By| January 31 2021
While Manteris was the first to offer a Super Bowl prop, many say it was long-time oddsmaker Jay Kornegay who is responsible for advancing the proposition betting market to where it is today. Kornegay, who is now the Vice President of Race and Sports Operations at the popular Las Vegas SuperBook, wanted to make Super Bowl Sundays more exciting.
The oddsmaker says prior to in-game wagering, Super Bowls were decided early, so betting a side was pretty anticlimactic.
“During the early 90’s we were seeing the Super Bowl was a blowout each and every year,” he said. “We could see it in the crowd and by the time the second half came around, people were bored.”
From 1984 to 1997, 11 of the 14 Super Bowls were decided by 13 points or more. Only three games over that span went late into the fourth quarter with the outcome still in doubt. That is why Kornegay and his team had to think out of the box, which is what led them to expanding the Super Book’s prop menu.
The tipping point came in the 1995 Super Bowl when the San Francisco 49ers squared off against the San Diego Chargers. The Niners closed as a record 19.5-point favorite and ended up covering 49-26. To generate more interest in such a one-sided matchup, Kornegay decided to increase the amount of prop bets his sportsbook offered.
“We knew who was going to win, and at the time, most books offered 20 to 30 props,” Kornegay said. “We decided to expand that menu to offer over 100 different props to keep people entertained and vested in the game, and it was very popular off the bat.”
FULL STORY — The history of Super Bowl prop betting (radio.com)