NBA Props Betting

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
10 minute read
NBA Prop Bets

NBA prop bets are wagers that are tied to the performance of teams or individual players. Propositions can extend beyond that.

Basketball prop betting is a very exciting market to gamble on during the season, playoffs, and finals!

Props can be extremely profitable. Betting on the number of rebounds or points a player might score seems like a wild thing to bet on. Especially for those not used to this type of sports gambling market.

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NBA props have much higher edges than sides and totals,
even with the increased vigorish.

Wagering limits aren’t quite as high as other markets. They are an ideal wager for newer basketball bettors looking to build their bankroll.

Popular And Profitable NBA Prop Bets

NBA prop bets are mostly over and under bets based on player or team performances during any game or match. Below are some of the most popular NBA prop bets you can wager on:

  • NBA Player Props
  • NBA Team Props
  • NBA Draft Props
  • NBA Playoff Props
  • NBA Finals Props
  • All-Star Game Props
  • Slam Dunk Contest Props

NBA propositions fall under two categories, player and team props. Below, we will show examples of both.

NBA Player Props

NBA player prop bets center on individual basketball player performances during a game.

The most common props are the number of points, rebounds, and/or assists that a might player score in a game.

Most of these propositions are in a Total, or Over/Under, type of wager format. The most common player props available at online sportsbooks will be the point total that a player scores in a game.

A bet is placed on whether you believe the player will score over or under the odds given.

Betting On A Player Prop

For instance, you might want to wager Stephen Curry’s total number of points. The odds for that prop would look like this:

Stephen Curry – Total Points Scored (30.5)

  • Over 30.5 Points (-115)
  • Under 30.5 Points (-115)

In this player prop, we’re betting on the number points that Stephen Curry will score in the game. You can bet over or under the oddsmaker’s line of 30.5 points for Curry.

  • If we bet Over 30.5 points and he scores over that number, then your bet wins. If not, it loses.
  • If you bet Under 30.5 points and he scores below that number, your bet wins. If he scores over, your bet loses.

That is the basis for just about every NBA player prop.

Most sportsbooks that offer NBA props will have markets on points, rebounds, and assists for prominent basketball players. Some betting sites will have dozens of player props for each game.

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NBA Team Props

NBA Team Prop Bets

NBA team props might have outcomes that are not like the under/under betting used in most player props. They’re centered around each team’s performance. Let’s look at the most common team prop for NBA betting:

The most common NBA team props are:

  • Which team will score first?
  • Which team will get to 10 points first?
  • Which team will get to 20 points first?

Example Bet: Which Team Will Score First?

  • Houston Rockets -110
  • Golden State Warriors -110

This team prop is simple. Bet on each team will score first.

  • If you choose the correct team that makes the first basket or point in the game, then you win your bet.
  • If not, the bet is graded as a loss.

Another example that all sportsbooks offer as a team prop is which team will get to 10 points first.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets – Race to 10 Points

  • Houston Rockets +130
  • Golden State Warriors -170

This market is heavily dependent which team is favored in the contest. It is a derivative on the point spread market in the game. Again, this one is self-explanatory:

Choose which side gets to 10 points first and if that teams to 10 points first then you win your bet if not, the wager is graded as a loss.

There are also propositions for events such as the NBA Draft, which is a relatively new market.

Other Basketball Prop Bets You Can Place

As we mentioned above, there are many opportunities to place prop bets during the basketball season. There are BIG events that every sports gambler should keep in mind when making profitable props.

NBA Playoffs And Championship Finals Prop Bets

If you are looking to place your prop bets during the height of the NBA season it would be during the Playoffs and the Finals. This is where you will find the top teams and players, competing at a higher level than during the regular season.

You will still find the team and player props that we mentioned above, but the sportsbooks may offer higher betting limits or even more competitive odds during these special events. This is the perfect time to take advantage of any bonus offer to pad your bankroll and start diving into NBA playoffs and finals props.

Tons Of Props During The NBA All-Star Weekend

The All-Star events are probably where NBA fans will find betting sites jam-packed with prop bets during a single weekend. The All-Star weekend events include:

  • Skills Challenge – an event where top names in the NBA will show-off their skills. You can imagine how many prop bets this event alone will bring at the top sportsbooks.
  • Three-Point Contest – The classic three-point shootout where the best players try to sink as many balls as they can from behind the line. Place your prop bets on how many 3-pointers a player will make or who will end up winning the contest.
  • Slam Dunk Contest – The biggest event of the weekend. Where the participating basketball pro’s show-off with the wildest and craziest slam dunks. No need to explain why this event will bring in plenty of props.
  • All-Star NBA Game – Fans always love building their “dream teams” and the All-Star game is the perfect chance to see the top players in each conference team up and compete. The props will be crazy during this game.

Prop Bets During The NBA Draft

The NBA Draft offers a great opportunity for basketball fans to put money where their mind is, as they test their theories of what team will pick up what player. You will find dozens of prop bets during the Draft each year, so make sure to stay up to date on College Basketball and the top players.

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How To Bet NBA Prop Bets

Placing NBA proposition bets isn’t any different than placing a straight wager on a side or total. One thing to keep in mind is that not all sportsbooks are the same when it comes to props. Some bettings sites may offer more props than others, some may offer better odds, or even have higher betting limits.

Follow our simple steps to start placing your NBA prop bets:

1. Sign Up At An Online Sportsbook

Before you can start placing your prop wagers, you need to head over to a sportsbook and sign up. You can use our list of top NBA betting sites as a guide to see which is the best for you.

Signing up is FREE. However, if you want to start placing bets and make a profit, you need to make a deposit. There are many sign-up bonuses you can take advantage of to boost your bankroll!

2. Locate The NBA Betting Lines

With money in your account, head over to where the NBA game lines and odds are. You will easily find these lines during the NBA season, as most sportsbooks like to highlight current sports seasons at the top of the menu.

All of the sports lines can be found on the LEFT SIDE MENU. Search for “NBA” and click on it to expand and see what options are offered. Click on the Game Lines.

Locate the NBA Game Betting Lines

3. Pick Your Matchup And Go To The Props For That Game

Once you see all of the different NBA game lines, you can pick what matchup you want to bet on.

Let’s say you want to look at the prop bets for the Hornets vs. Pistons game. Find the match betting lines and simply click on the PROPS button. This will take you to the complete list of prop bets that the gambling site offers for that game.

Pick the NBA match to bet on Props

4. Pick Your Prop Bets And Place Your Wagers!

You will now have the full list of NBA prop bets that the sportsbook has to offer. You can pick from among team and player props.

Simply pick the props you want to bet on, input the amount you want to wager on the bet, and click on PLACE BET!

Placing NBA Player Props
Placing NBA Team Props

What Are The Best NBA Prop Bets?

The best NBA prop bets are the ones where you’re able to leverage your knowledge about the game in specific predictions.

For example, you can bet on how an NBA game is going to end. You bet on the Lakers winning the game, but you also bet on the prop bet of them winning in overtime.

Props tend to pay better than a traditional win bet, that’s what makes them attractive opportunities for profit.

Propositions are one of the best ways to make money betting on the NBA, but not the only way, don’t miss our NBA betting guide for more betting strategies and tips. Aside from high betting limits, they have everything you’d want in a sports betting market. They’re soft compared to bigger markets, few sharps bet them, and when talking NBA props, specifically, there are a ton of betting opportunities on both the regular season and the playoffs.

NBA Props Betting Tips and Strategy

There are a few tips you can use to increase your profitability when it comes to wagering on propositions. Once you get the basics down, it comes down to handicapping the propositions.

Betting Tip #1Use Multiple Sportsbooks

This is a good strategy no matter what type of betting you’re doing, but with propositions, it’s an absolute must. Propositions can vary quite widely from sportsbooks to sportsbook.

In some cases, you may see a point or two different on player props, which may not seem like much, but is a significant advantage.

If you spread money around to multiple betting sites that offer NBA props, you’re going to get the best price on each prop.

Betting Tip #2Local Bookies Are Your Friend

We advocate betting online over using local bookies for a lot of reasons. Most importantly, reliability and deposit bonuses, but there is a place for trusted local bookies in any bettor’s repertoire.

That’s especially true when it comes to betting props. Most online sportsbooks only take $500 or so on NBA props, and some take even less. It’s not uncommon for local bookies to take $1,000 or more on propositions. They may cut you off eventually, but there are a ton of profits to be made before that happens if the betting limits are high enough.

Betting Tip #3Learn to Handicap Propositions

Here you dive into the numbers and break down the teams and players to find the best predictions to bet on. Edges can be found if you’re looking to work hard enough at beating the oddsmakers’ numbers.

One area that can help uncover hidden value is analyzing NBA advanced statistics.

Benefits of Basketball Prop Bets

Basketball prop bets and NBA proposition bets, in general, have several advantages over straight wagers on sides and totals and other prop markets. They’re one of the best markets to attack for a variety of reasons, and you don’t necessarily have to be a basketball fan to do so.

Betting Opportunities

Professional basketball is loaded with action, the NBA offers several opportunities for props and individual games betting.

There are 82 regular-season games and a long postseason which begins with eight teams from each conference. These are all decided in a best-of-seven game series.

Lack of Sharp Bettors

Props are recreational bet types. Their limits are rather low, and they have a higher vig than straight wagers. For sharp bettors who bet enough to move betting markets with much higher limits – they’re simply not interested in betting propositions.

That means the market is full of recreational players. And, low stakes bettors who have a clue. Be one of the bettors who have a clue.

Higher Edge

Proposition bets offer a higher edge than traditional wagers on sides and totals. That’s why the betting limits are so low at online sportsbooks compared to larger markets. It’s harder to predict how a game might play out overall, but predicting individual matchups is far easier.

For those that can break down statistics and individual NBA matchups – propositions are a great market to attack.

Latest NBA Betting Picks

NBA Prop Bets Frequently Asked Questions

Are prop bets available for other sports?

Yes, propositions are available for just about every major sport in some form.

The NFL and the NBA have the most proposition markets at sportsbooks that accept Americans, but props are available for both baseball and hockey and plenty of other sports.

How long have prop bets been around? Who invented them?

Probably as long as sports existed amongst friends betting on sports or the early days of bookies. However, props got their start when it came to organized sports betting in the 1970s.

In the 1985 Super Bowl, William “The Refrigerator” Perry was a defensive lineman that frequently got the ball on the goal line. This led to a prop if he would score a touchdown or not in the big game.

From there, Super Bowl props expanded each year, and eventually, this led to other sports.

Are proposition bets graded and settled as soon as they win or lose?

Props bets being settled faster or slower depends on the sportsbook. It does vary quite a bit.

In general, props are grader slower than sides, totals, and moneylines. It’s not uncommon for props to be graded and settled a half hour after a game ends.

What are the wagering limits on props?

There is a wide range here, but most NBA propositions have maximum betting limits of $500.

It’s rare to see higher limits, but not uncommon for sportsbooks to have meager limits on propositions. Some prop bets have a max bet of a just $50-$100.

Complete Guide To Betting On The NBA

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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