With the rapid legalization and spread of sports gambling across the country, gamblers everywhere have shown an increasing appetite for more and more gambling options. Thus, more and more sportsbooks across the country have now started releasing prop bets to fill this desire.
Prop bets (also known as proposition bets) are wagers made on the smaller events inside the game. These are not bets on the outcome of the game or the spread, but instead, these include smaller betting markets that offer gamblers a chance to bet on some other events in the game.
While some may think prop bets are only for the Super Bowl, they would be mistaken. Prop bets are now offered on every game by most live and online sportsbooks. This encourages more gambling and offers gamblers more options. It’s a win-win situation.
There’s a huge variety of specific bets that can fit under the umbrella term of “prop bets”. In this guide, we’re going to go over a couple of examples and explain why prop bets have caught the attention of so many people. We’ll also look whether prop bets are a good option for you or if you would do better by staying away.
What does prop bet mean?
A prop bet is typically defined as a bet on events that are not related to the final score. This includes the vast majority of bets. The exact amount of prop bets offered will depend on the sportsbook which is why it can be a good idea to find one that is known to offer plenty.
Some people may consider betting on prop bets to be more for novice gamblers. This is because prop bets can often be hard to model or predict as they are much smaller events. This is all compared to betting on something such as the outcome of the game which is easier in theory.
Prop bets can be on the team level, individual player level, or be related to something else completely. One thing to keep in mind when betting props is that they are often small betting markets. This means that not as much money is being gambled on them and thus sportsbooks aren’t going to spend as much time fine-tuning the line.
This can be a good or bad thing depending on how you want to look at it, though most would agree that it has a slightly positive impact on gamblers. This is because the smaller gambling market means that the sportsbook doesn’t have as strong of a line. This results in more chances for advantages that the sportsbook may not have considered, something that is next to impossible in larger gambling markets.
On the flip side, because the sportsbooks don’t have as much energy and time to put towards these lines, they are going to be less confident in them. This means that they might add more vigorish to each side of the line to make up for this loss of confidence.
Prop bets can be so much fun because of the unusual events that they track. These can include everything from betting on a certain player to score to betting on what color the Gatorade will be that is dumped on the coach. Everyone can find a prop bet that they enjoy following as there are so many different options.
Another benefit that the large quantity of options gives gamblers is that they can bet multiple prop bets in rapid succession. This means that if you get hot while gambling, there is always another prop bet for you to continue your streak. A word of caution, this idea can work in the other way as well and lead to bigger losses if you are not careful.
What are the best sports for prop betting?
Every sport has a format that lends itself better to certain bet types. Because of the general nature of the term, prop betting works with many different sports. We’ll take a look at each sport and what prop bets are most popular with gamblers.
NFL and the Super Bowl props
If you’re a fan of prop bets, the Super Bowl is like Christmas. There are many different prop bets offered to gamblers and they cover every part of the game. These include betting on on-field events as well as everything around the game.
Some of the more popular prop bets for the Super Bowl include betting on the length of the national anthem, the color of the Gatorade, and the Super Bowl MVP. These will all be offered by any major bookmaker along with a plethora of other options.
During the regular NFL season, prop bets are still offered though not to the same degree that you will see during the Super Bowl. These can include everything from a certain player scoring a touchdown to the number of field goals made by both teams combined.
The NBA is also a great market for prop bets and one that is popular with gamblers. If you wanted to bet on RJ Barrett from the New York Knicks scoring over 20 points, you can do that at any major bookmaker.
These player props are a basic NBA bet that everyone loves to gamble on as they watch their favorite players take the court. Besides those bets, NBA props offer plenty of other options for gamblers who are looking for something different.
There is a variety of different team prop bets including over/under on made three-pointers by a team among many more.
For those who love betting on baseball and the MLB, prop bets are once again a key part of the gambling landscape. Similar to the NBA, baseball prop bets commonly include player stats that are among fan favorites.
Betting on a strong batter to hit a home run, or a great pitcher to strike out a certain amount of batters is a common bet that will be seen on many different sportsbooks.
Another common MLB prop bet is will a run be scored in the first inning. Countless gamblers will watch to see if either team scores in the first run and to see which way this bet will be graded.
Next up, the NHL is the last major North American sports league and it once again offers plenty of prop bets for gamblers. These hockey prop bets can be grouped into two major subcategories: team props and player props.
Team props involve bets such as which team will score first or how many goals a certain team will score. Player props work much the same as other sports and include betting on a specific player to score or record an assist.
For soccer fans, prop betting is just as popular as betting on the outcome of the game. One of the most popular soccer prop bets that you will see in plenty of sportsbooks is betting on which player will score the first goal of the game. That bet often offers solid returns and thus is a favorite among gamblers.
Soccer prop betting works much the same as the other sports mentioned above where in addition to the player prop bets, many involve gambling on team events.
Last but not least, tennis is another sport that uses prop bets in their gambling. Since it’s an individual sport, the tennis prop bets are a bit different than some of the universal ones you might see across the sports listed above.
Common examples include betting on how many aces a player might have or how many points a player will win within a certain game.
Do prop bets payout big?
Like any other bet, the payout on a prop bet will be determined by the odds. Depending on the selection, you can find prop bets that offer huge returns or ones that offer very little returns. The odds will be determined by the oddsmaker and it’s important to consider both risky and safe bets in a well-rounded betting strategy.
For example, if there was an NBA game going on between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets you might be looking to make some prop bets. Perhaps you think that the Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is going to have a big game as you think he is much stronger than the Nets’ center.
You check your sportsbook and you see that they are offering you a line of Robinson scoring over or under 10.5 points. The odds are set at -110 on either side. These odds are typical for many player prop bets. You decide to take Robinson scoring more than 10.5 points at odds of -110 for $110.
After the game, Robinson does well just as you thought he would as he managed to score 15 points. Congratulations, your bet is a winner. You are returned your original $110 stake as well as $100 in winnings.
In another example, let’s say that you wanted to bet on an MLB game between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. You are looking for a bet with a higher possible return, so you take Yankee slugger Aaron Judge to hit two or more home runs. The bet has odds of +1000 due to how unlikely it is and you decide to bet $100.
During the game, Judge plays great and hits two balls out of the park. This is great news as it means that your bet is a winner. You are returned your original $100 stake as well as $1,000 in winnings for a total of $1,100.
These are two examples of prop bets that show how different the returns can be depending on the prop bet odds associated with your selection. Considering how many different live and online prop betting options are usually offered, you’ll be able to find all different levels of odds to match your needs without much issue.
The arguments for and against prop betting
The largest argument for prop betting is that they are often lots of fun and a smaller betting market. Trying to consistently beat the sportsbooks on NFL Sunday while betting spreads is very difficult, however, you might have more luck by betting prop bets.
The main argument against betting prop bets would be that they can often be more random and thus harder to predict. While they may be fun to throw a few dollars on here and there to enjoy, one could make the argument that they are too random to be the bulk of someone’s betting.
The reality is that betting prop bets is similar to many other bet types and you shouldn’t avoid them. Instead, look for selections where you have an advantage on the sportsbook and follow smart bankroll management to ensure the most profit possible.
Final thoughts on prop betting
All in all, prop bets offer interesting wagers for gamblers who want to go beyond the basic options offered to them. They have less attention from sportsbooks, which can be both a positive and a negative, and are present across many different sports. In many sports, they can further be divided into player prop bets and team prop bets. Both are good options for gamblers that want to find smaller events within games to bet on. It’s at the Super Bowl where you will find the most prop bets as it’s an annual tradition for sportsbooks to go crazy with their offerings.
The payout for prop bets can be very large if you go for a selection that has high odds. They can also have low odds if you’re looking for a safer choice. The versatility of prop bets is one aspect that people enjoy and part of what makes them so popular with gamblers everywhere.
The specific amount and type of prop bets offered to gamblers will depend on their specific sportsbook. Next time you are looking to make a wager on a game, take a look at the prop bets that are available and offered to you. Something might just catch your eye.