A proposition bet in sports betting are more commonly known as a “prop bet.” This kind of betting is very popular overseas. It is now one of the fastest-growing segments of the sports betting industry in the United States. The growth of prop betting at online sportsbooks is evolving and constantly changing as new legal betting states open up new kinds of opportunities.
Some prop bets may sometimes appear to be similar to futures bets. The difference between the two bets is that a prop bet is a wager on an individual player or specific event. However, the majority of prop bets at a sportsbook are on individual players and not the entire team during a game. Both opportunities may be available depending on the game.
Prop bet search tool
Looking for a player or team to bet on in any sport? Use our search tool below to find the different ways to bet, along with the best available odds at sportsbooks in the US.
Prop betting origins
Prop bets became popular in the United States with the Super Bowl. The specific explosion of prop betting started at the Westgate in Las Vegas (previously known as Las Vegas Hilton). The team at the Las Vegas SuperBook was the first Nevada sportsbook operator to offer a large number of prop bets for an individual game.
Today, all sportsbook operators in Nevada offer hundreds of Super Bowl prop bets, and online sportsbook operators in New Jersey (like DraftKings Sportsbook pictured above), Pennsylvania and more legalized states have followed.
Prop betting started modestly with the Super Bowl but continues to grow. Some sportsbook operators offer prop bets every week during the pro football season. Fewer sportsbook operators offer prop bets every day for other sports. The evolution of prop betting in United States sportsbooks is taking the wagers off the field.
Types of prop bets
Common prop bets placed on the MLB include the most common stats like ERA, home runs, stolen bases, strikeouts, hits, RBI, and others. These props can include individual game performance, performance over a specific period (a month, playoff series, etc.), or performance over the course of an entire season (regular, post, or both).
NFL props come in two common variations– per game and total. The most popular props for the NFL are player props like touchdown passes, rushing yards, receptions, interceptions, etc. However, these can also fall under team props like rushing yards allowed per game, turnovers, and passing efficiency. Obscure props are popular mostly during Super Bowls but can range from penalties to the color of Gatorade used by the winning team.
Popular props bet on in the NBA include common statistics like points, rebounds, blocks, assists, and turnovers per game; as well as metrics like shooting percentage, three point attempts, and fouls per game. Team props can include shooting percentages, points in the paint, and free throw attempts. Like the NFL and MLB, these can range from an individual game to over a period of time (series, season, etc.).
The most common prop bets on the NHL include goals, saves, and assists; other statistics like penalty minutes and ice time are popular bets, as well. First player to score a goal, team assist numbers, and faceoff wins are more obscure yet accessible bets to make over an individual game, week, series, or season.
College football prop bets closely mirror NFL props in stats (passing yards, tackles, etc.), but often see more extreme totals. For example, Memphis might have a higher over/under in yards per game than, say, the Buffalo Bills, due to a wider talent gap in college.
College basketball prop bets also closely mirror the NBA props in stats (points per game, steals, etc.). Unlike college football, college basketball sees a decrease in props related to game performance (example, a player or team’s points per game are projected to be lower than NBA due to talent gaps). When betting on NCAAB prop bets on team totals, it’s important to remember that college basketball plays under 40 games per regular season, whereas the NBA plays 82.
Exotic prop bets
Exotic prop bets are only offered by some sportsbooks around the world. These non-traditional prop bets are not necessarily based on activities that take place during a game. The most popular of these exotic prop bets, such as the length of the national anthem or the coin toss results, happen during the Super Bowl.
These props can be as outlandish as the sportsbook operator wants them to be. They usually take place during the most publicly popular events such as a Royal Wedding in the United Kingdom or who will play a specific role in a movie series.
While they may be fun, most of these kinds of exotic proposition bets are not legal in America. This could change in Nevada and in other states that may legalize sports betting.
Personal prop bets
Proposition betting doesn’t only take place in a sportsbook. Bets with a friend for random activities also fall into the category of a prop bet. For example, a bet that a friend can’t finish 40 pushups during a game of poker might be considered a personal prop bet between friends.