Football - Players to score first, half time/full time, correct score, number of bookings, time of first goal, etc etc.

Baseball - Number of strikeouts a pitcher will accumulate during the course of a game.

NFL - Receiving, running or pushing yards,will a player score a touchdown. Which quarter produces most points, how many touch downs etc

Basketball - Race to 20 points, who will win the first quarter, player performance. 

Tennis - Who will win first set, correct set score, number of points in match, etc

A prop bet actually challenges the bookmaker to find as many alternatives to traditional betting lines as possible, in top football matches you might find 150+ alternatives!


Traditional bookmakers offer prop betting with higher in-built margins than standard bets. For them that means higher margins and bigger profits.

The intent of Prop bets is to give keep leisure players more alternatives and take their money faster. The lure of higher odds and bigger wins are clearly more appealing to small staking punters, so it’s an easy sell.


A roulette table has 37 numbers, and the house pays 35-1 for picking a number correctly. In theory, every 37th ball should land on the zero white which is the casino's margin. In payback terms the white is worth 2.7% hold, and this remains consistent throughout playing roulette. 

Unlike with casino and other games of chance, bookmakers can actually stack the margins to what they choose. Nevertheless, odds checking portals make most stay honest and competitive. The obvious reason is  customers can quickly compare odds between other sport books, and they wouldn't accept being ripped-off.

However, people betting props are less likely to compare odds with diverse bookmakers. This in turn mean it's easier for the typical leisure bookmaker to incorporate higher margins within these bet types.

A Prop with many alternatives will have a much higher take out (%) than standard bets. For example, correct score football betting has 25 options when we cover all eventualities upto4 goals. Half time/full time have nine possibilities, while the time of first goal can be banded. The more possibilities within a bet, the higher the margin. In correct score betting that might mean 150-160%, while HT/FT is lower at around 125-130%.


Low margin Bookmakers don’t make a big deal out of prop betting. Take Pinnaclesports or SBO for example, they specialise in Asian handicap betting and offer just a few side bets. The reason for that is they work with low margin dynamic odds, and betting with them is similar to trading stocks and shares on the exchanges. You see, they are real bookmakers who adjust lines according to the weight of money. Prop betting is derived from win odds and goal/point expectancy, so the challenge for bookmakers is getting the right algorithm to take advantage.


Many people believe they can make money from prop betting and arbitrage portals often show advantageous odds discrepancies. However, betting limits are very low and traders are likely to be working for peanuts. The best option for betting props is clearly betting exchanges, although liquidity will be very low. Nevertheless, you can at least try and negotiate your position, and the commission juice is much smaller. 


Sure you can make small money at prop betting if you get better odds than the 100% book  price. However, staking is limited, so it’s going to be hard work for a low return. By all means try your luck, but don’t be expect Prop betting to make fortunes. Afterall, this type of betting is designed for the average punter, and they expect to lose!