What is a Prop Bet? – Team & Player Prop Bets Explained

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Written by Dan Fitch

Updated: 08:18 am EST, 04/07/2024

A prop bet is a shortened version of ‘proposition bet’. A proposition is made that refers to something that could occur in a sporting event and you can bet on whether it will happen or not. We’re going to explore the topic of what is a prop bet so that you completely understand how they work.

How Do Prop Bets Work?

what us a prop bet

Most sporting events are quite literally a numbers game. The contest can be broken down into a large number of statistical elements, which can be wagered upon at offshore sportsbooks online.

Let’s take a football game as an example. The core stats make up the three key markets that lead the list of betting markets. There’s the result, which can be bet on with the moneyline. The margin of victory provides the spread and then by adding up the scores of the two teams you have the total points market.

Delve deeper and you can find the type stats that are used for bets on props. An example might be, how many accumulated yards will a quarterback pass? Or how many field goals will a team score in the first quarter? Or will a player score a touchdown?

Props can be broken down into different categories as follows:

What is a Prop Bet in Major Sports?

Now that prop bet meaning has been explained, we’re going to take you through some prop bet examples for major sports. You’ll discover props based on the game as a whole, ones based around a team performance and what is a player prop bet.

NFL Prop Bets

Let’s examine some of the most popular and common NFL betting props that you’ll find amongst football lines.

  • Total Points – What will be the accumulated number of points score?
  • Total Touchdowns – Place a wager on the total number of touchdowns.
  • Total Field Goals – How many field goals will be scored in a game?
  • Total Interceptions – Bet on the total number of interceptions made by both teams.
  • Total Sacks – Predict the combined number of sacks made in a game.
  • Touchdown and Field Goals – Bet on if a team will score a touchdown and field goal in a game, half or quarter.
  • First Team to Score – Which team will score the first points in a game?
  • First Score Method – Wager on whether the first points in the game come from a touchdown, field goal or another method.
  • Highest Scoring Quarter – What will be the highest scoring quarter of a game?
  • Highest Scoring Half – Bet on what will be the highest scoring half of the game.
  • Winning Margin – With this NFL prop bet you select which team will win and the margin of that victory.
  • Half Time/Full Time – Predict the half time result and full time result to win this bet.

NFL Player Prop Bets

With football players executing very specific and often different on-field roles to one another, oddsmakers are spoilt for choice when creating props. Here are some of the most notable NFL player props that are available.

Super Bowl Prop Bets

No one puts on a show like the NFL with their end of season showpiece and sportsbooks respond with the following Super Bowl prop bet opportunities.

NBA Prop Bets

Every basketball game is rich with stats that lend themselves to prop bets. Here are some of the top NBA betting props that you can find at bookmakers.

  • Both teams to Score in First Minute – Bet on both teams to score in the first minute of the game.
  • Total Points Range – Wager on which of a range of points totals will be the accumulated score.
  • Total Points Odd/Even – Will the total points score be an odd or even number?
  • Highest Scoring Quarter/Half – With this NBA prop bet you wager on which quarter or half will see the most points.
  • Lowest Scoring Quarter/Half – Predict which quarter or half that will provide the most points.
  • Number of Quarters – Bet on the number of quarters that a team will win.
  • Race To – Different points totals will be available and you have to bet on which team will reach that score first.
  • Margin of Win – Bet on the team that will win and the margin of their victory.
  • Will the Game Go to Overtime – Will the scores the tied at the end of regulation time and the game go into overtime?
  • Largest Lead – Wager on what will be the size of any points lead during the game.

NBA Player Props

Of all the props that are based upon the performances of athletes, it is arguably NBA player prop bets that most dominate the wagering on a single sport.

MLB Prop Bets

Another sport where props are very popular is baseball. Here are some of the biggest MLB betting props that you will come across.

  • NRFI or YRFI – Will there be a run scored in the first innings or not.
  • Team to Score First Run – Pick out the team that will score the first run.
  • Total Runs – Predict the number of runs in the game.
  • Team Scoring First Wins Game – Will the team scoring the first run, go on to win the game?
  • First Scoring Play – Bet on whether the first scoring play will be one run, two, three or a Grand Slam.
  • Half Time/Full-time – Predict the result at the halfway mark and also the final result.
  • Total Hits – How many hits will be scored in a certain innings or the game as a whole.
  • Most Hits – One of the most popular MLB betting props is wagering on which team will score the most hits.
  • Winning Margin – Pick out the winner of the game and the margin of their victory.
  • Highest Scoring Inning – Which will be the highest scoring innings?
  • Extra Innings Required? – Bet on whether the scores will be tied at the end of regulation play and there will need to be any extra innings.

MLB Player Prop Bets

There are many MLB player props available. Here are some of the most common that you will find at sportsbooks.

World Series Prop Bets

A baseball game doesn’t get bigger than the World Series. Here are some of the props that are available for MLB’s season finale.

NHL Prop Bets

We conclude this section on the big US sports leagues with the NHL. Take a look at some of the most popular hockey prop bets.

  • Team to Score First Goal – Bet on which team will score the first goal of the match.
  • Both Teams to Score – Will both teams score in a certain period of the game?
  • Exact Goals Scored – Place a wager on the exact number of accumulated goals from both teams.
  • Highest Scoring Period – Which period will see the most goals scored?
  • Total Goals – Bet on the total number of goals for the game as a whole, or within a certain period.
  • Odd/Even Goals – Will the total number of goals be an odd or even number. This bet is available for the game and quarters.
  • Will the Game Go to Overtime – Wager on whether the game finishes tied and needs overtime.
  • Margin of Win – Bet on who will win the game and the margin of that victory.

NHL Player Prop Bets

Hockey fans love to bet on NHL player props. Here are some of the most common examples.

Best Prop Bets from Other Sports

Often associated with the major leagues of popular US sports, props are also available elsewhere. Let’s show you some examples of prop bets from other sports.


The beautiful game is awash with proposition bets. Here are some of the most popular wagers that define prop betting meaning for soccer sportsbooks available online. These are a mix of examples of game prop wagers and player ones:

  • Anytime Goalscorer – Who will score the first goal?
  • First/Last Goalscorer – Bet on who will score the first or last goal.
  • Both Teams to Score – Will both teams score a goal during the match?
  • To Assist – Bet on whether a player will assist a goal.
  • Total Goals – Wager on the total number of goals such as over/under 2.5.
  • Total Corners – Predict how many corners there will be in a game.
  • Half-Time/Full-Time – Pick out the half-time result and then the full-time result.
  • Win to Nil – Will a team win the game without conceding a goal?
  • Shown a Card – Bet on whether a player receives a yellow (or red) card in a game.
  • Red Card – Will a sending off (red card) happen in the match?
  • Penalty – Wager on whether there’s a penalty in the game.


We’ve focused on examples of team props, but individual sports also present lots of opportunities for props. Tennis is a good example and below you can see some of the most common props for that sport.

Combat Sports

Fighting sports such as MMA and boxing create great excitement. Let’s examine the types of prop bets that you can find in combat sports.

  • Method of Victory – Predict the winner of a boxing or MMA fight and how the bout ends. Will it be a knockout, submission, stoppage or points victory?
  • Round of Victory – Bet on what round a fight will end.
  • Round Groups – With certain rounds grouped together, you can bet on what phase that a fight will end.
  • Go the Distance – Will the fight go the full distance and to the judges’ scorecards?
  • Points Deduction – Place a wager on whether the referee will deduct points from one or both fighters.
  • Knockdowns – How many knockdowns will a fighter score in a fight?
  • Time Props – With MMA you can bet on the length of time that a fight will last.


Golf is a staple of online sportsbooks. Here are some of the most popular golf prop bets.


Motorsports such as F1, IndyCar and NASCAR have a legion of devoted fans. Take a look at the range of motorsports props that are available.

  • Fastest Lap – Which driver will record the fastest lap time?
  • Margin of Win – Bet on the time margin of a win.
  • Head-to-Head – You bet on which of two drivers does best in the race.
  • Number of Retirements – How many drivers retire from the track and fail to finish the race?
  • To Finish – Bet on whether a driver will finish the race or have to retire.
  • Caution Flags – Wager on how many caution flags appear in a race.
  • Lead Changes – How many times will the lead change during the course of a race?
  • Will Both Team Members Score Points – In motorsports such as F1 where each team has two drivers, you can bet on both drivers to score points.

Pros & Cons of Prop Betting Explained

We wouldn’t be doing our job of explaining what is a prop bet without exploring the disadvantages of this type of wager, as well as the perks. Here are the pros and cons as we see them.


  • Wide range of props for major US sports
  • Props increasingly available for other sports from across the world
  • Countless examples of player props opens up betting opportunities
  • Statistical data readily available to make informed bets


  • Not a bet to make if you don’t have time for research
  • Novelty exotic props are something of a lottery

What is a Prop Bet Strategy That Works?

By now the question of what is a prop bet has been answered. Now that you understand the prop bets meaning, you may be considering placing such a wager yourself. Follow these betting strategies to boost your profitability.

Team News Matters

When it comes to player prop betting strategy, team news is hugely important. Make sure that you know of any injuries that might keep a player out, or if the coach has a reason to bench a player.

You don’t want to bet on a player performing in a certain way and the wager lost through lack of fitness, or some other issue. Equally, being aware of a key player being unavailable, could present the opportunity for a value prop bet.


There are so many different prop bets across so many sports, that it would be impossible to do the sufficient research to be knowledgeable about them all. You need to specialize.

Maybe stick to a certain sport and study up on all the NFL player prop stats, or basketball prop bets if that’s more your thing. Better still, become a real expert on one particular type of prop, researching a particular stat thoroughly, so that you can instantly spot when there is an opportunity.

Don’t Take Novelty Props Seriously

Exotic bets are popular props for big events. Fun football prop bets for the Super Bowl get lots of attention in the media and in many ways that is the point of them. Don’t take these types of wagers too seriously.

You can’t research a length of the National Anthem prop bet, in the same way that you can with a statistical element from the actual game. Keep your stakes small if making these kind of bets.


What are prop bets?

How to place a prop bet?

What is prop short for?

When are prop bets released for games?

How do I read prop bet odds?

What are exotic props?

How do you win a prop bet?

Why should I bet on props?