What Is A Prop Bet?

what is a prop bet

In the past, you’ve bet on which team will win a game. You’ve bet on how much they’ll win a game by. You’ve even bet on the total points that will be scored in a game.

But what if you want to bet on something more specific?

In that case, you’ll want to learn a bit more about prop bets. This type of wager is pretty niche, but it’s rising in popularity. We’re going to delve into how prop bets work, what you stand to gain from them, and how you can make a killing using expert picks:

What Are Prop Bets?

Sports betting poses one obvious advantage: you can win a lot of money! But people are drawn to it for another reason, too—it can be a lot of fun.

You’ve probably placed a prop bet once or twice in your life. For example, have you ever bet a friend $5 that they couldn’t pat their head and rub their stomach at the same time? Prop bets (or proposition bets) are when you wager if an event will occur or if it will be a non-occurrence. They typically focus on the events that surround a sports game, the performance of a player, or milestones that take place.

In general, there are two broad types of prop bets:

Skilled Prop Bets

Where do you draw the line between sports betting and gambling?

It comes down to the information that you use to place your bet. Skillful prop betting requires a measure of knowledge, experience, and patience. Making accurate predictions is no easy task, which is why many bettors rely on professional sports handicappers to inform their picks.

Here are a few kinds of prop bets that require research to predict:

  • Player props

If you’re familiar with how one player performs in games, use that knowledge to your advantage. Let’s say that you’re a big LeBron James fan. You know that each game, he’s likely to score a certain number of points, especially against a specific team. So, you can place a prop bet that he’ll score X number of points in the next game.

  • Game props

Wager on what will take place during a game, which may not necessarily affect a team’s chances of winning. For example, which team will score first? How many fumbles will happen? Will any fights erupt on the ice? Depending on the sport that you’re most interested in, there are all kinds of game props to bet on.

In a hockey game, you can bet on if there will be a shutout. Bet on how many bases will be stolen in an MLB game. With football, you can wager on which team will score the first touchdown. And for basketball, place a prop bet on how many assists one player will get. As you can see, there are ample opportunities to make prop bets in all major sports leagues.

But if you want to place successful sports bets, you should take advice from professional sports handicappers.

Prop Bets For Fun

The Super Bowl is somewhat notorious for the types of proposition bets that people place. In fact, this sporting event is partially why prop bets are becoming so popular.  Here are a few prop bets that pop up before the big game:

  • Who will win the coin toss? It doesn’t get more random than this. To decide which team receives the football in the first or second half, both teams call heads or tails, and the referee flips a coin. Given that any coin toss is a 50/50 and completely up to chance, this type of prop betting is a real shot in the dark.
  • What color will the Gatorade be? Each year, the coach of the winning team is drenched in this sports beverage. This drink comes in a range of colors including orange, blue, white, and purple. 
  • How long will the national anthem be? That’s right: you can even place a prop bet on the length of the Star-Spangled Banner.

You might be thinking to yourself: aren’t these a little silly? And you’d be correct! Bets like these exemplify how some people bet on sports just for fun. During a high-stakes event, like The Super Bowl, placing a prop bet is one way to make game night even more exciting. These kinds of bets are solely for the fun of it; there’s no way to strategize if a coin will land on heads or tails. 

Prop bets are sometimes referred to as side bets. This is because they have no primary outcome on the game itself. It won’t help one team win if the anthem is 30 seconds longer than usual—still, this is a popular type of side bet just because it’s so outlandish.

Which kind of prop bet is right for you? The answer depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. If you just want to add some fun to the next game, you can place one that’s mostly up to chance. 

But if you’d like to turn a profit and put your game knowledge to the test, consider a game or player prop. These types of wagers require just as much skill as point spreads—you need to look at match history, a player’s condition, and other situational factors to make an educated bet. 

Do Prop Bets Push?

In sports betting, a push refers to a tie. It’s when you don’t win or lose a bet; instead, neither side gets paid out. Your money is returned with nothing gained or lost. If you bet on a point spread, and the team wins by the exact number of points that the sports books set, you’ll get your wager back.

Since prop bets rarely depend on the winner or loser of a game, it’s rare to see a push. When you place a Super Bowl prop bet on the color of Gatorade that will be dumped, it’s one color or the other—no in-betweens! For that reason, prop betting is a great way to avoid a push.

Why Should I Place A Prop Bet?

When it comes to sports betting, you have no shortage of options, from moneyline odds to over/under bets. What are the advantages to placing prop bets?

  • You can increase your winnings.

What if you were certain that one team would win a game? You’ve already placed a bet on the moneyline, but you want to take your winnings to the next level. In a football game, you might be confident about more than which team will win; you also have a hunch that the wide receiver will catch the ball a certain number of times. Place a prop bet to capitalize on your knowledge.

  • They get less attention than other kinds of bets.

With point spreads or moneyline odds, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of other bettors to compete with. Most lines are refined and optimized by sports books, who stand to lose a lot more if the winning side gets more action. They set hundreds of lines every day. The chances of them overlooking one small prop bet are pretty good. 

  • It’s exciting!

Putting money on the line always makes a game more entertaining. It makes each play of the game meaningful. Prop bets are a great way to raise the stakes. You can even bet on live games to make money as the events unfold! Live bets are getting increasingly popular, and prop betting lends itself well to this format. Try to predict how the next quarter or period will end after the game begins.

How Do I Place A Prop Bet?

You’re convinced that placing a prop bet on the next game will help you win big. Now you’re ready to get in on the action. 

You can place prop bets using any online sports book that offers them. But before you do, consider referring to the picks selected by a sports handicapper. While some prop bets are just for fun, others can be won using game knowledge, research, and data analysis. Looking for expert sports picks to use for prop betting? Kyle Covers has an unmatched win rate. Check out our All-Access packages for the NBA picks, MLB picks, NHL picks, and NFL picks.