2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) Prop Bet: The Christina Aguilera National Anthem

Leading up to the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, we'll be taking a look at Super Bowl proposition betting, or more specifically, the fun or funny Super Bowl 45 (XLV) prop bets that you hear so much about. That includes props on the Super Bowl coin toss, Super Bowl halftime show, Super Bowl National Anthem, Super Bowl postgame Gatorade Shower dump and much more. Follow along on the Super Bowl sidebar to the right!

Our 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) prop bet coverage continues with one of everybody's favorites: The National Anthem. As you may know (by, for example, reading the title of this post), Christina Aguilera will take on the Star Spangled Banner duties prior to the commencement of the Steelers and Packers actually playing this game. On Bodog, we have the following odds:

How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the National Anthem?
Time starts from when she starts singing until her last note ends.
Over 1 minute, 50 seconds -125
Under 1 minute 50, seconds -115

On BetUS, however, the odds look like this:

Over 1 minute, 56 seconds -120
Under 1 minute, 56 seconds -120

One of the first things that stands out is the amount of juice required for this very popular prop. To lay -120 on a bet either way is rare (-110 is standard, and even -105 is more common than -120).

Secondly, obviously, is the enormous disparity between these two books on the same prop bet. Six seconds on the National anthem is the equivalent of a touchdown spread (-7) in an actual game, according to Super Bowl National Anthem Prop Betting Experts (read: us).

There is such a great opportunity to middle these two bets, laying the OVER on 1 minute 50 seconds and the UNDER on 1 minute 56 seconds. Frankly, we haven't seen anything like it and expect those odds to change--on Bodog's end. Bodog opened at -120 juice both ways, but as you can see the heavier action on the over is causing the chalk to rise on that bet. Eventually, the total will rise. Why? Because Christina Aguilera will go OVER 1 minute 50 seconds on the National Anthem prop bet. Our research (Embedded YouTube clips) follows.

Take a listen to her most recent anthem available, from Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, just over half a year ago on June 17, 2010:

From first note to last, she belts out a 1 minute 54 second rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, obviously over the 1 minute 50 second mark offered by Bodog. This is a big stage, the NBA's equivalent to the NFL's Super Bowl, so we can expect a similar version to this. While nothing compares to the atmosphere of the Super Bowl, this is certainly one of the best settings we can think in finding a comparative performance.

Not conclusive enough for you? How about the anthem she sung just two days prior, when she took to the microphone for Game 6 of the same Finals on June 15, 2010.

This time, Aguilera clocked in at a slighter quicker pace, 1 minute and 52 seconds. Once again, though, her time falls right in the middle of the prop bets offered by Bodog and BetUS.

Oh say, you can see that Aguilera's most recent couple of anthems have been right in that middle, but evidence of her Star Spangled skills weren't on display all that much prior to her back-to-back in the Finals. You have to go all the way back to an anthem familiar to many Pittsburgh fans, sung at a Pittsburgh Penguins NHL game on October 8, 2005.

Now, given that it was more than five years ago, we put less stock into this performance lasting only 1 minute and 45 seconds. The stage wasn't as large, so there was less inclination to ham it up like many anthem singers do.

If only we could find one more instance of Christina on the Staples Center court in Los Angeles, say six years prior to her recent Finals appearances. What's that? She also sung at the 2004 NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2004? Perfect!

This time, Aguilera finishes closer to Bodog's mark of 1 minute and 50 seconds, finishing just 1 second under that mark at 1 minute and 49 seconds in a funky anthem at a time when she seems to have been going through a "phase." Regardless, we still see a trend upward as she's grown older.

We have further proof that she's been trending upward with this footage:

Aguilera, as an 11-year-old, sang at the Stanley Cup Finals between her hometown Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks in 1992, representing the United States of America with this 1 minute, 37 second version.

Despite evidence that she has stretched her anthems out as she has gotten older, there is a wildcard in the bunch. At a hockey game in Anaheim, Aguilera didn't waste any time with Francis Scott Key's famous tune.

For those of you without stopwatches, that was a meager 1 minute, 21 seconds. Not knowing the event taking place or the date it was held, we aren't sure what to make of this version. Regardless, we are chalking it up as an anomaly. We also know, without video evidence, that Aguilera has sung the anthem at a Pittsburgh Pirates game on April 4, 2000 and likely has sung a few others as well, but we're making due with what's available.

The chronological breakdown of Christina Aguilera's National Anthem history, as provided by YouTube, is as follows:

1992 Stanley Cup Finals: 1 minute, 37 seconds
Random Anthem in Anaheim (date unknown): 1 minute, 21 seconds
2004 NBA All-Star Game: 1 minute, 49 seconds
2005 Pittsburgh Penguins game: 1 minute, 45 seconds
2010 NBA Finals Game 6: 1 minute, 52 seconds
2010 NBA Finals Game 7: 1 minute, 54 seconds

Due to the upward trend in her anthems (mostly), and the propensity to hold notes a little longer when performing the sports' world's single biggest event, our bet is definitely on OVER 1 minute, 50 seconds at Bodog (-125), and while we're at it, we'll take that UNDER on 1 minute, 56 seconds (-120) over at BetUS and hope to middle this anthem.

But wait, there's more!

Bodog also has this little nugget:

How long will Christina Aguilera hold the note “Brave” at the end of the National Anthem?
Time starts from when she starts saying "Brave" until her the note ends. If she says the full word twice wagers will be No Action.
Over 6 seconds -140
Under 6 seconds EVEN

Looking back at the above videos, here's what we have for "Brave" note:

1992 Stanley Cup Finals: 4 seconds
Random Anthem in Anaheim (date unknown): 5 seconds
2004 NBA All-Star Game: 4 seconds/5 seconds (said full word twice, would be graded as NO ACTION)
2005 Pittsburgh Penguins game: 4 seconds
2010 NBA Finals Game 6: 6 seconds
2010 NBA Finals Game 7: 5 seconds

Despite our insistence that Christina Aguilera will ham it up at the Super Bowl National Anthem, we think she holds the Brave note for UNDER 6 seconds. She's only reached 6 seconds in one of the six clips available, meaning the under has a 5-0-1 record. And at EVEN odds, it's a way better bet than taking the OVER at -140.

The final talley for Christina Aguilera's 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) National Anthem prop bet:
OVER 1 minute, 50 seconds National Anthem
UNDER 1 minute, 56 seconds National Anthem
UNDER 6 seconds "Brave" note

Those are the conclusions we draw from our 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) National Anthem prop bet analysis. God bless America.