What Is A Prop Bet?

A prop bet or a proposition bet is one of the most entertaining bet types, whereby the bet you place doesn’t have to affect the outcome of a game or contest. In this guide we will explain what a prop bet is, share examples of typical proposition betting markets and explore why it is such a popular option amongst bettors.

What is a prop bet?

A prop bet (proposition bet) is a form of wager whereby a sportsbook will offer odds on a player or team on occurrences (or non occurrences) happening in a game that doesn’t necessarily have to affect the result or final score. Prop bets are considered very similar to novelty bets as they can focus specifically on a single player or team milestones. Examples of typical prop bets include how many touchdown passes a player will make in a game of football or how many home runs a team may get during an MLB baseball game or how many blocks a particular basketball player may get in an NBA game.

How to place a prop bet

As already highlighted, Pro

p bets are different to a lot of the bet types out there in the fact most of them have no bearing on the result. As prop bets are slightly less common than your moneyline and point spread bets, you may have to dig a little deeper to find the prop bets on a game. 

Let’s say we fancy a p

rop bet on the Player Home Runs of the MLB game between Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers. In this example we have used Draftkings as our sports betting provider.

As you can see there is no immediate sign of the Home Runs market. So in this instance you would click into the ‘Player Props’ on the menu bar of the markets of the game.

Clicking on ‘Player Props’ will provide all the different player related prop markets available on the game but of course we want to place a Home Runs prop bet, so that is what we’ll focus on.

We’ve done our research and we’re ready to make our selection. We’ve chosen Avisail Garcia to score over 0.5 home runs. Meaning that if he scores 1 home run or more our bet will be settled as a winner. So regardless of what the score is or who wins the game, if Avisail Garcia was to score a home run your prop bet would win. 

That’s just one example of hundreds of prop bets that are out there, which brings us nicely on to the next section.

Game Props

Game prop bets are things that have to happen throughout a game. Game Props can be moneyline bets, over/unders, totals, spreads and in some cases in a Yes/No format. You will see some game props that are across the whole period of a game whilst others may focus on certain sections of a game such as halves or quarters.

Game prop examples include:

  • First team to score a touchdown in a football game
  • Total number of rushing yards 
  • First team to reach a certain number of points in the game

Player Props

Player prop bets are determined by in game or event player performance. Like game props, player props can be listed with different bet types such as moneyline and spreads. These can be specific to one player’s performance or occasionally will pit two players against each other in a head-to-head prop. 

Player Prop examples:

  • Player to score a home run in baseball
  • Number of strikeouts by a specific pitcher in baseball
  • Over/under blocks by a player in basketball
  • First player to score a touchdown in a football game

Team Props 

Yep, you guessed it, team props focus on the performance of each team within a contest. Team props are often moneyline bets, over/unders or Yes/No formats. They can be over the whole contest or over a period of time within the game. 

Team Prop examples:

  • Which team scores first?
  • Will a team score a defensive touchdown?
  • Team to register an odd/even score

Exoctic Props

Exotic props are bets which are generally quite obscure and can be offered on both sports events as well as other things such as the Oscars, reality TV programs, political events and pop culture. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that exotic bets are only available in some states due to regulatory restrictions. However if you’re lucky enough to be in a state that allows prop bets then you will find them at many online-based sportsbooks.

Exoctic prop bet examples:

  • Colour of the Gatorade bath given to the winning Super Bowl coach
  • What will the name of the next Royal Baby be?
  • Movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars

Why should I bet on prop bets?

  • Results don’t matter: The beauty of prop bets is that you can place a bet on hundreds of different occurrences happening in the game with player, game and team props but you generally don’t have to worry about the outcome of the game, which is a very attractive proposition for bettors.
  • You can gain an edge over the sportsbooks: Betting limits are low for prop bets and sportsbooks aren’t as eager to get the lines correct on props as they are compared to the more popular moneyline and point spread bets on a game. So if you do your research and a little bit of math, you may be able to get an edge over them and beat the bookies. 
  • Prop bets are fun: Prop bets in particular exotic prop bets really do bring the fun into betting with markets on the most obscure things and at the end of the day that’s what betting should always be about.

How to calculate a Parlay bet

A parlay bet can be a great option for punters because it offers the chance to get a much greater payout on shorter priced selections.

Taking the above example of the Cincinnati Reds beating Minnesota Twins in the MLB at odds of -225, New York Red Bulls to beat FC Cincinnati in the MLS at odds of -160 and Tampa Bay to beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL at odds of -290.

You will see that all three selections are the favourites in their games because the ‘-’ sign in moneyline betting odds, always represents the favorites, whereas the ‘+’ betting odds will be allocated to the underdog of the contest. Read more about that at our American Odds guide.

If I wanted to place three individual single bets on those three results I would get a much smaller payout for example:

A $20 single stake on Cincinnati Reds beating Minnesota Twins at odds of -225 would return just $28.89, and don’t forget $20s of that is your stake being returned so you are only making a profit of $8.89.

A $20 single stake on New York Red Bulls beating FC Cincinnati at odds of -160 would return $32.50, a profit of just $12.50.

A $20 single stake on Tampa Bay beating the Dallas Cowboys at odds of -290 would return $26.90, just a mere $6.90 profit.

So using the above example, you’ve staked $60 and returned a total of $88.29 across three winning single bets. Using the same example with Draft Kings, I combined all three selections into one parlay with a $50 stake and returned a much more respectable $157.83 with the same result.

However of course with single bets, if one loses and the other 2 win, you will still be paid out on the two winners, whereas with a parlay bet, if any of the three lose, your parlay bet will settle as a loser. So you need to weigh up the risk and reward factors.

Effectively a parlay is a multiplier bet, where you multiply all the odds of your selections.

Taking the above example again it would be -225 x -160 x -290. The easiest way to calculate a parlay bet is to convert the American odds into decimal odds.

What Is A Prop Bet? FAQs

A prop bet, short for proposition bet, is a wager type that is not reliant on the final score or result of a game. A prop bet is a wager on occurrences or non occurrences by a player or team in a game or contest. There are different types of props including player props, team props, game props and exotic props to name a few.
You will find Prop bets at every established legal sportsbook now. Although they are not as popular as result based ones such as moneyline and point spread, bettors enjoy prop bets as they can watch the action unfold without having to worry about Team A or Team B winning as long as their selected prop bet wins.
Prop bets are one of the most entertaining bet types out there, as it is not dependent on the result or outcome of a game but instead a number of other occurrences inside or outside of a contest. Prop bets are an attractive option when you perhaps fancy a particular player to have a profitable game or a particular team reach a certain milestone. Prop bets can be anything from total number of rebounds in a basketball game to the more obscure like a market on what colour suit the president will wear to an election rally.
The odds you get at the time of your prop bet placement will remain in place whatever happens unless your selection doesn’t participate in which case the bet would be void. Odds can change outside of bet placement however.
Yes some sportsbooks will offer the opportunity to cash out your prop bets before and during the event. Sometimes sportsbooks will offer a cash out less than your original stake before the event but during the game, cash out can be a useful tool for bettors.
Yes, prop bets are one of the most entertaining bet types around and US sports betting fans love to bet on in-game player and team milestones, as well as more obscure things like the Oscars and reality TV shows.

-160 odds would be 1.625 in decimal odds for the New York Red Bulls to beat FC Cincinnati.

-290 odds would be 1.3448 in decimal odds for the Tampa Bay Bucs to beat the Dallas Cowboys.

So now we have the three odds in decimals it the parlay calculation would look like this:

1.4444 x 1.6225 x 1.3448 = 3.1515

The return of your parlay payout would be around $157 off a $50 bet.

Thankfully for you we have our own odds convertor and parlay calculator, so you will never have to worry about working out the calculations of a parlay bet yourself.

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