The first sports betting controversy of Super Bowl LVIII happened before the game between the San Fransico 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs kicked off.
The National Anthem is one of the most popular prop bets offered for Sunday’s Big Game. Country music star Reba McEntire’s rendition included the final word, “brave,” sung twice, leading sportsbooks in a precarious position.
Some operators ruled that it went over 90.5 seconds. Some ruled it under with a time of 87 seconds.
BetMGM reportedly paid out both, but officially called the National Anthem under 90.5, ruling the second “brave” did not count.
Because Reba McEntire’s first brave ended in under 90.5 seconds and her second brave resulted in the under, @BetMGM paid both the under and over for bettors.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 12, 2024
National Anthem UNDER 90.5 seconds. ✅— John Ewing (@johnewing) February 11, 2024
2nd “brave” does not count. pic.twitter.com/OdVBzigETV
Sports Interaction in Ontario paid out over bets.
It led to great confusion for bettors in a song that came down to the wire.
The market had a hard time figuring out what to do with the National Anthem before it started. The opening line of 84.5 was historically quick, but McEntire tended to sing shorter than Super Bowl average National Anthems.
FanDuel saw it rise 11 seconds from the opening line before taking it off the board later Sunday. It got to 90.5 on DraftKings before the Big Game.
Sunday was a tough day for stopwatches.