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.
Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church earn the duties for Super Bowl LV. The consensus over/under for their rendition this year is 1 minute, 59 seconds.
Update: The duo went 18 seconds over that, with an unofficial time of 2 minutes and 17 seconds. It was the longest National Anthem since Lady Gaga’s rendition in 2016 went 2 minutes and 22 seconds.
DraftKings National Anthem prop odds
Sportsbooks in the US are not permitted to offer a prop bet strictly on the length of the National Anthem, but it is allowed if the wager includes something that can be found in the final box score of the game.
DraftKings Sportsbook once again has a National Anthem-related prop, where you can bet on whether or not the shortest scoring drive of the game will be greater or less than the length of Sullivan and Church’s duet.
To bet on this prop now, see the table below. Click “Yes” if you think any scoring drive will take less time than the Anthem. Click “No” if you think all scoring drives will go longer than the Anthem.
Keep in mind that scoring drives mean “football time” and not “real time.” For instance, Tampa Bay had three scoring drives in their NFC Championship game win over the Packers that went well under 2 minutes in football time.
Kansas City was more methodical in their win over the Bills in the AFC title game. Kansas City’s shortest scoring drive in that one was 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
We already have an idea of how long this year’s Anthem might go as Zach Maskavich, a reporter from WESH in Orlando, recorded the rehearsal. Maskavich even timed it with a stop watch on his phone and it wrapped up at 2 minutes, 16 seconds.
— Zach Maskavich (@ZachMaskavich) February 5, 2021
Analyzing the Jazmine Sullivan – Eric Church combo
Sullivan is a singer-songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her biggest hits to date are 2008’s “Need You Bad” and 2010’s “Holding You Down.” She has received 12 Grammy nominations in her career.
The R&B/Hip-Hop artist is no stranger to performing the National Anthem at sporting events. Most notably, Sullivan performed the Star-Spangled Banner for the 2016 NHL Stadium Series – which featured the Chicago Blackhawks versus the Minnesota Wild at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Sullivan’s anthem that day went for a mere 1 minute and 39 seconds, which – if she matched that at the Super Bowl – would be the shortest rendition since Kelly Clarkson went 1 minute and 34 seconds in 2012. Check it out here:
A couple notes about Sullivan’s rendition above:
- The event took place outdoors in Minnesota and it was quite cold that day. Super Bowl LV will be played in the warm climes of Tampa Bay, Florida. It would be human nature for Sullivan to want to kind of rush through the thing when dealing with freezing temps.
- That said, Sullivan strings out the song at the end as many anthem singers do. Sullivan’s wrap-up is particularly lengthy as she goes long with the “land of the FREEEEEE-EEEEEEEE!,” and extremely long with the final lyrics of “the BRAAAVVVVVVVVVVVVE.” Sullivan sings the word “brave” for nearly 10 full seconds.
Here is an earlier version of Sullivan singing the “Star Spangled Banner” below, this time at a Philadelphia 76ers game. This one clocked in at 1 minute and 47 seconds. You’ll see that there was a “start – stop” issue with the word “brave” here at the end. Were this to occur at the Super Bowl, you can be sure that National Anthem over/under bettors would flip their lids.
Eric Church is a country music singer-songwriter from North Carolina, best know for his hit songs “Give Me Back To My Hometown” (2014), “Springsteen” (2012), “Like A Wrecking Ball” (2015) and “Smoke A Little Smoke” (2010). He is a nine-time Grammy Award nominee.
It is not know if Church will play the guitar during his performance with Sullivan at Super Bowl LV.
The collaboration element of this year’s Super Bowl National Anthem makes it a bit harder to predict than a typical solo act. Will they sing the whole song together? Will they be trading off lyrics? Will Church primarily play the guitar?
Conventional thinking suggests that this year’s anthem will go long considering there are two performers that will both want to have their voices heard.
The last time there was a collaborative effort came in 2006 when Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville did the honors. That version went relatively long at 2 minutes and 9 seconds as they traded off segments of the song.
Prop bets: Betting the Banner
There hasn’t been much in the way of a trend in recent years. Since 2010, the Over has hit five times, the Under has hit five times and there was one push.
Although books haven’t released lines yet for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the over/under usually checks in around 2 full minutes.
Keep in mind that the way the anthem is typically timed starts when the singer starts singing, not when the music starts playing. The timing also ends when the singer is finished singing the word “brave.”
Trending toward the long road
When it comes to the Super Bowl, a long song seems to be the norm. From 2013 to 2017, the anthem went over 2 minutes each year.
One trend is the overall lengthening of the song. In the 1990s, the anthem went over 2 minutes only twice. In the 2000s, it went over 120 seconds four times. And in the 2010s, it went over the 2 minutes mark six times.
Super Bowl National Anthem History
|Year||Singer||Over/Under Time||Actual Time||Over/Under|
|2021||Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church||1:59||2:17||Over|
|2020||Demi Lovato||1:55||1:49 (Video)||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.