Proposition Bets In Sports

prop bets bettingIn sports betting, a proposition bet also known as prop bet, prop, novelty or a side bet is a bet made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence during a game of an event not directly affecting the game’s final outcome. Prop bets are one of the topics we cover heavily at Safest Betting Sites. The reason for this is their profitability, particularly when it comes to new bettors who are trying to increase their bankrolls. They have baseline pricing at -115 instead of the standard -110 which makes the sportsbooks are most vulnerable.

Online sportsbooks tend to earn well on prop betting because props are driven by public interest and perception. Many bettors play them solely for fun in hopes of a big payout. Most prop bets are a player or team props, but propositions can be on any event surrounding an event where a sportsbook has odds available.

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Prop Bets – Worth Targeting?

As mentioned above, propositions have higher juice than traditional betting markets, such as sides and totals and lower betting limits as well. These two factors are usually ones that make a betting market one to avoid.

Prop Bets vs Futures Bets In Sports Betting

For instance, futures are similar to props in a number of ways. They’re both recreational betting markets. Sharp action isn’t something that moves the odds in almost all cases. They both are juiced higher than the 10% vig charged on straight wagers.

The big difference between the two markets is that futures debatably offer no value. The juice on futures is perhaps the worst in all of sports betting, with many markets charging vig of 25-30% or more. The increase from -110 to -115 would make many markets unprofitable, but that isn’t the case with props. The edge for an experienced sports bettor is enough to make prop markets +EV, for the most part.

Prop Bets – Players’ Cut

It’s a little-known secret that many sportsbooks lose money on proposition bets. Of course, that begs the question of why they offer them in the first place, if they’re aren’t making anything off them. Well, first of all, they probably aren’t losing THAT much money on their proposition markets, or they wouldn’t offer them altogether. Pinnacle Sports, the largest bookmaker in the world by a large margin, used to offer NFL player props, but they got rid of the market altogether several years ago.

Proposition Betting Marketing

prop betsAnyway, the point here is that props either aren’t profitable, break even or marginally profitable for most sportsbooks. The best explanation for sites offering them is because their competition does and a considerable amount of the betting public is interested in betting them. It’s similar to a shopper deciding which store to go to that day. The price of the goods is important, but so is variety. Even though most people are not going to buy everything in the store, it’s nice to have a selection and be able to purchase from a larger pool of goods.

That’s the same way with sportsbooks. Enough people are interested in proposition betting that it becomes another reason to play at Sportsbook A instead of Sportsbook B. A lot of sportsbooks tout their high number of betting markets, and props only add to this total. Online sports betting is a marketplace just like any other industry and people want options. Also, let’s not forget, sportsbooks do ban or limit players frequently. If a particular player is winning too much on props, they can simply cut their limits or decide not to take their action at all.

Bringing All of the Players to the Yard

NFL Football PlayersThe reason why props are not massive money makers for the sportsbooks. Despite the majority of bettors wagering on them being firmly in the recreational (losing) category, is because of sharps still hit these markets. The sportsbooks don’t have time to agonize over every proposition bet. Much of the time, line movements on props are triggered automatically. There’s not a lot that goes into creating player and team props. Most of them are formulated using league averages and game by game averages and are not necessarily derivatives of other markets, such as sides and totals.

If you spend 20 minutes handicapping a single prop, you’ve likely spent considerably more time than the oddsmaker who created it. So, yes, while propositions are juiced higher than straight wagers, they are easily the softest markets when it comes to betting sports. They are particularly excellent markets to go after if you’re a new gambler looking to increase your bankroll.

Line Movement In Prop Bets

Another factor to consider is that props don’t always move with the primary markets. If the total or spread changes, prop markets often do not always move in unison. When news breaks, such as an injury or suspension, sides, totals, and moneylines are pulled off the board. But, props can linger around a bit longer, allowing savvy gamblers to capitalize on breaking news.

Prop Bets – Limits And Opening Odds

Proposition betting limits are much smaller than sides and totals. Most sportsbooks have propositions capped at $500, and even that may be on the high end depending on where you’re wagering. Many props have maximum betting limits of $250, but there are some with limits as low as a mere $50.

The low betting limits are a clear indication that the sportsbooks don’t have much confidence in their proposition markets. If the limits were any higher, prop markets would be a feeding frenzy for high limit sharps. That’s another reason why props are released long after sides, totals, and moneylines. Player and team props appear just a few hours before game time for major markets, such as football, basketball, hockey, and baseball.

Common Prop Bet – Player’s Performance

The most common props are centered on a player’s performance. Such as the number of yards NFL quarterback will throw in a game or number of receptions a receive might have. This goes over to MLB baseball with a pitcher’s number of strikes in a game or the number of points scored by an NBA basketball player in an or college game. Perhaps the most common proposition bet is “which team will score first?” which offers odds on which team will score the first points of the contest or event. In NFL prop markets, many players have a touchdown scoring prop. The list of propositions for is expanding every single year you can learn about them in our NFL Betting Guide.

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Sports Betting – Further Reading

This article just scratches the surface when it comes to proposition betting. Line shopping is vital for all proposition betting markets. Sportsbooks will have significant variation in the prop odds compared to more traditional betting markets. There’s also a much better chance of finding a bet that is inefficient across the board, allowing bettors to max bet it across multiple sportsbooks. We have sports-specific prop betting strategies for NFL prop bets and MLB prop bets. Our NBA Tipoff Time article also touches on prop betting strategy. We highly recommend reading these articles as a complement to this piece.