The Super Bowl is behind us for another year but the betting community won't soon forget what went on with national anthem betting in 2021. After Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church were announced as the performers, sportsbooks posted an Over/Under time for the length it would take for them to sing it. That number bounced around between 1:57 and 2:01 before bettors went crazy on the Over after a tweet from a reporter tipped off the betting world.
The 2021 anthem leak
When it comes to Super Bowl national anthem betting, there are two ways to gain an advantage. You pore over old YouTube videos, trying to figure out the speed at which it'll be sung. Or, you simply wait until the rehearsal time gets leaked.
It looks like the latter might have happened on the Friday evening before the Super Bowl, with reporter Zach Maskavich posting what appeared to be a rehearsal of the anthem.
It turns out the rehearsal video was spot on with the actual performance landing at about 2:16 and with Eric Church singing first.
Did sportsbooks pay out?
Immediately after the leak, the only question on the mind of those who had bets on it was whether sportsbooks would honor those wagers or not.
Per Canadian sportsbook @SIASport: #SuperBowl prop for duration of national anthem is off the board and under review, as it is at other books, due to release of rehearsal video today. "Anytime a leak is made public such as this, a review is necessary."@Covers— Patrick Everson (@Covers_Vegas) February 6, 2021
Per one sportsbook in global market, on #SuperBowl prop for duration of national anthem: "We took the prop offline earlier today when we got plenty of Over action all at once from some sharper accounts. Kept on moving time up, and they kept betting. Obvious that info was leaked."— Patrick Everson (@Covers_Vegas) February 6, 2021
We can't speak for all betting sites but from our experience and in speaking with other bettors, it appears most, including Sports Interaction, did honor and pay out bets that were on the Over. If your sportsbook did not pay out and you feel that was unfair, consider reporting it to our sportsbook blacklist.
2021 National Anthem Odds
These were the odds before the above tweet went out. Most, if not all betting sites, took the related markets off the board (OTB) and did not offer a new betting line before the game.
Length of the national anthem at Super Bowl 55
Who will sing first?
What kind of jacket will Eric Church be wearing?
Super Bowl 55 National Anthem Pick: Under 1:57 (-130)
Not only has the average Super Bowl anthem since 1990 clocked in at just under 1:55 but each of the last three anthems have gone below the 2-minute mark.
As a matter of fact, 16 of the last 23 anthems have been completed in under two minutes, including Christina Aguilera's "extra" performance.
Doing a duet with a country music artist like Eric Church, and the likely presence of a guitar twang or two, should make this national anthem from Sullivan a bit longer than her previous two renditions.
That said, considering she zipped through both of those performances in under 1:45 I don't see the additional vocals and instrumentals adding on 12 seconds or more.
Pick made Feb. 2 - well before the infamous leak!
Jazmine Sullivan anthem analysis
A quick search of YouTube will show a couple of instances of Sullivan performing the national anthem at other sporting events.
In this video, Sullivan sings the "Star-Spangled Banner" in 1:38 (98 seconds) at a Feb. 2016 NHL Stadium Series game between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks (the video is incorrectly labeled as the NHL All-Star Game).
Because Sullivan is teaming up with Church, there will more likely be backup vocals and guitar involved.
In this Oct. 2014 anthem performance at a Philidelphia 76ers game, Sullivan sang the "Star-Spangled Banner "with a guitar accompaniment and finished the anthem in about 1:44 (104 seconds), but added a flourish after the final lyric that brought the total time up to about 1:49 (109 seconds).
Odds for the length of the national anthem at Super Bowl 55 haven't been posted yet, but we'll be updating this page when they are.
Super Bowl national anthem prop betting explained
Betting on the Super Bowl national anthem is one of the many novelty prop markets available for the annual NFL championship that isn’t connected to the outcome of the actual game. The singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" takes place before the coin toss and has become one of the most popular Super Bowl prop bets at online sportsbooks.
Super Bowl national anthem prop bets
Super Bowl national anthem prop bets have grown in popularity over the past decade, especially because this market doesn’t directly involve the game and has a fun crossover into pop culture that appeals to even the most casual viewer.
The most popular market is betting the Over/Under on the length of time it takes to complete the anthem, but there will also be markets about what the singer(s) will be wearing and if they will make a mistake during their rendition.
How to bet on the Super Bowl national anthem
Betting on the Super Bowl national anthem all depends on the performer named to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." From there, oddsmakers can have a lot of fun creating some unique and entertaining national anthem props.
Length of national anthem prop
The most common way to bet on the Super Bowl national anthem is the length of the national anthem. Oddsmakers will set an Over/Under total in time (minutes and seconds) and bettors can pick whether the anthem will go Over or Under the set time total.
Most anthem singers have performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at previous events and games, and many of those renditions are available to watch online with platforms like YouTube. Once the Over/Under time total is set, you will find plenty of Super Bowl bettors flocking to those clips to help handicap the singer’s style and the average time needed to belt out the anthem.
Other national anthem prop bets
Besides betting on the length of "The Star-Spangled Banner," there are other Super Bowl national anthem props available:
- The color of the performer’s hair
- Will the performer wear a hat?
The color/style of performers' outfit and shoes
- Will the performer make a mistake?
- Will a scoring drive take less time than the length of the national anthem?
These other props are not nearly as popular, however, and won’t be offered at all betting sites.
National anthem length odds
The national anthem length odds usually come out two weeks prior to the Super Bowl, shortly after the performer of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is announced.
The Over/Under time and attached vig/juice will vary from book to book, so if you have multiple sportsbook options you can shop around for the best total price to fit your prediction. Like most Over/Under bets, books will display the total and the Over and Under will have vig/juice attached to each side.
For example, the Over/Under for the Super Bowl LIV national anthem was 1 minute and 56 seconds (116 seconds) with an opening vig of -115 per side. That means for every $10 you want to win, you need to risk $11.50 ($115 to win $100).
However, as more money was bet on the Over heading into Super Sunday, bookmakers adjusted the vig on the national anthem odds to Over 116 seconds (-140) and Under 116 seconds (+110). Oddsmakers did this to draw more money to the Under. That adjustment meant that for every $10 you wanted to win betting the Over you would need to bet $14. And for every $10 risked on the Under you could win $11 ($100 wins $110).
Popstar Demi Lovato performed the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV and took 1 minute and 49 seconds to complete it (109 seconds), so those that bet on the Under won their prop wager.
Which sportsbooks offer national anthem props?
Super Bowl betting sites and sportsbooks outside of the United States are currently the only operators that can offer national anthem props for the Super Bowl.
Land-based operators within the U.S., like sportsbooks located in Las Vegas, are not allowed to offer props on the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner because there’s no official timing provided and all grading would be subjective to the bookmaker.
Gaming control boards and regulatory commissions are hesitant to offer betting markets on events that can’t be defined in the box score of the Super Bowl, as they are vulnerable to conflicts in results and decisions.
However, some states have softened their stance on these novelty prop markets in recent years. New Jersey sportsbooks are allowed to offer betting on the color of the Gatorade bath and Super Bowl MVP odds have been available in Nevada since 2016.
History of national anthem betting at Super Bowl
The explosion in online sports betting in the late 1990s got the ball rolling on novelty Super Bowl props. While casinos in Las Vegas couldn’t offer action on the length of the national anthem (restricted by state gaming control board rules), online bookies could and jumped at the opportunity to take wagers on this fun pop culture-powered prop.
Going back to Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000, the average length of the national anthem is 115.5 seconds (1 minute and 55 seconds) over the past 22 Big Game renditions. Only nine of those anthems went longer than two minutes, however, five of those have come in the past nine Super Bowls.
The longest amount of time needed to sing the Star-Spangled Banner in that span was 2 minutes and 35 seconds by Alicia Keys at Super Bowl XLVII in 2009 while the quickest anthem time of the past 21 years was 1 minute and 30 seconds by Billy Joel at Super Bowl XLI in 2007.
In terms of betting the national anthem, the most memorable — and controversial — singing of the Star-Spangled Banner was by pop star Christina Aguilera at Super Bowl XLV in 2011.
Not only did Aguilera mess up the words to the national anthem but she added a “Woo” at the end of the song, which had different sportsbooks grading the length at various times: some including the “Woo” and others not. Anthem bettors that lost their prop bet based on those decisions were unhappy and many online books made the call to pay out bets on both the Over and Under to avoid further outrage and bad press.
Instant replay: Betting on the Super Bowl national anthem
As the Super Bowl nears, it’s time to queue up your patriotic playlist and put your pop culture predictions to the test by betting on the length of the Super Bowl national anthem:
- Jazmine Sullivan & Eric Church performed the national anthem at Super Bowl LV.
- The duo went well over the original odds of 2:00, coming in at 2:16.
- Bettors won't soon forget the infamous "anthem leak" of 2021.
The novelty of these Super Bowl prop bets shows no signs or wearing off. Armed with historical background, a stopwatch and of course, a trusty listing of online sportsbooks, you are ready to line up your first Big Game bet.
Super Bowl national anthem FAQs
Can I bet on the national anthem at the Super Bowl?
Yes, you can bet on the national anthem if legal sportsbooks in your region are allowed to offer those props.
How long does it take to sing the national anthem?
The average length of the Super Bowl national anthem over the past 21 years is 115.5 seconds (1 minute and 55.5 seconds).
How long was the national anthem at the last Super Bowl?
Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church took two minutes and 16 seconds (2:16) to sing the national anthem at Super Bowl LV.