The Super Bowl brings the last opportunity for gamblers to bet on the NFL, and many will be looking for the last chance to score a few bucks. The big game offers several “unique” opportunities when the festivities kick off in February – and that even includes the over/under on the length of the national anthem.
Once again this year, bettors will be hoping the Super Bowl national anthem turns into some star-spangled cash. Over/under wagering on the national anthem adds some extra fun to the biggest game of the NFL season. More than two centuries after Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star-Spangled Banner,” bettors have a decision to make again on his song’s length this year.
Demi Lovato earns the duties for Super Bowl LIV.
Betting the banner
A quick look at recent national anthems provides some trends. The over has won eight times since 2007 and six of the last seven have gone over two minutes.
But a quick look at Demi Lovato’s history may offer some insight as well. She’s sung the anthem for a few big events and it’s worth it to review. Here are those:
|2017||Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight||2:11 (Video)|
|2015||MLB World Series Game 4||1:58 (Video)|
|2012||MLB World Series Game 4||1:50 (Video)|
|2011||MLB World Series Game 5||1:49 (Video)|
|2008||NFL Cowboys vs. Seahawks||1:53 (Video)|
Notice four of the five Lovato anthems are under two minutes. However, the most recent ran well over that time. Her trend is also going up since 2011.
Is that really likely to go back down on such a big stage? That seems unlikely.
And although books haven’t released lines yet for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” it seems it would be in the two-minute range. Considering that and anthem lengths since 2013, betting the over seems like a good idea. Look for Lovato to go the distance.
Trending toward the long road
When it comes to the Super Bowl a long song seems to be the norm. After two straight under wins in 2017 and 2018, the books set the time for Gladys Knight at around 1:47. She continued a trend at topping the two-minute mark, however.
Those betting the over cashed tickets. A quick look at the table below shows there has been a slight trend in the over since 2007 with only four under bet winners and one push. Even two of those under bets, Renée Fleming and Luke Bryan, went longer than two minutes.
So another trend is the overall lengthening of the song. What was once a song that came in around 1:30 and 1:50 in length has turned into a two-minute tune in recent years. In 2018, Pink broke a streak of five straight performances topping that mark
Super Bowl National Anthem History
|Year||Singer||Over/Under Time||Actual Time||Over/Under|
|2019||Gladys Knight||1:47||2:01 (Video)||Over|
|2017||Luke Bryan||2:09||2:04 (Video)||Under|
|2016||Lady Gaga||2:22||2:22 (Video)||Over|
|2015||Idina Menzel||2:02||2:04 (Video)||Over|
|2014||Renée Fleming||2:23||2:03 (Video)||Under|
|2013||Alicia Keys||2:15||2:36 (Video)||Over|
|2012||Kelly Clarkson||1:34||1:34 (Video)||Push|
|2011||Christina Aguilera||1:54||1:53 (Video)||Under|
|2010||Carrie Underwood||1:41||1:47 (Video)||Over|
|2009||Jennifer Hudson||2:04||2:10 (Video)||Over|
|2008||Jordin Sparks||1:47||1:54 (Video)||Over|
|2007||Billy Joel||1:44||1:30 (Video)||Under|
|2006||Aaron Neville/Aretha Franklin||N/A||2:09 (Video)||N/A|
|2005||Choirs of the U.S. military academies||N/A||1:53 (Video)||N/A|
|2003||Dixie Chicks||N/A||1:33 (Video)||N/A|
|2002||Mariah Carey||N/A||1:56 (Video)||N/A|
|2001||Backstreet Boys||N/A||1:49 (Video)||N/A|
|2000||Faith Hill||N/A||2:00 (Video)||N/A|
|1997||Luther Vandross||N/A||1:53 (Video)||N/A|
|1996||Vanessa Williams||N/A||1:35 (Video)||N/A|
|1995||Kathie Lee Gifford||N/A||1:40 (Video)||N/A|
|1994||Natalie Cole||N/A||2:33 (Video)||N/A|
|1993||Garth Brooks||N/A||1:45 (Video)||N/A|
|1992||Harry Connick Jr.||N/A||2:06 (Video)||N/A|
|1991||Whitney Houston||N/A||1:56 (Video)||N/A|
|1990||Aaron Neville||N/A||1:25 (Video)||N/A|
Big sounds and big moments
The national anthem and its singer bring plenty of interest each year. In 2015, some books halted betting on the national anthem after some large bets came in on the over.
Figuring bettors may have been privy to rehearsal numbers, these books decided continued action might end on a sour note.
Christina Aguilera awarded under bets in 2011, but received criticism after completely flubbing a line in the song. Did that screw-up lead to the under performance? It’s possible.
Once of the most beloved performances is Whitney Houston’s1991 rendition. It was melodic, patriotic, and brilliant.