How to bet on player and game props
NBA is a very popular sports for wagering on player props. Photo by Jack Dempsey/AP.

Prop bets are bets that have to do with specific outcomes in a game that aren’t related to the winner or loser of the contest. If you don’t want to wager on the winner of a game or the point spread or the total, that doesn’t mean you are out of betting options.

Quite the opposite actually, as the prop market is robust and has tons of offerings to choose from on any given night. 

The big prop market centres around player props, which are bets that you can make on an individual athlete’s performance. These props focus on a player's output in a particular category, such as how many points or assists they will get.

How to bet on props

At NorthStar Bets, a number is set and you have the option to either bet the over or under on it.

For instance, you can place bets on the O/U of how many points Scottie Barnes will score in a game. If his prop is set at 14.5 points, you can pick either side and both will be assigned a set of odds.

Player props will be available for most guys — certainly stars such as LeBron James — and markets covered beyond points include assists, rebounds, 3-pointers and more.

If basketball isn't your thing, you can also bet the O/U on how many passing yards Josh Allen will throw for, how many shots Leon Draisaitl will record in a game or the number of strikeouts Jose Berrios will generate.

Props across all the major sports follow the same format as the Barnes example, meaning you will see a total that you can either bet the over or under on and each will have odds attached to it.

There are many prop options for the major offensive categories for each sport (yards, goals, runs, home runs, points, and so on), with the NFL typically having some of the largest offerings.

Player prop odds

While spreads and totals are usually set at -110 for both the over and under, props have more variance.

Sometimes the over or under price will be shaded more toward one side when the operator deems it the more likely outcome.

Stars like Curry are popular plays on the prop market. Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP.

For example, you can place a bet on whether Steph Curry will exceed a certain number of 3-pointers in a game and you may see different odds for the over and under. Let's say the total 3-pointers made is set at 3.5, a number the Golden State Warriors' star guard regularly surpasses. That would be factored into the price and the odds may look something like this: -155 for the over and +140 for the under.

Your earning potential would be higher on the under bet because Curry, one of the league's top long-range shooters, typically records more than three 3-pointers in a game.

Nothing in a player prop bet is tied to the actual outcome of the game. Whether the Warriors win or lose would be irrelevant as it relates to that Curry prop, and the same goes for the Allen and Draisaitl examples as well. 

Game props

There are also markets on game props, which have to do with events that take place in the game but, like player props, not the actual outcome.

How many touchdowns will be scored in a game and the number of total power-play goals in a contest are examples of game props.

Like those player props, you would have the option to either bet the over or under on the particular number that is established.

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