What is a Prop Bet?
Proposition bets – known as prop bets for short – are a type of wager that focuses mostly on the performance or stats of either a player or team. These types of betting lines give you the opportunity to bet on something other than just the winner or loser of the game.
If you’ve been wondering what is a prop bet, we’ll run you through all of the different types that are available and explain them to you:
Game props focus on what will specifically happen inside of a game. For example, the New England Patriots-Green Bay Packers football game or the Los Angeles Lakers-New York Knicks basketball game. You’ll find a whole host of betting options that are related to the various team or player performances, but are not necessarily tied to the outcome of a game. Let’s take a look at some of the most common props you’ll see in-game:
Player Props Betting
If you’re looking at player props, these will all be focused on the performance and final stats of the players in the game. For example, if we’re talking about what is a prop bet football, you might see a betting line on the over/under for passing yards by a quarterback and the line might look something like this:
|Tom Brady Passing Yards||Yards|
Then you can choose whether either will go over or under the set number. If you think he’ll have a big game and throw for more than 250, then you’d bet the over. If you think he’ll have a quiet game, you’d bet the under. Some other examples of lines you might see are over-unders for rushing yards, who’ll score the first touchdown in a game and whether a player will make or miss a field goal.
Team props are similar as to player props but they focus on how the team will perform. For example, for a basketball game, you might see an over-under for total rebounds or assists by a specific player. That would be a player prop. A similar team prop would be an over-under for rebounds for the whole team or over-under for assists, points scored, how many points they’ll score in the third quarter and so on.
In the above examples, we focused on in-game props and there’s usually a big menu of them – whether you’re looking online or looking at the Las Vegas prop bets. However, if you’re looking for something longer-term, season-long props can offer some good value. The difference with season long props, which are also known as futures, is that they take a while to decide. Whereas in-game props are decided when the game is over, season-long props could take the whole season.
An example of a season-long team props would be a regular season win total:
New England Patriots
Over 11.5 Wins
Under 11.5 Wins
With this prop, you have to decide whether the Patriots will win 12 or more games in the course of a season and go over, or win 11 games or less and stay under.
An example of a season-long player prop would be something like:
|James Harden||Scoring Avg.|
In this prop, you’re looking at whether or now James Harden will finish the regular season with a scoring average of more or less than 30.5 points.
The downside with these types of props is that your money is locked up for a long time. However, a lot of sharp bettors consider these some of the best prop bets as those who do their homework can find an edge here.
Live Betting Prop Bets
One of the most popular type of props to bet on are the ones available in-game during live betting. In terms of what’s available, you’re going to see a lot of player, team and a game props but the way that they are offered is quite different.
With live betting, the lines will change as the action unfolds. What that means is if you see a player prop for points scored in a basketball game, that number will float based on the player’s performance. Let’s say LeBron James starts with an over-under of 26.5 points. If he has a slow first quarter with just four points, you might see his total drop to 22.5. Then you can make a decision at that point. Alternately, if he plays well to start the game and has 12 points in the first quarter, you’ll see his in-game number climb to 30.5 or 32.5.
When you’re betting on props pre-game, you’re locking in the number at that point. When you’re betting on props in live betting, you’re also locking in the number but it will be at a certain point in the game and the numbers will fluctuate based on game flow.
Entertainment Prop Bets
One of the most popular types of props to bet on are entertainment props. Not all sportsbooks carry them but when they’re on the board, it really expands the boundaries beyond sports prop bets into other realms.
For example, BetOnline may post some props on the Oscars, such as who will win certain categories and an over-under for how many Oscars a specific movie might win. Beyond that, you might find things like betting lines for who’ll win Survivor, The Bachelor and other reality shows. There might also be game show props (like Jeopardy), movie props (box office over-unders) and specials on various other things in pop culture.
If your sportsbook has entertainment props like Bovada, they’ll have a section devoted to it and you can peruse what’s available. Keep in mind that limits are usually quite low on these bets.
Political Prop Bets
Political props are a type of prop that’s available from time to time. You might see lines on who’ll win a Presidential Election in the United States or possibly even impeachment props, props on the Supreme Court or various other hot topics.
Super Bowl Prop Bets
If you’re into props, Super Bowl week is your Cloud 9. That’s because during the two weeks leading up to the NFL’s championship game, oddsmakers reveal the absolutely biggest menu of sports betting props that you’ll ever see. Sportsbooks literally post thousands of NFL prop bets on everything that you can think of.
Of course, there’s the traditional Super Bowl game props but these are amped up as you’ll be able to bet on the performance of every single skill player on both sides and see a vast array of team props too. Beyond that, you’ll see Super Bowl halftime props, which could focus on what the musical act will perform or wear, props for the opening anthem (how long it will take) and even things like what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning head coach.
You might also see lines on the Super Bowl ads, things the commentators might say and much more. It’s the best time of year for those who love props.