Guide To Proposition Bets

There are plenty of different betting types coming out across the sports betting industry, and sportsbooks continue to get creative. A major example of the increase in betting options comes with the prop betting market. Unlike the traditional wagers like moneyline, point spread, and point total, prop bets act as side wagers during the course of a game that might not have a direct impact on the final result of the particular game. Sports bettors can wager on whether or not a certain event will happen throughout a game or place action on statistical performances from teams or players.

Some wagers in the prop betting world may be completely luck-based, while the more skill-based props can be a profitable way to go in the long run. Props can be designed to simply add some additional excitement to a game you’re watching or be a money maker for you in your online sports betting endeavors.

In this article, we will go into depth regarding all the information you should know about prop betting with examples to make you a better-educated sports bettor moving forward.

What are prop bets?

Prop bets are additional wagers that plenty of the best sportsbooks will offer prior to the start of a game. They are essentially side bets to keep track of over the course of a particular matchup. Prop betting could include overall team performance, individual player performance, or bets that are completely based on luck. Prop bets vary by the sport, and there are typically more prop bets available the bigger the game is.

Different types of sports prop bets

As you begin to learn more and more about the prop betting markets, we’ll take you through a few examples from across some of the major sports across the United States. One of the laws specifically for Virginia includes no wagering on college player props, so we’ll stick with the pros for these examples.

NFL prop bets

The NFL is the king when it comes to prop betting. More specifically, the Super Bowl is the largest prop betting day for sports bettors. Here is a list of potential prop bets for an NFL game:

  • National anthem time: One of the popular wagers every time the Super Bowl comes around is how long the national anthem singer will take to sing the Star-Spangled Banner prior to kickoff. The oddsmakers set a time, and bettors get to decide whether the singer will go over or under the set time.
  • Coin toss: For another one of the luck-based wagers, sports bettors may place a bet on whether the opening coin toss will come up as heads or tails and which team will win the toss.
  • Receiving yards: Some wagers are skill-based, such as how many total receiving yards a player may have in a game. Similar to fantasy sports, bettors can do some research and decide whether it makes sense to choose the over or under on individual player performances.

NBA prop bets

Though not as popular as Super Bowl prop bets, NBA wagers will offer a wide variety of props for sports bettors to choose from. Here are a few:

  • First team to score: It’s pretty self-explanatory, but you have the option to wager on which team will score the first points in the game.
  • Total three-pointers in the game: Bettors may wager whether the number of three-pointers made is over or under the number set by the sportsbook.
  • Points, rebounds, assists: Sportsbooks may combine all three of basketball’s major statistical categories and set a number on it for a certain player leading up to a game, so sports bettors get to choose whether the combined number of points, rebounds, and assists will go over or under the oddsmaker’s total.

MLB prop bets

MLB is a game with plenty of history and is known for its statistics. Plenty of those numbers can be looked at as prop bets. Here’s a look at some of the baseball prop bets:

  • Total strikeouts: If you’re a fan of one of the pitchers in the matchup, you may decide to take the over in the number of strikeouts set by the oddsmakers.
  • What will happen in the next at-bat? This is a form of live wagering where you can place an MLB wager on the outcome of the next batter’s performance, whether he reaches base or records an out.
  • Will there be a home run this inning? Based on a number of factors, including the pitcher, the field, and the weather, among other things, you may decide whether or not there will be a home run over the course of a game.

NHL prop bets

Hockey is about as fast-paced as a sport can get, and its prop betting market is as full as the others. Here are some potential props:

  • Team scoring first wins the game?: With the amount of scoring that happens in a hockey game, it’s more likely than not the team that scores the first goal of the game will go on to win. Sportsbooks place odds on whether this will be the case.
  • First player to score: Sportsbooks may offer this prop with tons of betting options for each player expected to step foot on the ice. Due to the high number of options, getting a prediction like this correct could yield a decent payout.
  • Highest scoring period: Sportsbooks may list the odds for the period with the highest number of goals scored with the options being first, second, third, and tie.

MLS prop bets

Professional soccer continues to increase in popularity in the United States, and there are plenty of soccer props available:

  • Total goals in first half: Rather than placing a soccer wager on the total for the entire game, bettors may place a prop bet on how many goals will be scored in the first half of a particular matchup. This could come down to whether a team is usually slow-starting or not, so it’s important to research some of the trends before placing this wager.
  • Both teams to score: Sometimes there aren’t many goals scored in a soccer game, so bettors have the opportunity to wager whether or not both teams will score.
  • Exact goals scored: Bettors may bet on the exact number of goals scored in a game by both teams. This is fairly difficult to predict, so the payouts can be quite large.

Golf prop bets

Like all the sports above, the rise in sports betting across the country has also benefited golf quite a bit. Here’s a look at some of the prop bets for golf. There are usually more when heading into one of the four major tournaments like The Masters.

  • Winning margin: Bettors may decide by how many strokes the winner will win at the end of the tournament, which usually last four days.
  • Tournament matchups: Oddsmakers may place two golfers with similar skill sets against each other, essentially making them look like one-on-one matchups, and give odds for each side. Bettors get to pick which of the two golfers will have the better score after four rounds.
  • Top 10 finish: If there’s a particular golfer you like going into a tournament but don’t feel that comfortable betting the player to win the entire tournament, you could give yourself a better chance at winning by just predicting that s/he will land inside the top 10.

How do prop payouts work?

This will vary depending on what you’re betting on. If you’re deciding something with a ton of different options like which player will win MVP of the Super Bowl, the payout would be much larger than if you’re simply betting on a 50/50 prop like how many passing yards the quarterback will have by the end of the game. If it’s a usual 50/50 bet, the odds are likely going to be -110 on each side, as they traditionally are for usual bets like point spreads and point totals.

When do prop bets get settled?

It’s always important to ask your sportsbook these types of questions because each of them may pay out prop bet winners and losers differently. Often the bet may be paid out right after it happens. For example, if you placed a wager on something to happen within the first half, your payout may come at halftime. Meanwhile, others might wait for the entire game to unfold before paying out the winners.

The pros & cons of prop betting

This depends on what types of props you’re wagering on. Usually, especially for the Super Bowl, prop bets are available simply for you to have a good time and keep yourself, and potentially the people you’re watching the game with, entertained by more than just the outcome of the game. In that situation, the pro is just that you’re having a good time watching the game with the con being that, especially with some of the luck-based bets, they’re obviously not set up for long-term success.

If you’re deciding to wager on some of the more skill-based wagers, you could find some value and establish a profitable way to go about wagering your money. Make sure you’re doing your homework before placing a prop bet, and understand that prop bets are available because they’re geared toward the sportsbook making money, just like any type of wager. The house typically wins.

Things to remember for prop betting

Prop betting can be a fun and profitable way to wager your money, and there are more and more options as sportsbooks compete with each other to provide the best experience for their users. The more competition among sportsbooks, the better experience it will be for the bettor. Every sport will likely have a number of props available, and these will increase for the larger events in a particular sport.

If you’ve liked what you’ve read about prop betting, give it a try and see if this style of wagering — whether it’s simply to keep you entertained while watching a game or a genuine way to earn a profit in your sports betting career — is right for you.