Just when you thought the NFL was lightening up their stance on sports betting, out comes a story that the league is pushing to ban player prop bets on games and hoping to decrease the volume of these types of football wagers for Super Bowl 53.
The NFL first came out against prop bets last September when NFL Executive Vice President Jocelyn Moore stated how these types of wagers could increase the chances of match fixing in an attempt to sway Congress.
“Examples might range from the number of passing yards by a quarterback in a football game or the number of points or rebounds by a team during a quarter of a basketball game, to the number of `throw-ins’ in a soccer match, or even how many flags a referee might throw in a contest. 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.”
Sports Illustrated has reported that the NFL has not changed their stance against prop bets since last September’s hearing, and the league still wants them to be banned especially for the Super Bowl. Unconfirmed reports claim that the NFL continues to lobby behind the scenes to eliminate player prop bets.
On Monday, Joe Asher, the CEO of William Hill US, commented on the NFL’s overblown stance against prop bets:
“We’ve been doing this for many years, and this issue is way overblown. With the exception of the Super Bowl, player props are a tiny portion of the business – a fingernail on the world’s biggest man.”
Asher continued to discuss the popularity of pro betting for the Super Bowl:
“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.”
The majority of online betting sites limit how much money a bettor can place on a prop bet. For William Hill, they typically allow up to $500 or $1000 depending on the prop bet.
Unfortunately for the NFL, prop bets aren’t going anywhere. These types of football wagers are popular especially with fans that might not feel confident in a spread, moneyline or points total.
Furthermore, prop bets are the backbone of Super Bowl sports betting. There are numerous prop bets exclusive to this game that help make the Super Bowl the most wagered event each year.
With legalized sports betting continuing to spread throughout the United States, the NFL is fighting a losing battle. Instead of fighting the inevitable nationwide adoption, the NFL should focus on ways to capitalize on sports betting like NASCAR has.
Not only has NASCAR embraced sports betting at tracks in states where it’s legal, but the sport is now allowing cars and team owners to seek sports betting and gambling sponsorships. Times are changing.
If the NFL wants to remain the most popular sport in the United States then it needs to change with the times. It also needs to make some changes on how to handle terrible officiating and blatantly missed penalty calls.
Keep an eye out for GamblingSites.org’s ongoing Super Bowl 53 coverage and upcoming SB LIII prop bet articles.
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