What is a Prop Bet?

Betting Guide

Prop bets are an exciting way to make money in sports betting. Proposition bets are typically used in US sports like hockey, football, and baseball. They cover interesting outcomes that are usually different to the outcome of the game.

Prop betting is available at all the best betting sites. And in this guide, we’ll show you how to bet on an individual team or player performance, and even help you find the best sports betting sites.



What is a Prop Bet?

In all sports betting markets, you have access to a selection of solid outcomes like Moneyline, Point Spread, and Over/Under Total Points. You might bet on the home team winning or the match ending in a draw. Or, you may bet on one team winning with a specific points advantage. 

Prop bets work slightly differently. They are wagers on specific outcomes happening during a game. In soccer, for example, popular proposition bets include the next goalscorer or the time of the winning goal.

In a big NFL game, meanwhile, you might be able to bet on a player to score a touchdown, or the quarterback scoring a touchdown at any time.

For most sports, prop bets are split between player props and team props, and the better the sportsbook, the more markets you will have available. You can even place these types of bets in real-time through in-play markets.


How does a prop bet work?

Prop bets are becoming hugely popular at online sportsbooks in the US. During a regular season, you’ll find odds on thousands of proposition bets. Best of all, you don’t have to wait for the final outcome to make a profit.

If you love a big chance of winning without waiting for long-term futures bets to come in, then this type of betting might be for you.

Player Props

Player props are the most common type of proposition bet. For example, you can place wagers on a single player scoring a goal or touchdown at any point in the game. Feeling confident about a player’s passing yards in the big NFL game? There’s a market for that too.

NFL Player Prop Bets

A single NFL game will carry dozens of possible player props, usually focused on the big-name players. These can include:

  • Total player passing yards (over/under)
  • Total player interceptions (over/under)
  • Total player rushing yards (over/under)
  • Total player receiving yards (over/under)
  • Total player touchdowns (over/under)
  • Anytime touchdown scorer
  • Total player tackles and assists

The beauty of player prop betting in NFL is that you can secure a win before the game has ended.

Imagine you place a bet on Dalvin Cook to score a touchdown anytime at -150. He scores in the 1st quarter and you’ve made a profit with three-quarters of the game still to go.

NHL Player Prop Bets

You can also place prop bets on NHL players in the night’s games. Got a favorite hockey star who you know a lot about? You can find a range of odds on individual players and their performances.

Popular hockey player proposition bets include:

  • Total player assists (over/under)
  • Player to score a goal
  • Total player goals (over/under)
  • Player to score the first/last goal
  • Total goals (over/under)
  • Total player points (over/under)
  • Points, goals, assists (combined)

MLB Player Prop Bets

Baseball lends itself well to prop betting due to the sheer number of statistics in a single game. During the World Series, you’ll be able to bet on hundreds of bets covering everything from home runs, runs, strikeouts.

Popular type of prop bets include:

  • Total hits (over/under)
  • Total runs (over/under)
  • Total home runs (over/under)
  • Total strikeouts (over/under)
  • Highest hits, runs and RBIs (Runs Batted In) – typically this bet is a match-up between two players on opposing teams.

Team Props

As well as individual player stats like passing yards and goals scored, you can bet on a host of team prop bets too. The type of prop depends on the sport, but all major US games will have a good selection of wagers.

NFL Team Prop Bets

The days of just betting on which team will win are long gone. Team prop betting on NFL is accepted at most major online sportsbooks. And during the Super Bowl, sports betting sites will go into overdrive offering special promotions and free bets.

  • Winning margin
  • Team to score the first touchdown
  • Race to points
  • Team to score last
  • Team to commit 1st turnover or fumble
  • Winner of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th quarter
  • Team to score 2-3 times unanswered
  • Total team passing yards (over/under)
  • First offensive play of the game

NHL Team Prop Bets

You can use prop betting on pretty much all the week’s big NHL action. Some US sportsbooks also accept proposition bets on overseas game

You’ll find most team prop bets under the individual match tab in the sportsbook lobby. Props usually focus around one or all of the following:

  • Team to score first
  • Total team goals (over/under)
  • Team with most points
  • Winner after 1st 10 minutes
  • Winner after 1st period

MLB Team Prop Bets

At the biggest and best online sportsbooks, you can also bet on team props in baseball. Even if you think you know that a team will win, it can be fun to use a little betting strategy as the game goes on

Popular team prop bets for baseball games include:

  • Homerun in 1st inning
  • Team to score 1st home run
  • 1st team to reach 3 runs
  • Total team runs (over/under)
  • Total team home runs (over/under)

In-game Prop Bets

Live betting is offered at all good online sports betting websites. Bet in-play as the game plays out on a range of exciting markets. Best of all, live in-game betting lends itself perfectly to prop betting.

In live betting markets, the odds change as the game progresses. For example, a period of pressure from the home team may lead to a shortening of the odds on the time of the next goal. If a particular player is having a good game, their odds of scoring the next touchdown may also change.

The beauty of in-game betting is that you can place bets while watching the game. You can follow the match tracker on the betting site that comes complete with up-to-date stats on goal attempts and possession. 

And if you add an in-game bet to your bet slip, the odds will change before your eyes. It gives you the option to take the new odds or edit it from your slip.


Can you Parlay Prop Bets?

It’s possible to parlay your prop bets, just like you can with futures bets or outright wagers like the moneyline.

A parlay contains multiple single bets. To win your parlay, every individual bet must come in. You can also opt for a system and combine your bets to cover multiple outcomes.

Most online sportsbooks offer some kind of parlay insurance too. If one leg of your parlay loses, you can still win on your other picks. 


How to Win a Prop Bet

Prop bets are a great way of winning money while the game is on. They are less limited than standard moneyline and point spread wagers too.

Because proposition bets are wagers on precise outcomes, it’s important to do your homework. Study the form and game statistics before the day. Most sportsbooks will have in-depth stats pages available which you can study. These include up-to-date information like current form, head-to-head results, and top scorers.

Try to choose one sport to focus on, and one or two players within that sport. For example, you might opt to cover NFL player bets on Drew Lock and Melvin Gordon for a whole season. This allows you to concentrate on a couple of star players and track their performance.

It’s also good to hunt out value online. Bookies’ odds can vary from site to site, so shop around. Plus, some betting sites regularly offer enhanced odds on proposition bets. Do some research in advance and you’ll come out the other side a lot happier.


Do Prop Bets Push?

It’s very rare for proposition bets to end in a push, with your stake being returned, because a lot of bets are over/under markets. Therefore, there is a binary outcome where the bet either wins or loses.

And if you bet on the next goalscorer, there will always be a separate bet for ‘no goalscorer’. The bookmaker will always cover every angle.


Where to place Prop Bets

Prop betting is an exciting way for savvy gamblers to make more money during the game. Good research can pay off if you have a feeling on which players and teams will score points. Plus, you can make parlay bets and increase your overall odds.

You’ll find a list of the best online sportsbook bonuses right here at US-Odds.com. Simply open your account, make a first deposit, and earn free bets to use on your favorite player or team prop bets.


Prop-based Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports has undergone something of an evolution over the past few years with the emergence of prop-based DFS contests.

New DFS sites, such as Monkey Knife Fight and PrizePicks launched with simple prop-based DFS products that have become extremely popular.

Instead of playing against other players potentially professional players, it is you against the DFS Operator. Therefore, there are no sharks, no optimizers, or mass entry players that take advantage of inexperienced players.

For example, Monkey Knife Fight offers a selection of props to choose from and players can take the over or the under. As a sports betting strategy, this type of contest can yield better returns, because DFS players can research and analyze one player or one team to win more.

Monkey Knife Fight - A prop-based DFS Site

Alternatively, PrizePicks run a slightly different prop-based product, where a player has their projected fantasy points and you can either take the over or the under for two, three, or four players.

An example of PrizePicks' prop-based DFS contests
Jon Young
Jon Young Sports Writer