What are Props?

Prop betting explained. These fun bets are available for the Super Bowl and other important matchups. Are props sucker bets? Learn what positive and negative moneyline numbers mean. Know when to combine a player prop with a single game straight bet.

Definition of Prop Betting

Sportsbook offers odds on various events related to a matchup or championship event. Bettor decides whether an event will occur, in what quantity or both. Prop bets are considered side bets. They are not dependent on the game or contest final outcome.

Method

  1. Visit sportsbook prop bet page. See also “Specials”.
  2. Scroll to an upcoming matchup to review available prop bets.
  3. Each prop has moneyline odds.
  4. Make selection and bet desired amount.

Specs

Exotic bet. Major events like the Super Bowl, March Madness and league championships will have extensive prop betting opportunities.

Duration

Sports props win or lose after the applicable game, season, or playoff period has concluded.

Limitations

Some props cannot be added to parlays. See sportsbook rules.

Sports Prop Bets

Anything related to a player’s stats can be a prop. Common single game examples include the number and variety of points scored, defensive stats, types of fouls, total turnovers,  and scoring methods.

Sportsbooks also offer team props. Single game examples include point scoring method, defensive performance, or coaching decisions.

Season win total betting is popular among savvy bettors. Choose whether a team’s total wins will be over or under the sportsbook’s line. Season win total props are sometimes called season win total futures.

Novelty props include color of Gatorade thrown on a winning coach, number and variety of touchdown celebrations or the first play a quarterback calls.

Prop Betting Examples

Prop Bet odds are listed as moneylines. Read more about betting the moneyline here.

Super Bowl Coin Toss Prop Bet

Will the result be heads or tails?

  • Heads -105
  • Tails -105

Bettor chooses Heads laying $105 to win $100.

March Madness Prop Bet
See our March Madness Betting page.

How many #1 seeds will make the Final Four?

  • 0 +450
  • 1 +150
  • 2 +180
  • 3 +500
  • 4 +2000

Bettor chooses 3 #1 Seeds in the Final Four laying $100 to win $500.

How Prop Betting Works

Your prop bet wins if your prediction is correct. Your bet loses if your prediction is incorrect.

Sportsbooks will refund bets if a game is cancelled. Bets will also be returned if determining a decisive result is no longer possible. This may happen in the event of weather delays, postponements, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Moneyline Odds

Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100.
Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100.

Example Results from Above

Super Bowl Coin Toss – Heads Wins

  1. Coin toss produces a “Heads” result.
  2. Bettor wins $100 for $105 risked.

How Many #1 Seeds in Final Four – 2 Wins

  1. 2 #1 Seeds make the Final Four.
  2. Bettor loses $100. 3 #1 seeds did not make the Final Four.

Super Bowl Coin Toss – Bet Refunded

  1. Suppose the NFL replaces the coin toss with a lottery an hour before kickoff. The Coin Toss prop can neither win nor lose because the procedure changed.
  2. Sportsbook returns player’s $100 Heads bet.

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Easy to bet. Pick the most likely option.
  • Sportsbooks list props with moneyline odds.
  • Some sporting events have multiple prop betting opportunities. Think Super Bowl, March Madness, NBA Championship or Stanley Cup.
  • Props add excitement to games, award shows and political events.

Cons

  • Sportsbooks load props with juice. Props with 2 or more possible outcomes are big winners for the house.
  • Tough to reliably predict winners without expert knowledge. Single game betting is preferable for consistent profits.
  • Sportsbooks use entertainment and political props as marketing tools. They are mostly sucker bets unless you have inside information.
  • Prop bets tie up bankroll. Bet small amounts. Use bankroll for straight bets, teasers or parlays instead.

Tips

  1. Shop odds. Multiple sportsbooks will have lines for the same props. Choose the sportsbook offering the greatest profit potential.
  2. Game result and prop outcome can be related. Consider a star player’s impact on his team’s final point tally. Note that game result does not affect whether a prop bet wins or loses.
  3. Wait until the last minute before placing a prop bet. Acquire the most information possible. Surprise changes, injuries and news may impact your bet’s profitability.
  4. Place related straight and prop bets together. A Super Bowl quarterback’s passing performance may impact his team’s ability to win. Place 2 bets. Bet a prop on the quarterback’s number of completed passes. Then take his team to win against the spread. Note, sportsbooks only offer player props for major events.

Bets to Try

  1. Super Bowl Interceptions – How many interceptions will a Super Bowl quarterback throw?
  2. Super Bowl Safeties – Will there be 1 or more safeties in the game?
  3. March Madness Cinderella – Choose the lowest seed to make the Final Four.
  4. 3 Pt Pay Day – Will a NBA Championship team score more than 15 3 pointers?
  5. Stanley Cup Rumble – Will a known enforcer get more than 3 major penalties in the final game?

Prop Betting History

Bookies likely offered the first prop bets in the late 1800s when baseball leagues formed in the USA. Early props were considered side bets. They were popular with casual gamblers. Serious bettors stuck with straight bets on the eventual winner. Prop bets later migrated to Las Vegas when the state legalized sports betting.

Bookmaker William Hill popularized prop or “novelty” betting in the United Kingdom during the 1960s. Hill famously offered odds on the Moon landing and JR Ewing from the Dallas TV show. Both bets produced instant publicity and notoriety.

Some bookmakers offer a bevy of exciting prop bets related to major sporting events and entertainment. Across the pond, European outfits like Paddy Power have made a name for themselves offering odds on the US Presidential Election.

Other Names

  • Proposition Bet
  • Novelty Bet
  • Side Bet
  • Special Bet

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Tables and Reference

Sample Super Bowl Prop Bets

Outcome of Super Bowl 52 coin toss

  • Heads -105
  • Tails -105

Odds to win Super Bowl 52 MVP

  • Tom Brady -110
  • Nick Foles +325
  • Rob Gronkowski +900
  • Dion Lewis +1800
  • Danny Amendola +1800

Time to sing Super Bowl 52 national anthem

  • Over two minutes +150
  • Under two minutes -200

Will any QB throw for 400 or more yards in the game?

  • Yes +300
  • No -500

Will any TD be overturned by replay?

  • Yes +150
  • No -200

Will there be a flea flicker attempt?

  • Yes +135
  • No -175

Sample March Madness Prop Bets

Will a #4 Seed win the 2017 NCAA Men’s Championship?

  • Yes +1000
  • No -2500

Will Gonzaga make the Sweet 16?

  • Yes -600
  • No +350

Will a #15 seed win a game in the 2017 NCAA Tournament Round of 64?

  • Yes +400
  • No -700

Odds to win NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player

  • Jalen Brunson (Villanova) +600
  • Marvin Bagley III (Duke) +700
  • Miles Bridges (Michigan St.) +800
  • Kyle Guy (Virginia) +1000
  • Grayson Allen (Duke) +1200
  • Mikal Bridges (Villanova) +1200

Lowest single-game point total for any team during 2018 NCAA Tournament

  • Over 39.5 -115
  • Under 39.5 -115

2018 NCAA Championship Winning Conference

  • ACC +150
  • Big Ten +200
  • Big East +300

Total buzzer-beating shots in Round of 64 during 2018 NCAA Tournament (shot must win game as time expires)

  • 0 -110
  • 1 +115
  • 2 +450
  • 3 +1300
  • 4 +1600
  • 5 +2000
  • 6 or more +3000

Required Reading

References


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposition_bet
usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2018/02/03/super-bowl-2018-spread-prop-bets-line-patriots-eagles/304517002/
cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/ncaa-tournament-2018-best-march-madness-prop-bets-via-vegas-oddsmakers/