The NFL Requests Congress To Ban Prop Bets For Super Bowl LIII

The NFL Requests Congress To Ban Prop Bets For Super Bowl LIII

The sports betting industry is starting to take off and the NFL wants no part of it influencing the biggest game of the year by gamblers engaging in prop bets.

Prop bets, or proposition bets, are wagers that break down the overall performance of the game into individual players’ statistics or efforts as well as situations of the game. Some prop bets are as simple as the number of yards a QB will throw in the game while others are guessing what color drink will be poured on the winning coach.

Do Prop Bets Influence The NFL Players?

Either way, this type of betting is thought, by the NFL, to have an influence on the game as athletes may alter their performance or enter themselves into a situation where extra money could be made. While it is unlikely athletes will alter their game plan to win a little extra, different prop bets can be met by doing nothing more than agreeing on terms.

For example, a team or set of players could agree upon the prop bet of “Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first in his speech?” where thanking his teammates is the heavy favorite. However, if the MVP decided to thank the city or coach first, they are looking at a payout of roughly 10x their money.

While this seems like it could add up to a large payout if someone were to bet say $100,000 to make an extra $1,000,000, the possibility of doing so is nearly impossible. Nearly every sportsbook has a max bet limit and this includes wagers on prop bets.

Set around $250 - $1000, the max payout for an athlete would be minuscule in the amount they would make from bonuses, future contract negotiations, and endorsement deals.

The NFL Looks To Ban Prop Bets

The NFL is not backing down though as NFL Executive Vice President Jocelyn Moore said “These types of bets are significantly more susceptible to match-fixing efforts, and are therefore a source of concern to sports leagues, individual teams, and the athletes who compete.

Moore even petitioned to Congress to have bookmakers ban prop bets that involved athletes’ individual performance back in September 2018 and the position of the NFL has not changed.

On the other side of the spectrum is Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill Sports Book who said "Prop betting on the Super Bowl is quite popular and keeps people engaged throughout the game, even if it's a blowout. We've never seen evidence of a player prop being manipulated."

He continued on to discuss how small of a handle the prop betting market truly is and its tiny proportion of the overall business.

Will Prop Bets Be Allowed In The Super Bowl?

While it is too late for bookmakers to be regulated to ban prop bets on Super Bowl LIII, this may be another stepping stone legal sportsbooks must overcome.

Prop bets are nearly impossible to control, as situations like total touchdowns scored, longest TD, and quickest scoring drive are results of the actual gameplay. It is highly unlikely athletes who strive their whole life to make the Super Bowl, will throw away their chance to shine in an effort to make a quick buck.

“At the end of the day, books should be smart enough to protect themselves and set low limits on props,” Scott Cooley, spokesman for BetDSI said.

USA online sportsbooks knows these betting limits keep everything in control and keep legal sports betting a hobby rather than an integrity problem for the NFL on its biggest stage.

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