Props, short for Propositions, are generally non-sports related bets on the outcomes of events. Props can sometimes be sports related, but are not necessarily tied to the outcome or result of a particular sports contest.
Will a movie star win another Oscar? Will a quarterback throw an interception in the first 5 minutes of the game? Will a particular candidate win an election? Will a notable foreign leader drop dead? These are all examples of props, usually small-time action bets that sportsbooks offer for fun. Props reach out to a different audience of gamblers, and can be fun to bet for the hell of it. Although most sports bettors don't take props seriously, people with inside knowledge, or someone who spots bad odds can definitely take advantage of the situation with a well placed bet.
One notable example of a very popular prop is betting on the American Idol music competition. Oddsmakers with a knack for spotting talent would handicap the show's contestants, and as each night's voting takes place, calculate new odds based on who moved forward to the next round. The biggest prop, of course, is who will win overall, but some sportsbooks offer props on runner-up or third place.
Another fun bet was whether or not Britney Spears would flash another Paparazzi after her fammous incident that involved a very candid photo of her exiting a vehicle without underwear. A related bet was whether or not any other celebrity would do the same. Well, needless to say, Hollywood never fails to surprise us with its histrionics and antics. More photos of celebrities in, well, "awkward" positions surfaced, and oddsmakers jumped all over the events in an attempt to capture public interest.
Most of the time, props are PR stunts for the media. Sportsbooks starved for customers will sometimes offer up a prop on a current news event, in hopes of roping new customers who might place bets on more serious sporting events, and/or play in the casino. This marketing tactic works especially well if large media operations get wind of the prop and report on it. Similarly, if major social networking sites on the net spot a fun prop, this can result in a big flow of traffic to the respective sportsbook that is irrestible.
At the end of the day, unless you have insider knowledge, or feel you've spotted a bad line, don't waste your time with props unless you want something to talk about around the water cooler at work. Serious gamblers stick to serious events, while recreational gamblers just bet for fun. If you want to bet on a prop, go to your sportsbook and navigate to the "exotic" or "props" section. There, you'll find a wealth of bets and propositions that are both fun and exciting for a casual wager.
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