Prop bets, more formally known as proposition bets, are betting markets beyond the traditional options you find on online sportsbooks – moneylines, spreads, over/under totals, and parlays.

Prop betting is quite popular and can often lead to bigger profits than you would typically get by betting on a winner. That said, proposition betting requires some knowledge of the sport and sports betting.

This article will cover the ins and outs of proposition betting – starting with what it is, how it works, and the different prop bets you can make across various sports. We will also look at the best way to approach prop bets to maximize your chances of winning.

What is a Prop Bet?

A prop bet is a side bet made on different events within a match. It goes beyond the fan favorites winner, point spread markets, or same game parlay, and dives deeper into the various nuances of how the sporting event will go.

Prop bets do not rely on the final score. Instead, they are placed on sections of the game where the team or a player may accomplish something. Often, these take the shape of an ‘Over/Under’ or a ‘Yes/No’ format and usually involve countable stats from the game.

Proposition betting usually falls in one of the following parameters:

  • The timing of the event – first, last, or anytime during the match for something to happen
  • The amount – number of points, goals, touchdowns, passing yards, assists
  • The success – whether the player or the team manages to do something or not

It could be as simple as Travis Kelce scoring a touchdown in the first 20 minutes against the Detroit Lions, or Stefanos Tsitsipas striking over 10.5 aces in the Wimbledon semifinals against Jannik Sinner.

An example of basketball prop betting markets from Bet Online Sportsbook.

Prop betting has been around for as long as people have been gambling. If two Romans watching gladiators battling it out in the Colosseum made a bet on which fighter would draw first blood – it would be a prop bet.

In more recent times, the first official prop bet was made in 1986 for Super Bowl XX, when bookmakers in Las Vegas took bets on whether William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry would score a touchdown or not.

Types of Prop Bets: How to Read Prop Bets?

Given the sheer number of prop bets you can make on a match – Super Bowls, for example, tend to have over 50 prop markets – they are commonly classified into the following categories:

  • Player props
  • Team props
  • Game props
  • Novelty props

Player Prop Bets

As the name suggests, player props revolve around players’ performances – how they will fare in the match – irrespective of whether their team wins or loses. This could be individual player accomplishments or pitting them against other players in a head-to-head scenario.

Mentioned below are a few examples of player prop markets from different sports:

  • Best offshore betting sites may offer that Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks will score Over/Under 32.5 points against the LA Lakers. If you believe Doncic is in fine form and can undoubtedly score that many points, you would bet on the Over market. If you think the Lakers’ defense can make life difficult for the Slovenian, you would bet on the Under market.
  • For Super Bowl LVIII, sportsbooks offered -113 for Patrick Mahomes to have over 256.5 passing yards and -110 for him to have under.
  • Within Major League Soccer, bookies may offer -400 for Lionel Messi of Inter Miami to be an anytime goalscorer and +200 for him to be the first goalscorer in the match against FC Dallas.

Team Prop Bets

With team prop bets, you bet on the performance of individual teams. This bet is more for bettors who enjoy wagering on a particular team.

A few examples are:

  • In an NFL game, you can choose either Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Green Bay Packers as your pick to be the first team to score.
  • Between the LA Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, you can bet on the total runs scored by your favorite baseball team.
  • In an NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, you can wager whether the Warriors (or Lakers) will win all four quarters or not .

Game Prop Bets

While team bet props focus on individual teams, game props concentrate on the entire game. These bets are good when you are not backing a single horse but instead betting on how the match will go.

Here are some common proposition bets you may find within this type:

  • What will be the total number of goals in the match between LA Galaxy and New England Revolution?
  • Which team will be the first to score a touchdown between the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles?
  • Who will get the most strikes in a baseball match between the LA Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays?
  • Will a match between the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers go to overtime or not?

Novelty Prop Bets

Novelty proposition bets, commonly known as exotic prop bets, add a new touch to prop betting. Often, they have nothing to do with the sporting event itself. Instead, they focus on what happens during the game – the shenanigans before, during halftime, and after the event.

Exotic props are also found in non-sporting events. Sportsbooks are known to offer bets for the Oscars, national elections, and other similar events.

Mentioned below are a few examples of exotic bet props:

  • Who will win the Best Actor award at the next Academy Awards?
  • The length of the national anthem during the Super Bowl
  • Who will be the next President of the United States?
  • Will a streaker run onto the field in the FIFA World Cup Final?
  • Who will win the coin toss?

Prop Betting Markets for Different Sports & Leagues

Proposition bets vary across different sports. The following section highlights the different prop markets you can find when betting on basketball, football, tennis, golf, etc.

NBA prop betting

NBA props, or basketball props, focus on different stats of the match. Popular ones include points, rebounds, assists, and 3-pointers. You will likely find similar markets in college basketball betting or other basketball games as well. Common examples of NBA props are:

  • Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics to have over (or under) 5.5 assists
  • Nikola Jovic of the Miami Heat to have under 5.5 rebounds
  • New York Knicks to be the first team to score 20 points
  • Charlotte Hornets to beat Cleveland Cavaliers by a margin of 16-20 points.

Related Content: Best NBA Betting Sites in the USA

NFL prop betting

Prop betting on the NFL is a must-try for any football fan – especially during the Super Bowls. Super Bowl props are known to exceed in volume, with most popular football props often seen during this big event.

Like basketball, football props focus on statistics like rushing yards, passing yards, touchdowns, and interceptions. To list a few NFL props, we have:

  • A popular football prop could be placed on if a quarterback, like Patrick Mahomes, will throw for over 300 yards in a game or not.
  • You might wager on whether the New England Patriots will score a touchdown or not in the first quarter of their next game.
  • You can also bet on whether Micah Parsons of the Cowboys will have over (or under) 5.5 touchdowns.

Related Content: Best NFL Betting Sites in the USA

MLB prop betting

Baseball prop betting features markets focused on runs, hits, and strikeouts. That said, the range of MLB props is far smaller than what you would find in the NBA or NFL – but these limited bets can translate to a more concentrated prop betting approach in baseball.

An example of baseball prop betting markets from Bovada sportsbook.

Here is what you can expect with prop betting on MLB:

  • Will the game go to extra innings (Yes/No)?
  • Which team will score the first run?
  • Will Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees hit a home run?
  • Grayson Rodriguez of the Baltimore Orioles to have over (or under) 5.5 strikeouts?

NHL prop betting

There are a multitude of prop bets to make in ice hockey – especially the NHL. From goalscorers markets to props focused solely on goalies, NHL fans can find bet props on goals, assists, saves, and shots taken at the top hockey betting sites.

Here are a few examples of prop bets in hockey:

  • 60 minutes: Player to record 2+ shots on goal
  • Anytime goalscorer in the 2nd period of the match
  • Will there be overtime in a match between the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers?
  • The goaltender of the Winnipeg Jets, Collin Delia, to have over 20.5 saves in 60 minutes

Soccer prop betting

Soccer props, like basketball and football, focus on teams and players. They involve prop betting around stats like assists, goals, and shots. They often feature scenarios within the two halves of the game.

Here are a few popular prop bets offered by the top soccer betting sites in USA:

  • Inter Miami to score in both halves of the match
  • DC United to have three or more shots on target
  • Total goals in the match to exceed 2.5
  • At least one goal scored in both halves of the game

Individual Sports Prop Betting

Similar to popular team sports, prop betting is common in individual games like golf, tennis, and NASCAR. While these also focus on player statistics, they tend to be trickier as the outcome of the bet solely depends on one player and not the whole team. Below, we have covered a few prop bet examples from each sport.

  • Golf: Will the US Open see a hole-in-one in round one? Will the winner of The Masters be an American golfer?
  • Tennis: Will Coco Gauff win over 11.5 games against Maria Sakkari? Will the final of the French Open see a tie-break?
  • NASCAR: Will Christopher Bell finish higher than Josh Berry? Which manufacturer will win the Wurth 400?

Benefits of Prop Betting: Why Should You Make Proposition Bets?

Prop betting focuses on how the match will go rather than the final score. This gives bettors a new world of sports betting opportunities where they can profit more on a single game than just by betting on the moneyline.

Here are four main advantages of proposition betting:

  • Increased prop odds: While predicting the overall outcome of a game can often come with lower odds, betting on specific instances during the match tend to carry higher rates. This is especially true for heavily one-sided matches – think Saint Kitts and Nevis vs United States in the last CONCACAF Gold Cup – where betting on the moneyline would lead to mediocre returns while wagering on the props can boost profits.
  • Opportunity for value betting: The prop odds tend to be higher because sportsbooks do not spend much time setting these lines. This means the side bets you are picking haven’t been set with utmost care and research – giving you a chance to beat the house.
  • Prop bets are fun and diverse: One of the main benefits of prop betting is the added entertainment value. With prop wagers, every moment of the game can hold significance. For example, even if the game’s outcome is essentially decided before the final whistle, the numerous prop betting options can keep you engaged until the end.
  • Huge plus for knowledgeable bettors: Bettors who follow the sport religiously can win its prop bets with little effort. By tapping into the statistics, performance, and knowledge of the game, you can make informed betting decisions where others would falter.

Drawbacks of Prop Bets

A major disadvantage of prop betting is the high knowledge requirement. Since proposition bets focus on event and player statistics, they require a certain level of expertise to be correctly placed.

Consider the following prop market: For you to be betting on whether Shota Imanaga of the Chicago Cubs will have over 5.5 strikeouts against the Atlanta Braves, you should ideally look into the pitching performance of Imanaga, the batting averages of Braves’ batters, and the overall form of the two teams. This, in turn, warrants a deep knowledge of baseball and an up-to-date following of the MLB.

In addition to these, there are a few other drawbacks of prop bets to consider:

  • Limited availability: Not all sportsbooks offer a wide range of prop bets, so your options may be limited depending on where you place your bets.
  • Capped stake size: The amount you can wager may be limited on prop bets.
  • Increased risk: Prop bets often involve specific events or statistics that can be influenced by many unpredictable factors. This can make them riskier than traditional bets.
  • Chances of impulsive betting: The fun and excitement of prop betting can lead some people to make impulsive decisions, placing bets without proper thought or strategy. This can quickly lead to addiction if not managed properly.

Prop Betting Tips & Strategies: How to Win Prop Bets?

Prop betting can, in the long run, lead to better returns than traditional betting. But getting there requires discipline, consistency, and patience. Here is Sportscasting’s take on different prop betting strategies and tips to follow to make the most of these side bets.

  • Do Your Research: Knowledge is power in prop betting. The more you know about the sport, the teams, and the players, the better your chances of making a successful bet. Look at player statistics, team statistics, recent performances, player injuries, squad updates, home-away stats, weather, coaching, and team schedule.
  • Shop Around: Sportsbooks may offer different odds on the same prop bet. Shopping around and finding the best odds for your bet is always a good idea. This is why it is often recommended for bettors to have accounts at multiple sports betting sites.
  • Look for Value: Sometimes, the most popular bets aren’t the ones with the best value. Look for prop wagers that others might be overlooking. These can often provide a better return on your wager.
  • Stick to What You Know: Prop bets can be overwhelming because of their sheer quantity. In such cases, it is better to follow what you know. If your strength is player-prop betting with baseball, go with it. If you are the kind of bettor who makes successful prop bets on the team and game, follow through with those.
  • Manage Your Bankroll: It’s important to decide in advance how much you’re willing to wager and stick to that budget. Prop betting can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to manage your bankroll effectively.
  • Stay Disciplined: It can be tempting to place many prop bets, especially during big games or events. However, it’s crucial to stay disciplined and not let the excitement lead to impulsive betting decisions.
  • Bet Responsibly: Always remember that betting should be fun. Only bet what you can afford to lose, and if you feel that betting is becoming a problem, seek help.


Proposition betting offers a unique, exciting way to participate in sports betting. Prop bets allow bettors to bet on the specifics of a game by focusing on player performances, team performances, or even off-the-field events rather than your usual moneyline or spread bets. Depending on the sport, prop bets can fall either into player props or team/game props; these are common across NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, and other events. While they do come with their own set of risks, with proper knowledge, strategy, and a responsible approach, they can provide a fun and potentially profitable betting experience.

Prop Betting FAQs

How do prop bets work?

When are proposition bets typically released for games?

Where can I place prop bets online?

Can you bet on props during a live game?

When are prop bets settled and paid out?

In what scenarios can my prop bets be canceled?

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Chirag Dubey
Sports Editor

Chirag Dubey brings to the table a combined expertise of iGaming, poker, and sports. His passion runs particularly deep with soccer and tennis, but he is open to following other games as well. Poker and sports betting are also two strengths of his, and he is now leveraging his experience into providing best value for all readers on the site. With an emphasis on quality, minute details, and user experience on Sports Casting, Chirag strives for excellence through his content.

Get to know Chirag Dubey better
Author photo
Chirag Dubey Sports Editor

Chirag Dubey brings to the table a combined expertise of iGaming, poker, and sports. His passion runs particularly deep with soccer and tennis, but he is open to following other games as well. Poker and sports betting are also two strengths of his, and he is now leveraging his experience into providing best value for all readers on the site. With an emphasis on quality, minute details, and user experience on Sports Casting, Chirag strives for excellence through his content.

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