Prop betting has become increasingly popular in the sports betting world over the last few years. Perhaps it is the ease with which an amateur gambler can make these types of bets without having to know much about the teams playing, or maybe it is the fact that so many sportsbooks offer more prop bets than ever before as they are a great moneymaker. Whatever the reason, prop bets have increased the engagement between bettor and sportsbook, so we thought we would break these bets down for you.
What is a Prop Bet?
Many of you reading this page probably aren’t even sure what a prop bet is, but when we start to explain it, you probably have actually made one before! A proposition bet (prop for short) is a bet that is not made on the outcome of the game, but the proposition of one part of the game or connecting two outcomes. These bets can be as simple as Yes and No props such as:
- Will the New England Patriots score more than 3 Touchdowns in this game?
- They can also ask you to take a side on a particular number of events that could take place in a game:
- How many Touchdowns will the New England Patriots score in this game?
- Or they can be about individual player accomplishments:
- How many touchdowns will Tom Brady throw in this game?
As you can imagine, there are literally hundreds of potential prop bets that can be placed during one individual game or match. Most sportsbooks tend to stick to the props that they can research themselves. Otherwise, the site can be overexposed and at potential risk of a player finding an angle.
If you look at the examples above, you can see that you don’t even need to have the New England Patriots win the game or cover the spread to enjoy betting on the game. These bets, especially in Europe where Live Betting is so much more advanced, can make watching games more interesting for the more casual sports fan.
Super Bowl – the Prop Bet haven
If you have attended a Superbowl party in the last decade, it is entirely possible that you entered a small pool where you had to pick the answers to a series of questions about the game. This sheet of questions are actually all prop bets, and this is the kind of gateway event that sportsbooks are hoping will draw in a new set of gamblers. The prop betting on the Superbowl is insanely popular – in fact, there are way more prop bets listed for this game than any other sporting event. This isn’t entirely shocking when you consider the sheer number of people who watch the game. The bets you can make are not limited to the events inside the lines; here are some of the more interesting ones we have seen over the years.
- What will be the outcome of the coin toss?
- How long will the national anthem be?
- What color will the Gatorade tossed on the winning coach be?
- How many shots of the commissioner will occur on television during the broadcast?
- What will the number of the jersey that scores the first touchdown be?
The number of Superbowl bets seems endless. For Superbowl 52, some sportsbooks offered over 900 different prop bets on the game, which is more than 10 times the average a typical football game would see listed. As the sports betting market begins to open in the United States, it is very likely that we will see a huge spike in prop betting as a piece of the overall growth of the business.
Why make prop bets?
In the old days, the sportsbooks were only too happy to take your action on prop bets. The reason for this is that they were considered to be suckers’ bets – bets that would be more likely to lose and had larger amounts of juice charged even if the bet was a winner. The sportsbooks would prey on players’ love of their own teams and favorite players, betting with their hearts instead of their heads.
However, in this new information age, people have access to more real-time information about games than in the past. This actually gives players a chance to gain an advantage over a site. Say, for example, you find out about an injury to a player before the sportsbook does. In that case, you have an opportunity to hit that book and try to find additional value in the prop bets around that player. Most sportsbooks do not have the means to monitor all of their props properly, which means you may find some extra value by doing your homework.
Players love prop bets for many reasons, but mainly it starts with people who believe they have access to information before a sportsbook does. This gives the player an advantage if they can find a prop bet that isn’t adjusted in time to reflect the updated news. Books are getting better at managing these wagers, but the best gamblers will still be able to race to their favorite sites to beat the system.
With increased mobile betting, more sports information available than ever before, and an increased interest in more than just the final score of a game prop betting is a vertical that is going to see significant growth in the coming years. As more players become interested in this sideshow of gambling, sportsbooks will have to offer more prop bets to stay competitive and to ensure that their players are given a compelling reason to bet more often.