The important lesson in any writing that invokes Super Bowl bets is such: don't try this at home with actual money, because I'm not. Instead, I'm collecting a childhood's trove of unused Legend of Zelda rupees.
I can't count the number of times I've played the game, or beaten it, but quite often the story would end with Link having a hefty pocketful of wealth. And, like a studious and responsible young citizen, I invested it all in my imaginary video game currency high yield savings account.
• Coin toss: Heads -105, Tails -105
Historically the Super Bowl has been 22 heads and 21 tails. I suppose probability says to opt for the hindside, but my gut tells me there's only a 50 percent change of that happening. One shiny rupee for this opener for the head.
• First team scores: Saints +125, Colts -155
Betting on the underdog is so hot. Plus, it makes sense because, like, the Saints have a good offense and stuff. It only makes sense to put seven on this.
Carrie Underwood sings the national anthem in 1:42: Over +120, Under -150
Always, always, ALWAYS pick the over on "The-Star Spangled Banner." This also applies to anything involving stealth bombers. That's worth 25.
• Top Super Bowl Commercial: Anheuser-Busch or Budweiser 5:8, GoDaddy.com 8:1, Career Builder 8:1, Coca-Cola 7:1, Family First 12:1, Doritos 2:1, Other 13:5
The "top" ad is whichever commercial gets the high score on USA Today's annual Ad Meter. Last year's top ten:
Bud Light 7.49
The fatty orange triangles snapped a 10-year Anheuser-Busch winning streak, and here's why: their shtick is still amusing, but it's getting old. They'll probably get in four or five respectable commercials, but currently they're the New England Patriots of Super Bowl ads. It's someone else's turn, and I'll gladly go with a job listing company who can certainly resonate with an unemployed and underemployed populous. But I'm broke. So we'll keep the wager low.
• Color of Gatorade dumped on winning coach: Lime green 6:1, yellow 4:5, orange 11:2, red 25:2, blue 25:2, clear/water 8:5
Let's see. The last time the Colts won, ex-coach Tony Dungy was doused with:
Clear, you say? Boring. Plain. Indianapol-ish. But at least I can break out my orange jewel. 100 on colorless, please.
• Who the Super Bowl MVP thanks first: God 20:21, family 13:2, teammates 23:20, coach 10:1, nobody 9:2
There was only one set of thank-yous. It was then that He carried me. Now, please turn my 50 rupees into wine.
• Four TV shots of Archie Manning: Over -160, Under +130
One per quarter? That seems excessive, even if CBS gets bored with the game.
• Three TV shots of Eli Manning: Over -155, Under +125 (Pass)
And with father you shall have baby. If they're sitting together, this has push written all over it.
• 2½ TV shots of Kim Kardashian: Over -105, Under -125
Ugh. Even if you gave me cushy odds on 1½ on-air appearances, I'd probably keep my answer. If CBS is going to air a Family First commercial, then they're going to maintain a consistent party line on tawdriness. Besides, the less the Kardashians are on the air, the more everyone wins.
• Someone in The Who smashes a guitar at halftime: Yes +155, No -190
Guitars these days are too heavy for senior citizens. Too violent for young children. Let your love open the door to their hearts.
But I will light a candle in honor of looking forward to The Who playing at halftime, and if I needed to buy a candle in Hyrule, that'd cost me 60.
• 5½ Pete Townshend windmills: Over -175, Under +145
You're guaranteed four alone at the end of "Won't Get Fooled Again," because they said they're playing it. And since windmills must be televised to count, we're looking for two more. Somewhere. Anywhere. I got this one going to 11.
• 57 Points: Over -105, Under -115
We have two dome teams playing outdoors with nerves and tentativeness, but two defenses who couldn't care less. Yeah, low 20s for either team sounds about right. Give me 57 for under 57.
• Winner: Saints +160, Colts -180
For a week and a half I've been thinking the Saints have an emotional and sentimental advantage. And they probably do. But feelings and fan favorites can only go so far. Dwight Freeney or no Dwight Freeney on the defensive line, the Colts are a better team. I'm such a wimp by picking the favorite. Unless I put up the Zelda maximum: 255.
Photo credits: Getty Images, Associated Press, Nintendo.