What is a Prop Bet?
A proposition bet, commonly referred to as a prop bet, is a wager on whether something will or will not occur during a sporting event. There are various types of prop bets available at Arizona sites that bettors can place on a given game, but the majority (and the most commonly used) are ones in which bets are placed on whether an individual or team will record more or less of a certain statistic, specific to the number set by oddsmakers as the expected total. It works similarly to a traditional over-under bet in which oddsmakers set a total for the expected combined points, and bettors choose whether that actual number will be higher (over) or lower (under).
Prop bets can be linked to individual players or teams as a whole, but the one commonality among them is that they're never linked to the game's outcome like traditional spread bets, moneylines bets, and totals are. Oddsmakers will sometimes offer combinations that act as parlay bets and involve the final outcome of the game, but a traditional prop does not consider the final score.
How Are Prop Bets Used In Sports Betting?
How often do we see a player turn in an incredible individual performance only for his team to lose? The Suns lost seven times in 2021 when Devin Booker scored 30 points, and the Cardinals were 2-3 when Kyler Murray threw for three touchdowns in 2020. Player prop bets in Arizona take the outcome and, thus, the team's performance, out of the equation. Likewise, game props take a team's performance into account but only from a statistical perspective. Think the Diamondbacks offense is good enough to rack up a handful of runs but you don't trust the D-Backs' pitching staff? Wager on the Diamondbacks to score over 5.5 runs and it won't matter whether they win 6-1 or lose 13-6.
Understanding Prop Bet Odds
Many prop bets have odds between +150 and -150 because they are simply an over-under bet. There are, however, other prop bets that have a wide range of odds that affect potential payouts for bettors. For example, a player prop for Deandre Ayton to record a double-double might be set at -250, but a player prop for Chris Paul to record a triple-double may be set at +2000. For baseball prop bets, odds for a player to hit a home run often range between +300 and +900. Kyler Murray's odds of throwing for one touchdown may be -10000, but his odds of throwing for four touchdowns may be as high as +600.
Like traditional bets, payouts on prop bets depend on the likelihood of the final outcome based on what oddsmakers have set the lines. Some Arizona sports betting sites offer boosts on specific prop bets that bettors can and should take advantage of when offered.
Types Of Proposition Bets
There are hundreds of different prop bets available in any sport at any given time. These prop bets range from incredibly common (DeAndre Hopkins receiving yards) to not even related to sports (which movie will win Best Picture at The Academy Awards). We'll go over what these props typically look like in sports so bettors know what to look for when placing a prop bet.
Player props are the most common form of prop bets. As opposed to traditional bets focused on the final score, player props focus on an individual's statistical performance. The majority of player props involve oddsmakers setting a number in a specific statistical category (points, goals scored, hits, rushing yards, etc.) and bettors choosing whether that player will go over or under that total in the matchup. Other props include how an individual's performance will stack up among their peers (top scorer, first field goal, etc.).
Game props follow the same format as player props in that these types of bets are statistics-based and not concerned with the outcome of the game. The difference is that a game prop involves cumulative team stats and not just one individual's numbers. These can be either be one team's stats or a combination of both team's numbers. Examples of individual game props are which team will score first (or last), which basketball team will get to 10 points first, or how many combined touchdowns will be scored. Game props often have odds between -110 and +110 and are a choice between either team or an over-under bet on whatever statistic you're betting on.
NFL Prop Bets
Given that millions of Americans play fantasy football each season, it's no surprise that NFL betting in AZ is so popular. The most common NFL prop bets involve a quarterback's passing yards total, a running back's rushing total or a wide receiver's receiving yards. Another popular NFL prop wager is choosing which player will score the first touchdown of a game. Team props include the total number of points a team will score or the number of sacks they will record in a game. Betting during the regular season is big, but prop betting on the Arizona Super Bowl are the most popular form of prop betting during the sports year.
NBA Prop Bets
The explosion of scoring in the NBA in recent years has made prop bets increasingly popular. With such a star-driven league with several major statistical categories, hundreds of different NBA props are available for each game. Examples of these NBA bets include over-unders for players in points, rebounds, or assists (or a combination of two or all three), odds on a player to record a double-double or triple-double, or which player will score the first field goal. Team props that include how many 3-pointers a team will make or which team will get to 10 points first.
MLB Prop Bets
Strikeouts and home runs are up across baseball in the past few years, and that can make for some enticing prop bets. MLB betting in Arizona can be difficult because of the ebbs and flows of a 162-game season, but there's still plenty of value if you're looking in the right spots. The most common props are starting pitcher strikeouts, position players to hit a home run or to log a certain amount of hits, and total bases for a position player. Team props often include which team will score the first run, which team will score the last run, and individual team runs. Prop bets take center stage each fall with the World Series, when oddsmakers increase the number of betting props available.
NHL Prop Bets
The embarrassment of young talent in the NHL has made props and betting on hockey in Arizona increasingly popular. Of course, the most common props include whether a player will score a goal, total number of points scored, and total saves from a goalie. Head-to-head props are also popular, with bettors able to wager on whether one player will have more points (or any other stat) than another player.
College Football Prop Bets
Absurd talent, explosive offenses, and games being played all day on Saturday and going into Sunday make college football props in Arizona some of the most popular of any sport. There are dozens of different prop college football bets, with the most common including quarterback passing yards, running back rushing yards, wide receiver receiving yards, and the player to score the game's first touchdown. Team props include total points and which team will score first.
College Basketball Prop Bets
Though one-and-dones and players bypassing college hoops for professional leagues continue to increase, there's still nothing quite like college basketball betting and March Madness. Though college hoops is more team-oriented than its professional version, props like individual points, rebounds, and/or assists bets are still commonplace. Bets on which player will tally the first field goal of the game also are popular plays. Additional player and team props are added during March Madness, too.
Super Bowl Prop Bets
A regular-season NFL game has hundreds of different prop-bet options. But when it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, the stakes are raised and so are the number of props available to bettors. There are literally thousands of different betting options on game day, and they range from the standard props of passing yards, a winning coach and a first touchdown to truly bizarre props like the length of the National Anthem before kickoff, the coin toss, and what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning team's head coach. There are also inter-sport prop bets on Super Bowl Sunday. An example would be whether first downs gained by the Cardinals in the Super Bowl or Devin Booker points scored in a Suns game that same weekend will be higher. If you can dream it, there's a prop for it on the biggest day of the sports year.
Exotic Event Prop Bets
Prop bets go well beyond traditional sports betting. A handful of AZ sports betting appswill offer prop bets on pop-culture entertainment involving celebrities, award shows like the Academy Awards, and even TV shows like The Bachelor. If there's an audience for it, oddsmakers will be creating markets and odds for bettors to get in on the action.
Payouts on Prop Bets
Payouts for prop bets are dependent on the odds listed. A sure-fire bet (Deandre Ayton to score 10+ points) may have odds as low as -1000 while a long shot prop bet (Kyler Murray to throw for 500+ yards) could have odds as high as +2000. Oddsmakers rarely post props that are locked to hit or have no shot of hitting, but the spectrum of odds on any given matchup among the hundreds of different props gives all types of bettors something to research and wager.
Prop Bet Parlays
As prop bets continue to increase in popularity among bettors, Arizona oddsmakers have made them more available to be used in parlays. Bettors can take multiple player or game props and combine them into a parlay to increase potential payouts. However, there are some limitations as most online sportsbooks don't allow for prop bets to be included in a parlay that also features a bet on that specific game.
Operators continue to relax their rules on what can and can't be put into a parlay, so it's only a matter of time before bettors have freedom to place prop bets in a parlay no matter what else is included. Each site will let bettors know on their bet slip when a prop bet cannot be included in a parlay.
Arizona Prop Betting Strategy
It may seem like prop bets are easy to figure out. After all, it really boils down to whether Kyler Murray passes for more or less than 305.5 passing yards. Easy enough, right? Not so fast. Strategy comes into play whenever you're placing a bet, and props are no different. Knowing what to look for, understanding recent trends, and sticking to a process will give you the greatest chance of turning your betting experience into a profitable one.
Find the Edge
While it's true that oddsmakers take into account how certain players or teams are performing when creating their odds, bettors can take advantage by looking at previous performances to get an understanding of who's playing well and which teams playing might be in line for good or bad performances that make betting the over or under on a certain prop a smarter play.
Bet with Reason
Those +900 overtime odds might be fun to root for, and it'd be exciting to see Devin Booker record a triple-double while hitting on +3000 odds, but it's critical for bettors to make prop bets within reason. Like all these strategies, research of past performance is critical. Don't simply wager on an individual game because it's right in front of you. Overtime is highly unlikely when there's a double-digit point spread involved and a blowout seems likely. Booker has gone more than 400 career games without a triple-double. Have reasoning behind all your plays. We all dream of hitting on that wild underdog, but you're better off letting someone else take it. Wager on what you really believe has a chance to win.
Study Players And Usage Rate
Oddsmakers consider past performance, opponent, schedule, and a handful of other factors when creating their player and game props. Betting is difficult because oddsmakers are so good at what they do. But those who do their own research to find trends stand a much better chance of profiting on their prop betting. Maybe Kyler Murray averaged 293.5 passing yards last season but that average increased to 324.5 in two games against the Rams. Maybe the Lakers are in town but LeBron James is resting, meaning Phoenix's offense should have an easier time scoring. Maybe Chris Paul is also out, so Devin Booker will handle the ball more and thus have a better chance of hitting his assist prop. If you're going to bet a player prop, know everything about that player and the certain statistic you're betting on. It's impossible to research too much when it comes to Arizona prop betting.
Don't Rely On Luck Based Props
There are some Arizona prop bets that, we're sorry to say, are simply ridiculous. A prime example is a bet on whether the winning team has a point total that's odd or even. Perhaps in football that makes sense, with 3s and 7s popular. But placing a bet on an NBA game, that is an absolute coin toss with no rhyme or reason is not advisable. Every year there's a Super Bowl prop bet or two that falls under this category involving commercials or the halftime show. If you're considering a prop bet, make sure there's some kind of data or information that you can use to back why you're betting on it. If there isn't anything, you're spinning a Roulette wheel.
Prop Bets vs. Futures
Prop bets and future bets have some similarities but are different in nature. Futures are focused on end-of-year outcomes like Super Bowl MVP, NBA Finals winner, Cy Young winner, or Rookie of the Year. While they can — and often do — include individual players, they're different from prop bets, which are bets made on the occurrence or non-occurrence of something happening within a single game. A player or game prop is directly tied to one game while a futures bet is not.
Place Your First Prop Bet in Arizona
There's a reason proposition bets are so popular in Arizona. While general bets on the outcome are fun, a game prop or player prop acts as a bet within the game. It also helps that oddsmakers continue to make these props a priority on their site, both with the number of props they post and the odds boosts they give to a handful of bets for big games.
On the one hand, props can seem easy because often they're simply choosing an over-under. But with so many to choose from, there's value to be had if you do your research and make informed decisions when it's time to place your bet.
Arizona Prop Betting FAQ
A proposition bet, commonly referred to as a prop bet, is a wager on whether something will or will not occur during a sporting event.
Yes, oddsmakers create live bet props during games based on what has already happened. Live bet props are available from the beginning of the game all the way to the final whistle or out.
Yes, Super Bowl props are among the most popular forms of prop bets. Oddsmakers create hundreds of different Arizona prop betting odds for gamblers to choose from, ranging from total passing yards from one team's quarterback all the way to the length of the National Anthem before the Big Game.
Prop bets are a great way for bettors to place wagers on something other than the outcome such as an individual's performance or a team's collective performance where the final score does not matter.
Sportsbooks are increasingly making prop bet parlays available. However, there are some limitations like parlaying a traditional point spread or moneyline bet with a player or game prop from the same matchup.
You can almost guarantee that prop betting at Arizona betting sites will be available. Be sure you know how to place a prop bet before you get started.
Over the last 10 years, Joss has written about all aspects of online betting for some of the top online publications in gambling. After a career as an Army officer, he spent time in business before taking up online poker. He eventually found himself immersed in all things gambling, including casino gaming and sports betting. Now Joss spends his day crafting content to help bettors in Arizona take the emerging sports betting market head on.