Super Bowl Props
January 27, 2008
By Brian Gabrielle
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Super Bowl proposition wagering surpassed betting on the game itself some seasons back.
"That's because you have so many options to bet on," said Jeff Sherman, a sports book supervisor at the Las Vegas Hilton, which on Tuesday posted more than 300 Super Bowl XLII propositions.
"I can't give you percentages, but I know betting on props definitely outweighs betting on the game."
SuperBook race and sports book boss Jay Kornegay has been known as the King of Super Bowl Propositions, dating back to the days when Kornegay ran the Imprial Palace sports store.
Kirk Brooks, Kornegay's predecessor at the IP, started a tradition that Jay only built upon and then took along to the Hilton when he moved there in late spring of 2004.
Sherman, a UNLV MBA student in the early 1990s, professionally was reunited with his IP boss at the SuperBook when Kornegay offered a supervisor's job that he accepted.
He remembers when 100 Super Bowl props were considered a lot and filled an entire wall in the IP book.
Jeff was one of four supers who joined Kornegay and sports book chief Ed Salmons at a marathon session Monday.
"We hashed things out for about 15 hours," Sherman said. "It was an almost numbing experience."
Sherman notes the group took many props from the 2007 game between Indianapolis and Chicago and just changed the names.
One prop that truly hurt the house last year isn't available in 2008.
That was the Bears' Devin Hester scoring a touchdown on the opening kickoff.
He was 30/1 to become the first player to accumulate points.
"He was a unique player in a unique position," Sherman observed.
"It doesn't apply this time.
"Bettors had a field goal with that one last year.
"It really put us in the hole to start because it was tied into so many different props ... the first player to score, whether his uniform number would be odd or even, whether he'd be offensive or defensive."
Sherman says those who gathered to put together the prop list this year strived to use as many different individuals as possible.
He notes props that pit one sport against another, such as "Who will have more Feb. 3, Tom Brady completions (minus 1 1/2, minus $1.10) or Kobe Bryant 3-point FGA (plus 1 1/2, minus $1.10) are extremely popular.
The late Sonny Reizner, a high-profile bookmaker at the Castaways Hole-in-the-Wall bet shop on the Strip that was razed to make room for the Mirage, introduced Las Vegas to Soper Bowl props during his heyday in the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.
Reizner's original offering was a parlay card with 15 props.