Why Bettors Favor Super Bowl Props

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As last year’s Super Bowl kickoff grew near, the mobile sportsbook DraftKings reported it was taking 21,000 bets per minute. Mega-operators like DraftKings are able to offer as many props as Kornegay’s SuperBook Sports, if not more, and their customers have come to expect it.

“We’re never going to be able to duplicate the same size of menu or even come close to that, frankly,” said Jeffrey Benson, the sportsbook operations manager at Circa Sports, Las Vegas’s largest sportsbook. Rather than try to compete with the sheer volume of the big operators, Benson decided to compete for originality, crowdsourcing Circa’s prop menu on social media.

He asked bettors on Twitter which props they’d like to see offered and Benson and his team chose dozens of their favorite responses, including “Will Travis Kelce get more receiving yards than Jason Kelce snaps played?” and “Will any player score 8 points on one drive?”

The SuperBook’s menu evolves from year to year as well. “At this point in time, it’s very tough to come up with new propositions,” Kornegay said, “but we came up with a couple new ones.”

This year, the book will offer props on whether either team will convert a fourth down in its own territory, something unthinkable a decade ago, but now an increasingly common occurrence in the N.F.L. “The Eagles have done it like four times,” Kornegay said.

Offering an original Super Bowl prop bet is not without risk, however. Benson and Chris Bennett, Circa’s director of risk, are a two-person team when it comes to pricing these new props. They don’t worry too much about whether or not they get the price right or wrong, instead letting the market do the work while they adjust odds as the bets are placed.

“There’s nothing more disappointing to us than when we spend some time on a proposition and it doesn’t create a lot of interest,” Kornegay said. “If it doesn’t get a lot of interest, meaning a lot of bets, there’s a good chance you won’t see that one next year.”