What is a Prop Bet?

Proposition Bets

Prop bets are bets not tied to a team’s final score or the outcome of a game.

For newbie bettors, prop bets are an exciting way to get into the betting scene without needing to pick a winner or go with one side of the spread.

But are prop bets a viable long-term betting strategy to generate profits? How do you take advantage of prop bets’ flexibility?

Here, we discuss prop bets that you can place in sportsbooks like SportsBetting.com and give you tips that can help you profit from props.

What Is a Prop Bet?

Prop bets, also called proposition bets or propositional bets, are alternate bets that focus on an individual player or a specific aspect of a game.

Prop bets are like novelty bets on a wide range of statistics that have very little to do with the game’s outcome.

Example of a performance prop:

Will Julio Jones top 77.5 receiving yards?
Over 77.5
Under 77.5

Example of a yes/no prop:

Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Score a Touchdown within the First 7.5 Minutes of the Game?
Yes +120
No -140

With the Jones prop bet, you’re betting on whether he’ll record more or less than 77.5 yards.

You could make a profit depending on the matchup and how he’s playing.

With the yes/no prop of the Bucs, you’re betting on how you think they’ll perform in the first half quarter of the game.

The Benefits of Proposition Bets

Prop bets can be another way to make a casual game more exciting. These bets are great when you don’t know which team could win or cover the spread.

Props may include incidents that do not affect the outcome of a game or the final score. So you can bet on things that can be decided before a game or event begins.

Still, if you like to have action throughout the entire game, prop bets are great too. You can use your knowledge of certain players to cash out.

For instance, you’ve looked at every angle of a football game but are unsure who’ll win. Yet you know for sure that one team’s running backs can get a certain number of rushing yards within the game.

You can also double-down on your expertise. If there’s about a 50% chance of winning, and the payout is the same on either side of the bet, you can bet on both.

If you don’t really understand sports but are interested in getting involved, prop bets are great too.

You can make small bets on things that you understand and are fun for you, like betting on how many times a commentator will say, “home field advantage.”

What To Look Out For When Betting Propositions

With some prop bets, you have multiple options to choose from, not just two. Each of those options will have a different payout attached to it.

You do need to take the time to look at how much each side of the bet is going to earn.

Note that while props can add more excitement to betting, you need to stay ahead of the curve in terms of the game plan, players, and matchups.

You don’t have the pressure of guessing who wins. Still, you’ve got to consider other factors that can affect individual props, like the event schedule and weather conditions. This explains why handicapping prop bets is important.

When Are Betting Results Released?

Betting results get released as they occur. Whether they are receiving yard props, MVP props, player props, anthem song running time, or what have you, you instantly get results as soon as they happen.

If you bet that the coin toss will land on heads, for example, we’ll update the action as soon as the referee makes the call.

All information will be updated on our site, so be sure to check out SportsBetting.com to stay on top of any sports betting game.

Types and Examples of Prop Bets

Anything outside of the point spread, moneyline, and O/U (over/under) counts as a prop bet. Prop bets include individual player and game statistics, from a particular player running a specific number of yards to which team scores first.

Some games can have novelty props, like what color of Gatorade the winner will bathe in or who will win the coin toss.

Let’s get into some examples by major sport:

MLB (Major League Baseball)

In MLB, sports bettors commonly place prop bets on statistics like earned run average (ERA), home runs, stolen bases, strikeouts, hits, and runs batted in (RBI).

Props can also include a team’s performance over a specific period (a month, playoff series, etc.), performance throughout an entire season (regular, post, or both), or individual game performance.

NFL (National Football League)

NFL props come down to two standard variations: per game and total.

The most popular NFL props are player props like touchdown passes, receptions, interceptions, and rushing yards.

These props can still fall under team props like turnovers, passing efficiency, and rushing yards allowed per game.

Obscure props exist but are most famous during the Super Bowl. Examples can range from penalties to the color of Gatorade that the winning team uses.

NBA (National Basketball Association)

NBA prop betting includes common statistics like points, rebounds, blocks, assists, and turnovers per game.

There are also props for more specific metrics like shooting percentage, three-point attempts, and fouls per game. Team props include points in the paint and free throw attempts.

Like the NFL and MLB, these props can range from one game to over a series or season.

NHL (National Hockey League)

Common NHL prop bets include goals, saves, and assists. Bettors can also place prop bets on other popular statistics like penalty minutes and ice time.

As in other sports, the more you know about the league, the more success you will most likely have. So read all the articles about a particular team or event and absorb as much information as you can.

College Football

Much like the NFL, college football prop bets include bets on statistics like passing yards and tackles. Bettors may often see more extreme totals in college football games.

Let’s consider a wide talent gap between colleges, for example. Memphis may have a higher over/under in yards per game than the Buffalo Bills.

College Basketball

College basketball prop bets are also related to NBA props in stats, from points per game to steals.

Talent gaps can also affect college basketball games, like when a player or team’s points in a game are projected to be lower than the NBA. These gaps cause a decrease in props related to game performance.

An important detail is that college basketball plays under 40 games per regular season, whereas the NBA plays 82. Keep this in mind when betting on prop bets on team totals.

Exotic Prop Bets

Prop bets are a global sensation in sports betting, and selected oddsmakers worldwide offer exotic prop bets.

Exotic prop bets are non-traditional prop bets that can go beyond the activities that occur during a game. Sometimes they are not necessarily part of the main event.

Popular exotic prop bets during the Super Bowl include the national anthem’s length or the coin toss results.

These props have no limit to how outlandish they can be. In Super Bowl 55, for example, there were prop bets on what Andy Reid’s mask design would be. Wild, right?

Although exotic proposition bets can be fun, most of these kinds of prop bets are illegal in America. But this could change soon in Nevada, Colorado, and in other states that may legalize sports betting.

Personal Prop Bets

Betting with your friends on obscure and random activities counts as a prop bet. That’s right, proposition betting can take place outside sportsbooks.

You can bet on the number of points a specific player scores in a game as a personal prop bet between friends.

Another example is a bet on whether a friend can do 20 pushups during a poker game.

Prop Bets vs. Futures

Some people confuse prop bets with futures bets, but they're not the same thing.

Futures are a type of long-term bet. These bets are decided at a predetermined future time.

You make a futures bet before the start of the season of any sport. Some examples include placing bets on which team will win the Super Bowl in the preseason, which team wins the World Series, or who’ll win a division or conference.

Here’s how futures odds look like:

AFC East Odds
Buffalo Bills +125
New England Patriots +135
New York Jets +500
Miami Dolphins +750

Once you bet on one of these underdogs, your bet is locked in until the season ends and the division winner gets decided. This means it could take months before your bet gets graded.

The downside with futures bets is that it takes a while before you can get your payout. But on the plus side, if you win the bet, you typically could get a larger payout than what you’d win in a traditional bet.

Prop bets don’t need to be placed too far in advance. But regardless of player or game bets, propositional, parlay, or otherwise, we got you covered.

How to Read Prop Odds

Before you can make a prop bet, you must understand how to read prop odds first. Odds may be listed like this:

North Texas Mean Green [Saturday 13th; 09:00] Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
North Texas Mean Green Points Odd/Even
Odd -114
Even -114
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Points Odd/Even
Odd -111
Even -114
Total Points Odd/Even
Odd -122
Even -105

If you believe that the North Texas Mean Green’s final score will be an even number, you will need to bet $114 to win $100. This is the same case for an odd-numbered score for the same team because they have the same odds.

But in the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles’ final score, the odds for odd or even are different. You need to bet $111 to win $100.

The odds for the total points of the entire game being odd or even also differ. You’ll need $122 to win $100 if you bet on an odd number. You’ll need $105 to win $100 if you bet on an even-numbered total score.

Let’s say you bet $40 on the total points being an even number. The total payout, if you win, is $78.10. Here’s how it’s computed:

The odds -105/100 means you need to bet $105 to win $100. Likewise, since you bet $40, we’ll use -40/x, where x = the amount of money you are to win.

-105/100 = -40/x

We cross multiply for the value of x.

-105x = -4,000

-105x/-105 = -4,000/-105

x = $38.10

Add $38.10 to your initial $40 bet to get your total winnings of $78.10. It’s not that complicated, right? What’s more, you really don’t need to keep all this information in your head.

Our 24/7 support desk at SportsBetting.com is always ready to clarify any questions you may have.

Making Live Proposition Bets

Live betting is popular in any sport. At SportsBetting.com, we are on top of all your favorite sports, and you’re sure to find action on games that are already in progress.

Live prop bets allow you to bet on each drive, at-bat, kick, or faceoff. For example, in-play betting is available for the NFL and college football, like so:

How will the next drive end?
Touchdown +350
Field Goal +900
Interception +500

Live odds quickly change as the game progresses. So it may be in your best interest to take advantage of these live bets as soon as they’re offered. Otherwise, you could miss out on some great action.

Prop Betting Origins

Prop bets are among the fastest-growing segments of the US sports betting industry. These bets were brought into the spotlight during Super Bowl 30.

It all started at the Westgate in Las Vegas, which back then was the Las Vegas Hilton. During Super Bowl XXX, the Chicago Bears played against the New England Patriots.

The Las Vegas Hilton and other Vegas casinos offered a prop bet on whether William “The Refrigerator” Perry would score a touchdown. He was a defensive tackle but placed in offensive goal-line situations.

When he scored a touchdown, everyone who guessed right raked in a huge profit.

The first Nevada sportsbook operator to offer prop bets for an individual game in bulk was the team at the Las Vegas SuperBook.

Today, all sportsbook operators in Nevada legally offer hundreds of Super Bowl prop bets. Online sportsbook operators and betting sites in other legalized states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, followed suit.

From their modest beginnings at the Super Bowl, slowly but surely, prop bets continue to grow.

You will find some sportsbook operators offering prop bets as often as every week during the pro football season. For other sports, some bookmakers offer prop bets every day.

The evolution of prop betting in United States sportsbooks is taking bets off the field.

Super Bowl Prop Betting

The most entertaining props appear during NFL’s biggest Sunday. Super Bowl prop betting is huge, with sports bettors of all levels.

During the Super Bowl, sports betting beginners and veterans alike get odds on literally everything. From how many sacks a player will have to which team will score first, there’s no telling how many props you can make.

For an idea of how wide the range of Super Bowl prop bets can be, here’s a short list of what you can expect:

  • How long will it take for the singer to perform the Star-Spangled Banner national anthem?
  • How long will The Weeknd perform during the Super Bowl LV halftime show?
  • How many touchdowns will team X’s quarterback launch?
  • How many rushing yards will the running back make?
  • How much will the Tampa Bay Bucs score during the first half?
  • What color of Gatorade will the winning team dump on their coach?
  • Will the coin toss land on heads or tails?
  • Will the game go to overtime?
  • Will there be a safety during the second half?
  • Will the Kansas City Chiefs score in the last 3½ minutes of the fourth quarter?

Props like these usually get released about a week before the big game. This way, you have enough time to do your research to make smart choices, which we’ll get into in the next section.

Handicapping Your Prop Bets

You need to do research if you want to get an edge on your props. You can scour the internet for the best angles, but you can also visit our news page to stay on top of the betting trends for your favorite top sport.

Using the Most Valuable Player example, here’s what prop odds may look like. For the sake of this example, we’ll be using the current top players and imagine that they’re playing in the same Super Bowl.

Mike Evans +150
Aaron Rodgers +175
Rob Gronkowski -375
Ezekiel Elliott +250
Chandler Jones +300
Travis Kelce +175
Tyreek Hill -150
Tre'Davious White +300
Bobby Wagner +500
Derrick Henry +700
Chris Godwin +600
Chris Jones +150
Lamar Jackson -375
Russell Wilson -500
Patrick Mahomes -150
Aaron Donald -350
Tom Brady +375

Researching a bet like this will make you look at each player’s performance leading up to the Super Bowl.

Let’s say you’re rooting for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. You can look at how calm he is under pressure during marquee games, his ability to move in the pocket, and his overall QB rating.

How has Wilson performed in the playoffs? How many Monday or Sunday Night Football games has he won in the regular season? How well did he play against the opposing team in the past?

This is just some of the information you need to evaluate in order to make an educated pick on your Super Bowl MVP. We can help you stay above all the game props and enjoy betting on your favorite sports..