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How Gladys Knight’s Super Bowl national anthem created major prop bet controversy

Is it the UNDER or the OVER? Even sportsbooks aren’t sure!

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s update: Bovada has adjusted their time to 1:49. Meanwhile, has paid out both the OVER and the UNDER on the wager.

We have some good old-fashioned Super Bowl betting controversy! We’re not even through the first quarter yet, and we already have some confusion about one of the bigger prop bets: the length of the National Anthem, sung this year by Gladys Knight.

It seems that Knight said the word “brave” twice, which opens up the actual ending of the anthem to debate. Did it end after the first “brave” or the second one?

Some sportsbooks specified in advance that they’d time the anthem only to the end of the first “brave.” Here, it seems like Knight finishes saying “brave,” then pauses briefly and says “the brave” in a long, drawn-out sound that appeared to take the anthem over:

At the end of Knight’s first “brave,” the anthem had been playing for about 1:49. The most common over/under time on prop bets was 1:50.

In other words, bettors who picked the UNDER would be entitled to a payout if it’s determined that the first usage of “brave” is the proper end of the song, and that timing is correct. The second usage, however, would qualify for the OVER.

And we are, of course, talking about a swing of millions of dollars here. This is the first prop betting controversy of this year’s game, but potentially not the last!