Prop Betting

A prop bet – or proposition bet, to give the wager its full title – gives gamblers an alternative to betting on the overall result of a game. Instead, it offers the chance to bet on a particular event taking place within it. This kind of bet offers intrigue, excitement, and the chance of big wins.

Prop Betting Guide
Published by NYSB Staff
Last Updated: 13. Dec 2023.

Prop betting is a great way to make any game or event that little bit more entertaining. And one of the best things about prop bets is the wide variety on offer at New York's best sports betting sites

With a prop bet you aren’t just betting on who will win, you’re placing a wager on a particular event taking place within a game.

You can find prop betting options available in most sports, but football and basketball are two markets where prop betting is particularly popular. 

With bets on everything from which team will score the first touchdown, to how many three pointers the Knicks will score against the Brooklyn Nets, prop betting is perfect for fans who like to get more granular with their wagers.

But you don’t need to be a sports expert or experienced bettor to be entertained by prop betting. There are plenty of fun prop bets on NY betting apps that cover a range of events, scenarios and circumstances where the outcome is one of chance.

What is a Prop Bet?

We can define a prop bet as a bet that isn’t made on a game result, but rather, on events within a game, or a season. 

The bet could be related to an individual player, a team achievement, or an event involving both teams. 

Prop bets allow you to place a wager on a variety of events, such as which team will score first, or whether a player will score more than a certain number of points in the game. We’ll go through the various types of prop bets in more detail further down the page.

How Do Prop Bets Work?

Like standard bets such as moneyline wagers, a prop bet can be placed before a game begins, or in-game as a live bet. The key thing to remember is that you are not betting on the team result. 

So for example, instead of picking whether the Yankees or Astros will win an MLB game, a prop bet would be something such as:

- Will Aaron Judge get over/under 2.5 total hits, runs, and RBIs? (player prop bet)

- Which team will score first in the game? (team prop bet)

- How many points will be scored in the game? (game prop bet)

There are also prop bets offered on entire seasons, such as how many points a player will score and who will win individual awards.

What are the Benefits of Prop Betting?

Why might you choose a prop bet over a standard bet on the result of a game? One element of prop betting that can appeal to experienced bettors is the opportunity to ‘piggyback’. 

Do you have a strong feeling that the Atlanta Hawks will beat the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Playoffs and that Trae Young will put in a game-winning performance? 

A prop bet gives you the chance to reinforce your bet on a Hawks win with a more specific bet on Young scoring the most points.

In other cases, a prop bet allows you to back an event or achievement when you aren’t sure of a game’s outcome. 

For example, you may not be willing to back either the Cowboys or the Patriots in an NFL clash. But you may have a strong feeling that it will be high scoring, or that Ceedee Lamb’s route running and elusiveness would make him a nightmare for the Patriots’ defense – in this case, a team or player prop bet might make sense.

Prop Betting Considerations

You should consider the potential downsides of prop betting in comparison to betting on the outcome of games. 

When betting on a player prop such as first touchdown scorer, or first three-pointer scorer, there are likely to be several players to choose from. Because with prop bets, there are often more possible outcomes than the simple choice between two teams, this means the bet may be more complex.

In general, prop bets have a higher degree of variance than standard bets on the outcomes of a game, and this can make them harder to cash in on. However, consider that the potential profit margin may be higher from a prop bet.

What Types of Prop Bet are Available?

There are various types of prop bet available. Here’s an overview of the various types of prop bet wagers:

Player Prop Betting

Player prop bets are based on a player’s achievements or events within a game. That might be how many passing yards a quarterback makes or how many strikeouts a pitcher throws. 

On some sites, you can find a wide variety of player props for each game. 

Player props can be presented in several different ways. Here are some examples:

  • Austin Ekeler to score a touchdown?

  • LeBron James total points: over/under 28.5

  • Josh Allen passing yards: over/under 315.5 

  • Will Joey Gallo or Matt Chapman get more strikeouts?

As you can see, some player props are structured as over/under bets, and others are presented as ‘whether or not an event (such as an NFL player scoring a touchdown) will happen’, also known as a yes or no bet. 

There are also player prop bets that are a contest of sorts between two players, such as which pitcher will strike out the most.

Team Prop Betting

Team prop bets are related to team outcomes in a game. That could be how many points an NFL team will score in a football game, how many three-pointers a team shoots in an NBA game, or the total number of home runs an MLB team will hit. 

You can find team prop bets presented in a few different ways, including:

  • Total shots on goal by New York Rangers: over/under 30

  • Total points by Chicago Bulls: over/under 115.5

  • Total goals by Manchester United: over/under 1.5

As you can see from the examples above, many team prop bets are over/unders.

Game Prop Betting

Game prop bets are based on a wide range of events that could occur during a game; from which team will score first, to combined total points and total home runs. 

Here are some examples of game prop bets:

  • What will the margin of victory be?

  • Which team will score first?

  • Which team will score last?

  • Will there be overtime?

  • Which team will be first to 10 points?

Other Types of Prop Betting

There are also other types of prop bets available; these are sometimes referred to as exotics. Exotics may feature during the biggest games such as the Super Bowl, NBA Finals or Soccer World Cup Final.  

From the duration of the national anthem to the order in which the winning player lifts the trophy, so long as a sportsbook is prepared to offer a bet, there can be a market for exotics. 

These bets are even less related to the game outcome than standard prop bets! If you are a serious strategic gambler, exotics might not be the market for you, but they offer a fun alternative to the more standard prop bet varieties and can provide a highly entertaining way to bring something extra to the game as a spectator.

Fun vs Skilled Prop Bets

Prop bets can also be categorized into fun and skilled. Fun prop bets can be defined as markets that don’t require any scientific research and tend to be done for enjoyment. 

Typically available for high profile games, they could include how many pieces of chewing gum a head coach eats during NBA Finals, or how long the national anthem lasts in the Super Bowl.

On the other hand, skilled prop bets require an educated choice to be made, based on factors such as form and past performances. 

This category encompasses any kind of ‘serious’ prop bets, from how many birdies Tiger Woods will make in his second round at the masters, to how many TD passes Kirk Cousins will throw in a game, to whether Manchester United will have over/under 4.5 shots on goal in their English Premier League soccer game vs Everton.

Which Sports Have Prop Bets Available?

Prop bets are offered on a wide range of sports, leagues, and events. Although you can expect New York sportsbooks to offer more markets for American sports, you can also find prop bet markets for other sports. Let’s look closer at the type of sports you can place prop bets on:

Football Prop Betting

You can find prop bets in many of the top football competitions and events, including the biggest game of them all; the Super Bowl! 

With football being the nation’s favorite sport, leagues such as the NFL and NCAAF are a go-to for sports betting fans, and prop bets.

Typical NFL prop bets include:

  • Will the first score be a touchdown?

  • Will either team score in the first 7 minutes?

  • Which team will make a longer field goal?

  • Austin Ekeler pass receptions: over/under 3.5

  • Josh Allen touchdown passes: over/under 2.5

If you want choice from your prop bets, NFL betting is for you. You’ll see bets such as the examples above and many more at the top rated NFL sportsbooks

To give yourself the best chance of profiting from NFL prop bets, research is key. If a team or player displays a certain pattern or habit, it could be a way of cashing in. 

Does one quarter-back tend to claim the vast majority of his passing yards against teams outside the top 10? Or perhaps one team is quick out of the blocks, and a good pick to score first? This is the kind of information that can help you make an educated prop bet.

Basketball Prop Betting

NBA props are common and you’ll find a range to select from on New York’s best NBA sportsbooks, offered on events within a game or season.

Typical NBA prop bets include:

  • Will there be overtime?

  • Will there be a double double (double digit tallies in two offensive categories, e.g. points and rebounds)?

  • Which player will score the first basket?

  • How many rebounds will Nikola Jokić collect?

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo combined points/rebounds/assists: over/under 31.5

As ever, knowing your teams and players inside-out makes a difference when it comes to prop bets. 

Why take a punt on a team that you barely watch? Focusing on the teams and players you do watch regularly can make all the difference when it comes to prop bets. 

Look for patterns such as which players perform well against which teams. And keep an eye on injuries, as if a replacement player is likely to see his minutes increase significantly, the ‘over’ on an over/under for their total points may offer value.

Baseball Prop Betting

You might find a slightly narrower range of prop bets for baseball than in the NFL or NBA – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had! 

MLB prop bets could include:

  • Which team will score first?

  • Combined points total: over/under

  • Total home runs hit: over/under

  • Hank Aaron total hits, runs and RBIs: over/under 2.5

Among the most popular prop bets at the best MLB sportsbooks are whether a player will hit a home run (over/under 0.5) and pitcher strikeout totals. 

The sheer volume of stats in the baseball world means that there will always be great interest in researching prop betting opportunities and looking at player form, history, and habits. 

Let’s take the earned run average (ERA) of a pitcher. If for example, they are averaging 6.50 from the 6th inning onwards, and the opposition is hitting .330 during this period of the game, it could be a good idea to place a prop bet on a run being scored in one of the 7th to 9th inning of a contest.

Hockey Prop Betting

From October through to April, the world’s biggest ice hockey league, the NHL, is in full swing. You can find a variety of betting markets at the top NHL betting sites that aren’t related to game outcome (prop bets), offering alternative ways to profit from games. 

Aside from the NHL, you might also see prop bets for the Swedish Hockey League and Liiga, Finland’s premier competition, as well as during the Winter Olympics.

Hockey prop bets could include:

  • How many hits will Kyle Connor have: over/under 2.5

  • How many points will Mika Zibanejad score: over/under 1.5

  • Total shots on goal by New York Rangers: over/under 30

Golf Prop Betting

Golf’s world tours keep ticking over through almost the entire calendar, but the sport gets most attention during its four crown jewels; the majors. 

You can expect to see prop bet markets at New York's best golf betting sportsbooks for the US Masters, US Open, British Open, and the US PGA Championship, as well as the highest-profile team event – the Ryder Cup.

Golf prop bets can include:

  • Will any player score a hole-in-one?

  • Will Tiger Woods record a score of 67 or less for a round in the tournament?

  • Will Bryson Dechambeau be in the top 10 after round 1?

Soccer Prop Betting

It might not reign supreme in America, but soccer is the world’s most popular sport. As well as prop betting on MLS, at New York’s top soccer betting sites you can expect prop bet markets for the world’s top leagues such as England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, and international tournaments like the World Cup and European Championships. 

Player prop bets make up a large chunk of soccer’s prop action, and the team and game props are largely based around goals.

Typical soccer prop bets include:

  • Lionel Messi to score the first goal

  • Goals scored in match by Cristiano Ronaldo: over/under 0.5

  • First goalscorer in the match between New York City and Inter Miami

  • Total number of goals scored in the game: over/under 2.5

UFC & Boxing Prop Betting

In the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing, the big fights throw up plenty of opportunities for prop betting. Typically, the bigger the occasion, the more prop bets you can choose from. 

Look out for prop bet markets for the big boxing world title fights. In MMA, the UFC’s pay-per-view cards are likely to produce the most prop bet markets at the best UFC sportsbooks in NY.

Look out for fighting prop bets such as:

  • Will there be a knockdown?

  • Will the fight be decided on points? (with all rounds in the fight completed)

  • Tyson Fury to win via KO

  • Justin Gaethje Jr to win on points

  • Canelo Alvarez to win in the 6th round

Horse Racing Prop Betting

Most of the top New York sportsbooks don’t offer horse racing betting just yet, but this is a betting market that’s expected to become more popular in future. 

It isn’t just the winning horse you can bet on in horse racing. Prop betting provides fun, alternative markets for the big races and cards, such as the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness Stakes. 

You might also see sportsbooks offer markets for iconic overseas races such as England’s Grand National and Australia’s Melbourne Cup.

Horse racing prop bets could include:

  • Kentucky Derby first half mile: run in over/under 46.8 seconds

  • The color of the winning horse

  • How many lengths will winner win by: over/under 1

Political & Entertainment Prop Betting

While political betting is not currently legal in the US, it is possible to bet on politics and elections in other places such as parts of Europe. 

The worlds of US politics and entertainment throw up their own betting opportunities, including prop betting. These are based on political debates, primaries, betting on the US presidential elections, and even scandals or rumors.

Political prop bets may include:

  • Which party will win an election

  • What will an individual wear in a debate

  • The gender of an election winner

  • The age of an election winner

From film to TV and celebrity gossip, some of the top sportsbooks create prop bet markets based on entertainment. 

Bookies don’t currently offer betting on entertainment events for those located in the state of New York, but it’s possible to bet on these markets if you’re present in other states such as New Jersey and Michigan.

Entertainment prop bets may include markets such as:

  • Who will be the next James Bond?

  • Will Kim Kardashian and Kanye West get back together?

  • Who will win Best Picture at the next Oscars?

How To Place A Prop Bet

You’ll find prop bets at almost all online sportsbooks in the state of New York. 

Rather than being seen in a ‘prop bets section’, you are likely to see prop bet odds under most games – a reminder; these are the odds that don’t relate to which team will win, but to individual or team achievements and events within a game. 

Let’s look at an NBA example:

Golden State Warriors @ Boston Celtics

‘First basket’ – this type of prop bet requires you to pick the player who scores the first basket of the game. You may see the following odds under first basket for the above match:

Ketel Marte +170

Daulton Varsho +210

Nick Castellanos +210

David Peralta +210

J.T. Realmuto +260

Christian Walker +260

Here you can see the prices on various players to score the first basket in this NBA game. 

The odds pay out in the same way as any other bet – if you placed $10 on Ketel Marte to score the first basket at +170, you’d receive $17, plus your $10 stake back – a total of $27 if the bet was successful.

A ‘first basket’ prop bet presents you with several options for who will score first in the game. But sometimes, a prop bet can offer only two options, such as an over/under bet. Let’s look at an NFL example: 

Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants

  • Josh Allen over 315.5 passing yards (-140)

  • Josh Allen under 315.5 passing yards (+120)

You can see that when there are only two options in a prop bet, the odds are often lower than for a prop bet with multiple options. 

If you placed $100 on ‘the over’ at -140, and Josh Allen achieved over 315.5 passing yards in the Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants game, that would return a total of $171.43, (your $100 stake and $71.43 profit). 

If you put $100 on the under, and Josh Allen failed to record 315.5 passing yards in the game, you would net a total return of $220 (your $100 stake and $120 profit).

Recommended NY Prop Betting Sites

There are plenty of options when it comes to prop betting online in the state of New York. Let’s put the spotlight on some of the best sportsbooks that you can choose for prop betting, and some of the perks that they offer:

Best for football prop betting - DraftKings

When it comes to football, you can select from a variety of game props, team props, and player total bets on DraftKings. Play enticing prop bets such as the time of the first field goal and a team’s total touchdowns. 

You can also make prop bets on NBA and MLB games, including game props and individual player props.

Best for depth of prop betting - BetMGM

BetMGM declares itself to be the best sportsbook for online sports betting. While that is a question of individual preference, there is no doubt that this is a slick, well-planned site with a wide range of sports betting options, including prop bets. 

NBA fans can choose from many over/under bets on team and game totals, and player props include first basket, three-pointers, and steals. If you are looking for strength in depth, choose BetMGM for basketball and a plethora of other sports including NFL, MLB, soccer, and NHL. Take advantage of sportsbook promo codes for a generous welcome offer when you register.

Best for NBA player prop bets - FanDuel

FanDuel bunches its most popular prop bets together in a drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can choose prop bets according to their respective category (team props, player points totals, etc). 

If player props are your thing, you can count on FanDuel for a broad selection of NBA player performance doubles, allowing you to combine bets based on individual metrics. The book also sometimes runs a and a same game parlay promotion, based on doubling up on player props within a single contest.

Best simple prop betting for new bettors - WynnBet

Another site that is handy for player combos is WynnBet, which also looks to be a hit with NBA fans. The site may have fewer MLB props available compared to some other New York sportsbooks, but it makes up for this with a clean, user-friendly layout. 

Players looking for depth of prop bets, or a large variety of sports, may look elsewhere, but WynnBet keeps it sweet and simple. 

Remember, it isn’t just these sportsbooks that offer Prop Bets in the state of New York as you can find prop betting available at all the top NY sportsbooks. Also be sure to check out sites such as Caesars, Resorts World Bet, and PointsBet. As you explore prop bets options online, it’s always worth looking at multiple books to find the best value.

FAQ Prop Betting FAQ

Yes, there are prop bet markets available on many live games. Bets and their odds are typically adjusted during the game.

All of the New York sportsbooks offer prop bets, however you might find more choice at sites like DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.

Prop bets are paid just like any other bet. Winnings will vary according to the stake placed and the odds of the particular bet.

There are now several sportsbooks that allow prop bets to be parlayed, with most of New York’s top betting apps providing this option.

Skilled prop bets can be profitable for players who do their research and have a good feel for their chosen sport. However, you should not rely on fun prop bets to form part of a winning betting strategy.

Many team, game, and player prop bets use over/under as a structure, to offer the bettor a simple two choice bet.

The Super Bowl offers an unmatched variety of fun and skilled prop bets – from how long the national anthem will take, to which team or player will score the first touchdown. If you’re a fan with a good knowledge of the game then you can usually find some prop bets with attractive odds.

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