Good afternoon to all you whales and card sharks! Miles O’Malley here with the latest Vegas hooks. Now that the NFL regular season is over I’m cut to a bi-annual column, which isn’t ideal when you’re paid per submission. This week is all about the Superbowl. It’s the team everyone’s sick of versus the fans whose continued existence is a counterargument to God’s benevolence. I’m casting a pretty wide net this week for personal reasons, so let’s get to the action:
1. Superbowl LII: New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Patriots: 3/4 to win
Eagles: 5/2 to win
MO: Neither bet is really appealing. On one side Brady and Gronkowski are kinda maybe a little bit shy of 100% health-wise. On the other side is Nick Foles (‘nough said). Personally, I’d take the Eagles. The payout is bigger and those of you playing the spread (Philly -5.5) can count on the Eagles to cover. I know that New England probably will win the game, but just rolling over and accepting a predetermined outcome sounds like prod talk to me.
2. Outcome of the coin toss
MO: Let’s accept that prop bets are the only thing that will make this fun for most of us. Tails never fails!
3. Individual or jersey number of first person caught swearing in slow motion on broadcast:
Patriots coaching staff: 2/1
Eagles coaching staff: 2/1
Eagles fan: 2/3
No one caught swearing: 750/1
MO: My money’s on Gronk (#87). The guy’s a bona-fide bro who catches missiles and drops f-bombs. Count on him for either a “fuck yeah” or a “fuck you” depending on the circumstance.
4. Number of players kneeling for the National Anthem
MO: The latest memo from the NFL Commissioner’s office states that anyone “showing disrespect to our nation” on what is—let’s face it—a true American holiday will be summarily executed before the third quarter. With President Trump’s secret service in attendance, this statement has backup. No reason not to throw down $5 on at least one guy kneeling if you’ve got the cash to spare. I don’t.
5. Over/Under on number of times Chris Collinsworth begins a sentence with “Now here’s a guy…”
Fewer than 6 times: 20/1
More than 7 times: 8/5
MO: I’ve heard him drop this “catchphrase” 11 times in a single broadcast. Take the over.
6. Number of square miles of the city of Philadelphia consumed by fire as of 30 minutes after the end of the game (regardless of outcome)
<1 sq mi: 1.01/1
1-10 sq mi: 1.015/1
11-25 sq mi: 1.02/1
26-45 sq mi: 3/1
46-75 sq mi: 5/2
76-100 sq mi: 4/1
101-134 sq mi: 10/1
134.18 sq mi (entire city): 2/1
MO: A cleansing fire is inevitable. Really the only question is how quickly it spreads and how much anyone cares about containing it. That 101-134 range is a sucker’s bet: If they get that far they aren’t stopping shy of the entire city. I just hope Claude Giroux’s yet-unpublished works for piano and strings are spared; they are truly moving.
7. Which company/product will have the most cringe-worthy Superbowl ad?
Mountain Dew: 4/1
Denny’s restaurants: 12/1
Lifelock identity protection: 15/1
Any product owned in part or in whole by Jay-Z: 25/1
The field (all other products): 40/1
MO: The field bet is tempting, considering it contains Budweiser AND Coca-cola. At the end of the day though, this is easy money based on the evidence. Do the Dew.
8. How will Azatoth acknowledge the dark rites performed in His honor by the Patriots coaching staff during halftime?
No acknowledgement: 2/1
Dark rites thwarted by a heroic librarian: 2.5/1
Turf rumbles ominously: 3/1
The wind becomes a nightmare chorus of forbidden chanting: 5/2
The weak and mentally unprepared are overcome with a terror they cannot explain: 9/2
Bill Belichick has a vision of unknown nature and subsequently goes insane: 15/1
Azatoth crosses to this Earthly plain, annihilating reality and enslaving mankind, such as it is. All is cast aside and remade again in his blasphemous image without end, without end, without end: 10,000/1
MO: I’m going with no acknowledgement. These guys have already won five Super Bowls; it’ll take more than the usual rites to get the Dark One’s attention. It would solve a lot of my problems if Azatoth makes an appearance , but I’m not optimistic.
9. Who will appear with Justin Timberlake during the half-time show?
Pharell Williams: 3/2
Prince (hologram): 5/2
John Legend: 5/1
Lil Yachty: 6/1
Bruno Mars: 8/1
Andy Samberg: 30/1
N’SYNC bandmates: 45/1
Janet Jackson: 69/1
Llewyn Davis: 500/1
MO: Joey Fatone has said a reunion isn’t happening, but let’s hope (and fervently pray) that he just set us up for big, sorely needed paydays. Bruno Mars would be an interesting pick, considering his recent Grammys cleanup. If/when I’m desperate, I’d double down on Janet Jackson, if you know what I mean.
Harness Racing Hot Tips:
Can’t let you guys go without the latest ‘ness news! I’d take Youaremycandygirl and Fourth Dimension in their next races after superb showings at the Medowlands and Yonkers, respectively. I’m sorry to see Downbytheseaside retire; made a lot of bus fare off that horse. Latest on Perfect Spirit is that she’s really taking to the European climate — keep a cautiously optimistic eye on that turnaround.