Proposition bets can be wild, wacky, and surprisingly profitable. However, like any other form of sports betting, they require careful attention to detail. This list of prop betting tips can help, regardless of whether you’re a novice or veteran.

What’s a Prop Bet?

A prop bet is also known as a proposition wager, side bet, novelty wager or specials bet. Its name usually depends on what part of the world you live in.

This is a wager that’s placed on something other than a game total, moneyline or point spread. According to Wikipedia, it’s “a bet made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence during a game of an event not directly affecting the game’s final outcome.”

Here are some examples:

  • Will a specific baseball team score in the first inning?
  • Will a specific player hit a hole in one during a golf tournament?
  • Which team will score first in a specific game?
  • Will a certain soccer player score more or less than 1 goal?

Prop bets represent a great danger for bookmakers. In fact, the Las Vegas Hilton has repeatedly claimed that such wagers often result in losses. For this reason, limits on prop bets are often lower than other types of wagers.

Know Players and Teams

Prop bets often deal with individual players and team goals. By paying careful attention to these elements, you can give yourself an advantage when placing a wager. Here are some questions to answer before risking your bankroll:

  • Is the player on a hot or cold streak?
  • How skilled is the opposing defence? Are they on a hot or cold streak?
  • Is a player at home or on the road?
  • Does a player traditionally start slow during a game?
  • Is a player dealing with nagging injuries?

Shop for Best Lines

It’s not uncommon to find multiple books offering similar prop bets with different lines. If everything else is equal, always go with the line that’s most advantageous to the customer. This takes time, but it’s well worth the effort.

Know the Terms

The terms for some prop bets can be vague. This is not a good thing, as it can come back to bite you in the bum. Before placing a wager, always make sure you’re clear on the conditions of the bet. If this isn’t possible, then seek out another option to wager on.

Punter betting on Australian Rules Football using an online bookmaker.

Skill vs Fun

Proposition bets can be categorized as “skill” and “fun.” The latter are wagers that are entirely dependent on fate, such as the result of a coin toss. No amount of research can improve your chances on “fun” wagers.

Meanwhile, “skill” bets can be researched by the serious gambler. When you take into account career stats and recent trends, you can enhance your odds of winning.

There’s nothing wrong with the “fun” option, especially if the payout is sizable enough. However, those who are serious should focus on “skill” wagers that can be properly analysed.

Seek Out Arbitrage Bets

An arbitrage opportunity occurs when the lines at two or more sites are significantly different. By betting on all possible wagers at different prices, the punter is guaranteed to make a profit. Sure, finding these opportunities takes time, but they’re definitely worth it in the long run.

Vary the Bookmaker

Bookmakers spend most of their time working on the point spread. As such, they can’t commit the same amount of attention to prop bets. This means a clever punter can often gain an advantage, which is why the limits for props are usually lower.

However, if you enjoy continual success against a bookie on proposition bets, they may lower your limit. In fact, there’s the possibility that they’ll stop accepting your business.

To avoid this, try spreading your bets around with different betting sites. Just make sure that all the sites are reliable before you open an account.

Additional Reading

Check out the following articles for more gambling advice: