Vegas Prop Bet Lore

On February 2, 2016, in NFL, by Stephen

It seems strange now with hundreds of off-the-wall Super Bowl prop wagers being offered at various sports bet shops. But until Super Bowl XXX – when Dallas beat Pittsburgh on Jan. 28, 1996 – props only were on the actual game.

That all changed when an innovative sports book director at a small, now-defunct Las Vegas hotel put up the first cross-sport prop. His name was Kirk Brooks and his place was Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, a Coney Island style hotel on the Las Vegas Strip that was independent at the time. Looking to increase handle and draw publicity, Brooks came up with the following prop: Who would score more points on that Super Bowl Sunday, the Cowboys or Michael Jordan?

Realizing a good thing, Jimmy Vaccaro, race and sports book director at the much bigger and more influential The Mirage, put up the same prop. It was then that the prop drew national attention. The Associated Press even got a hold of Jordan – who has been called a compulsive gambler – to ask him about the prop.

“I didn’t have anything to do with it,” Jordan was quoted as saying. “I didn’t have any wagers on it and I certainly was not in control of what was going to happen.”

Those who wagered on Jordan won the prop as the Chicago Bulls superstar scored 31 points against the Phoenix Suns that Super Bowl day while the Cowboys defeated the Steelers, 27-17, failing to cover as 13 1/2-point favorites.


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