A proposition bet, better known as a prop bet, can be an entertaining way for both professional and recreational sports bettors to earn a profit. Prop bets consist of specific happenings surrounding a sporting event. While traditional betting will involve who wins, how many points are scored, or how many points a team wins by, the final result of a game or match does not necessarily matter in prop betting.
But what exactly are prop bets and how do prop bets work? Also, what is the best sport for prop betting? Read on to find out the answer to these and many other prop bet related questions.
Sports betting is meant to be fun for all bettors, and betting props are among the most fun ways to gamble on sports. Some prop bets are skill-based for the sports bettor, while others may be 50-50 propositions based strictly on luck, which can be a fun way to entertain yourself during a sporting event.
Some prop bets require a bit of skill and are less of a blindfolded dart throw than others. Some of these may be similar to fantasy sports in a way when gambling on a specific player to do well. For example, you could bet an NBA player will score more than 15.5 points in a particular game as your prop bet.
The reason this is more of a skill-based proposition is that you may put effort and research into it. Possible items to look at would be the defense of the opposing team, the recent history of the player, injury reports, and how the particular player performed against that team in past matchups.
Being skilled in this area of prop betting may be a long-term solution to creating a profit when wagering on sports.
Ever heard the expression it’s better to be lucky than good? For those who consider themselves lucky, these bets are a fun way to go, though it’s not likely to turn into a successful betting strategy in the long term.
Examples of a prop bet based on luck would be betting tails for a coin toss before a big game. No sort of strategy will go into that. These bets are meant to be fun and may turn the game into more of an experience for the watch party you’re attending. A fun part about prop betting is people do not even have to be sports fans to enjoy this type of wagering and can be in on the action.
When many sports fans and bettors think of prop betting, the Super Bowl may come to mind first because of its wide array of items to gamble on. It’s one of the biggest nights of the year on TV in the U.S., and sportsbooks take advantage of it with a variety of Super Bowl prop bets to choose from, some of which have nothing to do with the play on the field.
Examples of Super Bowl prop bets may include the MVP of the game, the first touchdown scored, or the length of the national anthem. Other fun and entertaining props could be the first commercial shown or which color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning head coach after the Super Bowl victory.
It is not hard to locate prop bets when identifying the gambling board of the Super Bowl with plenty of options to choose from.
Live prop betting is on the rise especially for those who can make mobile bets. With an increase in items to choose from, sports bettors have the opportunity to bet on props happening while the game is still being played.
For example, if you’re watching a baseball game, some sportsbooks will have the option to bet on what will happen during the upcoming at-bat, whether the result will be the player reaching base safely or getting out. Another item would be whether any runs would be scored in that particular inning.
Sports bettors have to be quick with live prop betting numbers switching odds so rapidly.
When there are a variety of bets to choose from, the payout may be quite high if you hit on the right bet. Oftentimes, all betting outcomes will have plus value, which means if you pick the prop bet correctly, you will make more money than you wagered. However, this is typically not the case when it’s an outcome of just two 50-50 options as those will likely end up as a traditional payout of -110, which means you’d need to bet $110 to make a $100 profit.
As with just about all sports betting options, if the prop bet results in a tie, also referred to as a push, all bettors get their money back. If the bet you decide to make is 50 receiving yards for a specific player and he finishes with 50 receiving yards, nobody wins, nobody loses and it’s as if the wager never happened.
Now that you’ve learned the basics of prop betting, let’s dive into some prop bet examples to familiarize yourself with this gambling strategy.
For our first example, let’s head to the NFL for the mecca of prop betting, which is the Super Bowl. It’s difficult to find a proposition you cannot bet on with the number of options to choose from, but for our NFL prop bet example, we’ll take a look at the MVP odds for Super Bowl 54 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
There are a ton of options to choose from but for our example, let’s cut the list of MVP candidate odds down to 10 players.
As you can see with this many options, every player has plus value, which means if you get the bet correct, you will make more money than you wagered. However, the amount of money you receive is larger the further you go down this list.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes came into the game with the best odds to win the MVP at +115, which means you would make a $115 profit on a $100 bet. On the other hand, if you decided to take San Francisco wide receiver Deebo Samuel from the bottom of this list, you would make much more money if you bet on him and he earned MVP honors. A $100 bet on him would net a $3,500 profit if he’s voted as the MVP. It’s unlikely to happen, which is why the payout is so large.
Mahomes ended up winning the MVP of this game, which makes sense because oddsmakers agreed he had the best chance of winning it.
For our next example, let’s head back in time to the 2019 NBA Finals for Game 6 between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors. In this prop bet, you think Draymond Green will be able to grab more rebounds than the oddsmakers expect, which is set at 9.5 rebounds, so you place the bet.
Since only two outcomes are making it easier to win and it’s close to a 50-50 proposition, the vig (the difference between what is wagered and what is won; also known as the juice) is set at $110, which again means a $110 bet earns you a $100 profit.
In the end, your NBA prop bet is a winner because Green brought in an impressive 19 rebounds for the Warriors, who ended up losing the game and the series to the championship-winning Raptors.
Despite the big performance from Green, it did not have a major impact on who won the game, which can often be the case when betting props.
With the first two examples, you read about prop bets that could’ve been made hours or even days before the actual event took place. In this prop bet example, we’ll make a live, in-game prop bet. MLB bettors have to think on their feet with these as numbers move quickly, and there’s not much time to analyze what may happen.
In this made-up example, let’s say the New York Yankees are playing the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. After the first few innings go by, you want in on the action and decide to place a NBA prop bet in the middle of the game.
After analyzing the potential in-game prop bets available, you come across a potential wager that asks whether a run will be scored in the fourth inning. Given the odds, you think there is value on at least one run being scored in the inning. The odds are listed below:
As you can see, “No” has a much higher chance of happening with significant minus odds since more often than not, no runs scored in a particular inning. Because of that, “No” has much less of a payout.
After a scoreless top half of the inning for Boston, the Yankees add a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. With the +150 odds, your $100 bet turns into a $150 profit as you won the prop bet.