:

First TD Scored: This is a tricky one to call. Belichick typically defers if he wins the toss, but took the ball first last week in an attempt to make the Steelers feel like they had to play catch up. I don’t think that strategy works against the Falcons, so regardless of who wins the toss I think the Falcons end up with the ball first, come out hot, and score. Devonta Freeman is a safe bet, but the best value is former Brown Taylor Gabriel. Look for him to separate on a slant from the 15 and turn it into a score. Official Pick: Taylor Gabriel (+2800)

Player leave due to concussion: This is an obvious yes. Matt Moore should’ve left the field in a body bag a few weeks ago against the Steelers, but played the rest of the game instead. The NFL won’t let an embarrassment happen like that in the biggest game of the year with so many eyes on them. Any player that stumbles getting up will be analyzed for a concussion immediately. Official Pick: Yes (+125)

Will a Player do the Dirty Bird Celebration: This is basically just, “do you think the Falcons will score.” Easy yes. Official Pick: Yes (+130)

Announcer Odds:

Number of Times Deflategate is said: This is basically the deflategate game. I figure it will be said once during the Patriots opening drive and once during their final drive, should it be to seal their victory. All you need then is one more reference to the scandal, so hopefully Joe Buck bets over 2.5 too. Official Pick: Over 2.5 (+280)

Will the Announcers mention the odds: This is up to the Falcons. If Atlanta holds a lead at any point during the game, Buck or Aikman will most likely refer to them as the “three point underdog Atlanta Falcons.” I think that happens early on and seals the deal for “yes.” Official Pick: Yes (-200)

Halftime Odds:

Lady Gaga Hair Color: Lady Gaga is a total wild card. Blonde is the heavy favorite, which indicates to me that it won’t be blonde. Lady Gaga loves a good upset, trust me. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if she comes out in a wedding dress accompanied by a choir dressed in all white. I think she’s going with big flash for this show, so I’m going with white hair. Official Pick: White (+1600)

First Song: This is another tricky pick. Lady Gaga is definitely one to try and do something super artistic that most people won’t understand. Here’s my thought: she comes out with a super slowed down version of “Edge of Glory,” goes into the rest of her act, then finishes with “Edge of Glory” reprise. Boom. Full circle and artistic as fuck. Official Pick: Edge of Glory (+275)

Will Lady Gaga Say “Trump”: I think this is an obvious yes. People are pretty upset about the whole President thing, so this is a big opportunity for Lady Gaga to become relevant again. Dubs thinks she’s simply going to allude to him, but I think she makes a statement here and says something along the lines of “Fuck Trump” outright. Official Pick: Yes (+285)

Fan Odds:

This one I’m really trying my best to fix. I’ll be tweeting at people in Houston for the remainder of the week to let them know they could make a lot of people a lot of money if they just rush the field. I would drive to Houston and do it myself, but I don’t want to. I’ll let you know though if I make contact and have it on good authority that this will happen. Official Pick: Yes (+1500)

Gatorade Color Odds:

This is by far the hardest to predict/my favorite bet of the year. The color of the gatorade shower is tough because you need to take into account: who you think will win the game, what color did they pour the week prior, and what’s the team’s least favorite flavor? The last question is important because obviously they’ll dump the cooler in which the most amount of Gatorade remains. Last week Atlanta poured yellow on Dan Quinn, so if you think Atlanta will shock the world then that’s a safe bet. I, however, will never believe in Matt Ryan, and the Pats are a tough team to analyze. Let’s look at their past Gatorade performances:

 In their most recent they poured blue on Belichick, but have a history of none. That gives me hope. I think Bill tells the squad that if they win, he wants to be in pristine condition for when he takes that trophy from Goodell’s trembling hands. Therefore, it may be my most risky pick, but I like the Pats to forego the Gatorade shower. Official Pick: None (+1000)

There you have it folks, my Official Gambling Guide to Super Bowl LI. There’s quite literally hundreds of other bets you can place, so I recommend you do some research on your own and gamble til your heart’s content. Best of luck to you all, and enjoy the last game of football until August *softly weeps.*


SAT Score: 1850 - 640, 610, 600. My counselor said she'd never seen someone, "so well-rounded." Favorite Winter Olympic Sport: 1.) Curling 1A.) Biathlon. Both started ironically and have grown to genuine love. Celebrity to grab drinks with: Jesus. Nobody is better at mixing in a water than that guy.
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