Prop Bets

Prop Bets in Sports Betting

Proposition bets, also known as prop bets, novelty bets, side bets or just props, are bets made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event that is not related to the final outcome or score of the game.

Common prop bets involve player performance or team statistics, but you can bet on all sorts of things. For example:

  • Will Tom Brady throw the first touchdown of the game?
  • Will the coin toss results be heads or tails?

Betting on props is one the most unique and entertaining forms of sports gambling.

Top Sports Betting Sites For Props

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Prop Betting Explained: Top Proposition Bets & Winning Strategies


The Basics Of Props Betting

Prop betting sites tend to earn well on this type of 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 made about a player or team props, but proposition bets can be on anything surrounding an event where a prop bets website has odds available.

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 bankrolls.

Read on and find out where to make prop bets on various professional sports at the best online sportsbooks.

Prop Bets vs Futures Bets In Sports Betting

If you have ever wondered how to make prop bets online, we got you covered. As mentioned above, propositions have higher juice than traditional betting markets such as sides and totals, and lower betting limits.

These two factors are usually the ones that make a betting market one to avoid.

Futures bets, for instance, are similar to prop bets 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.

Do Sportsbooks Lose Money on Prop Bets?

Proposition Bets

It’s a little-known secret that many prop bets websites lose money on proposition bets. Of course, that begs the question of why they offer them in the first place.

Well, first of all, they probably are not 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.

Anyway, the point here is that props either aren’t profitable, break even or are marginally profitable for most sportsbooks.

Popularity Of Props Betting

The best explanation for sites offering props betting is because their competition does, and a considerable amount of the betting public is interested in prop bets.

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.

It’s the same way with prop betting websites. Enough people are interested in proposition betting that it becomes another reason to play at Sportsbook A instead of Sportsbook B.

A lot of prop betting sites 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 ban or limit players frequently. If a particular player is winning too much on props, they can simply cut their limits or cancel any action on those props.

Are Prop Bets A Good Option for New Gamblers?

NFL Football Players And Their Prop Bets

The 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.

Props betting websites 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 an hour 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 sports betting.

Propositions 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. Props, however, can linger around a bit longer, allowing savvy gamblers to capitalize on breaking news.

Limits And Opening Odds For Prop Bets

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 do not 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 Bets: Player Performance

The most common props are centered on a player’s performance. For example, the number of yards a NFL quarterback will throw in a game or the 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 on a 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 is expanding every single year. You can learn about them in our NFL Prop Bets page.

Best Sportsbooks For Props Betting

Rank Top Betting Sites Deposit Bonus Get Started
1 Deposit Bonus 125% Up To $2,500 Bet Now
2 Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $250 Bet Now
3 Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $1,000 Bet Now

BetUS Sportsbook

BetUS is an excellent sportsbook to bet propositions.

They offer a juicy 125% Up To $2,500 welcome bonus to bring new users to their platform.

The also have a promo for crypto users. A 150% Crypto Bonus.

It gives you a 100% sportsbook bonus + 50% casino bonus by using the code SU150CRYPT when making your crypto deposit.

BetNow Sportsbook

BetNow sportsbook has a good track record in the industry and offers bettors a wide range of deposit methods and fast withdrawal processing times.

The sportsbook, based out of Curacao, has high limits and an attractive 100% Up To $500 bonus for first-time depositors.

Their mobile website is easy to use and offers a user experience similar to the desktop website.

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Bovada Sportsbook

Bovada Sportsbook has a smaller bonus compared to BetOnline but it comes with a much lower rollover. They’re one of the pioneers of offshore betting and are an elite option.

Bettors will get a 50% Up To $250 bonus on their first deposit at Bovada. It’s one of the few online sportsbooks that have a VIP Points cash program on all bets.

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Online Prop Bets On Professional Sports

This article just scratches the surface when it comes to proposition betting. Line shopping is vital for all proposition betting markets.

Prop betting sites will have a 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 prop bets websites.

To know more about prop betting for a particular sport, see our sports-specific prop betting strategy pages:

NFL Prop Betting

NFL Prop Betting

NFL prop betting is for gamblers that want fun wagers on their favorite players and teams.

MLB Prop Betting

MLB Prop Betting

The MLB offers great betting opportunities due to the long season. Check out our MLB prop betting guide!

NBA Prop Betting

NBA Prop Betting

Basketball is one of the most followed sports in the world. NBA prop betting is one of the hottest betting markets.

MMA Prop Betting

MMA Prop Betting

MMA prop betting not only offers profitable opportunities but also some of the most fun bettors can have.

Super Bowl Prop Betting

Super Bowl Props

The Super Bowl is all about props! Every betting site in the world gears up for Super Bowl prop betting.

College Football Prop Betting

College Football Props

College football prop bets offer profitable opportunities and are more popular every year.

Prop Bets FAQ

How do prop bets work?

Prop bets are simply wagers that are not related to the final score or total of the game. They don’t work any differently than other bets. They’re still graded the same way and have the same rules as other betting markets.

How do prop bets pay out?

Prop bets use the same odds and payout calculations as normal wagers on sides and totals. Most of the time, this is going to be in moneyline or American odds. A prop bet with odds of -135 for example, requires bettors to wager $135 to win $100.
Proposition bets may take a bit longer to grade than sides and totals. You might wait a half hour or so after a game finishes to be credited with your winnings from prop bets. Sides and totals are usually settled much faster, within a few minutes of the game concluding.
Props can take a little bit longer to calculate because the statistics need to be finalized for the game. There can be stat corrections after the final whistle, on yards, catches made, sacks, and so on.

What is the best sport for prop betting?

It’s hard to say there is a “best” prop bet when betting sports, but when looking for a proposition bet you should consider betting limits, frequency of available markets, and how soft the lines are.
Unlike major markets on sides and totals, props are not being looked at nearly as much. In fact, some props may not even move or be adjusted after they originally posted. If you can find props that offer strong value, large betting limits, and are available often – that is a recipe for profits.

What are player props?

They are props centered around the performance of players. In football, this might be the yards or catches a receiver might have or the number of touchdowns a quarterback might throw. In basketball, this would be the number of points or rebounds.
Most props work like totals or over/unders, but many have definitive outcomes, such as a player scoring a touchdown or not, or which team will score first.

Can I make a live prop bet after the game has started?

Yes, many sportsbooks are now offering in-game proposition bets. This includes player props. They’re becoming more available at sportsbooks every day.

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