In recent years, many sportsbooks have witnessed an increased popularity of prop bets. These are somewhat unusual bets based on a specific event to happen during a match instead of a particular score or outcome of the game. Which team or player will be the first to score? Which team will be the first to earn 15 points? Will this player hit a home run? How many rebounds will that player collect?
The events you bet on don’t have to directly influence the final outcome of a match. In fact, prop bets can be made in other contexts as well. Along with dare bets, these have long been a favourite type of fun bets to place with friends.
What Are Prop Bets?
A prop bet (also known as proposition bet, novelty bet, or side bet) is a bet type that focuses on the “occurrence or non-occurrence” of a specific event during a game.
While you can place a prop bet on almost any sporting event, fast-paced ones work the best with this kind of betting. For example, experienced bettors will usually place a prop bet on football, baseball, basketball, cricket, or hockey.
How Do Prop Bets Work?
If you want to place one of these bets at your favourite sportsbook, read this section carefully, as we’ll explain in detail how to go about it.
Proposition bets are typically offered for almost every major sporting event. You can place your bet online or in person, usually right before the game starts. A notable exception would be SuperBowl, where placing this type of bet is possible well in advance – a whole week before the event.
Now, let’s see how to read prop bet odds.
Typically, the proposition bet odds will be in the decimal format, right next to the team or player you are looking to bet on. Let’s take a game of baseball as an example to explain this. We’ll say that the Los Angeles Angels are playing against the Dodgers, and that you want to bet on who’s going to score first. The decimal odds would look something like this:
- Los Angeles Angels 2.00
- Los Angeles Dodgers 1.77
Now, this is where having an understanding of the odds comes in handy. If you were to put $10 on the LA Angels, and they were to score first, you’d earn $20, plus the return of your investment. All in all, you’d pocket $30, which you can put toward your future baseball prop bets.
Tips for Placing Successful Proposition Bets
As with any kind of betting, there is no “hack” to winning big here. You won’t be able to make your proposition bets a stable source of income. However, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of winning.
Learn the difference between fun and skilled bets.
When talking about prop bets, many will differentiate between two subtypes of this bet: fun and skilled.
Just like the names suggest, the first one is placed entirely for fun – mainly because you can’t predict anything, and the outcome depends on sheer luck. A coin toss is a perfect example to illustrate fun prop bets because there is no way to predict the result.
However, some bets rely on skill and how well you know the teams playing. With this bet type, you can use your expert knowledge to make an educated guess and maximize your chances of winning. If you know your players, you can bet on the number of home runs, TD passes, or even on the nationality of the golf player to win a tournament.
So, one of the most important tips for prop bets is: Learn the difference between the two and remain objective. Keep in mind that fun bets are just for fun. These can rarely find their place in a successful betting strategy due to their complete randomness, which is fun but unlikely to bring you regular winnings.
Game predictions first, bets later.
Coming up with a list of bets and then researching your options might not be the best strategy you could employ. Focusing on a particular upcoming game first is a better idea. You want to have enough time to prepare and figure out the game’s outcome. You also want to try and predict the extra moments that you can place a sporting proposition on.
With this type of focused research done, you’ll have a higher chance of winning. Otherwise, you might fall into the trap of using research to validate and support an already chosen bet.
Shop around before placing a bet.
It might be worth mentioning that you can get different odds with different sportsbooks. While this stands true for almost all kinds of bets, the difference in odds is the most significant with prop bets. Bookmakers are always trying to balance out their books, and they don’t have to match other bookies’ offers or other prop bets markets. You’ll be able to find different odds for the same bets across several sportsbooks, as these are left entirely to the discretion of each sportsbook.
Make sure you choose a reliable one and don’t fall for sketchy bookies, even if they offer the best odds. Focus your research on trustworthy websites.
So, if you’d like to make an unusual bet on sports, for example, which team will score first, will the coin land on heads or tails, or which Gatorade color will be poured on the winning coach at SuperBowl – these bets are the perfect choice for you. Whichever props betting strategy you employ, don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it. After all, this is what these bets are all about!
What does a prop bet mean?
A prop bet, or proposition bet, is a bet type that doesn’t focus on scores and points but rather on propositions. You’re essentially betting on whether something will happen or not. It’s what makes this type so exciting for those looking to spice a game night up and seasoned bettors alike.
Are prop bets good bets?
This type of betting is fun but can also be lucrative if you put your knowledge of the sport you are betting on to good use. Furthermore, you can employ various sport-specific strategies to maximize your winnings with this type of bet.
Unless you are betting just for fun, it’s advisable that you only bet on props you have strong knowledge or opinions of, and devise a winning strategy before you place any bets.
Are prop bets legal?
Yes, this bet type is entirely legal and offered by many licensed and reputable UK sportsbooks.