Super Bowl LIV is now less than a week away, and as we get closer to the big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, sportsbooks are starting to release more proposition bets.
Once derided as gimmick bets, with some focusing – or ridiculing – such opportunities as the outcome of the coin toss, prop bets now generate as much interest, if not more, than the actual game odds itself.
(By the way, if you’re still into the traditional odds, the Chiefs remain a 1.5-point favorite over the 49ers.)
The first prop bet originated 34 years ago when the Chicago Bears faced the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Sportsbooks in Nevada offered odds of 20-1 or higher on defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry scoring a touchdown, and when the big man went through the line and into the endzone, it changed the way fans and bettors consume the big game.
Now, prop betting isn’t just limited to the Super Bowl. Nor is it limited to football games. As sports betting has expanded across the nation, so has the availability of betting options that sportsbooks used to only offer for the big games.
“We offer prop bets, multiple prop bets every single day of the week,” Johnny Avello, the director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Casino.org on Monday. “Whether we’re taking, two basketball players and we’re boosting the odds from what we would normally offer 3-1 to 3.5-1, we do that on a nightly basis. You’re seeing more content in those offerings.”
Props to Analytics
Though you can find prop bets on pretty much any type of sporting event, the Super Bowl still remains the top biggest day for them.
Right now, DraftKings online sportsbook offers more than 400 different betting opportunities for the Super Bowl. Including nearly two dozen opportunities on the quarterbacks, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo. With nine of those being head-to-head bets.
Who will throw the first interception? DraftKings offers Garoppolo at -182, meaning a $182 bet nets $100. Mahomes draws odds of +145, meaning a $100 bet nets $145.
If you can think of a statistic or play, DraftKings likely offers some type of bet. The online sportsbook offers +2500 odds on a successful onside kick in the game. For a missed extra point, the odds are +300 for yes and -455 for no.
Avello tells Casino.org that the advancements in analytics are helping fuel the new wave – and scale – of prop bets.
Most of these props were done by hand, and when I say by hand I mean going and doing the research to find out Mahomes averages 281 passing yards a game,” Avello said. “So you go back, and you do that research and then you have to do more research and see how he does against teams with better defenses. Whereas a lot of that can be done for you now in the analytics.”
And from a non-analytical perspective, there are still opportunities. DraftKings is offering odds on the color of “first” Gatorade shower the winning coach receives. Red is the current favorite at +150. No shower garners odds of +1500.
As for the coin flip, either choice is available at -103.
As of Monday afternoon, the five most popular Super Bowl prop bets at DraftKings were:
KC’s Tyreek Hill to get the longest reception (+350)
Mahomes to throw the most interceptions (+158)
Chiefs receiver Mecole Hardman to get the longest reception (+1100)
KC’s Tyrann Mathieu to snag the first interception (+800)
San Francisco’s Richard Sherman to get the first interception (+900)
In early betting among DraftKings’ Indiana bettors for Super Bowl MVP honors, Mahomes (+115) is the public’s choice as he’s garnered 37 percent of the handle and 22 percent of the tickets. San Francisco’s most popular pick is Raheem Mostert (+900), who has received 14 percent of the bets and 15 percent of the handle.
The Super Bowl will kick off Sunday at 6:30 pm ET. Fox will broadcast the game.