Quick-Hitter, Prop Bets Popular At Sportsbooks

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Quick-Hitter, Prop Bets Popular At Sportsbooks
© USA Today

With Major League Baseball in full stride and football season approaching, the popularity of so-called quick-hitter bets is exploding.

Quick-hitter bets, including NRFIs (No Run First Inning), are among the most popular wagers at sportsbooks, according to USA Today Sports

These betting options can result in a quick payout on a winning ticket soon after the game starts. By comparison, a bet placed on the final outcome takes hours to resolve.

Top 5 In Popularity

Quick-hitter bets are not limited to baseball. They also can include the first basket-scorer for NBA games, the first goal-scorer for NHL games and first touchdown-scorer in NFL games, USA Today Sports reported.

In just the past year, these bets have become among the most popular at sportsbooks.

“No Run First Inning (NRFI) has moved into the top five most-bet markets for MLB games," BetMGM said in a statement to the newspaper.

Prop Bets Date Back To ‘The Refrigerator’

Along with quick-hitter bets, proposition bets, known as prop bets, also are popular at sportsbooks.

The first prop-bet opportunity came when Caesars Sportsbook posted early 20-1 odds on Chicago Bears defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry scoring a touchdown in the 1986 Super Bowl, according to the Associated Press. Perry sometimes was put into the game on offense to carry the ball in goal-line situations. 

By kickoff the odds had dropped to 2-1. In the third quarter, Perry scored a touchdown in the Bears’ 46-10 win over the New England Patriots.

Bettors Stick With High-Profile Options

By the time Super Bowl betting rolled around early this year, prop bets were getting much of the action at ticket windows and on mobile apps.

Before the game started, Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports operations at Westgate Las Vegas, told the Associated Press he was anticipating an increase in the number of prop bets at the resort’s ticket windows.

“We’re certainly going to write a lot more tickets on the propositions than the game,” he said. “They’ve become so popular.”

One example of that popularity is the number of prop bets Caesars had available for last February’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.

For that game, Caesars offered 2,000 prop bets, including whether the first turnover would be an interception or fumble. As it turned out, the first turnover was an Eagles fumble. The fumble option paid +140.

Even with a lot of proposition options, many bettors stick with a relatively small number, the AP reported.

Jason Scott, BetMGM vice president of trading, said more than 99% of the money goes to about 30 high-profile bets such as which player will score the first touchdown. 

At the most recent Super Bowl, the Eagles scored first during the opening drive on a one-yard quarterback sneak by signal caller Jalen Hurts. In the end, the Chief won the NFL title by beating the Eagles, 38-35.

This season’s Super Bowl is scheduled to be held Feb. 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in the nation’s betting capital, Las Vegas. 

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Larry Henry

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