Super Bowl National Anthem Betting: A History Of The Over/Under

Super Bowl National Anthem Betting: A History Of The Over/Under

January 23, 2019

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.

Yes, it’s a real wager and pretty popular — mostly at overseas and offshore sportsbooks. Francis Scott Key might be surprised to learn his “Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics attract plenty of action 205 years after he wrote them.

A quick look at the table below shows there has been a slight trend in the over since 2007 with four under bet winners and one push. However, both Pink and Luke Bryan went long at the last two years.

Another trend is the overall lengthening of the song. What was once a song that hovered around 1:30 and 1:50 in length has morphed into a two-minute aria in recent years. Pink broke a streak of five straight performance of that length.

Super Bowl National Anthem History

YearSingerOver/Under TimeActual Time
2018Pink2:001:52 (under)
2017Luke Bryan2:092:04 (under)
2016Lady Gaga2:222:22 (over)
2015Idina Menzel2:022:04 (over)
2014Renée Fleming2:232:03 (under)
2013Alicia Keyes2:152:36 (over)
2012Kelly Clarkson1:341:34 (push)
2011Christina Aguilera1:541:53.7 (under)
2010Carrie Underwood1:411:47 (over)
2009Jennifer Hudson2:042:10 (over)
2008Jordin Sparks1:471:54 (over)
2007Billy Joel1:441:30 (over)
2006Aaron Neville/Aretha FrankliN/A2:09
2005Choirs of the U.S. military academiesN/A1:53
2003Dixie ChicksN/A1:33
2002Mariah CareyN/A1:56
2001Backstreet BoysN/A1:49
2000Faith HillN/A2:00
1997Luther VandrossN/A1:53
1996Vanessa WilliamsN/A1:35
1995Kathie Lee GiffordN/A1:40
1994Natalie ColeN/A2:33
1993Garth BrooksN/A1:45
1992Harry Connick Jr.N/A2:06
1991Whitney HoustonN/A1:56
1990Aaron NevilleN/A1:25

Betting the banner

Is there really a strategy to betting the anthem or is it just a flip of the coin? It may sound ridiculous, but having a strategy may offer a chance at a real return on investment.

A simple plan based on trends offers a couple choices. Two straight under winners might coax many to hope for three in a row. But with an over/under set at a low 1:47 for Gladys Knight and over bets doing well over the last decade, smart money may go in that direction.

With opera winger Renée Fleming set to perform in 2014, a bloated time of 2:23 was set. In a classy and brilliant performance, she beat that by 20 seconds. Linemakers may have thought an opera star would make for some particularly long notes, but under bettors cashed the tickets.

Interesting betting 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 some rehearsal numbers by Idina Menzel, these books decided continued action might end on a sour note. Those bettors were rewarded when she went over with the song.

Christina Aguilera awarded under bets in 2011, but received plenty of criticism after completely flubbing a line in the song. Did that screw-up lead to the under performance? It’s possible.

This year – Knight minus The Pips

Soul legend and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Gladys Knight will tackle this year’s anthem with bettors focusing on every second she belts it out. A native of host city Atlanta, the Empress of Soul seems a natural choice for the duty and seems happy to be heading back to her hometown.