Guide to Proposition Bets

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With the continuing boom of the sports betting industry in the United States, sportsbooks are in heavy competition to provide the best options to their new and existing users. Sometimes, that comes through creative betting types, which can easily be shown through the prop betting market. Some bets require skill and research as bettors do everything they can to maximize their chances of earning a profit. However, some of the prop bets are completely luck-based, essentially for sports fan entertainment, and that’s OK because, at its core, sports betting is meant to be fun and entertaining.

If you are planning to take advantage of the recent legalization of sports betting in Arizona, you can use this guide to prop betting inside of the state’s borders. We will walk you through what a prop bet is and how it works, examples of props involving Arizona’s most popular sports franchises, pros and cons of prop betting online, and more.

What is a prop bet?

A prop bet can come in many forms, and they do not rely on the final score or the winner of a particular game. An example of a prop bet can be anything from how many assists an NBA player will accrue in a game to what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning head coach of the next Super Bowl. Props can be described as side bets, and they provide great entertainment if you’re watching the game live.

Are prop bets worth it?

Just like with any betting type, there are positive and negative aspects to props. One positive to prop betting is there are people who can consistently beat the books in some of the skill-based wagers. Bettors who are also experts in the daily fantasy sports industry can excel in this form of gambling. Next-level statistical analysis and formulas are often used by the best DFS players. That skill easily translates to the sportsbooks.

Another perk is how much fun prop bets can be as you watch the game. If you have been a regular fantasy sports player, you understand the idea of rooting on individuals over teams. Also, the lucky wagers that come alive during the Super Bowl receive a ton of attention. They attract people who may not bet or even watch sports on a regular basis.

As for the drawbacks to prop betting, oftentimes there is a smaller wagering limit than for the typical single-game wagers you’d see. Some sharp sports bettors can exploit different areas of prop bets.

Another drawback occurs if you are constantly hammering the luck-based prop wagers. It’s highly unlikely you would return a long-term profit with this prop betting strategy and types of bets.

Types of prop bets for major sports

Now that you’ve learned the basics of prop betting, let’s put them into action using examples from the most popular leagues in the United States, including the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, and PGA.

NBA prop bets

The NBA will feature plenty of team and individual prop wagers for every game. In this example, let’s say you wanted to place a prop on the number of three-pointers the Phoenix Suns will hit in their home matchup against the Miami Heat.

Let’s say DraftKings Arizona set the number of three-pointers at 9.5 for the Suns with -135 toward the under and +115 odds toward the over. If you believe Phoenix is primed and ready to have a hot shooting night, you’d take the over. Regardless of whether the Suns win or lose, all you’re worried about is the number of three-pointers they make. If they knock down more than 9.5 attempts from long range, your bet is a winner.

Some NBA props are geared toward individual players, and you can wager on their personal point totals off the number provided by the oddsmakers. They might set the number of total points at 18.5 points for Devin Booker with -110 odds each way for the over and under. If he is coming off a big-time performance, that number could be a little inflated, providing value to the under. If he fails to reach 18.5 points, the under bet cashes.

NFL prop bets

When people think about prop betting in sports, Super Bowl betting is probably first to mind. The NFL is the king of sports betting in the United States, and the Super Bowl is the king of prop betting. Because there is so much interest from both sports and non-sports fans in the Super Bowl, oddsmakers take advantage of the sheer betting volume. There are going to be prop bets on just about anything you can imagine.

Let’s talk about actual on-field action for a second. Let’s say the Arizona Cardinals advanced all the way to the Super Bowl. One of the NFL bets available could be whether quarterback Kyler Murray will rush for a touchdown in the game. The odds are set at -250 for “no” and +195 for “yes.”

If you believe Murray will find his way into the end zone, make that wager, and you have a shot at earning another prop bet victory.

MLB prop bets

Major League Baseball offers a variety of props for every game because of the statistical nature of the sport.

So let’s say the Diamondbacks and Giants are playing, and BetMGM Arizona has the Diamondbacks at -140 odds to score the first run of the game. After doing your research, you might have picked up on a trend that Arizona’s bats get going early in games, so you feel confident enough in the Diamondbacks to get on the board first.

Another MLB prop bet could be how many strikeouts the starting pitcher will rack up. Let’s say oddsmakers set the number at 5.5. After taking a look at the Giants’ stats this season, you may realize they strike out at a much higher rate than many of the teams in the MLB, so you’re going to take Over 5.5 strikeouts as your bet.

NHL prop bets

In our hockey example, the Arizona Coyotes are going up against the Vancouver Canucks, and these teams are incredibly evenly matched, so much that you can’t predict a victor. As you take a look at the betting board at Caesars sportsbook, you see a market on whether the game will go into overtime. Since you believe the teams are so close together in talent, you could wager “yes,” which could wind up being a rather high payout.

Another example of an NHL prop bet is how many shots on goal the Coyotes ultimately take. If the offense has been playing well, with plenty of scoring chances in recent games, it might make sense to take the over in that spot.

MLS prop bets

Placing a soccer prop bet can be an entertaining way to engage with an individual game. An example of an MLS wager that could be available is how many corner kicks will be recorded in a game between the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC. The number is set at 3.5 for the game. Because you believe scoring chances will be at a minimum, you’d take the under in this spot.

Another potential prop could be on which team will score first. Both are likely to be given similar odds, so it’s up to your preference on whether you believe taking either side is worth the risk.

Golf prop bets

Golf prop bets are available just about every weekend. That said, bettors turn out much more for the bigger tournaments, like any of the four majors. As you head into The Masters, for example, you could look at the sportsbook odds on whether a hole-in-one will occur.

Another prop could be on the final stroke lead of The Masters winner. Options could be one, two, three, or more.

How do prop bets pay out?

Prop bets pay out just like any other wager. If you are new to betting or do not fully understand how to calculate payouts, we’ll walk you through it here. For both the plus and minus sign examples, it is easiest to employ $100 as the benchmark.

If you bet on an outcome that has -135 odds, the minus sign means you’d need to bet $135 in order to return a $100 profit. However, if the odds are coming in at +115, this means a $100 wager would wind up with a $115 profit if the bet is a winner.

Key takeaways from prop betting

Mostly, you need to decide on your motivations and how to balance fun and profit. If you are looking at prop bets strictly as a money-making opportunity, go with skill-based wagers. Examples could include how many passing yards the starting quarterback will have or the number of rebounds the star power forward will pull down. If that feels too technical, have some fun with the more chance-based markets.

Regardless, you are betting your own money, so do what you’d like. Just know the prop betting market should have just about everything you’re looking for, and the number of options is only increasing as sports wagering grows rapidly across the United States.