How NFL Proposition Bets Work

The prop or proposition bet is widespread in sports betting and a major part of Super Bowl wagering. A proposition bet involves the bookmaker creating a possible situation and giving bettors the opportunity to make a wager on it. Props are part of a larger group of bets known as exotics.  An exotic is basically any bet that is not concerned with the outcome of a single game and it includes parlays, props and futures.

Examples of Props

Examples of props include wagering on who will win the coin toss prior to the start of the game, betting on who will score the first touchdown and putting money on a quarterback’s completion percentage or total passing yards. You’ll find these props and many more offered on the Super Bowl. Basically, placing a football proposition bet can certainly add to the excitement of the game.  Even though it’s not the best bet in terms of return, it can certainly add for extra entertainment when watching a game with friends and you’re all trying to guess the color of the Gatorade.

Below you can see a few proposition bets that are being offered for the 2010-2011 NFL season.

2010-2011 NFL Proposition Bets

The above props focus on two of the more controversial players in the NFL—Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, with some considering Owens’ potential seasonal output and then two questioning the probability of Owens and Ochocinco being the prototypical bad boys they are known to be. Note that the prop concerning who will garner the most fines sees Ochocinco as being the favorite. That may be because Ochocinco is younger and brasher and Owens has mellowed a tiny bit over the years.

Why Bettors Play Props

Usually bettors like props, which are 50-50 propositions, because they tweak their interest. Props offer sports bettors a different angle that differentiates the betting opportunity from the run of the mill point spread, moneyline and over/under. In other words, they add spice to a bettor’s life.

Should You Play Props?

The short answer is “no.” Most experts see props as being sucker bets. And that’s for a few reasons. First, the proposition wager is one that’s usually impossible to analyze in an objective manner. Sometimes props that are based on statistics related to an athlete’s performance offer the opportunity for some objective analysis, such as how many receiving yards Owens may garner. Still, these bets are fraught with complications and very difficult to adequately analyze.

In trying to make a smart bet on this prop, you’ll need to know a lot about Owens’ health and mental attitude, research his present team’s quarterback situation and also research some other areas related to the wager.

Your Sports Betting Plan and Props

If you’re going to play propositions, you should make them a very small part of your sports betting scheme. Spend no more than 5% of your profits on props and only playing them after you’ve expanded your roll by 20%. That way, if you win you’ll have some extra cash on hand and if you lose, you will have risked very little. Props are not usually a good bet.