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The sports betting industry is expanding at a rapid rate, and sportsbooks need to become more and more creative to remain near the top of the market. Sportsbooks are doing everything they can to attract new users toward their platforms through a variety of methods, including the increase of unique betting options. Some of the most entertaining and profitable betting types include prop bets, which do not necessarily rely on the final score or winner of a particular sporting event.
This guide will give you everything you need to know about prop betting as you venture into sports betting inside the state of Florida. We will take you through the basic details of prop bets, in addition to real examples featuring the state’s many sports teams.
What are prop bets?
The outcome of a game generally does not factor into prop bets. They act as side wagers to track as you are watching a particular matchup. Sportsbooks can get very creative for some of the bigger events on the sports calendar when they know there’s a ton of interest. This leads to more options for bettors. Sportsbooks are always looking to add more opportunities, and a lot of the creativity may come through the prop betting market.
NFL prop bets
The NFL is king when it comes to sports betting in the United States. That’s especially true in prop betting where there is a huge market over other popular sports. There is no reason to think this will be any different in Florida.
An example of an NFL prop bet could be the number of passing yards Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will throw for in a game against the Los Angeles Rams. Oddsmakers could set the number at 273.5, and bettors can wager on whether they believe he will throw more or less than 273.5 total passing yards. People who enjoy fantasy football would have fun in this style of wagering. Oddsmakers will have plenty of other interesting props for games, including which player will score the first touchdown.
When people think of prop bets in sports, the first thing that probably comes to mind are Super Bowl prop bets. For the biggest sporting event of the year, there is no shortage of prop betting options, especially in major markets like on who will win the MVP. Just about anything you could think of is fair game for a prop bet somewhere. Wild options may include which color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning head coach, and the result of the opening coin toss. During the Super Bowl, NFL betting creativity is at an all-time high, with operators such as DrafKings and FanDuel particularly excelling in their offerings.
Prop bets on other sports
While the NFL is the place many sports fans will go for prop bets, they are available for all the other sports too. Below, we will take a look at some examples of the other major sports in the United States with Florida examples.
NBA prop bets
With the NBA being such a star-driven league, it is an ideal sport for prop bets. When betting on the Miami Heat, for example, plenty of prop bets for Jimmy Butler will be posted for each game and the entire season. A prop bet could include the number of combined points and assists he will score in an upcoming matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. If sportsbooks set the number at 23.5, bettors can choose to bet whether he will finish with better numbers or worse.
If you have a good feel for how an entire team will perform or notice a trend, team props are available as well. If you recognize the Orlando Magic have been knocking down 3-pointers at a high rate, you could factor that into an Orlando Magic prop bet. The oddsmakers may put out 13.5 as the number of deep balls the Magic will make in their next game against the Boston Celtics. You could place some money on the over. If some of these bets sound foreign to you, check out our How to Bet on the NBA guide.
MLB prop bets
No major professional sport relies on statistics and long-term data quite like baseball betting. With the amount of information available, MLB prop betting could be a profitable way to go. An example of an individual prop bet on the Tampa Bay Rays would be the over/under on how many strikeouts Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow will have in his next start against the Boston Red Sox.
After looking at previous matchups and different analytics in Boston’s lineup, you could determine whether or not he will reach the 5.5 strikeouts given out by the sportsbook against the Red Sox.
An example of a team prop would be which team will score the first run of the upcoming Miami Marlins game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Both teams would be given odds on which offense is most likely to get on the board first.
NHL prop bets
NHL prop betting markets are another area fans and bettors can make some money. The Tampa Bay Lightning recently won back-to-back Stanley Cups, and with an increased interest in the organization, that usually leads to additional attention from sports bettors. An individual example of a Lightning prop bet is whether or not Brayden Point will score a goal in his next game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Sometimes, sportsbooks will have only “yes” as the lone option to choose from, while others will have “yes” and “no” options for this type of prop. In an example of a team prop bet, if you know a team is in for a good night offensively, you could bet the over on the number of shots on goals projected by the oddsmakers.
MLS prop bets
Prop bets have their place in MLS betting with a decent number of options. One individual prop bet for an Inter Miami game could be on which player will score first. Many players on the roster will be listed, and you could be in for a profitable wager if you can hit on the correct outcome, though it’s difficult to win that type of prop consistently.
In a game prop example, you could bet on the winning margin in a match between Orlando City SC and LA Galaxy. Because ties are so common in the sport, you may also bet on a draw in this scenario.
Golf prop bets
When getting ready for a major PGA tournament, plenty of prop bets will be available, especially if it is a key event. If you noticed a particular player has been hot as of late, you could pick them to win the next tournament. That’s a difficult outcome to predict with a ton of confidence, but you could bet on whether that competitor will finish inside the top five. Sportsbooks will also list golf betting odds for the top 10, top 20 and so on.
Some of the more interesting and fun golf prop bets could be whether a hole-in-one will occur during the event or whether a playoff will occur. Those are obviously more luck-based wagers, but it depends on your sports betting goals.
Pros and cons of prop bets
Just like with every other betting type, there are plenty of positives and drawbacks to the prop betting market. We’ll start with the pros.
One thing people who wager on props will say is how entertaining it is. As you watch a football game, you can cheer for individual players, which is why fantasy football has developed into such a major industry and a mainstream sports discussion. Continuing to battle for new users, sportsbooks are getting creative with the prop betting market, which makes for a more fun experience for bettors. Another positive is that with the increase in data and analytics, high-level sports bettors can find an edge.
Con: Luck and Consistency
The major con is obvious. Prop bets are difficult to win consistently, just like any other betting type, and it’s why sportsbooks do so well. Sports betting is geared toward letting the sportsbooks win in the long run, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
Another con is how many prop bets are based completely on luck especially during the Super Bowl when you have items like heads or tails, how many times the commissioner will be shown during the broadcast, etc. Those are fun items to wager on, and it depends on what your goals are as a sports bettor because you’re highly likely to lose money in the long run.
How to calculate a payout on a prop bet
One of the basics of sports betting in Florida is understanding how to calculate winnings when you are ready to place a bet. Online sportsbooks should show you what the payout would be with a winning bet when you enter in the amount of money you’re willing to risk. But it’s still good to know before you get started.
In our first example, let’s take a popular prop bet, like which player will be the first to score a touchdown in an upcoming game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys. We’ll narrow down the list to the top five, according to the oddsmakers.
- Mike Evans: +750
- Ezekiel Elliott: +750
- Chris Godwin: +900
- Ronald Jones II: +950
- CeeDee Lamb: +1100
If you’re new to sports betting, you might wonder what the numbers with the plus sign in front of them mean. Those are the odds given out by the oddsmakers. The easiest way to calculate this is by using $100 as the benchmark. If you’d like to bet on Mike Evans to score the game’s first touchdown, a $100 bet on +750 odds would result in a $750 payout (plus your original $100 back). For Ronald Jones, a $100 wager with +950 odds would lead to a $950 profit. The payouts are so high because a bet like this is so difficult to win on a consistent basis.
In this next example, let’s say you’d like to bet on the passing yardage total odds for Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Here’s what this would look like.
- Over 245.5 (-110)
- Under 245.5 (-110)
Now let’s calculate odds when the numbers have a minus sign in front of them. To calculate this, we will use $100 again. If you would like to wager on the over at -110 odds, that means you would need to bet $110 to earn a $100 profit. If the number was at -245, you would need to wager $245 to earn $100.
For many of the 50/50 bets, the standard odds are -110 for some of the popular betting types like point spreads or point totals. Even with a winning bet, a portion of that money will go toward the sportsbook, which is the No. 1 reason why sportsbooks will consistently make a profit in this industry.
Casual prop bets with friends
While sports betting is continuing to be legalized across the country, there is still plenty of room for betting on sports against your friends or family. If your coworker is going on and on about how good his favorite team’s quarterback is, you can wait until they play your team and bet on who will finish with more passing yards.
When you come back to work that following Monday, your coworker might have to show up wearing your team’s favorite jersey, or he or she might have to fetch you drinks at the company picnic. Sports and sports betting are designed to be fun, so get creative with it.
Tips for prop bets
If your goal for sports betting is strictly to make money, stay away from the luck-based wagers like the ones mentioned earlier in this article. These are 50/50 wagers that require no skill. With how the odds work (factoring in the vig), you will lose money even if you are picking these correctly half of the time. If your goal is to entertain yourself by throwing a small amount at these prop bets, go for it. It’s your money.
If you are looking to earn some extra income, make sure you do your homework before placing money on a prop just like with any wager. Keep an eye out for trends. With the increasing popularity of sports betting, there are tons of areas where you can find information on any game.
At least to start out, it might make sense to wager on the teams or divisions about which you know the most. That could give you an edge over the betting public. If you follow one specific team closely, you could have a better understanding of how a particular game might play out and identify the prop bets that could make you some money as you wade into the sports betting waters.