What is a Prop Bet in Sports Betting?

What is a Prop Bet in Sports Betting?

betJACK Training Camp
3 years ago
3 min read

A prop bet is a bet within a game that doesn't have a direct correlation with the final outcome of the game. Now, this doesn't mean that bet has nothing to do with an outcome, but it isn't 100 percent correlated with the outcome, meaning it isn't the over/under, spread, or moneyline.

Prop bets are often more specific to a specific team or player in the game than relating to the game itself.

Team Props

You can often bet on a team's individual success over a game's success. This is useful when you are optimistic or pessimistic about an individual team or a unit within the game, but you don't have a good feel for the rest of the game.

For example, let's say you think Ohio State will undoubtedly score a lot of points in their next game, but you don't have a lot of confidence in their defense or the other teams' offense. You could see a world where the other team scored both 10 and 35.

For some people, they would bet the over on the game because they like the Ohio State offense and assume they will carry it to the over.

However, this is when you should approach a team prop. Bet the over on the Ohio State team total over and only worry about the event that you have conviction in.

Another example could come in baseball, where you have a great read on a pitcher but maybe less confidence in the other one. Let's say the Reds are throwing their ace, and you think that he has a great matchup, and you want to take the under on the game. However, the other team's pitcher might be unpredictable.

You don't want to take the under because the other pitcher has blow-up games that could result in an over regardless of how well the Reds pitch. You would seek out the other team's runs prop and bet the under, relying on only the Reds' pitching to come through for you.

Player Props

Player props are a really fun way to get action on a game, and they are some of the easiest bets to win as well if you are searching for an edge. Player props are the ability to bet on individual performance, like a bet on a player to score a touchdown, hit a home run, or score a certain amount of three-pointers.

Beating player props is really doable if you are on top of news and overall projections and one reason for this is the use of mean projections vs. median projections. What this means is the in football, for example, a lot of sportsbooks will post a running backs' yardage prop at a number close to his season average.

However, most players underperform their average outcome more than 50% of the time, but when they do overperform it, they get well over that number, skewing their average upwards.

This means that if you bet the under on this RB rushing prop, you are actually something like 60 percent to win, even though the projection is their average rushing yards.

Being aware of these inefficiencies surrounding player props is very important if you want to be a winning sports bettor.

Props are the fun and more casual "I'd make this bet with a friend" kind of bets. Some examples of the more fun stuff you see on Super Bowl weekend would be "what songs are performed at the halftime show." There's also team props and player props to go with that. Examples of that are: "Johnny Stanton: Over/Under 2 TDs" or "Runs given up by Reds pitchers today." We have several other great articles to help you traverse the new world of sports betting here.   

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