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What is a Prop Bet in Sports Betting?
What Is A Prop Bet?
A prop bet (shorthand for proposition bet) is a sports betting wager made not on the final outcome of the game, but on certain players or certain events that occur within the game. Common examples of proposition bets include:
- Wagering which team will score first
- Betting whether or not a player will make X touchdowns/goals/home runs/score points within a certain timeframe
- Wagering who will win the game-opening coin toss
- The best submission, knockout, or overall fight in a boxing or MMA card
That said, these are just the most common examples of proposition bets. Depending on which sportsbook you used, you could make all manner of different proposition bets on all sorts of weird, niche variables.
How do these wagers work, where can you make these wagers, and are they viable betting options? Find out everything you should know about prop betting through this comprehensive, in-depth guide.
How Do Prop Bets Work?
There are all sorts of prop bets you can make, but ostensibly, most of them generally boils down to three categories:
Player Props: Any figures or outcomes related to individual players. For example, betting a pitcher’s over or under strikeouts during a baseball game would qualify as a player prop.
Game Props: Occurrences within a game, like long touchdowns or who will score first during a game.
Novelty Props: Niche tertiary wagers on a game, like coin tosses, the length of the National Anthem performance, or even the odds of the gambling odds being remarked upon in a gaming broadcast.
Most sportsbooks cap extremely low betting limits on prop wagers, so they’re very easy to take advantage of if you find any props that catch your eye. Another advantage of prop bets is that there’s potential to earn winnings, even if the team you’re betting on doesn’t actually win.
For example, if the New England Patriots were to get clobbered in an NFL game you wagered on, but Tom Brady managed to pull through and meet the satisfactory passing yardage goal during the game, then your prop bet would still win, even in spite of the Pats themselves losing.
Prop wagers have long been a mainstay of sports betting for decades, and for good reason. These propositions offer a multitude of perks that could make them more appealing to novice bettors:
They can inject extra novelty fun into the game/betting night.
Bettors don’t have to be super familiar with the game/team at large, just the select props and players they’re wagering on.
Most sportsbooks set a lower betting limit, so there’s a higher potential to win big.
How Do Prop Bet Odds Work?
Almost all gambling and wagering can be defined as games of chance. You can try all sorts of betting strategies to maximize your luck, but ultimately, there’ll still be a certain level of risk outside of your control.
If you’re going to prop bet, we strongly encourage you to focus on proposition wagers that are more based on skill than random chance. For example, that shirt hypothetical, as unusual and out there as it is, probably won’t have so many demonstrable statistics or numbers to corroborate betting odds.
By contrast, an NFL player’s passing yardage and individual performance record will be closely, diligently monitored, by both the league and the sportsbook you’re wagering with. So if you really want to make the most of your prop bets, err on the side of more skill-based wagers and less on the side of quirky novelty ones.
Can You Parlay Prop Bets?
Most sportsbooks allow you to parlay prop bets, just as you could do with most other wagers. In case you’re not already familiar with them, parlay bets refer to multiple bets grouped together into one wager.
Moreover, no different from any other parlay, prop bet parlays require every leg in order for the entire wager to win. Although the potential reward is higher, this makes them particularly riskier than isolated, single-game wagers, especially if you’re primarily wagering on novelty, gimmicky bets.
One contingency plan here could be taking advantage of a parlay insurance promotion. These types of promotions will usually save and partially refund a failed parlay leg, provided that it’s only one leg of your parlay that failed in the overall wager. We would caution against starting off your prop bets with parlay wagers, but if you’re considering it, here are three precautions we’d recommend using a Parlay Calculator and taking:
Starting off with low parlay bets that only string 2-3 wagers together
Taking advantage of parlay insurance promotions
Centering your parlay more around skill-based wagers than novelty wagers
Where To Make Prop Bets Online
Currently, Washington D.C. and 14 states allow for legalized sports betting markets in the country, but since sports betting has been effectively legalized nationwide (as of 2018), it’s only a matter of time before the market undergoes massive, exponential growth.
Some states currently offer as little as one option for online sports betting or as many as upwards of 20 sports betting apps. Here are a few trusted, renowned, and reputable names in the industry:
Best Online Sportsbooks
Many of these sites offer their own unique prop betting options, so if one site’s options fail to satisfy you, you’re almost certain to find something else that’ll please you and align with what you’re looking for.
Whether you’re placing novelty gimmick bets or slightly more serious skill-based ones, prop bets can be a fun, exciting, accessible, and rewarding experience for novice bettors. Why not make them more accessible with the help of the industry’s best deals, discounts, and no-deposit bonuses?