When did prop bets take over the Super Bowl? If you’ve been doing this for a while, you know the first proposition bet for the Big Game was way back at Super Bowl XX, and it was whether Chicago Bears OT William “The Refrigerator” Perry would score a touchdown (spoiler alert: he did). But that was just one Super Bowl prop. Now there are hundreds of them – thousands, even.
According to a February 2023 article from The New York Times, this explosion was the work of none other than Jay Kornegay and his staff at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. They needed to come up with some bets to spice up an otherwise bland matchup between the San Francisco 49ers (–19.5) and the San Diego Chargers at Super Bowl XXIX. So they did, adding over 100 Super Bowl props to the list.
Now ensconced at the Westgate SuperBook, Kornegay and his team put out over 2,000 props for Super Bowl LVII; he expected over 70% of Super Bowl bets to be props that year. We may have even reached the point where Super Bowl props make up more than half the betting handle for the Big Game. It already has at some locations, especially online sportsbooks.
Want a piece of this action? Super Bowl props are both fun and potentially profitable – if you do them right. Here are some quick dos and don’ts to help you make the most of this year’s festivities.
DO: Make A List, Check It Twice
It’s part of the Super Bowl ritual now: You need to put together a checklist of all the Super Bowl prop bets you’re making. That way you – and your buddies, if you’re at a Super Bowl party – can go down the list while the game is in progress and check off each prop as a make or a miss.
Which leads us directly to our next item:
DON’T: Lose Track Of Your Bet Sizing
That Super Bowl props checklist isn’t just there so you can celebrate your wins and mourn your losses. It’s also there so you can manage your bankroll. You can easily find yourself betting too much of your roll on the Big Game, and getting cleaned out if the football doesn’t bounce your way.
The more “exotic” Super Bowl props – the ones that don’t have to do with actual football, like how many times we’ll see Taylor Swift on camera – will usually have smaller maximums for how much you can bet than the standard Super Bowl point spread. Unless you’ve got some solid betting angles to work with, be willing to bet even smaller on these Super Bowl exotics; save the bigger bets for the props where you can use your football handicapping to your advantage.
DO: Study The Film
You can still make a tasty profit on some of those exotics if you’re willing to do a little legwork. Want to smash that National Anthem prop? Look at any previous footage of the singer in question performing The Star-Spangled Banner at a major event. Want to rack up some wins on your Halftime Show bets? You shouldn’t have any trouble putting together a profile of the performer(s) in question – what songs they prefer to play, what costumes they prefer to wear, and anything else people are betting on.
DON’T: Bet Against Yourself (Usually)
Again, with all those Super Bowl props on the board, it’s all too easy to wind up making bets that cancel each other out, at least to some degree. If you’re betting on Team A to win outright, maybe you shouldn’t bet on the quarterback from Team B to win Super Bowl MVP honors.
Or maybe you should. It does make sense sometimes to hedge your bets and spread your risk around a little; if you find some otherwise contrary Super Bowl props that happen to be good value individually, don’t be scared to add them to your list.
DO: Have Fun
It’s the No. 1 rule of sports betting – and it’s even more important when you bet on Super Bowl props. Yes, you can earn some money doing this, but there are far easier (and less risky) ways to make a buck. If you’re not having fun betting on the Super Bowl, you’re not doing it right. Enjoy yourself at the Big Game, let the football bounce where it may, and you’ll already be a winner on Super Bowl Sunday.