The kickoff for Super Bowl 2020 is Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, when the Kansas City Chiefs battle the San Francisco 49ers in what has become an annual extravaganza that millions of people around the world take part in for reasons that have nothing to do with actual football.
The Chiefs and 49ers will have at it in Miami for the chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for Super Bowl 54 — or, as hoity-toity honchos at the NFL call it, Super Bowl LIV.
Americans all over the country, some 100 million of them, will exercise their God-given right to borderline madness, flipping their televisions to a sport that many of them watch once a year, on Super Bowl Sunday.
They’ll inhale oddly popular snacks in their homes and exhale wildly varied opinions about the quality of the national anthem; the please-God-make-it-end halftime show; and the $5.6-million-a-pop 30-second commercials pushing everything from Pringles (remember them?) to Google (just in case you’ve never heard of it).
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Betting odds for the Super Bowl favor Kansas City by a single point up to 1.5 points, depending on where you look, with the over-under line on most boards hovering between 54 and 55.
If the Chiefs come out on top, they’ll pull the AFC even with the NFC in Super Bowl wins at 27.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots have the most Super Bowl wins at six; the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers both have five.
Watching just for the commercials and don’t know a deflated football from a rock-hard hockey puck but still want to put down some money? Prop bets are available on all kinds of pure guesses, such as heads or tails on the coin flip and the color of the Gatorade that will be dumped on the winning coach in a predictably “surprise” ceremony of sorts that happens every Super Bowl. (Bets paying the least on Oddsshark.com for the Gatorade color: red. Paying the most: blue.)
You can also bet on how long it will take for Demi Lovato to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner,” with most boards giving you a choice of under or over two minutes.
(Arguably the best rendition at a Super Bowl, by Whitney Houston, came in at just under three minutes. Inarguably the worst rendition of the song at any sport, or any shelter with dogs trying to howl the song, was by Fergie, who gasped, squealed, coughed and otherwise nearly did the impossible —she made the national anthem almost unrecognizable — in what felt like just under three hours.)
On the football side of the football betting, the narrow point spread comes about because the game features two evenly matched teams with offenses that can score and two great defenses that can stop great offenses from scoring.
FOX will televise the Super Bowl. You can also stream the game on YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, or FuboTV, all of which offer free trials.
Fox plans to produce its Super Bowl LIV broadcast, Wikipedia reports, “in 1080p high definition with Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) high-dynamic-range (HDR) color, upconverted to a 4K ultra high definition feed available through participating pay TV providers and streaming devices.
We believe that means the picture will be good.
And good thing, that crisp picture, for Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, who will be co-performers at the often-interminable halftime show.
They’ve remained tight-lipped on their show. The bar for them is high, as in Prince’s remarkable performance. And the bar for them is low, as in Justin Timberlake, whose panned performance may have been saved by his rendition of a Prince song — except that it reminded people of Prince’s own rendition of the Prince song.