LITTLE ROCK— Tubing on the slopes, a doable drive to the never-seen sights of San Francisco, three Kentucky Derby prep races to peruse, and it’s the prop bets on the Super Bowl that fascinated one of our golfing regulars who invoked parental rights to wangle a cheap trip to Reno.
Given a choice of dates, both father and son were surprised that Super bowl weekend was an option. Once they confirmed, dad wondered what weird wagers would be available on today’s game.
The fact that Colin Kapernick played at Nevada and is center stage vs. Baltimore resulted in more than the normal number of quarterback-connected bets, including whether the San Francisco quarterback will throw more passes than LeBron James scores points against Toronto and whether he will score more touchdowns than soccer star Lionel Messi will score goals vs. Valencia.
Remove Kapernick from the equation and one of the most interesting is the number of the player who scores the first touchdown. The breakdowns are 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-79, 80-99, and no touchdowns. Understandably, the odds are shortest on 11-20 and 80-99 and highest on no touchdowns. Despite the fact that both the 49ers and Ravens are good on defense, the no-touchdown thing is a sucker bet, even at 100-to-1.
Maybe the golfer was upset about losing a dollar last week or just wanted to spend time with his son, but he could have stayed in town, tried to get his four quarters back, and invested in some prop bets originated by a local, unlicensed bookmaker and flavored with pet peeves and the Razorbacks.
—The number of junior college players who are expected to contribute immediately to the football Razorbacks vs. Anquan Boldin’s receptions. The Razorbacks need help from all five of the JC players and Boldin has caught five or more in each of the Ravens’ last four games.
—Three is the over-under on how many times CBS will show Jack or Jackie Harbaugh. If they are animated or wearing gear supporting the teams, over is the play.
—Use of the word "momentum" vs. clips of Ray Lewis’ ramblings. This hinges on interceptions and fumbles since turnovers and momentum are often viewed as inseparable. Absence of the "m" word was appreciated Tuesday night when Ole Miss ran off 16 straight points to close to within one of Kentucky in front of a crazy, sellout crowd in Oxford. Kentucky won by 13.
—Razorback football commitments who are impressed by the "facilities" at Fayetteville vs. tackles by Lewis. Keep in mind that each of Arkansas’ dozen or so commitments are impressed and that Lewis’ has been in on 44 tackles in three playoff games.
—Sub-par holes by the winner of this week’s PGA Tour event vs. carries by San Francisco’s Frank Gore. A year ago, Kyle Stanley had 18 birdies and two eagles when he won in Phoenix. Gore carried 21 times against Atlanta and had a quiet 23 for 119 when Kapernick ran for 181 vs. Green Bay.
—Two is the over-under on field goals missed by San Francisco’s David Akers, who has misfired at least once in seven of his last 10 games. Take the under. One miss and the 49ers will alter their play-calling much as Bobby Petrino did after he lost confidence in Alex Tejada.
—Quarterbacks who will participate in Arkansas’ spring practice vs. catches by San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis. In Fayetteville, there are four — Brandon Allen, Brandon Mitchell, A.J. Derby, and Taylor Reed. Davis caught one pass against Green Bay, but five vs. Atlanta. The Baltimore defense will dictate the times he is targeted and Gore’s number of carries.
—Seven is the over-under on the players in our group who will tee it up today. Take the over. The forecast was for sunny and a high around 60.
Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.