Heading to the big night, there is a very interesting aspect that confirms those differences between sports fans and sports bettors, the second aren’t necessarily the first. When you engage in conversations with the first, they tend to be interested in discussing about who is going to win the big game. But when you talk with bettors, not fans, the topic inevitably turns towards props; where sports betting and fantasy sports collide.
Props have been on the Las Vegas betting boards for thirty years. It all began when the juggernaut 1985 Chicago Bears were facing the Patriots in Super Bowl 20.
Legendary Vegas oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro was a very creative bookmaker at the Mirage (at the time), looking for ways to increase their betting handle. Vaccaro posted odds on whether 350 pound defensive lineman William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry would score a touchdown in the big game. Vaccaro certainly didn’t think it was likely, offering attractive underdog odds for those who wanted to bet on The Fridge would hit paydirt in the end zone.
Vaccaro’s unique offering attracted all kinds of attention both from bettors and from media types. It also accomplished his goal of increasing betting handle, with money pouring in on the ‘Yes, Fridge will score a TD’ side of the prop at big (but quickly declining) plus price odds. From a short term, bottom line standpoint, the first prop bet in Vegas history was a disaster for the books. Fridge famously did score a TD, stealing a goalline carry away from Hall of Famer Walter Payton in the process. Vaccaro: “We lost our ass on that bet. But we won in the long run.”
That was the beginning of the deluge of prop bets for the Super Bowl, the forerunner of Over/Under yardage numbers for quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers that are now widely available for every Sunday, Monday and Thursday Night Football game during the regular season.
The professional bettors in Vegas do not go nuts betting the Super Bowl side and/or total. It’s just one game at the tail end of a long season; a game where both the pointspread and the total are priced right around where they should be. Many wiseguys will not have a wager on side or total when Super Bowl 51 kicks off.
Super Bowl LI is set for Sunday Feb. 5 in Houston between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots and as always there are several prop bets not only for the game but also for any and everything that goes around it. It’s that time of year when everything from the coin toss to the songs in Lady Gaga’s halftime set can be wagered on.
At HeritageSports.eu you can find the largest variety of prop bets, and to increase the excitement we have added more features, from Free Squares Pool to a Race to the super bowl. Sign up now.