In a recent article, I shared some of the prop bets which you can place on Tiger Woods in the Masters this year. For example:
- Betonline – Will Tiger set a new personal course record of 62 or better? – Yes +4000, no -15000
- Mybookie – Will Tiger woods hit 1st fairway with Tee Shot? -170 to bet yes
- Bovada – Will Tiger Woods make a hole in one? +8000
In case you’re new to prop bets, a.k.a. “proposition bets,” “novelty bets,” or “side bets,” a prop bet is any wager you can place which is not tied in a direction fashion to the outcome of a particular event.
Prop bets are popular with punters online and offline because they are fun. For this exact reason, though, a lot of people do not take them entirely seriously. After all, a “novelty” is something which is appealing merely because it is novel—and a “side” bet sure sounds like something you can live without. Even these names imply that proposition bets are not really important or worthwhile if you are trying to make bank.
Is that actually true, though? Not necessarily. A lot of prop bets are based on luck. For example, there is no strategy involved in guessing what color of Gatorade will be used at the end of a Super Bowl game. A wager like that is for fun only. If you win, you simply are lucky.
But some prop bets involve predictions you could make using statistics. The Tiger Woods prop bets shared above are an example. Based on Tiger’s statistics, you could make a reasonable prediction about whether he will hit the first fairway with his tee shot.
Prop Betting Strategically
Let’s take a look at a few scenarios where prop bets might be lucrative opportunities well worth betting on.
1. You can profit through prop bets if you have narrow knowledge of a particular player or team.
Some people approach their interests in a broad, sweeping way. They learn everything they can about an entire sport—its history, the rules, the teams, the players, the coaches, the strategies, and so on. Doing so provides strong context, and is often conducive to results when betting on sports.
But not everyone approaches their passions this way. Some people have narrower niche interests. They may not be obsessed with the entire sport of golf, but may home in on one particular player that they are fascinated with. Or they may not be into everything in the world to do with football, but might be obsessed with their home team. Or perhaps they could care less about specific players or teams, but are obsessed with a particular strategy or tactic.
If you have narrow niche interests like these, they may not always help you make a determination about the outcome of an event. But there could be prop bets which cater to your encyclopedic knowledge.
The Tiger Woods prop bets are a perfect example. Tiger is one of the world’s most famous athletes. Some people have followed his career very closely, and may know far more about him than they do about golf in general.
Being unfamiliar with the rest of the golfers, they might not have any idea who is likely to win the Masters, but could feel comfortable making specific predictions about Tiger’s performance. For bettors in that position, prop bets might be far more profitable than a regular bet on the winner of the event.
2. In some cases, prop bets may help you find value.
With some sporting events, two teams or players are reasonably well-matched. With others, however, there may be an obvious favorite and a clear underdog. When that happens, there may be no value in betting on the favorite. The underdog on the other hand may be a great value in terms of odds, but you may not feel comfortable placing your money on such an unlikely prospect.
In a situation like that, it might be pointless to wager on who will win the event. But if you look at the prop bets which are being offered, you might spot some golden opportunities to profit.
3. Sometimes you have no idea how an event will turn out, but you may be able to predict some of what will take place as it unfolds.
This goes back to what I was saying about specialized knowledge—but sometimes it might also be the case even with broad knowledge of a sport and an event. Sometimes the players are just really evenly matched, and making a confident prediction about the outcome is hard or impossible to do no matter how solid your knowledge is.
At times like that, prop bets are your friends. Imagine for example that two teams are facing off which seem equally likely to win a match, but one of them is statistically far more likely to score the first goal or be ahead at halftime or so on. You can just ignore the question of the match outcome and wager on the first goal scorer or the halftime score.
4. You might have an edge over the betting site.
There is one more potential advantage to prop bets, and that is that betting sites also see them as “side” bets. Because of this, they devote most of their resources toward setting the odds for bets on the outcomes of events. They structure those odds in such a way that they play to their advantage.
Since they are less focused on prop bets, they may have less of an advantage as expressed in the odds they are offering. You may have more of an advantage since you have had time to do in-depth research and really focus on those prop bets. That means that you may discover some of the best values around by perusing the novelty bets which online sportsbooks are offering.
Wagering Strategically on Prop Bets Can Actually Pay Off
You now know that proposition bets are more than just a novelty or something to do on the side. If you pick prop bets where your niche knowledge can help you to make accurate predictions, you can discover betting opportunities in markets which might otherwise be unprofitable. You might even enjoy a significant advantage over the sportsbooks you are using in some cases.
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