Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Word of Warning

I was just looking at this weekend's college football lines at BetUS. I happened to not be logged in to my account at the time. A sampling:

Pretty good prices, at least as of about 8:30 EST on Tuesday night. Juicy dog lines are pretty typical at BetUS. But then I logged in:

Wow, those changed quickly!

Oh, wait. No they didn't. They didn't change at all. If you go right now, UVa is still +20.5. The lines just changed when I logged in. So I decided to investigate via Live Chat:

(Click to enlarge)

What a classy organization.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Most Ridiculous Super Bowl XLII Props

There are plenty of props concerning the game on the field next Sunday. Who will score first, who'll be the MVP, even who will commit the first holding penalty. But it's the Super Bowl- who cares about the actual game? There are much more important things going on.

I looked around a few places for the best non-football props, but ended up only needing two sites- BetUS and Bodog. The following are the seven most ridiculous types of props I found. I tried to break down what the best wagers are, but I probably failed miserably.

7. How long will it take Jordin Sparks to sing the National anthem? (Bodog)
Over 1m42s (-115)
Under 1m 42s (-115)
Sparks sang the Anthem at last year's NBA Finals. It's on YouTube- it looks like she took 1:41. Darren Rovell analyzed this same line for Billy Joel last year, and noticed this:
"I looked at every Super Bowl national anthem YouTube could offer me. And guess what? Not one singer, at least what's online, has ever done the National Anthem at the Super Bowl under 1:44."
He goes on to note that Cher did it in 1:45, Mariah Carey in 1:55, Faith Hill at 2:00, and Beyonce in 2:09. These Super Bowl performers apparently add some extra "yeahs" and such- it looks like the Over would be a decent look here.

6. Commercial Props (Bodog)

BetUS has some boring ones, like the first ad during halftime (Bud Light and Go Daddy are both 4:1). But Bodog got creative:
Which Super Bowl commercial will have a higher rating on USA Today's annual Ad Meter?
Budweiser 1:2
Go Daddy.com 3:1
Pepsi 6:1
McDonald's 9:1
Victoria Secret 8:1
Other 2:1
Looks like Budweiser is the reigning champ. I'm assuming Budweiser includes Bud Light; those two combined to have six of the top seven ads last year. So it makes sense that Bud is the overwhelming favorite.

5. TV Broadcast Props (Bodog)

How Many Times will Joe Buck mention Peyton Manning's name during the Broadcast?
Over 5.5 (-125)
Under 5.5 (-115)

How many times will Archie Manning be shown on the TV Broadcast?
Over 4.5 (-150)
Under 4.5 (+110)

Will the entire Fox pre-game team pick the Patriots to win the Super Bowl?
Yes -180
No +140
I don't really understand the Peyton prop. If Buck says "Eli's brother, Peyton, won the Super Bowl last year. Manning...", does that count as one or two? I don't know.

For the pre-game picks prop, I'd have to go with "No". How many people are there on the set, four? I would think one of them will go against the grain, if only to make things interesting. Terry Bradshaw picked the Giants last week, so he'd be the one to do it.

Update: Lozo makes an excellent point in the comments:
"no. 5 being no is a lock. only because whoever works the giants locker room after the game will take the giants. that's the only reason bradshaw took the giants last week, and he'll probably do it again this week."
4. '72 Dolphins Props (Bodog)
If the Patriots win, will Bob Kraft mention the '72 Dolphins during the Trophy Presentation?
Yes (-135)
No (-105)
Will Don Shula be on the field to shake Belichick's hand after the game?
Yes +200
No -300
Why would Kraft mention the '72 Dolphins? They really haven't done anything to deserve a mention. I'd lean towards "No" on that first one.

I'm assuming Shula lives in Florida? Why would he go to the game in Arizona just to shake Belichick's hand? I guess that's why "No" is -300.

3. Who will the MVP of the Game thank first? (Bodog)
Teammates, 2:1
God, 5:2
Family, 2:1
Coach, 5:1
Doesn't thank anyone, 6:1
I looked around Google for Brady's acceptance speech the two times he's won the award, but couldn't find it. I actually think betting on the first two wouldn't be a bad idea, I would imagine it'd end up being one of those.

2. Colour of liquid winning Head Coach is doused in (BetUS)
Transparent +400
Green +500
Yellow +300
Orange +125
Red +300
Blue +1000
Purple +1600
I don't really have any insight to add here. This one is pretty awesome, though.

1. Tom Petty Props (BetUS)

Petty will be performing at halftime. There are the standard props on this sort of thing- what song he will open with (Running Down A Dream is the favorite at BetUS), and end with (Free Falling is 2:3 at Bodog). But those pale in comparison to the random props BetUS has thought up:
Tom Petty...
smokes a joint during half time show +2500
has a wardrobe malfunction +10000
streaks field during play +50000
will smash a guitar onstage +5000
will curse during performance +8000
I'm confused as to how the joint prop is the most likely. Tom Petty cannot smoke a joint during his performance. It's just not a possibility. Also, what exactly would a Tom Petty ""wardrobe malfunction" consist of? I don't think I want to know.

He could curse. But because of the "wardrobe malfunction" thing, they've got a delay now. So if he curses, but it gets edited out, what happens? There are just so many unanswered questions here.

Update: I e-mailed BetUS about the cursing thing, here's the response I got:

"Dear Jacob, Thank you for your question. For it to be graded as a winner, Tom Petty cursing needs to be shown either on tv, on the newspaper the day after, internet, etc. The point is, it needs to be of public knowledge that he did for you to win that bet. Regards, Rick Account Manager"
I think this is good news for this bet. It'll be all over the internet if he curses, even if it's not broadcast.

Update 2: The odds on two of the Tom Petty props have been adjusted. The joint one is now +4000, and cursing is down to +5000. I'd like to think that this post had something to do with that.

Update 3: Smokes a joint is now 100:1, cursing is down to 20:1, and all is right in the world.