What Are Prop Bets?

What Are Prop Bets?

Preparing to relax and enjoy the game, it’s completely natural to have gut feelings about how things might turn out. For instance, you may be convinced that Anthony Rizzo will hit a home run for the Cubs, or that the Chicago Bears will accumulate impressive rushing yards on Sunday.

Now that sports betting is legal in Illinois, you can finally put your money where your mouth is.

Proposition betting, a rapidly expanding segment of the sports betting industry, essentially allows you to place side bets on potential events that may occur during a game.

Various opportunities are present for exploration in each contest listed. Choosing wisely can result in substantial returns. We will comprehensively discuss all aspects of prop betting in Illinois in this article.

What is prop betting?

Prop bets offer extra betting possibilities on individual games and events, including season-long props in the futures market. A lot of these prop bets are based on statistical achievements.

What Are Prop Bets? 2

In essence, prop bets introduce a fantasy sports aspect to sports betting. Your betting decision is not solely dependent on who wins or loses, but more so on a particular performance.

Different operators may offer varying prop options. Every legal and regulated sports betting operator in Illinois provides a good array of props for each game. You have the opportunity to compare the different prop bet choices available at sportsbooks like Caesars and FanDuel.

What are the different types of prop bets?

Prop bets typically come under four major categories. Let’s dive into the details and provide an example for each.

Player props

A player prop is centered on a specific statistical achievement or performance measurement. It often appears similar to a totals bet, where you must select either over or under.

How many strikeouts will Yu Darvish have?
Over/Under 7.5

Team props

The collective props will encompass a club’s performance during a match, along with potential specific situations. For instance, in an NFL game, you might encounter the following:

Between the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams, which team will accumulate more rushing yards in the game?

Game props

A prop bet for a game will be based on the overall results of the game or an event that could occur during it. For instance, consider the following example for an NHL game:

Will overtime be needed to decide the game?
Yes or No

Season-long props

These bets will be based on achievements throughout an entire season. For instance, a prop bet for the entire season could involve predicting a player’s performance in the upcoming season.

How many sacks will Khalil Mack have this year?
Over/under 11.5

Each of the four categories at legal and regulated IL sportsbooks offers a broad array of choices. However, offerings can differ, so it’s important to compare to find the best prices and bet types.

How do I place a prop bet?

Whether you’re using an Illinois sportsbook app or a website, it’s easy to place a prop bet. Begin by determining the prop bet you want to make. For every game on the sportsbook, you have the option to browse through the game listing or click on the “More Wagers” link to see what’s available.

Often, you’ll notice dropdown menus for different prop categories. For instance, a prop for an NBA game might offer a bet on player scoring.

Who will have more points in the game?
Zach LaVine (+105)
Jimmy Butler (-115)

Once you’ve made your selection, simply click on the box displaying the odds. This will add it to your betting slip. Then, input the amount you want to bet and double-check all the details. Finally, hit the submit button to place your bet.

Prop betting odds explained

Given the multitude of prop bets available, odds will understandably fluctuate. Typically, you’ll come across prop bets with limited options as well as those with a broad spectrum of choices to explore.

A prop with only two options will have odds specified for both outcomes. For instance, a prop for an NFL player could appear as follows:

How many yards will Nick Foles throw for?
Over 249.5 (-125)
Under 249.5 (+115)

Certain props will involve multiple options to consider and will incorporate the odds. A typical bet on NHL games serves as an example.

Which player will score the game’s first goal?
Patrick Kane +125
Connor McDavid +125
Leon Draisaitl +140
Dominick Kubalik +165

You might also notice the odds displayed with numbers for numerous top-tier players, with a concluding option labeled as “any other player.” And the list continues.

The listing for odds with two or three choices will resemble a moneyline bet. However, for a prop with numerous options, the listing will look similar to what you’d see in the futures market, where odds are listed in decreasing order.

Which Illinois sportsbooks offer the best prop bet odds?

Regardless of the type of bet you intend to place, it’s crucial to keep in mind that odds may vary from one sportsbook to another. For instance, PointsBet might offer odds of -125 on a moneyline favorite, whereas FanDuel could provide -120 on the same side.

The narrative is identical for prop betting. The odds you observe at BetRivers may not be the same at Caesars, and the availability of certain props also varies. Although most operators will offer similar props for popular sports, there will still be differences.

This is why comparison shopping is crucial. It is a good habit to explore the prices and services of various providers to identify the ones that appeal to you the most. You might discover some unexpected treasures.

How do books calculate prop bet payouts?

Many prop bets carry positive odds, for instance, +120. In such scenarios, the calculation is straightforward. The positive figure indicates the potential winnings from a successful $100 bet. So, in this instance, the winnings would amount to $120.

When you append a prop bet to your slip and input your bet amount, the sportsbook will show the possible return. This is a simple and fast method, but be cautious not to inadvertently confirm any wagers before you are prepared.

Some digital handicapping calculators permit you to input the bet amount and odds to view your possible return. However, if you want to calculate it yourself, refer to the formulas below:

For Negative Odds: Wager amount/(odds/-100) = potential profit
For Positive Odds: Wager amount*(odds/100) = potential profit

Online prop betting rules in Illinois

Betting rules tend to be similar across different online and mobile operators in Illinois. However, there can be minor differences among different sportsbooks. Here are the key things you should know about prop bets:

  • The book views player prop bets as active bets once the game has started and the player is dressed to participate. If the player is deemed unable to play before the game begins, the sportsbook will cancel the bet and refund the wagered amounts.
  • The resolution of prop bets relies on official league data, scores, and outcomes.
  • The prop bet will remain active if a game, despite being delayed, postponed or canceled, is completed within a reasonable time frame. However, if the game is not completed in a reasonable time, the prop bet will be voided.

The basic rules are outlined above, but different situations may come up. To understand how these scenarios are managed in the books you play on, make sure to thoroughly read through the terms and conditions.

Examples of sports prop bets

Once you acquire experience in prop betting, you will become more comfortable with it. To expedite this process, let’s examine some examples across various sports:

NFL prop bets

Whether it’s a hectic NFL Sunday or the standalone primetime matches, NFL betting sites provide numerous prop betting opportunities for every game.

Each year, numerous popular Super Bowl prop bets will also be available. The overall NFL list will include performance targets for key players.

How many total receptions will Allen Robinson have?
Over 6.5 (-115)
Under 6.5 (+105)

In this wager, you just need to determine how many passes Robinson will catch in the game. If you choose the over bet at odds of -115, you win if he manages to catch seven or more passes. Alternatively, if you choose the under bet at odds of +105, you’re hoping for him to make six or fewer receptions in the game.

NBA prop bets

Prop betting goes hand in hand with high-scoring NBA games. There are plenty of opportunities to be had in every slate of basketball games, from the regular season all the way through to the playoffs.

Who will have more points plus assists in the game?
Kawhi Leonard (-112)
LeBron James (-108)

For this proposition, you need to predict which of the two superstars will tally more points and assists combined in the game. If you place a successful $100 bet on Leonard with odds of -112, you will earn a profit of $89.30. If you win a $100 bet on James with odds of -108, you will receive a return of $92.30.

MLB prop bets

To boost your involvement during the extended MLB season, numerous props will be offered for each match. Several of these will relate to individual players, while others will focus on overall team performance. For instance:

Which team will deliver the first to three runs?
White Sox (+135)
Twins (-105)
Neither (+150)

This prop includes the option of ‘neither’, which implies that you believe neither side will score three runs in the game.

NHL prop bets

Many NHL props will typically focus on goal-scoring. Aside from the regular options, there will also be those that provide significant payout potential if they occur.

Player to score two or more goals in the game:
Nikita Kucherov +350
Brad Marchand +450
David Pastrnak +600
Steven Stamkos +700

If your NHL selection is successful, you can expect a substantial return. However, bear in mind that such bets are highly uncertain, so it is advised to manage your bet amounts and expectations accordingly.

Golf prop bets

For each PGA Tour stop and major golf tournament, prop bets are included in the wide array of offerings. Props are available that focus on the performance of individual players, including:

How many birdies will Tiger Woods have in Round Two?
Over 5.5 (+145)
Under 5.5 (-125)

For props like this, research is key. For instance, you should look into Woods’ recent average of birdies per round, as well as his previous performances on the current course.

UFC prop bets

Props are available for each match on UFC fight cards. Occasionally, you’ll find props for the entire card of action, including “fight of the night.” For individual fights, you may find options like this:

Will the fight go the distance?
Yes (-160)
No (+130)

If you believe a decision is likely, then you’ll opt for a “yes” bet with odds at -160. Conversely, if you anticipate an early conclusion to the fight through a knockout, submission, or referee stoppage, you would choose a “no” bet at odds of +130.

Prop betting for other sports

Additionally, the menu will feature props for other sports including NCAA football, NCAA basketball, NASCAR, and tennis. Remember, however, that online betting on games featuring teams from your own state is not allowed in college football and basketball.

You are now able to make Tier 1 bets on Illinois teams in person, however, this does not encompass player props.

Props in NASCAR and tennis will operate in a similar manner to those in golf and UFC. Bets can be placed on individual competitors as well as the overall event. You might also find props in some minor sports, although the options will not be as extensive.

How to handicap sports prop bets

For propositions related to team performance or specific game results, you can rely on the usual information you discover while assessing games and events. However, player propositions demand a different viewpoint.

A player prop bet carries a hint of fantasy sports. These bets mainly revolve around statistical achievements or performance measures. The game’s result doesn’t matter since the bet concentrates on the player’s potential performance during the match.

In other words, the gambling odds and lines for the match can give us some hints about the possible scoring outcomes. For instance, a game that is predicted to be close and high-scoring could boost the performance of crucial players.

In the meantime, a game that’s expected to be defense-oriented and low-scoring may result in subdued performance. The odds for the three main betting categories – moneyline, point spreads, and totals – could provide some hints about the possible outcomes.

Here are additional suggestions on how to better understand a player’s performance or an upcoming match:

  • Researching Fantasy Sports Projections: If you’re an avid player of daily fantasy sports or any other fantasy sports, you’re likely aware of the numerous websites providing player projections. Though accurate predictions are uncommon, you can benefit from the collective intelligence approach. If multiple reliable sources predict a standout performance, it’s wise to take note.
  • Examine Previous Results Against Present Adversary: Some players may outperform against specific teams and underperform against others. This can be attributed to the matchups, defensive tasks, game strategy, and various other elements. However, the overall historical performance is a clear indicator. When evaluating player props, it’s crucial to look at the player’s past performance against the present adversary.
  • Analyzing Player Performance in Recent Games: Just like any other human, athletes also have their highs and lows. There may be periods when they are at the top of their game effortlessly, while at other times, they may struggle. Evaluating their performance over the past three to five games can provide a reliable forecast of their potential performance in the upcoming match.

In regards to prop betting, the guidelines are the same as for other forms of gambling: formulate a strategy, adhere to a budget, and avoid excess. You don’t have to bet on every prop available. Rather, adopt a discerning attitude towards the most likely choices.

When planning your budget, you can assign a part of your bankroll for props. You can then distribute this into practical bets and more risky opportunities, perhaps in an 80/20 ratio. Most importantly, always make sure to bet sensibly and never beyond your means.

What to remember about prop betting

Prop bets are extra betting options provided by sportsbooks on various games and events. They are available for all major sports such as the NFL, NBA, and golf. A lot of prop bets focus on the performance of individual players, while others are based on team or game situations.

Essentially, a prop bet is akin to having additional stakes in a competition. Once you understand their mechanics, prop bets can seamlessly integrate into your overall betting strategy.