Whenever it comes to making prop bets, most gamblers either see them as a waste of time or as a fun way to introduce some levity into the world of betting. Prop bets are, by their nature, unpredictable and designed to be done for fun rather than a lot of money. If you want to make some prop bets on the next sporting game, you can do so without either breaking the bank or losing all your money on randomness.
There are rules, patterns, and other items that govern prop bets, and if you understand them you can have a greater chance at making a real payday. Prop betting can be both very risky and very rewarding, but either way, it is a lot of fun!
What are prop bets?
Prop bets are bets that are made on events that do not impact the outcome of the game, and they can be about anything. They might not even involve the game itself, but rather something else. Prop bets typically focus on events that can be predicted but might not be controlled. There are a lot of prop bet types out in the world, and you can even find that two different types of sportsbooks offer different prop bets for the exact same event.
Depending on the type of sports and the players involved, you can find that all of the statistics are endless and there are a lot of different things to bet on. While it can seem very overwhelming, especially to a new bettor, prop bets are still beneficial for you.
Every single sportsbook at least offers different types of prop bet events, and you can make them the same way you would make every other bet. They can be bet and wagered on either in person or on the sportsbook app, and if you can understand them, then you have something that you can gamble on no matter what.
Prop betting examples in major sports
NBA prop bets
One of the most common type of NBA prop bet focuses on points and who will score a given total during the overall game or a quarter. Other NBA prop bets don’t focus on the score, but rather the players and whether they will win MVP, or whether they will win rookie, defensive, or most improved player of the year.
They also focus on metrics such as shooting and three-point percentages, number of fouls per game, and points in the paint. Here are some of the things that you can prop bet on when it comes to betting on NBA games:
- Shooting percentage
- Number of rebounds and blockers
- Three-point attempts and failures
- Free throw attempts
- Rebounds per game
NFL prop bets for the Superbowl
The Superbowl is one of the most interesting football events in America, and there are dozens of things to bet on. Prop bets abound during the Superbowl, but aside from having more money bet on them, they typically aren’t that different than normal football bets. NFL prop bets have two variants: per game and total. For the Superbowl, there are also some more obscure bets that come during the game:
- Number of penalties
- The color of Gatorade used by the winning team
- Total field goals
- Result of the coin toss
- Number of overtimes
MLB prop bets
Common prop bets placed on Major League Baseball are mostly focused on individual game performance or performance over a period of time such as a month or playoff series. The bets can be focused on stats as well, either during the game or over the course of an entire season. While prop bets and future bets are two different things, you should still keep the future of the sport in mind when making your bets.
- Number of home runs per game/season
- Number of stolen bases
- Number of hits
- Number of strikeouts
NHL prop bets
For the NHL, most prop bets focus on the action of the game, such as the number of goals or saves, along with other bets, such as the first player to score a goal or the number of total minutes spent in the penalty box. You can make bets on an individual game, week, series, and season, with some being easier than others, including faceoff wins and assist numbers.
- Ice time minutes
- Penalty Box minutes
- Number of goals
- Faceoff wins
- The first player to score a goal
MLS prop bets
Major League Soccer bets are very similar to the bets you would make on a European soccer game. You can bet on various parts of the game, and if you’ve done any betting on the soccer field in Europe, then there shouldn’t be any difficulties. There are several prop bets that you can make during the MLS season, and while some can be easily predicted, others might not be.
- Correct Match Score
- Half time and full-time results
- The players who score the first and the last goal
- The number of penalty cards and ejections given during the game.
Tennis prop bets
Tennis prop bets can make the game much more interesting, and tennis has a lot of prop betting opportunities. The prop bets focus on both the games themselves and the Grand Slams as they go on, and it’s pretty easy to get into tennis betting and make some money on the games!
- First Set Winner
- How many sets a player will win
- Total games played
- Total Aces
- Player to win the tournament
How do prop bets pay out?
Once you win some prop bets, you might be wondering how you are going to get your money. They are paid out based on the odds that are used for each bet, and the higher the prop bet odds, the more money you will win with each bet. For example, a game with odds of +350 at a $100 dollar bet will get you $350 dollars.
However, for most prop bets, the odds are at -110, where you will need to bet $110 to get $100 in profit for your prop bet. Sportsooks and oddsmakers can change these odds depending on the game, especially if you are making a prop bet on a live game. Always keep the odds in mind as time goes on, so you can be prepared to make all of the bets.
Once you get paid and can receive your winnings, then you will be able to withdraw your winning funds into your bank account or another card without any delay. The sportsbook you are using will determine how the payments are paid out, but you will get your payments soon.
Pros and cons of prop betting
Prop bets offer a lot of flexibility and betting options for almost every single sporting event, allowing you to focus on values and players instead of the entire game. For example, if you know that the Green Bay Packers are going to have trouble winning against the Chicago Bears, but you still trust Aaron Rodgers to throw some serious touchdowns, you can focus on the touchdowns and not the rest of the game.
Prop bets are also used by novice bettors who might want to get into betting, but who don’t want to risk their betting savings on the entire game. Instead, beginners can bet a small amount of money on one specific thing, and then focus on that.
Prop bets don’t deal with the big decision of picking the winner of the game or choosing a point value. Instead, they focus on one specific value. Betting limits for prop bets are also much lower than game bets.
However, you need to watch out for a few things with prop bets. For one, prop bets are notoriously random, especially if you bet on something that doesn’t impact the game. If you bet that a soccer game will have three yellow cards brought in during the entirety of the game, then that is very hard to predict.
For these random bets, it is best to bet low. For bets that focus on the game — for example, a prop bet that a quarterback will throw several touchdowns — can have a higher bet placed on them depending on the game’s circumstances. If you know that the opposing team is very good at sacking quarterbacks, then you may want to bet a lower bet.
If the opposing team has a much higher rate of letting touchdowns slip through, then you might bet higher to reflect these circumstances. You should always keep the circumstances in mind before you get started with making your bet.
Key takeaways from prop betting
One of the key takeaways you need to have when it comes to prop betting is that there are two types, fun and skilled. Fun prop bets are focused on those random events that you have no control over. For example, you might make a prop bet on the result of the coin toss, how many times the camera will show cheerleaders dancing, or the number of times that a flag will be thrown.
Skilled bets require lots of skill to bet on them, and often have some data to back them up. The data can also cause you to change your bet. For example, a skilled bet might be how many three-pointers a basketball team makes. If you know that the team has various people who have made a lot of three-pointers, then it makes sense to bet high.
For another skilled bet on a hockey game, if you know that a player has a very high temper and seems to get thrown into the penalty box a lot, you could make a prop bet that that player could spend more than three minutes in the penalty box. Skilled bets do have the data to back them up; however, you should be cautious about relying totally on the data to make your bets.
The team that shoots all the three-pointers might have a bad day and only make one- and two-pointer shots, while the angry player could calm down and play a penalty-free game. Human nature can’t be predicted as you make prop bets, and you need to keep in mind that nothing is certain during betting.
Skilled prop betting is what makes some real money as time goes on, while fun betting might get you a few dollars here and there. However, it’s often not enough to make you some real money.
If you want to make some real money while betting on prop bets, you should focus on using numbers and logic over dumb luck. While putting all your money on the Superbowl coin toss or how long the national anthem will last at an NHL game might seem fun, there’s not a lot of education going on in those guesses.
Making an educated guess is one of the better things to do when making prop bets, and a skilled prop bet is something that you can do. If you have the numbers and data to back up your prop bets, then you can feel a bit better about your chances.
You also need to be more disciplined than the rest of the gambling public, where you aren’t throwing your money away on trends or reacting to everything that happens. Instead, you need to keep each prop bet separate and do the research for each one. The discipline can be tough to keep, especially if you are making some good money. However, keeping your cool will only allow you to win more.
Prop bets don’t have to be completely random and based on guesses, and unlike what some gamblers will say, they aren’t a waste of your time. You just need to go about them in the correct way, and you may be able to make some money.
Whether prop bets are all you can make, or you want to reinforce your regular bets with them, prop bets can be a lot of fun to make at a sportsbook.