NBA Props Betting

NBA prop bets are wagers that are not related to the final scoreline of the game, unlike more traditional bets, like point spreads, totals, and moneylines. In most cases, they are tied to the performance of players and teams, but props can extend beyond that. Pro basketball proposition betting is one of the more exciting markets to bet on.

Not only are prop bets fun and exciting, but they can also be extremely profitable. Betting on the number of points or rebounds a player might get seems like a wild thing to bet if you’re not used to betting props, but these bets have much higher edges than sides and totals, even with the increased vigorish. Wagering limits aren’t quite as high, but that is one of the reasons that they are an ideal market for newer bettors looking to build their bankroll.

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How NBA Proposition Betting Works

NBA prop bets work the same as any other proposition market. They’re mostly over and under bet based on player performances. The most common props might be the number of points a player might score or the number of points + rebounds + assists that a might player score in a game. The most common team props are stuff like, “which team will score first?” or “which team will get to 10 points first?”. There are also propositions for events such as the NBA Draft, which is a relatively new market. NBA propositions fall under two categories, player and team props. Below, we will show examples of both.

NBA Player Props

Stephen Curry Player PropsNBA player prop bets center on player performances. Most are in a total or over/under type of format. The most common player prop available at online sportsbooks will be the point total that a player scores in a game, over or under. 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 30.5
  • Over 30.5 Points (-115)
  • Under 30.5 (-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 he bet over 30.5 points and he scores over that number, then your bet wins, if not, it loses. Likewise, 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. Let’s look another Stephen Curry prop, but this time when it comes to points + rebounds + assists. This prop is also extremely common and will be at most sportsbooks that offer NBA player props.

Stephen Curry – Total Rebounds + Points + Assists 45.5
  • Over 45.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-115)
  • Under 45.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-115)

The same principles apply to the last prop when it comes to grading the wager. Bettors can wager on the over or under on the number of points, rebounds, and assists that Curry will have in the game and bet over or under the number given by the sportsbooks. Most sportsbooks that offer NBA props will have at least markets on points, rebounds, and assists for prominent players. Some betting sites will have dozens of player props for each game.

NBA Team Props

NBA team propsNBA 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:

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.

How To Bet NBA Prop Bets

Placing NBA propositions 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 betting propositions. There are a few steps to consider before depositing at a sportsbook if you want to bet propositions.

  1. Choose An NBA Proposition Sportsbook – There are several factors to consider when choosing an online sportsbook. The speed of payouts, trustworthiness, bonuses, and betting markets are all elements to consider. However, if you’re looking to bet NBA props specifically, you will need to be sure that the sportsbook has these markets available. Most do, but some will have far fewer proposition offers than others. We recommend these top sportsbooks.
  2. Make A Deposit – Once you find a sportsbook that offers the number of props you’re looking for – it’s time to make a deposit. We recommend depositing with cryptocurrencies as they come with no fees for deposits and payouts. Credit cards and bank wires are also available at most sportsbooks, but some come with fees. Be sure to get a bonus when you deposit, but be aware, most deposit bonuses and free plays cannot be used on props.
  3. Place Your Bet – Look for NBA betting markets and find propositions. Choose your proposition(s) by adding to your bet slip and then choosing your amount to bet. Once there, you can hit submit to confirm and submit your bet.

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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 also you 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 to 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 be getting the best price on each prop.

Betting Tip #2Local Bookies Are Your Friend

We advocate online betting over local bookies for a lot of reasons, most importantly, reliability and deposit bonuses, but there is a place for a trusted local bookie in any bettor’s repertoire. That’s especially true when it comes to betting props. Most sportsbooks online 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, which 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 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.

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?

That 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.