One of the most popular Super Bowl proposition bets has nothing to do with the result of the actual game. With more than 100 million Americans watching the big game, it's a safe bet (see what we did there) that not all of them know the ins and outs of football. But betting on the length of the national anthem is something everyone can get behind.
The "Empress of Soul", Atlanta legend Gladys Knight will be belting out the "Star-Spangled Banner" for Super Bowl LIII and the Over/Under for how long it takes her to sing it has been set at 1:47.
First-timers betting this prop should know that most sportsbooks grade the beginning and end time only when the singer begins and ends singing. Any music intro or ending doesn’t tack on to the total run time for the bet. You won't find this prop listed at any Nevada sportsbook either. This type of wager can only be made at an offshore book.
The Over/Under last year for Pink was set at 2:00, and although Pink ended up coming in Under at 1:52 that was actually the fastest version of the national anthem in six years.
Here are the times for the last 20 renditions of the national anthem:
|Year||Super Bowl||Performer||Music Genre||Time|
|2018||Super Bowl 52||Pink||Pop||1:52|
|2017||Super Bowl 51||Luke Bryant||Country||2:04|
|2016||Super Bowl 50||Lady Gaga||Pop||2:09|
|2015||Super Bowl 49||Idina Menzel||Pop||2:04|
|2014||Super Bowl 48||Renee Fleming||Opera||1:54|
|2013||Super Bowl 47||Alicia Keys||Pop||2:35|
|2012||Super Bowl 46||Kelly Clarkson||Pop||1:34|
|2011||Super Bowl 45||Christina Aguilera||Pop||1:54|
|2010||Super Bowl 44||Carrie Underwood||Country||1:47|
|2009||Super Bowl 43||Jennifer Hudson||R&B||2:10|
|2008||Super Bowl 42||Jordin Sparks||Pop||1:54|
|2007||Super Bowl 41||Billy Joel||Rock 'n' Roll||1:30|
|2006||Super Bowl 40||Aaron Neville & Aretha Franklin||Soul||2:08|
|2005||Super Bowl 39||US Military Academy Choirs||Traditional||1:52|
|2004||Super Bowl 38||Beyonce||Pop||2:09|
|2003||Super Bowl 37||Dixie Chicks||Country||1:36|
|2002||Super Bowl 36||Mariah Carey||Pop||1:56|
|2001||Super Bowl 35||Backstreet Boys||Pop||1:50|
|2000||Super Bowl 34||Faith Hill||Country||2:01|
|1999||Super Bowl 33||Cher||Pop||1:55|
The average run time for the last 20 years is 116.7 seconds or 1:57. Only three of those 20 performances went Under 1:47 (with another hitting that number exactly). Knight is a soul and R&B singer and all three renditions by performers of those genres went well over two minutes, with Alicia Keys clocking in at a record 2:35.
As a powerful soul singer, your first instinct might be to assume that Knight will be holding those notes and take the Over on 1:47. But that low O/U should give you pause; do the bookmakers know something the rest of us don't? We dug into this little-known archive of video footage known as YouTube and came across an audio clip of Knight performing the anthem live in 1991.
She clocks in at under 1:40, a time speedy enough to give Brandin Cooks a run for his money.
However, Knight might do a longer, more epic version for this special occasion. A performance of "Midnight Train to Georgia" at the CMT Music Awards last year, proved that she still has it, even in her 70s. In a video that she posted to Twitter on Jan. 17, Knight couldn't contain her excitement. "And I'm in Georgia. Singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl," Knight exclaimed. “I hope that this anthem will touch people in a different way. We’ve been singing it forever. But this time I would hope that they would feel it so deeply that it would lift them to a higher place."
We're expecting this rendition to give us the chills and taking the "Empress of Soul" to go Over in her hometown.