What is Prop Betting?
Proposition bets, commonly known as props, are wagers that are available in addition to the traditional point spread, over/under and moneyline. They are bets on events that don’t directly affect the outcome of the game, and they are most often focused on a specific player or outcome.
Examples of prop bets that are often available are which team will score first or which player will score the most points. Other props can be over-under totals not tied to the final score, or you might be able to choose what type of play a team will run or how a team will score. It is typically an over/under or either/or proposition. Prop bets should look something like this listing from an NFL game:
First Offensive Play Of The Game
With NFL coaches typically starting with a conservative play to start feeling things out, the run play is the more likely outcome. You would need to bet $145 to earn a profit of $100. But if you think a coach might want to get his quarterback in rhythm quickly, you can bet on a pass. That would earn you $550 on a $500 bet, with a total payout of $1,050.
Props can focus on a specific player, such as how many touchdown passes Tom Brady will throw in his Week 1 game, or how many strikeouts Max Scherzer will have in his start against the Mets.
Prop bets sometimes are solely for entertainment, but there are many, such as the numerous options on the NFL Draft, that require knowledge and analysis. The popular Super Bowl coin toss bet is simply a matter of chance. But if you are planning to bet on the over/under on which team will draft Tua Tagovailoa, you are going to want to know which teams are picking and what their needs are.
Props can be your best chance to beat the house, with many of the options coming down to chance. For this reason, many books limit the amount you can wager on some props.