What is a Props Bet? Guide and Tips

What is a Props Bet Guide and Tips

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How Does Props Betting Work?

Props (short for proposition bets) are in-game wagers that do not rely on the outcome of a game or event. For instance, you could bet on whether a football player will score a touchdown, or if a basketball player will hit a certain number of three-pointers. Sportsbooks will set a line or total for each prop bet and you decide whether to bet over or under that number based on your prediction. 

You will choose which prop bets you want to make, decide how much to wager, and if your prediction is correct, you win the bet and receive payouts at the predetermined odds. If your prediction is wrong, you lose the amount you wagered.

Types of Prop Bets

Props bets fall into different types. Discover the most popular versions here:

Game Props

Game props focus on events and occurrences throughout a game. These bets can be based on point spreads, moneylines, over/under, or yes/no formats. On top of that, they can also be based on a set period i.e. first half/second half, innings, or even in the first 10 minutes. They will look like:

  • Team with most strikeouts
  • Will there be a touchdown within the first 10 minutes?
  • Total number of three-pointers made
  • First half point total

Team Props

As the name suggests, team props center on the performance of each team. These usually involve over/under totals, moneylines, or yes/no bets based on team stats. Again, these can be time-based too. For example:

  • Will Team A rush for over 150 yards?
  • Will Team B hit 5 or more three-pointers?
  • Will Team C win all four quarters?

Player Props

Player props focus on individual player performances. They can involve totals, spreads, or head-to-head matchups between players. Some examples:

  • Player A over/under 25 points scored
  • Player B vs Player C - who will have more rebounds?
  • First player to score a touchdown
  • Pitcher over/under 8 strikeouts

Exotic Props

Exotic props go beyond typical game events, like betting on non sports events such as who will win a TV game show or election bets. These are often for entertainment purposes. Some examples:

  • Color of Gatorade poured on Super Bowl winning coach
  • Will there be a safety in the big game?
  • Will X win American Idol?
  • Who will win Best Actor at the Oscars?

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How Are Props Bets Odds Calculated?

Prop bets have odds listed in American/moneyline format like +300 or -150. The plus or minus indicates if it is an underdog or favourite bet. This can be a little confusing if you are new to betting on props, but an easy way to digest these is to look at them in decimal format.

To convert to decimal odds:

  • For underdog odds like +300, remove the + symbol and divide the number by 100. So +300 becomes 3 (300/100).
  • For favorite odds like -150, remove the - symbol and divide 100 by that number. So -150 becomes 0.67 (100/150).
  • Finally, add 1 to get the decimal odds. +300 becomes 4.0 and -150 becomes 1.67.
  • Higher decimal numbers mean bigger underdogs. Lower decimals favor likely favourites.

Let us look at an example. You want to place a $50 bet and the odds are +300. If you look at the odds in decimal format, 4.0 then you simply need to multiply this by your stake to work out your potential return. So, $50 at +300 becomes 50 x 4 = 200. This means if your bet wins, you will get $200 back with a $150 profit. 

Converting moneyline odds to decimals makes the payout easier to understand - a 4.0 bet pays out 4 times your wager, and a 1.67 bet pays out 0.67 times your wager. Knowing the math behind the odds helps make informed bets. As a tip, most online bookmakers will let you choose how you would like your odds displayed. If you are unsure of the American odds, pick decimal.

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Why Are Props Bets So Popular?

Prop bets first emerged in Vegas in 1986 for Super Bowl XX, allowing bets on whether "The Fridge" William Perry would score. Since then, their popularity has grown due to the entertaining variety of betting options. The numerous prop markets make betting a fun experience. Those with deep knowledge of a specific sport also have more of a chance of winning due to the nature of the bets.

In the past, prop bets were considered risky choices. However, with the rise of fantasy sports and improved analytics, prop betting has gained popularity.

At Gambling Zone we take responsible gambling seriously, so bear in mind that even if you think an outcome will happen there are no guarantees in sport. Always bet within your means.

Best Sports For Props Bets

Prop bets operate differently depending on the sport and league they are associated with. Here is a breakdown of how prop bets work in various popular leagues:

Soccer Props

In soccer, prop bets offer an extensive selection, particularly during major events like the World Cup or Champions League finals. These bets often revolve around player performance, such as goal-scoring markets and Over/Under totals for shots on goal, assists, and passes completed.

Basketball Props

NBA prop bets focus heavily on star players and their performances, including head-to-head matchups and combined stats like total points, rebounds, and assists. Similarly, NCAA basketball prop bets are more limited but can still be found for significant games and events like rivalry matchups and March Madness games.

Baseball Props

MLB prop betting is rapidly growing, featuring wagers on various game and player statistics like strikeouts, hits, and home runs.

Hockey Props

Common NHL prop bets include wagering on player performances such as goals, assists, and shots on goal. Additionally, there are team-related props like total goals scored or which team will score first.

American Football Props

In the NFL, prop bets offer an extensive selection, particularly during events like the Super Bowl. These bets often revolve around player performance, such as touchdown markets and Over/Under totals for passing, receiving, and rushing yards.

Golf Props

Golf prop bets cover individual player performances, head-to-head matchups, and tournament-specific wagers like predicting a hole-in-one or the total strokes for the winner.

Casino Sports Betting

Casino Sports Betting

Tips for Prop Betting

  1. Make it make sense - Do not make contradictory bets like the under on game total but over on touchdowns.
  2. Evaluate matchups - Find props that play to team strengths/weaknesses.
  3. Shop for the best odds - Prop lines can vary significantly between books.
  4. Manage your bankroll - Designate a percentage for prop bets and track results separately.
  5. Leverage your sports knowledge - Study players, teams, and stats to gain an edge.
  6. Start small - Props have softer lines but can take experience to master.
  7. Focus on entertainment props sparingly - Fun bets like Super Bowl national anthem length are hard to predict.

In summary, do your homework, shop for value, and bet smartly. Props can be profitable if approached systematically over time.


In summary, props bets are worth considering for savvy bettors and they cover everything from the NFL to soccer. These bets focus on player performances and game outcomes, providing both entertainment and potential profit. 

By understanding the options and using strategic analysis, you can enhance your betting experience.

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