NFL Prop Bets
Prop bets are said to date back to the 1870s, when baseball fans would get together during a game and bet on things like how many balls and strikes the pitcher would throw to the next batter. Similar bets have been made, informally, in the NFL since its inaugural season in 1922.
Super Bowl Props
Business picked up in 1986 when Caesars Palace posted what is widely considered the first ever official Super Bowl prop: Would William “The Refrigerator” Perry score a touchdown for the Chicago Bears at Super Bowl XX? Perry was a rookie defensive tackle out of Clemson who quickly became a household name, in part because he ran for three touchdowns as a 340-pound fullback during the 1985 regular season.
The Perry prop was a major success – and an expensive one for Caesars Palace. People were falling over themselves to bet “Yes” on Perry; he was originally listed at 20/1 on the NFL odds board, but that was moved all the way down to 2/1 before kick-off. Caesars Palace still got soaked for $120,000 when Perry plowed into the end zone near the end of the third quarter.
It was a sound investment. Super Bowl prop bets have grown immensely in popularity over the years, in lock-step with the championship game itself. It’s not unheard of for a sportsbook to bring in 60% of its Super Bowl handle on prop bets alone. The sheer volume of Super Bowl props available is mind-boggling; roughly 200 of them are up for grabs every year, and the list just keeps on growing.
Many of these props have nothing to do with football. They’re side bets on the Super Bowl as a television broadcast and a spectator event, and not just a football game. One of the busiest Super Bowl props on the market, without fail, is the National Anthem prop: How long will it take [insert famous singer] to complete The Star-Spangled Banner? You can bet over or under a certain predetermined length of time – the “over” being the smart pick anytime someone with a serious set of pipes gets to perform (which is almost every year).
Wager on NFL Props
As for the football game itself, you can bet on NFL teams and players to do all sorts of things. Some of these prop bets have more value than others, just like any other type of NFL bet. And you can wager on NFL prop bets during the regular season and the preseason too.
When it comes to proposition bets, there’s a ton to choose from since they’ve been around since the dawn of time. (You won’t find it in the King James version, but Eve bet Adam $50 that he wouldn’t eat the forbidden fruit. Then she bet him double-or-nothing that he couldn’t drink an entire gallon of milk in one sitting.) We’ll help you sort the wheat from the chaff as we take a closer look at both NFL team props and NFL player props.