Also known as specials, prop bets provide some of the most thrilling experiences you can find on a sports betting website. NBA player props, in particular, are a favorite among basketball lovers since the league puts special focus on its players and their status as celebrities. Lots of fans enjoy wagering on how well their favorite will perform during a game, and this makes props quite the popular market. Because they are so diverse and in demand, you will seldom run into a sportsbook that does not offer a reasonable variety of prop bets.
Apart from wagers that rely on pure chance and are simply a source of entertainment, there are prop bets that can be enticing to punters who prefer to take statistics, game analysis, and player information into account when they wager as well. In addition, prop bets can offer amazing value in terms of the odds since they tend to differ from sportsbook to sportsbook.
Types of NBA Props
If there is one bet type that can offer an amazing variety of options to punters, that is definitely prop betting. There are two broad categories that are especially relevant to NBA games and quite important for would-be sharp sports bettors to grasp when it comes to prop bets in general. The types in question are unskilled props and skilled proposition wagers. Knowing the difference between the two will not be crucial for punters who only care for the entertainment factor of sports betting, but for anyone else, being able to tell the two apart will result in more profitable wagering sessions.
Skilled NBA Props
The first props we will focus on are the skilled variety. They are categorized as such since skill is relevant when placing such bets. In other words, doing research and analyzing the game if you are wagering on a live event will allow you to make an educated prediction that has higher chances of being correct, as opposed to the coin toss approach fun props offer.
The vast majority of skilled NBA props are over/under bets regarding points, assists, fouls, and rebounds. Prop bets that are related to individual players, in particular, are especially popular. The listings below are offered by Betway for a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs:
|MIN Timberwolves – SA Spurs Skilled Props|
|Keldon Johnson||18.5 20/23||18.5 20/23|
|Dejounte Murray||23.5 20/23||23.5 20/23|
|Jakob Poeltl||14.5 20/21||14.5 4/5|
|Devin Vassel||14.5 20/23||14.5 20/23|
Unskilled NBA Props
As for unskilled prop bets, seasoned putners cannot use their wagering experience and knowledge to predict what is more likely to happen here. These bets are also referred to as fun props because they can be quite thrilling, since they provide just the right amount of risk for bettors who enjoy such wagering endeavors. Bets like Rookie of the Year, total assists, and last teams to score are popular in terms of variety.
As for specific bets, the following series of prop bets available for the Los Angeles Clippers – Cleveland Cavaliers event courtesy of Betway show what you can come across at sportsbooks:
|LA Clippers – Cleveland Cavaliers Fun Props|
|Bet||LA Clippers||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Team to Score First Free Throw||1.87||1.87|
|Team To Score Last Free Throw||1.87||1.87|
|Team To Score First Three Point Shot||1.83||1.87|
NBA Props Odds Movement
Now we will focus on something very important about sportsbooks: they can change the odds of a bet, and they do so a lot. Exactly how is typically reliant on many factors, and news reports are a good example. There is something that makes a far more significant difference to odds changes, however, and that is engagement. We will now take a fictional selection as an example: Marcus Smart to score Over 20.5 1/5 – Under 20.5 1/5
In this imagined scenario, you have good reason to believe that under is the likier outcome based on the research you have conducted regarding this game and player. However, since the majority of bettors are not wagering with the aid of analysis, the sportsbook makes the following changes to the bet: Marcus Smart to score Over 20.5 1/5 – Under 20.5 2/1
This suggests that most bettors have decided that he will, in fact, make it, and the bookie has responded by increasing the odds on the less popular option to entice punters into making this bet. Remember that it is in a bookie’s best interest for a listing to be fairly balanced.
For you, this is great news, since now you are getting extra value from the odds simply because the vast majority of punters wagered with their gut instead of relying on statistics and knowledge. Such opportunities are not exactly rare, which is what makes prop bets an excellent option for sharp sports bettors.
NBA Props – Wagering at Multiple Sportsbooks
If you are a bettor with some experience within the sports betting scene, you have most likely heard that it is best to have accounts at multiple online bookmakers. This is done in order to find the most competitive odds available, and it is especially relevant when it comes to wagering on props.
Props can be chaotic, and this is evident when we observe the odds different sportsbooks offer for the same bets. We will use a fictional listing to demonstrate. Let us say you wish to wager on another over/under prop bet. At your go-to sportsbook, the odds listed are 1/3 for the over option you are planning to pick. Not too bad, but not all that great either. If you visit a different bookmaker, you will find that there, the odds for the same exact bet are 2/3. That is a fairly significant difference that gives the bet far bigger worth.
NBA events are full of such disparities. The reason behind this is that when sportsbooks change up the odds according to how things are evolving, they focus primarily on the betting response on their own website. As we mentioned earlier, they examine if one of the sides of the bet is getting more traction. Then, they adjust the odds accordingly to ensure that the option which is currently unpopular will also be enticing to punters. Since bookies have different user bases, the trends will often differ from bookmaker to bookmaker. This means that if what you find in your main sportsbook does not please you, you could find better odds elsewhere.
Proposition bets are an interesting beast. They are, simultaneously, the purest form of gambling you can find at a sportsbook, and they also provide wagers that can impress those who bet strategically as well. The presence of both fun prop bets and skilled prop bets at sportsbooks makes this abundantly clear. Each option has its drawbacks and benefits, and the importance of learning to tell the difference between the two major categories of props depends on what type of punter you are. Recreational bettors who simply wager for fun and do not wish to bother with the techniques sharp punters employ can happily make both skilled and unskilled bets and have a great time doing so. Those who do enjoy the more strategic approach to sports betting, however, should mainly focus on skilled bets and avoid the latter category.
Either way, you can be certain that you will always be able to find what you want regardless of which category you fall into. Bookmakers are familiar with how popular NBA prop bets are, so they cover as many specials as possible when opportunities arise.