Proposition Bets

Proposition bets provide a wide range of markets, giving bettors more options for their favorite games. This article discusses prop bets in detail.

Proposition or prop bets take sports wagers to new places with unusual, more exotic bets. Some bettors ignore these and make moneylines, points, or totals since these are easy to understand. But are prop bets worthy types of bets?

Proposition Bets 101

Proposition bets

Proposition bets are considered unique wagers for outcomes not covered by your standard moneyline, points spread, or totals. Sports betting sites may refer to these as unique or exotic wagers, while others classify these as futures.

What are prop bets' all about, then, when it comes to sports betting? The answer to that is "everything under the sun." You can find props that let you wager if an NBA player can complete 60 rebounds in one night or how many home runs an MLB team can achieve. Props can also be tied to scores, such as ones where bettors predict if the game will go into overtime. Even props are not based on the game or sports season, including one where you guess who will be singing or performing in the Superbowl's half-time segment.

There are two reasons U.S. or U.K. online sportsbooks offer props, including diversifying the market. Imagine if the only fizzy or carbonated drinks you could buy were colas, orange soda, and root beer. People will be tired of having only these three flavors in the long run. People want alternatives like vanilla cola, raspberry cola, lime juice, and even a Dr. Pepper.  

Think of the soda analogy as moneylines, spreads, and totals for the three kinds of carbonated drinks on sports betting sites. Props are the alternatives that add more flavors to any bettor's choice of sports markets.

Why would bettors care for different flavors or alternative markets? There are occasions when moneyline wagers are not worth taking, including ones with a high-ranking team or participants against the lowest-ranking team. These games usually have the worst moneyline prices. While spread and totals are available, these markets may not have the action bettors want. Sports proposition offers markets with varying prices and values, making them attractive to different bettors.

Types of Proposition Bets

Below are the different sports prop bets available.

Team Performance

Team prop bets are about how either team scored for a certain period.

For basketball, for example, there are props on which team will score the highest in the first quarter or the second half. Bet the props in American football usually predict whether both teams have a score of more than 25.

There are also team props similar to totals wagers for specific metrics in a game. One example is a prop on the team's score being odds or evens at the end of the game. Other totals team props are the over/under touchdowns 2-way for an American football game. There are also unique props specific to the sports, such as the over/under hits in an MLB game.

Player Performance

Everything about the player's props is on the achievements of an individual during each game. These individuals are vital players for the teams, such as Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Stephen Curry of the Golden State. Bettors who consistently follow top-ranking teams will likely find value in player props by basing the wager on past performance and how bookies would price them.

Sportsbooks also have head-to-head player props, such as the first or last player on the team to score a touchdown in an American football game. A good chunk of these player props tends to be totals-styled wagers, such as the over/under for total goals made in a hockey game or total 3-points in a basketball game. Another over/under player prop is the number of rebounds an individual can pull off in a match. However, these types of head-to-head wagers are limited.

Score Based

While this proposition betting looks like those of team props, score-based props predict the performance of both teams instead of one. Score props are usually based on which team will pull off the first milestone of the game, such as the first one to score a goal in an ice hockey game.

The most sought-after score-based props are the alternative point spread and totals. If spreads are the colas, score-based props are the sports betting market's vanilla cola or diet cola. Spreads for different scores have varying prices and odds, allowing bettors to find one with great value for their money. There are even alternative totals that further provide anyone with more variety for their favorite games.

Future Outcome

While futures are different from props, they are still similar in the way of being an alternative to standard wagers. Futures are wagers on outcomes that occur outside of an individual game and are primarily about a sports season's results. Futures also have player-centric props, such as the MVP of the MLB World Series. These props include the NBA Finals winner of the season or the NFL International Series Champions.

Unlike props, all future bets are head-to-head. With an incredibly high payout, head-to-head wagers can make futures much riskier than props. Fortunately, there is a wide range of futures for specific sports to help you find one with a market price that suits you.


Finally, exotic is the fun side of all prop bets based on their outcomes, which are not based on the game, score, or anyone's performance. Instead, these are based on various aspects of an event. The most common one is the result of a coin toss to determine which team will kick off the game.

Look up the Super Bowl props to see how wild exotic bets can become. There are wagers on how long the national anthem can last since different singers have their interpretations. Another is the color or flavor of the Gatorade that the winning team will splash over their coach. Because exotics are outcomes outside of the sports betting norms, these are just considered wagers for fun.

Proposition bets basic
Proposition Bets Infographic

Reasons To Take Props

Below are the advantages of proposition bets.

Valued Bets

Professional bettors always look for valued bets or wagers that are likely to come true but are given a much higher price than average.

If the L.A. Lakers seem to have moneyline odds of -250 against the Houston Rockets while a bookie has priced them at -150, the Lakers moneyline are valued bet for that game.

It is rare to find these kinds of valued moneyline bets. However, this is where props come in. There are games where bookies may price players or team props higher than they should be, giving advantage bettors a chance to make more money than usual. Props also provide professional bettors more leeway to achieve a steady ROI for long-term earnings.

Better Odds For Parlay

Parlays are a collection of more than one wager to create a single risky bet. For parlays to win, every leg or wager within it must win. Losing a single leg will void the entire parlay. Due to their risk, parlay payouts are incredibly high.

Building a parlay with the right risk-vs-reward comes down to finding suitable wagers. Props tend to be better legs for parlays due to their variety and prices.

Fun Wagers

Sports betting is for entertainment and not a source of revenue for every bettor. Unfortunately, it is hard to channel that fun bar wagers when you use terms like money or point spreads. Talking about who will win and whether the score will be higher or lower will enter the realm of calculating the probabilities or the player's historical statistics, which do not fit any casual conversations.

Prop bets, especially exotic ones, bring back the fun part of making sports wagers. There is also nothing like getting rich on bets that guess which celebrity appears on the jumbotron.

Who does not want to make money by guessing who will be the artist for the Super Bowl or which celeb will be watching the game on the sidelines?


What are proposition bets? 

Prop bets are unique wagers for outcomes different from the winning team or final scores. These wagers tend to be about a player or team performance during a game, such as the total rebounds made by a key player or who scores the night's first touchdown.

Can you find props in any sportsbook?

Nearly every U.S. and U.K. sports betting site will offer props among their betting markets. These sites include BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings.

What is the difference between props and futures bets? 

Props are about wagers for everything occurring within the game or match, including the team's final scores or milestones. Futures focuses on the outcome of sporting seasons, including the NBA Finals winner.

How are exotic props different from regular prop bets? 

Exotic props are not based on a game or sporting season's outcome. Instead, these bets are based on miscellaneous events. Examples of exotics include the singer for the national anthem and the coin toss result.

Are proposition bets worth taking? 

Props are better alternatives when the standard bets do not provide any value. There is always a chance a bookie may price a prop in a player's favor, and all it takes is for a bettor to keep a close eye on the current season's key performers.

Proposition bets add variety to your favorite games regarding betting markets and odds. These wagers can have better value than moneylines, spreads, or totals in certain games.