What are Prop Bets?

Prop Bets Explained

Prop bets are an exciting way to augment your gambling experience. Learn everything there is to know about What are Prop Bets? – Online Bets.

The world of sports betting is wide and varied. Any competitive event that garners a sufficient audience will find gamblers among that audience. Needless to say, the internet has increased the convenience of gambling and, as a result, its appeal. Given that you can now place bets while watching a match from your living room, the number of casual bettors has increased exponentially.

As a consequence of the above, you can bet on anything from football to chess these days. It’s not a surprise since the number of bettors is large enough that it’ll have a good spread among all niches. With the increased number of sports bettors also comes an increase in the variety of bets on offer.

Standard betting options include your moneyline bets, your point spreads, and point totals. To service the growing audience, online sports betting sites offer an ever-growing portfolio of bet types. This keeps the audience engaged and provides the thrill that so many individuals are looking for.

Since we’re dealing with real-world teams and individuals here, there are some important things to note.

Firstly, there’s a long line of tradition that follows certain players and teams. For instance, in the English Premier League, Manchester United will be the favorites to win the title every year, regardless of whether they even have a good team. Practically, this means that their odds to win will be higher than their opponents nine times out of 10.

Secondly, a world of statistics and outside factors contribute to what we call “the odds” of a bet. Star players get injured, individuals go in and out of form, average teams exceed expectations due to solid coaching, or stable teams collapse due to managerial changes. This presents an opportunity for you. If you can weigh the variety of factors judiciously before making a bet, you may be able to beat the odds and turn a tidy profit.

But conventional odds have you betting on outcomes, and outcomes can get boring, especially if you’re not following a season. This is also true for leagues that aren’t very competitive. Most outcomes in such leagues will be common knowledge, and anything other than the expected result will be the exception, not the rule. So what options does the average gambler have to liven things up when ordinary bets just don’t cut it anymore? Well, you may want to look into prop bets.

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A Brief History of Prop Betting

The Super Bowl is the highlight of the American sports calendar in any given year, so it’s no surprise that it’s also the Holy Grail of prop betting. That’s probably obvious to you, given the hype and lore surrounding the event. You might not know that the Super Bowl can actually be credited as the event that spawned the modern prop bet. 

The very first prop bet to make it to the presses was offered in 1986 during Super Bowl XX. William “Fridge” Perry was a defensive tackle who was part of the Bears famous “46” defense, was on the bench during this game. Towards the end of the game, which was a one-sided contest in favor of the Bears, Head coach Mike Ditka chose to bring Perry into the game as an offensive fullback with the Bears just a few yards outside the end zone. Looking to capitalize on Perry’s status as a household name, Caesar’s Palace bookmaker Art Manteris offered what would go down as the first Super Bowl prop, “Will William Perry score a touchdown?” at 20/1 odds. So many people bet “yes” that the odds got whittled down to 2/1. Perry did score the fateful touchdown, and though the ensuing payout might’ve hurt the Palace’s bottom line, it also made headlines and undoubtedly contributed to making prop bets a regular offering in sportsbooks for years to come.

These days you can find prop bets for all manner of offbeat outcomes during the Super Bowl, such as what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach by his player’s post game. This year’s Super Bowl saw some fun offers as well, such as whether the National Anthem singer would make a mistake or what song would be sung at halftime.

What is a Prop Bet?

Believe it or not, you’ve probably made prop bets in your daily life, even if you’ve never bet on sports. Prop betting, otherwise known as proposition betting, involves betting on events during a game that is supplementary in nature. For instance, the objective of a game is to determine a winner and a loser. In proposition betting, you can propose several things that are besides this ultimate point.

To substantiate our claim about prop bets already being a part of everyday life, suppose that you have a clumsy friend. Your friend is making dinner, the completion of which is the main goal of the evening. You and your friends jokingly remark that they’ll cut themselves while chopping something at least once or drop their wine glass, or anything else for that matter.

This is known as a prop bet. To bet on things that might be connected to the overall outcome of the match but are ultimately ancillary to it. How does this concept play out in sports betting, though? It’s a valid question and one that we’ll explain now.

As we’ve already established, prop betting involves betting on events that aren’t directly related to the outcome of a match. Each sport has several aspects that are carried out in pursuit of the ultimate goal. For instance, the objective of Tennis is to win the match, but events like foul serves, first set winner, total aces are also part of the game.

A player doesn’t need to focus on any of these to win the match, but it’s something for bettors to put money on. Another example can be from soccer. The ultimate objective is to win the match, but you can make a prop bet on the total number of goals scored during a match, the number of corner kicks, red cards, fouls by a certain player, penalties awarded to either team. The possibilities are endless.

Once again, these events are beside the point, but betting on isolated situations, which prop betting allows you to do, makes sports betting more exciting. Prop betting gives gamblers the chance to experience more’ thrill of the moment’ gambles, as prop bets are usually offered during games or right before they begin, and they deal with aspects that have to do with individual players, individual teams, or the combined statistics of both teams.

Now that you’re clear on a prop bet, you may wonder how you should approach prop betting. Should you just go with a gut feeling, or should you use data and contextual clues to make your prop bets? Let’s take a look.

The Bets You’d Never Expect

Before we begin talking about a strategy for prop bets, you need to understand a few things about prop betting. Not all prop betting has to do with statistics, nor is there a regular assortment of prop bets to go with every game in a season. You see, prop betting harkens back to the good ol’ days of ‘wagers’. They start with a ‘proposition’, as the name implies. There are a lot of bets that only get offered when the current state of play allows for it.

During a particularly intense pitcher’s contest, with 7 innings gone and no runs on the board, a bookie may offer odds for either side’s pitcher being able to pitch a shutout. Given the unlikeliness of the event in this case, you’re likely to get odds that are more than reasonable, considering there’s only very limited time in the game. If the prop was available before the game, you’d be looking at substantially greater rewards. Prop betting odds are extremely high for rare occurrences like shutouts and grand slams, and sometimes you can even expect a 6x – 10x return.

By design, prop bets only work for bookmakers when there’s a large enough audience for them. You need enough people for there to be bets on each side, that too on multiple bets. What this means is that while you might not find any decent prop betting odds and options when it comes to your local league game, but you’ll find all manner of whacky bets when you’re looking at the NBA Finals. Basketball is actually one of the most prop-betting-friendly sports because of its fast-paced nature, and basketball prop bets constitute the second-largest segment of prop bets by sport.

Prop Bets Strategy

With that out of the way, let’s get into prop bets strategy. At this moment, it’s important to let you know that the great variety in prop bet types means that not all bets will require rigorous analysis. Some bets are more about getting in on the fun. So there are two main types of prop bets, thrill bets and skill bets and your strategy will change based on which type you’re betting on.

Thrill Prop Bets

These types of bets are essentially pure gambling that requires little to no skill. The objective here is to have fun betting rather than using some sort of framework to maximize winnings. To take an example from soccer again, most teams in the English Premier League have three kits. These kits are designed to prevent clashes between teams. Theoretically, your bookie may let you bet on what kit your team will wear when a potential clash is expected. This is pure guesswork. The same goes for coin tosses, where you can bet on the outcome of the super bowl coin toss. There’s no way for you to know, of course; it’s just fun.

The point to be made here is that prop bets whose outcome cannot be arrived at with some logical framework are more thrill than skill. The objective for these types of prop bets is to maximize the fun you’re having among friends. The underlying principle is “you guess is as good as mine”.

Skill Prop Bets

These types of bets are where your skill and familiarity with the sport are required. The person who is able to consider the most factors will ultimately win more than not. These types of bets require a logical framework and analytical reasoning to conclude. Of course, you could approach them with the carefree attitude that you did the thrill prop bets, but then all your outcomes will be based on luck. Also, chances are you won’t win a lot.

For instance, you can make a prop bet on whether the number of touchdowns a specific player will make during the Super bowl will be greater or lower than a benchmark set by the sportsbook. For touchdowns, this figure may be at 2.5. It’s clear how you can determine the likelihood of this outcome.

If you keep up with the team that’s playing, you’ll know the tactics that the team plays by. If the player is a central figure in the team’s offense, they’ll likely be making touchdowns. You can also consider factors like form, and mentality which won’t necessarily be measured in data sets.

At any rate, you can see how you’ve used reasoning and data to arrive at your bet. This is in contrast to thrill prop bets where you were simply guessing. The beauty of prop bets is that you can include them in a larger betting strategy to maximize your winnings.

Professional gamblers don’t just make one bet and call it a day. They make all types of bets, and prop bets are just one type they take advantage of.

Differentiation

Now that you know that your prop bets strategy will be based on knowing the difference between the two main types of prop bets, you’re ready to take part in the fun. However, you should be careful because knowing the difference between the types and telling them apart are two different skills.

The bookie is not going to provide detailed comments, clearly differentiating between thrill and skill prop bets. That task falls to you. If you’re not good at differentiating between the two, you may find yourself losing a lot of money and being frustrated when you can’t figure out why. Your logic was sound after all, right?

Matters are further complicated when you consider the variety that exists between skill prop bets as well. Some will require just a few rudimentary calculations, while others will require a deeper appreciation for probability and statistics. Some may appear simple on the surface but be incredibly complicated mathematically and vice versa.

The bottom line is that you need to know a whole lot about the team and individuals participating in any given match before you get involved in prop betting. You need to know more than just the previous results. Things like preferred tactics, situational tactics, player roles and skillsets, manager or coaches’ mentality all play a part in the outcome of prop bets.

Prop Bets Benefits

Let’s now discuss the various advantages of incorporating props bets into your larger betting strategy. Most people think that prop bets are not particularly profitable. They’re incorrect in saying so. Prop bets can be some of the most profitable bets you make, it’s just that not all of them will be high return ones. That’s true for most bets, though, right?

Here are some benefits of prop betting:

Extremely Flexible

There’s no real fun in just betting on who will win and who will lose. There is also a limit to the amount of fun you can have betting on the outcome of things, right? If you’re an experienced bettor, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement, we’re sure. The truth is, betting on simple things like the outcomes of matches gets pretty monotonous after a while.

Secondly, a lot of times, who will win or lose is a matter of formality. What’s there to capture your interest when the match is between a heavyweight and a below-average team? Well, prop bets allow you to put your knowledge of the game to the test. Not only that, they also reward this knowledge and allow you to make money on the side.

The flexibility that prop betting offers is unique to this type of betting. You can bet on the most mundane and unique aspects of a game and profit handsomely from it. The best part is that because a lot of these things will require skill and knowledge not available to the casual viewer or bettor, you get to have your own private fun during the match.

High Entertainment Value

We’ve spoken about how boring betting can become, especially when the match is predictable and drab. Prop betting adds a new layer of excitement to the match where even the most insignificant events take on new importance. Steals and fouls will suddenly have you cheering as if they were points on the board.

This can be especially fun when watching with friends or family who doesn’t share your love for the game. They can get involved, almost immediately, without knowing a thing about the technical aspects of the sport they’re watching.

Handsome Profit

Here’s where the naysayers can be proven wrong. The skill required to succeed with prop bets is immense. This is why when they come off, they can be extremely profitable. Why shouldn’t they be? After all, not only are you predicting the outcome of a match, you are also showing your advanced knowledge of how things work by detailing exactly how victory or defeat will be realized. Such prescience should certainly be rewarded, and prop betting odds reflect this principle.

This added prediction allows you to maximize your profits and outperform anyone else making the same bets as you.

Final Word

If you’re familiar with the American odds system, you should have no trouble with prop betting odds. Prop bets follow the same format as regular bets in this regard. A (+300) bet in favor of a particular outcome means you’ll win $300 while betting $100 if your bet goes through. A (-140) bet, on the other hand, means that you’d get a $100 payout betting $140 successfully.

A lot of prop bets won’t have a binary outcome, which might confuse some bettors. If you’re betting on Tom Brady being MVP and the odds are +700, the other side of that would be betting on anyone, but Tom Brady is the MVP, which is not a feasible bet. This is why you often don’t see negative odds prop bets on most sportsbooks.

If you’d like to check out the prop bets on offer for big upcoming fixtures, check out BetUS Sportsbook, and start placing your bets as soon as today! You can bet on all manner of sports, including MMA, Esports, Football, Basketball, Baseball, and more.We hope that you found this guide useful and if you want to know about other types of bets you can make but don’t know anything about them? Check out our guides to the various betting types to get started.