Beginner’s Guide to Prop Betting

by Seth Diewold · Betting Advice

Prop betting is one of the most exciting ways to wager that many people either don’t know much about or aren’t comfortable with. The common belief is, as with most types of wagers, there isn’t an edge to be gained with betting props. While it is true the house does have the advantage, they still have to set every line for these props. Oftentimes, these lines are softer lines, and there are some mispricings in the market. In this article, I will be covering what a prop bet is, how to make one, and some tips so you can identify good prop bets to make.

What is a Prop Bet?

A prop bet is short for a proposition bet. It’s been called a slew of other names in the past. For instance, in certain parts of the world, it’s called a specials bet or side bet. No matter the term used, all of these words mean the same thing. For the purposes of this article, I will be using the term “prop bet” when referring to the specific kind of bet this article is referring to.

Now, to answer the question: What exactly is a proposition bet, or a prop bet? The best answer I can give is a prop bet isn’t made on the result of the individual game result. Instead of betting on who will cover the spread, or who will win outright between the Packers and the Bears, a prop bet may involve an individual player’s performance or another event in the game that doesn’t have anything to do with the final score.

Examples of prop bets include:

Will Aaron Rodgers throw for over or under 275.5 yards?
Will Aaron Rodgers throw for over or under 2.5 touchdowns?
Who will score the first touchdown?
Will Darnell Mooney receive over or under 6.5 passes?

The Odds

Now, the house holds an advantage over the player. Typically, there are odds posted for each bet. These numbers are posted like this: (-110). These numbers refer to the amount of money needed to make 100 dollars on a bet. If a bettor would like to bet the over for Aaron Rodgers passing yards, the wagerer has to pay the rake, or the “juice,” in order to place the wager. This is how casinos and bookmakers ultimately make their money. If the wager is successful, then the bettor would get the rake back along with their winnings. For example, if a gambler puts 110 dollars on a -110 line and wins, they would receive 210 dollars back when they cashed their ticket.

The Rake

Sometimes, the rake, or the amount of money the sportsbook charges a bettor to make their bet, is higher when betting a prop bet. An example is posted below:

You’ll notice the rake, or the (-115) number, is higher than the standard (-110) number. This means a bettor would have to pay 115 dollars to make 100 dollars betting either the over or the under on Jonathan Taylor‘s rushing yards for the 2022-2023 NFL season.

If it costs more to make a prop bet, why should bettors ever consider a prop bet? For starters, it’s extremely hard to set a line for every prop week in and week out. At worst, there are 16 lines and totals to set in any given week during the NFL season. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of prop bets. There’s no time to make those numbers as good as they can be. It is for this reason the rake is higher.

The limits are also lower when betting on props. Typically, the limits for props are around 200 or 300 dollars. If a bettor is successful in betting props, these limits could be set lower. This tells us the line makers are scared of getting burnt when setting prop lines. If the bookmakers are scared, bettors should be ready to take advantage.

How do I find an Edge when Betting Props?

When prop betting, it’s best to focus on what can be measured and researched, and It’s best to avoid betting on props that depend entirely on luck. Examples of these props can be found in the Super Bowl and include, what color will the Gatorade of the winning team be, who will win the coin toss, and will Joe Buck mention the name Robert Kraft more than 7.5 times? You get the picture.

Looking for trends in player usage can help out quite a bit when betting props. For instance, how often do the Browns feature Nick Chubb? How often do they turn to his backup Kareem Hunt? Finding the answers to these questions could lead you to formulate a hypothesis regarding Chubb’s total yardage gained for a particular matchup.

Examining the matchups every Sunday to see which defenses fair better against the pass or the run can help as well. Does a running back struggle against top-10 defenses? Does a quarterback struggle against certain schemes? For example, rookie quarterbacks haven’t fared too well against Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ defensive scheme. Everyone except Davis Mills, that is.

Weather reports can also be very useful to bettors particularly when it comes to the wind. It is much harder for any quarterback to throw when the wind is whipping over 20 or 25 miles per hour. Also, wet, rainy, or snowy conditions can also affect a player’s performance and give the bettor an edge.

Of course, taking advantage of the PlayerProfiler EDGE tab can give detailed insights into these matchups as well.

Where Can I Make a Prop Bet?

There are a slew of casinos across America as some states have legalized sports betting. There are also online platforms such as Caesar’s sportsbook, which is PlayerProfiler’s 2022 featured sponsor. Right now, you can get up to 1,500 dollars of first bet insurance when using the promo code: Underworld15. This means if you’d like to make your first prop bet, you can do so without risk. Also, bettors can utilize PlayerProfiler EDGE to gain the insights they need to make money in sports betting.