What is Prop Betting

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Prop Betting

In very simple terms, a prop bet, short for a proposition, is a bet made on the occurrence of an event, or non-occurrence of an event, that does not directly influence the outcome of a game or match.

This differs from a general bet that is dependent on the winner of the event or the points scored in the event. Instead, prop bets can be on things like the total number of strikeouts by a starting pitcher, with no relation to whether that pitcher wins or loses. They can be bets on which team scores the first touchdown in a game but have nothing to do with the final outcome of the game.

Proposition bets have become one of the most popular types of bets to place and can be done just for fun in many instances. And while this is certainly true of many props, that doesn’t mean prop bets are all just novelties or aren’t a valuable part of an overall winning sports betting strategy. The fact that some bettors don’t take them seriously is why the more experienced bettor can find good value in betting propositions.

How Prop Bets Work

The majority of prop bets are paid on odds, like a moneyline. And the more likely an event is to occur, the less it pays.

For example, when you bet on the eventual winner of the World Series MVP, choosing one of the stars or top starting pitchers is going to pay less than if you get lucky with a bet on one of the role players.

When Corey Seager won the World Series MVP in 2020, he went into the Series as the favorite to win the award, paying +175. In 2018 when it was the improbable Steve Pearce who won the award for Boston, he was still paying +1300 as late as Game 5.

These same kinds of disparities can be found on individual game props. Which player is most likely to score the first rushing touchdown of a game? A bet on Derrick Henry of the Titans will pay far less than a bet on his quarterback, Ryan Tannehill.

You can also find head-to-head prop bets, like who will score the most points in a game, LeBron James or James Harden. These also pay on odds. But if you were to bet an over/under on the number of points scored by LeBron, that comes with a point spread and will most likely pay -110 on either side of the posted line.

Types of Prop Bets

Props vs. Futures

It’s not uncommon for people to mistake proposition bets for futures bets and vice versa. A futures bet is made on an event that is off in the future. You can make a futures bet on the Super Bowl a full year before the Super Bowl is played. But even if you make that bet on the weekend of the NFC and AFC Championship games, it’s still a futures bet, even if the future is only a couple of weeks away.

Prop bets are different in that they are bets on events inside the game, whereas futures bets are on the game’s outcome. Futures bets, like the winner of the next FIFA World Cup, which can be placed years in advance of the event, are far more speculative than a prop bet placed on that World Cup, like which team will draw the most yellow cards or have the most corner kicks.

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Super Bowl Props

The granddaddy of proposition bet craziness is the Super Bowl. From the length of the National Anthem, to who will make guest appearances at the halftime show, to the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach – you can bet on almost everything in the game, including the commercials.

If you want to know who to credit for the avalanche of bets that come on Super Bowl Sunday, it’s the Super Bowl itself. Back in the early 1980s, there were a handful of standard proposition bets, like the game’s rushing leader, passing yards, etc.

Then came Super Bowl XX, the 15-1 Chicago Bears, the Super Bowl Shuffle, and William “the Refrigerator” Perry. Mike Ditka had been using the rookie defensive tackle in short-yardage situations during the season, and a handful of Las Vegas sportsbooks thought it would be fun to have a prop bet on Perry scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

A bet on yes for a Perry touchdown opened at 50-to-1, but the betting public bet it so heavily that by the time the game kicked off, the bet was down to 8-to-1. And if you know the history, you know that with the game out of hand and the Bears just salting away the minutes until their first-ever Super Bowl championship, Perry scored.

The sportsbooks took it on the chin, but the bettors were hooked on props. And ever since that Sunday in 1986, proposition bets have been as big a part of the Super Bowl as the MVP’s post-game trip to Disney World.

Prop Betting Strategies

The great thing about prop bets is that they break down a game into parts, and in many cases, specific matchups. Perhaps you don’t know who is going to win the game, but you can identify which players are most likely to have good games and which players won’t.

In diagnosing a football game, you can see a real matchup problem between a team’s offensive line and their ability to stop their opponent’s pass rush. You can see that NBA Team A plays top perimeter defense, and thus they will give up fewer three-pointers to NBA Team B. This starting pitcher gives us more walks. Therefore he also gives up fewer hits.

All of these small games inside the game can be used by you to develop a winning strategy when placing proposition wagers.

Sports Betting How To Guide

How Money Line Works?

Moneyline betting is by far the easiest way to place a sports wager. There are no point spreads to parse, no garbage-time free throws to ruin your betting day, and no last-minute meaningless touchdowns to take you from a winner to a loser.

How to Bet Odds

When we, as sports fans, learned our multiplication tables, we aced the number 7. Seven, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 were easy because we all watched football on the weekends. Multiplication by sevens, then add a three, a six after a missed PAT.

How to Bet on NFL Games

Baseball is America’s pastime, but football is America’s crazed passion, with its weekly schedule of games, millions of television viewers across the country and the world, and the billion-dollar stadiums that serve as Sunday cathedrals in 32 American cities.

What is the Spread?

If you are a golfer or have ever played on a bowling team, think of a point spread like a handicap. It is a way for two teams of differing abilities to play each other on equal footing.  The better team, and the favorite in the game, gives a certain amount …