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What is a Prop Bet in Sports Betting? (July 2024)

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Props bets are exciting wagers on detailed aspects of a sports game or an event. These bets are highly popular amongst punters and not only because they can offer long odds. Props bets ask those questions that really test your knowledge of a sport, a team or an athlete. Rather than predict who will win the game, you can make predictions on extremely detailed aspects of a game. In this article, we will define the props bets and share some of our favourite props for each sport.

How to Use Props Bets

When approaching any bet, props or not, it is always good to do your research. You can then evaluate whether the odds are worth it or not, and if they are not, do not make that bet. It is better to save your money for the next bet, which you think has more generous odds and a greater likelihood of coming through.

Though you do not need to be an expert to place props, it is better when you have a basic understanding of the sport or the contestants. Here are some interesting props bets across different sports.

Soccer

  • Goal Scorer
  • Both Teams to Score
  • A Team to Win to Nil

Basketball

  • Player Field Goals
  • Team with the Highest Scoring Quarter
  • Player Points and Rebounds

Tennis

  • Player Total Aces
  • First Player to Win 3 Games
  • Either Player to Come Back from 1-0

American Football

  • First Score Method
  • Team with the Most Field Goals
  • Quarterback Passing Yards

Baseball

  • Pitcher Strikeouts
  • Will There be a Bottom Ninth Innings
  • Player Total RBI

Boxing

  • Fighter to Win by KO
  • Fight to Go the Distance
  • Fighter to Win in Round 2

Darts

  • Player Total 180s
  • Will There be a 9-Darter
  • Biggest Checkout Total

Snooker

  • Highest Break in the Match
  • Leader after First 6 Frames
  • Will There be a 147 Break

Formula 1

  • Fastest Lap Winner
  • Manufacturer of the Winning Car
  • Nationality of the Winner

Cycling

  • Best Young Rider
  • Head-to-Head Winner
  • Best Climber

Golf

  • Head-to-Head Winner
  • Versus the Field Bet
  • Player to Make the Cut

eSports First-Person-Shooters

  • Most Headshots
  • First Blood
  • Map with Most Kills

eSports Battle Arena

  • Total Hero Kills
  • Team to Destroy First Tower
  • Team to Kill First Hero

Some of these are self-explanatory such as the goal scorer in a game of soccer or which player will win 3 games first in tennis. However, if you have never watched American football, how many passing yards would you wager the quarter back to throw. Would you risk a versus-the-field bet on a golfer – in which you are betting on anyone but them to win. What is a 9-darter in darts or a 147 break in snooker anyway.

It is better to avoid betting on those specialist markets. If you are up for a challenge, then you can always find a longshot props bet in your preferred sport.

Defining Props Bets

The generally accepted definition is that a props bet is a wager on an event that may or may not happen during a game. The definition is vague, and, in the right context, a moneyline or a point spread could also fall under that description. However, they are not considered to be props. 

Instead, props are generally far more specific and can either relate to game-defining moments or to the game as a whole. Then, you have to consider the sport itself and whether events are timed, whether they use points and scoring, and how winners are determined.

General Criteria

So much can happen during a sports event, and this opens the possibilities to many different betting props. Here are some of the general criteria that you may find betting props for.

Scoring Props

The questions to ask here are is the sport a scoring sport? If so, then is it a high or low-scoring sport. You can probably bet on the exact number of points/goals in sports such as soccer or baseball, but with high-scoring games such as basketball or American football, they would be just too difficult. Instead, bookmakers can offer bets relating to the range of points scored, range of the winning margin, and other bets that are easier to predict. Then, you need to ask, whether there is only 1 way of scoring. In rugby or American football, there are numerous ways of scoring, and each award a different number of points.

Time or Period Props

Sports events that are broken up into halves, quarters or periods open the possibility of making props for each segment. You may find props relating to the result, score or other events that may happen for each of these segments. Then, there may be sports that have far more periods or none at all. For example, in tennis, a player needs to win 6 games to win a set and 2 or 3 sets to win a match. A best of 3 sets may be won in straight games – finishing with 12 games. On the other hand, the match may be far more even, resulting in far more games played.

Racing sports are an example of the opposite. In a horse race, there is no break. As soon as the gates open, the race is on, and the horse that finishes first wins the race. These races may last a couple of minutes, and so you will not get a “which horse will be ahead after 100 yards” simply because the action is too quick.

Player Props

In team sports, there may be props offered for the performance of each player. These can relate to scoring or other feats such as assisting, tackling, getting suspended, and so on. Individual sports do not have player props, as betting on a moneyline or a totals bet is effectively a player prop.

Props for Other Stats

Then, there are countless other feats that make for fantastic props bets. In baseball, you can bet on pitcher strikeouts, which does not directly relate to the score, but has a massive impact on the outcome of the game. Which team will register the most headshots in a game of CS: GO, again, no direct correlation to who will win the map. Here are some other events that are unique to certain sports:

  • A soccer team to be awarded a penalty
  • A darts player to register a 9-dart finish
  • Tennis player to score the most aces
  • Total birdies made by a golfer

Examples in Sports

Here are three sports with very different gameplay: soccer, tennis and American football. Now we will compare the general criteria of each one.

Scoring Props

  • Soccer

A low-scoring sport, goals are scored in one way and always count as only 1. This opens up props markets such as correct score, winning margin, which team will score first, which team will score last, and various others. 

  • Tennis

There are points scored in each game, games won in each set, and sets won in each match. Props can be offered such as correct score for the set, who will be ahead after X number of games, who will win the first game, and so on. Points can be scored in three different ways: by an ace, double fault, or winning the point during gameplay. Aces and double faults are rarer, and there are bets on how many a player will register/be penalised by.

  • American football

A high-scoring sport, and there are multiple methods to score points. You may find props on total touchdowns, which team will score more field goals, range of winning margin (e.g. 1-3. 4-6, 7-10, and so on), and various other bets.

Time/Period Props

  • Soccer

Each game is played in two halves of 45 minutes, it is possible for the game to end in a tie and this happens fairly often. Bookmakers can offer props that only relate to individual halves. These can be bets such as will a team keep a clean sheet in the first half, which team will score first in the second half, whether will there be goals in both halves, and various others.

  • Tennis

Players need to win 6 games to win a set and matches are played to a best of 3 or 5 sets. There are no strict “periods” as the game continues until one of the players has won enough sets. Here, bookies can offer bets on individual games and sets. Which player will be ahead after the first 4 games, winning margin of the second set, will a player win the game after going down 1-0, and there are plenty of other markets.

  • American football

Games are played in four quarters of 15 minutes. If at the end of the regulated time, the scores are level (which is rare), the teams have to play two 15-minute halves of overtime. Just like in soccer, there will be bets offered for each period (for halves and quarters), but there may also be bets relating to overtime. Will the game go into overtime, a team to win the game and the game to go into overtime are just two examples of these bets.

Player Props

  • Soccer

In each game, two teams of 11 players face each other. There are plenty of statistics for players that make for excellent betting markets. Goals scored, assists delivered, and shots on target are some popular props bets. Then, there may be betting markets on which players will be booked with a yellow or red card.

  • Tennis

Tennis is an individual sport, so betting on one side to score is basically a bet on that player. Unless you are betting on doubles games, in which case there may be bets on individual players.

  • American football

This is the same as soccer, in that there are two teams of 11 players facing each other. There will be similar types of betting props for key players, but because of the different methods of scoring, the betting markets are larger. For example, there may be passing yards bets on the quarterback, total touchdowns for wide receivers, and so on.

Other Props

  • Soccer

Props can be offered on cards, corners, free kicks, fouls, and lots of other game statistics.

  • Tennis

Apart from scoring and periods, there are not many other types of bets. This does not mean tennis props are limited – far from it. It only means that there are not many other statistics that provide props bets markets.

  • American football

Just like in football, there may be bets relating to tackles, penalties, interceptions and many other intriguing elements of the game.

Look For Good Odds

Props bets are only good to place when they have value to you. Placing a prop simply because the odds are generous may result in lots of losses. If you know what you are betting on and the possibility of it happening, you already have the advantage.

Exploring props bets is not a waste of time, as even if you seldom pick them, you never know when you may find some excellent propositions. Some punters have better luck with certain props over others. If you start experimenting with props bets, begin with low stakes. Once you start to get the hang of props bets you can implement them into your parlays or stake larger sums of money on them.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have taken some inspiration from all these interesting props bets and can start searching for the ones you like. They are definitely a lot more thought-provoking and you can find props with great odds. With great markets and intriguing offers, you can dig out some excellent selections.

Most bookmakers will offer props for top sports such as soccer, basketball, tennis, and so on. A general sportsbook may not offer lots of props for baseball, rugby, cricket or any other sports that do not have the same global reach. Fortunately, at Gaming.net we look for the best betting sites for each sport and give insight into each one. This way, you can find those tasty Canadian football, baseball, UFC and eSports props betting sites.

Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.