The long awaited 6th season of “The Sopranos” returns to HBO on March 12th, and 5dimes.com has a number of proposition bets to commemorate the occasion. With a $50 limit, none of these bets will make you rich but since I’m a fan of the show and something of a specialist in entertainment prop bets I’ve got some thoughts on the topic.
The sixth season of “The Sopranos” will consist of 12 episodes and will be followed by a “mini-season” of 8 shows to debut in early 2007. Every indication is that these will be the final 20 shows of the series though in show biz anything can happen. It’s important to note that these final 8 shows won’t be filmed until June.
The first of the three prop bets concerns how the series will end. Even if I knew, the way that proposition is written its not worth betting. First of all, your money is tied up until the end of the show which will come no early than mid-2007. Sure, its just $50 but I never like to tie up my money this long on general principle. Secondly, of the six possible outcomes listed none are mutually exclusive. That’s a fancy way of saying that its possible that more than one can occur simultaneously. This is a problem due to the wording of the prop–if none of the events happen OR if more than one of the listed events occur the bet is “no action”. This basically means that its possible to be right and to not cash your bet–say that you bet that “Tony stays head of the family” and that occurs, but simultaneously one of the other possibilities like “A member of Tony’s family dies” occurs. This situation would be “no action” and there’s nothing worse than being right and not getting anything out of it. For all of these reasons, we’ve got no interest on this bet whatsoever.
Assuming that you don’t mind having your $50 tied up for more than a year, the second 5dimes.com prop bet may be the strongest play on the board:
“Will a feature film version of “The Sopranos” be made before January 1, 2008″
YES: -110 NO: -130
The right side here is a matter of simple scheduling. The final eight shows begin in early 2007, which means that you’ve got basically 9 months to worry about from the end of the series to 1/1/08. There’s been some speculation about a “Sopranos” feature film, but nothing has been confirmed or for that matter even seriously suggested by the series’ producers. And why would they need to get a film into production and into the theaters so quickly? They’re getting twenty episodes to tie up the series and since they’re on HBO don’t have any limitations in terms of content. I can see a “Sopranos” film happening eventually, but I don’t see any way that the producers and cast could turn around and get one into production so quickly after the end of the series. The “NO” is almost a certainty:
BET “NO” -130
The final prop is as follows:
“Who of the following characters will be killed off during the final 20 episodes of the Sopranos?”
Tony: 9/1 Carmella: 16/1 Christopher: 7/2 Dr. Melfi: 7/1 Janice: 8/1 Silvio: 5/2 Uncle Junior: 5/2 Paulie: 9/5 Meadow: 11/1 Anthony Junior: 11/2
This prop also has a similar stipulation to the first–if no one is killed then bets are “no action”, as is the case if more than one listed character is killed off. I’m assuming in this case they mean that if more than one character is killed simultaneously–I could be wrong, but I can’t imagine they’d wait until the end of the series to grade this bet if, for example, one of the listed characters gets killed in the first episode of season six.
Instead of getting all clever about handicapping this, I’m taking a more practical course that starts with the HBO plot synopsis for the March episodes. Basically, we can surmise that if a character is listed as having a major role in these episodes that he won’t be dead. We’ll eliminate a lot of the listed characters from consideration right off the bat: Tony, Carmella, Dr. Melfi, Janice, Meadow and Anthony Junior aren’t good candidates for an impending demise. Christopher, from all of the preseason press, is clean and sober for season 6 and figures prominently in some of HBO’s plotlines so he’s likely safe for now. I had a hunch that Silvio might be killed off–Steven Van Zandt was conspicuous from his absence in a lot of the advance hype for season six. You’re probably also aware that Van Zandt has a “day job”, as a guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Silvio figures prominently in the third or Fourth episode of the year, as does Paulie.
So my pick for the first character to get killed off is Uncle Junior. Junior’s health problems have figured prominently in the script for the past couple of seasons, and there’s no reason to think that they won’t get worse. Furthermore, a recurring theme in the show has been Tony’s advancement up the family’s organizational chart and Junior’s death would make Tony the boss of the family (as opposed to “acting boss” as he is now). I expect Junior to die by natural causes, probably sooner than later in season #6. Not a great payback at 5/2, but that’s the way I see it.
BET: Uncle Junior to be killed off in the final 20 episodes 5/2
I’m hoping that some other books will post “Sopranos” lines next week heading up to the season premier, and if they do I’ll update these selections.