NFL Prop Bets – Top Strategies to Make Proposition Betting Easy.
Prop betting gets a bad rap amongst the general public, often being thought to mark a sports gambler’s slide from casual, reputable betting to the more degenerate side of the spectrum. Its bad reputation notwithstanding, in my 15+ years of NFL gambling experience I can say without hesitation that prop betting is one of my absolute favorite ways to wager on the outcome of NFL games.
It’s true that prop betting can be risky, and it’s also true that it can get very complex (based on how many different types of props there are – even just within NFL gambling).
But before I get ahead of myself, let me just give a simple definition of NFL prop bets: NFL Prop (or proposition) bets are any bets made on events that do not directly affect the final outcome of a game. In this way, they contrast the other most popular forms of NFL gambling, such as moneyline bets, bets against the spread, and total score over/under bets.
One of the most important things to understand about prop bets is that they don’t always involve the game itself. For this reason, prop betting can sometimes toe the line between serious, profit-driven NFL gambling and purely recreational NFL gambling.
But for those who are like me, and interested in using NFL gambling to find good value bets and to make money, utilizing NFL prop bets requires making accurate predictions about the outcomes of NFL games. This is a topic that I cover in my general NFL Betting Strategy page, so I will not go into detail here. In short, my personal process for making NFL gambling decisions involves the following three stages: gathering information, utilizing checks & balances, and then visualizing the game.
For more information about how to follow this three-stage process and make accurate predictions about what is going to happen in an NFL game, check out the link above.
We also list our top recommended NFL betting sites here, where you can test out the prop betting strategies discussed throughout this guide.
|Rank||Gambling Site||Sign Up Bonus||Get Started|
|#1||BetNow||100% up to $500||Visit Site|
|#2||MyBookie||50% up to $1,000||Visit Site|
|#3||Bovada||50% up to $250||Visit Site|
|#4||Sportsbetting.ag||50% up to $1,000||Visit Site|
|#5||Xbet||100% up to $300||Visit Site|
|#6||BetOnline||50% up to $2,500||Visit Site|
On this page, I’ll be giving you only information on strategies that are specific to NFL prop betting, so that you can bring your prop betting game to the next level, and make proposition betting a little easier. Here, you’ll find the following information:
- What is a prop bet? What kinds of prop bets are out there?
- How do you know which prop bets are good to wager on?
- How do you make money in the long-run with prop bets?
With this NFL prop betting strategy, you’ll be well on your way to making prop bets a productive and profitable part of your NFL gambling portfolio. So without further ado, let’s start off with an in-depth explanation of what a prop bet is, and what types of prop bets are out there.
What Are the Different Types of Prop Bets?
As I mentioned above, the distinguishing characteristic of prop bets is that prop bets include any and all wagers that do not directly relate to the final outcome of a game. Admittedly, in practice the line separating this from other types of bets gets a little blurry. There are a lot of different types of prop bets out there. In my experience, the easiest way to tell you about the different types is simply to show you.
So below, I’ll provide a pretty comprehensive survey of the different types of NFL prop bets, with examples. I’ll often rely on examples from Super Bowl 51, in which the New England Patriots came from behind to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. I picked these specific examples to help provide a frame of reference for how lucrative prop bets can be.
The categories below are organized from most lucrative to least lucrative, according to my 15+ years of NFL gambling experience. I’ll start off with my personal favorite: team scoring prop bets.
Team Scoring Prop Bets
Some props test a gambler’s ability to specifically predict how the game is going to progress in terms of scoring. The most typical example of this type of bet is the margin of victory bet, which offered the following odds for Super Bowl 51.
What will be the exact margin of victory in the Super Bowl?
- Patriots by 1-6 points (+350) WINNER
- Falcons by 1-6 points (+450)
- Patriots by 7-12 points (+700)
In this case, given that the Patriots won by 6, gamblers who wagered on the “Patriots by 1-6 points” margin of victory would have received a hefty payout of +350. Importantly, though, (and I’ll go over this in much more detail later), this type of bet offers great opportunities for hedging.
Other team scoring prop bets include the following:
- How many total points will be scored in the first quarter?
- How many total points will be scored in the second quarter?
- How many total points will be scored in the first half?
- How many total points will be scored within the last 2 minutes of the game?
- What will be the total number of field goals scored in the game?
- What will be the total number of touchdowns scored in the game?
Team scoring prop bets do often provide good value, because gamblers have an opportunity to make real predictions, based on knowledge and intuition, about how the scoring in a game will unfold.
Individual Performance Prop Bets
The next category of NFL prop bets is one of the most popular, and one of the most commonly given by sportsbooks. This category includes any and all individual performances by specific players participating in a game. For example, the following wager was provided by the Bovada Sportsbook for Super Bowl 51:
Who will record the most receiving yards in the game?
- Julio Jones (ATL), +175
- Julian Edelman (NE), +200
- Chris Hogan (NE), +600
- Taylor Gabriel (ATL), +750
- Mohamed Sanu (ATL), +1000
- Devonta Freeman (ATL), +1200
- Martellus Bennett (NE), +1400
- Tevin Coleman (ATL), +1600
- Dion Lewis (NE), +1600
- James White (NE), +1600 WINNER
- Austin Hooper (ATL), +2500
Naturally, as this field of odds demonstrates, it would have been nearly impossible to predict that James White would have been the one to record the most receiving yards in the Super Bowl, which is why the wager paid out so big.
Other bets in this category include the following:
- What will be the total number of fumbles in the game?
- What will be the total number of sacks in the game?
- What will be the total number of interceptions thrown by Player X?
- What will be the total number of penalties committed by Team X?
- What will be the total number of passing yards for Player X?
- What will be the total number of receiving yards for Player X?
- What will be the total number of rushing yards for Player X?
- What will be the total number of passing attempts for Player X?
- What will be the total number of receptions for Player X?
- What will be the total number of rushing attempts for Player X?
Prop bets in this category straddle the line between offering gamblers the opportunity to make accurate predictions, and also being fairly susceptible to chance. For example, you might have a good feeling that a certain player is “due” to have a big game, but even if your feeling is correct, that player might not have a big enough game, statistically, to win the wager.
Timing Prop Bets
Some prop bets have to do with the specific timing of individual events in a game. For example, the following prop bet was offered at certain sportsbooks for Super Bowl 51, the first Super Bowl ever to go into overtime:
Will the game go to overtime?
- Yes, +750 WINNER
- No, -1500
Naturally, this would have been nearly impossible to predict, hence why the payout was so big. Other NFL prop bets that fall into this same category include the following:
- How long will halftime last?
- What will be the exact running time of the game?
Though it’s hard to provide a summary statement with so many different wagers falling under this heading, in general timing prop bets are very difficult to predict.
First Team Prop Bets
This happens to be one of my least favorite categories of NFL prop bets, personally. These are the prop bets that cover all of the game’s “firsts.” Admittedly, they do make the first quarter of NFL games considerably more fun to watch. For example, take the following prop, from Super Bowl 51:
Who will score the first touchdown in the game?
- Julio Jones (ATL), +750
- Devonta Freeman (ATL), +800 WINNER
- Julian Edelman (NE), +800
- LeGarrette Blount (NE), +800
- Tevin Coleman (ATL), +1200
- Chris Hogan (NE), +1200
- Dion Lewis (NE), +1200
- Martellus Bennett (NE), +1200
- Mohamed Sanu (ATL), +1400
- Taylor Gabriel (ATL), +1600
- James White (NE), +1800
- Malcolm Mitchell (NE), +1800
- Austin Hooper (ATL), +2200
- Any Other Touchdown Scorer, +550
As is immediately apparent from looking at the odds, pretty much every option – all the way to the favorite option – offered spectacular payouts. In this case, even if you had hedged your bet with the top four options – Jones, Freeman, Edelman, and Blount – you still would have more than recouped your principle.
Other bets in this category include the following:
- Which will be the first team to score?
- Which will be the first team to use a coach’s challenge?
- Which will be the first team to turn the ball over?
- Which will be the first team to use a timeout?
- Which will be the first team to score a touchdown?
- Which will be the first team to score a field goal?
- Which will be the last team to score in the game?
The reason why I don’t like this particular category of props is that they play tricks on your mind: You often believe that you have some ability to make an accurate prediction for whether one outcome or the other is more likely to happen, but in reality, the wager is based mostly on chance.
For example, which team scores first depends heavily on which team wins the coin toss. And obviously, which team wins the coin toss is a simple 50-50 chance, which is not enough for a savvy gambler.
“Will It Occur” Prop Bets
The next category of prop bets provides odds for whether a host of specific events will occur during an individual NFL game. For example, Super Bowl 51 featured one of the all-time greatest “will it occur” prop bets, provided only by the odds-makers at Caesar’s Palace:
Will a PAT or field goal hit the goalpost?
- Yes +425 WINNER
- No -550
The Caesar’s Palace wager on a football hitting the goalpost is certainly funny, (and also demonstrates how lucrative even a simple “yes/no” wager can sometimes be in prop betting), and it also shows just how difficult it can be to predict the outcomes of certain “will it occur” bets. Here are a list of other bets, some of which are similarly difficult, and others of which are more simple:
- Will there be a safety in the game?
- Will the game go to overtime?
- Will there be a 2-point conversion in the game?
- Will there be a defensive score in the game?
- Will there be a roughing the passer penalty in the game?
- Will there be a coach’s challenge in the game?
- Will there be a missed field goal in the game?
- Will there be a missed extra point after a touchdown in the game?
- Will there be a 50+ yard field goal attempt in the game?
- Will there be a fake punt in the game?
- Will there be a kickoff or punt return touchdown in the game?
- Will any player other than Quarterback A and Quarterback B attempt a pass in the game?
Generally speaking, I feel the same way about this category of NFL prop bets as I did about the “first team” prop bets above. In this category, it’s easy to feel like you have some knowledge about whether or not any of these individual events are going to happen, but in reality I believe that there is more chance involved than would make them profitable.
NFL Future Prop Bets
This category of future bets often gets its own category in sportsbooks, and for me it is so important that it gets its own page. In brief, future bets (or “futures”) are defined as props that extend for a longer time scale than mere hours or days; future bets aren’t usually decided for weeks and months after the gambler places their wager.
Here’s an example of a future bet:
Which player will record the most passing yards in the 2017 regular season?
- Drew Brees, +325
- Tom Brady, +550
- Aaron Rodgers, +800
- Derek Carr, +800
- Matt Ryan, +800
In this case, the longer-term nature of the future bet provides the reasoning for why the odds are often so much better than most prop bets: When the bet is played out over the course of a season, the chances that something goes wrong and ruins the bet is much greater, which makes these bets higher risk. But higher risk, of course, means higher reward.
Here are some other types of future bets that you’ll commonly see:
- Which player will record the most receiving yards in the regular season?
- Which player will record the most rushing yards in the regular season?
- Which player will throw the most regular season interceptions in the regular season?
- Which player will throw the most passing touchdowns in the regular season?
- Which player will win the NFL Regular Season MVP award?
- Which player will win the Rookie of the Year award?
- Which player will win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award?
- How many games will Team X win in the regular season?
- Will Team X make the playoffs?
- Which team will win the NFC Championship game?
- Which team will win the AFC Championship game?
- Which team will win the Super Bowl?
For me, future bets are necessary, because they are the only wagers available during the offseason. In addition, with enough research and time spent in preparation during the offseason, future bets can be very lucrative. As I mentioned above, I believe that future bets are important enough to merit their own separate page, but I include them here along with the other prop bets because they are often listed in the prop bet section at sportsbooks.
Miscellaneous NFL Prop Bets
This last category of prop bets is traditionally the category that comes to mind for most people when they think of prop bets. This is the category for everything and anything else – stuff that doesn’t fit under any other heading. These are the types of NFL prop bets that people will jokingly mention during the Super Bowl party, only to have grandma say “Wow, you can just gamble on anything these days.”
The consummate example of a miscellaneous prop bet that has nothing to do with the outcome of an NFL game is the coin toss:
What will be the outcome of the coin toss?
- Heads, -110
- Tails, -110
While the coin toss is probably the most boring (and definitely the least lucrative) of all of the miscellaneous prop bets, I include it here because it demonstrates well the futility of trying to make money with these types of bets. Obviously, the coin toss has a 50-50 chance of being heads or tails.
Other miscellaneous prop bets that are similarly random but sometimes much more fun include the following (several of these are specific to Super Bowl broadcasts, during which there are the highest number of miscellaneous prop bets of any part of the NFL season):
- What will be the jersey number of the first player to score a touchdown? (Odd or even)
- Will Player X get interviewed after the game?
- Will Peyton Manning shout “Omaha” during the game?
- Will it snow during the game?
- How long will it take Singer X to sing the U.S. national anthem?
- How many times will Celebrity X be shown on TV during the live broadcast?
- If Team X wins, will Player X be shown on TV?
- What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach?
- Will Player X be interviewed by Reporter Y?
- What will Player X mention first in their postgame interview?
- What type of pants will Celebrity X be wearing when they sing the national anthem?
- What will be the hair color of Celebrity X when they come out for the halftime show?
The reason I bristle when talking about these miscellaneous prop bets is because there’s really no way to reliably make money on these bets. They’re so random that it’s essentially impossible to predict, no matter what anyone tells you. So for me, a legitimate NFL gambler who makes his living from placing real-life wagers, prop bets like these make a mockery out of a very serious endeavor.
However, I do recognize that these miscellaneous prop bets can also be a ton of fun. When you wager on these prop bets – even though you don’t stand a very good chance to make money – it makes the game more interesting. You watch the coin toss intently, you break out the stopwatch for the national anthem, etc.
But with this having been said, a line needs to be drawn between prop bets that are wagered on in order to make money, and prop bets that are wagered on in order to have fun. In the next section, I’ll go more into detail about how to draw this line.
How Do You Know Which NFL Prop Bets to Wager On?
There’s no denying that it’s tough to answer the question of when to wager on a prop bet. The first distinction that needs to be made is between what I like to call “investment” props and “fun” props. An investment prop bet is one where the intention is to use one’s knowledge and expertise to find good value and to make money; a fun prop bet is one where the betting experience itself provides its own reward.
My purpose in writing this NFL prop betting strategy guide, as well as my other betting guides, is to show you how to reliably make real money through NFL betting. For this reason, I will not tell you how to bet on fun props – I don’t do it, personally. For my purposes, if the outcome of a prop bet has nothing to do with the information you could gain from watching live NFL action, it’s not worth wagering on.
As I explain in my general NFL Betting Strategy page, the three-stage process of determining what the outcome of an NFL game will involves gathering information from a lot of different sources. These sources include statistics, locker room interviews, storylines, injury reports, betting systems, experts, and several others. However, the most important source of information comes from watching game film.
Watching teams play gives you the best chance to predict how they will play in the future. From this comes the first general rule about NFL prop bets. If your intention is to make money (and not just to have fun), don’t wager on any prop bets that aren’t helped by watching game film. Let me give some examples.
When the Patriots played the Falcons in the Super Bowl, one of the best ways to predict how the game was going to turn out was to watch the playoff games that the teams had won leading up to the Super Bowl. But watching this film would not have helped you at all in making the following predictions: the coin toss outcome, the length of Luke Bryan’s national anthem, Lady Gaga’s hair color, the color of Gatorade dumped on Bill Belichick, the length of halftime, etc.
You might say “well that’s obvious: these bets have nothing to do with betting on the Super Bowl itself.” Where it gets less obvious is in determining whether actual football-related props can be predicted by watching game film.
Can you know if there is going to be a coach’s challenge in the game based on watching game film? Absolutely not. Even if some coach’s “never” throw the challenge flag, it could happen. Can you know whether there will be a safety in the game based on watching game film? Absolutely not. Even if a team has the best defense in the league, that doesn’t guarantee that there will be a safety. Can you ever know which player is going to score first in a game? Absolutely not!
But even these examples are pretty obvious stayaways. What about how many yards a running back will go for? What about how many touchdowns a quarterback will throw? What about how many receptions a receiver will get in a game? These are questions that we can answer ahead of time using our study of game film.
All of the knowledge that you gain using my three-stage NFL Betting Strategy helps you answer these types of questions (specifically, the “Team Scoring Prop Bets” and “Individual Performance Prop Bets” listed above). The more specifically you are able to visualize the course of a game – down to the level of individual matchups – the better you will be able to find value in these categories of prop bets.
So this is how you know that a prop bet is a good candidate to bet on: When the film study and information-gathering that you have done to predict the outcome of the game gives you specific knowledge about a particular outcome related to team scoring or individual performance.
The closer that an outcome gets to a coin toss, however, (meaning the more random it is), the more inclined you should be to stay away. Betting on the coin toss (or an equivalently random bet) is something you should only do for fun; it should never be confused for a reliable way to make money. One of the quickest way to dangerous, problem gambling is through misusing prop bets in order to bet on every single moment of an NFL game. This can sink you, and should be avoided at all costs.
So now that we have a general idea of which prop bets are good to bet on (“investment” props) and which prop bets should be either avoided entirely or only wagered on sparingly (“fun” props), let’s take a look now at some more specific examples, in order to understand how one can make money in the long run with prop bets.
How Do You Make Money in the Long Run with Prop Bets?
As with all forms of NFL betting, the way to make money, in the long run, is to be smarter and more disciplined than the gambling public. Specifically, this means limiting yourself only to wagers that hold good value, which in the case of prop bets refers specifically to “investment” props, as I described in detail in the section above.
But how do you find good value? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy with prop bets as it is with other forms of betting. The reason for this is twofold. First, as I mentioned above, it’s easy to become deluded into thinking that you can predict the outcome of a prop bet, when in reality the outcome is a coin toss.
Second, it’s difficult to find good value in prop bets because most prop bets have multiple possible outcomes, so the odds become more tricky to interpret. Let’s take some time to think through this point.
When you bet on the outcome of a game for a moneyline bet or a bet against the spread, there are only two possible outcomes – either Team A wins/covers, or Team B wins/covers. If we imagine that Team A has a 50% chance of winning, and Team B has a 50% chance of winning, the sum of these two possibilities adds up to 100%.
Now without getting too mathematical, what I’m trying to say is that there are no other options than Team A or Team B winning. If the two teams tie or the game is canceled for weather or some other extraordinarily unlikely outcome, it’s a push, and you don’t lose your money. That’s what I mean by the odds adding up to 100%: there are only two portions of the pie chart – one in which you win, and the other in which you lose.
This is why the odds for moneyline and spread betting offer such balanced payouts. Let’s say that Team A is getting -110 moneyline, and Team B is also getting -110. This demonstrates an evenly matched game, in which the implied probability (which you can calculate using any online gambling odds calculator) is around 52.5%.
Thus, the total pie chart for the two outcomes – win or lose – adds up to 105%. This is a little confusing, but in simple terms the reason why the odds add up to more than 100% is to ensure that gamblers don’t cheat the system (also known as arbitrage). If you wager on both Team A and Team B to win, you’re guaranteed to “win” one of the two bets, but you’re also guaranteed to lose money. 5%, to be exact.
From the perspective of the sportsbook, this makes a lot of sense. When the probability pie chart for all the possible outcomes of a sporting event add up to more than 100%, the sportsbook is guaranteed to make money, provided that there is even action on all of the possible outcomes. And this, of course, is the reason why sportsbooks offer different odds in the first place: to incentivize gamblers to pick all of the different outcomes with equal frequency, even if one is objectively more likely than another.
But what if Team A is getting -105, and Team B is getting -115? Still adds up to around 105%. How about Team A getting -160, and Team B getting +125? Still adds up to around 105%. There’s one key thing to realize here: the reason I explain this is because this system of probabilities is totally different with prop bets. With more possible outcomes, everything becomes more complex.
For example, let’s consider a margin of victory bet, one of my favorite props to wager on.
Here is an example of what the possible outcomes could be for an individual NFL game:
- Team A wins by 1 to 6 points, +325
- Team A wins by 7 to 12 points, +400
- Team A wins by 13 to 18 points, +700
- Team A wins by 19 to 24 points, +1200
- Team A wins by 25 to 30 points, +2000
- Team A wins by 31 to 36 points, +3300
- Team A wins by 37 to 42 points, +5000
- Team A wins by 43 points or more, +8000
- Team B wins by 1 to 6 points, +350
- Team B wins by 7 to 12 points, +600
- Team B wins by 13 to 18 points, +900
- Team B wins by 19 to 24 points, +2000
- Team B wins by 25 to 30 points, +4000
- Team B wins by 31 to 36 points, +6600
- Team B wins by 37 to 42 points, +10000
- Team B wins by 43 points or more, +12500
First off, notice the two different outcomes “Team A to win by 1-6 points” and “Team B to win by 1-6 points.” Team A is getting +325, and Team B is getting +350. This indicates that Team A is believed to have a greater chance of winning than Team B, and is supported by Team B having worse odds across the board than Team A.
Secondly, notice that there are 16 possible outcomes for this bet, which together cover the entire range of possible final scores. No matter what the final score ends up being, it’s certain that the final score will end up inside one of these 16 outcomes.
Now, let’s imagine that you believe it will be a close game. You don’t think it possible that either team could win by more than 10 points. This advance knowledge is the way you will make money on this prop bet, because it narrows the field of possible outcomes from 16 to 4: Team A by 1-6 points, Team B by 1-6 points, Team A by 7-12 points, and Team B by 7-12 points.
Without drowning you in too much detail, the mathematical point I’m trying to make here is that these four outcomes no longer add up to 100% of the pie chart. And this, in turn, leads to an interesting situation. Because the pie chart of possible outcomes doesn’t add up to 100%, it’s possible to bet multiple outcomes and still make money. This advanced betting strategy is officially called “dutching,” but it really just defines the simple concept of hedging your bets.
Once again, imagine a moneyline bet: If you bet on Team A to win, and you also bet on Team B to win, you are betting on 100% of the pie chart (while the odds cover 105%), so you’re guaranteed to lose money.
But now, let’s imagine that you place a prop bet on the margin of victory. Let’s say you take a $100 wager and you split it two ways, putting $50 on Team A to win by 1-6 points, and putting the other $50 on Team B to win by 1-6 points. If Team A wins by 1-6 points, you get a profit of $162.50, you get the $50 from your Team A bet back, and you lose the $50 from your Team B bet. If Team B wins by 1-6 points, you get a $175 profit, you get the $50 for your Team B bet back, and you lose the $50 from your Team A bet, for a total payout of $175.
In this situation, even though you bet on multiple outcomes in the same bet, knowing that only one would win, you still made money. This is the kind of magic that you can pull off with prop bets.
Now, of course it’s important to note that one team or the other could have just as easily won by more than 6 points, in which case you would have lost all $100. But the general principle here is that if you wager on multiple outcomes in the same prop bet, relying on your prior conclusions about the range of possible outcomes to make an informed decision, the favorable odds sometimes allow you to be guaranteed to turn a profit provided that one of the outcomes you wager on comes true.
Specifically, a general rule is as follows: If the average odds between the outcomes you wager on are greater than or equal to 100 times the total number of wagers, (and you split your money evenly between these wagers), you’re guaranteed to turn a profit (assuming one of the outcomes pays out).
In the above example, we split our $100 into two wagers, and both wagers were giving odds greater than +200, so we were guaranteed to turn a profit assuming one or the other paid out. We could have split the $100 into three wagers, and placed them on a +325, a +350, and a +400. Four wagers, each offering +400 or better, are guaranteed to turn a profit if you split your principle into four equal parts and bet on each of them (assuming one of those four outcomes pays out).
So in summary, the way to make money with NFL prop bets is to be smart and disciplined about betting only on wagers where you feel you have some advanced knowledge about what the outcome will be, and then to hedge your bets, such that you’re guaranteed to make a profit (so long as the range of outcomes you wager on includes the real outcome).
Summary: NFL Prop Betting Strategy
Prop betting gets a bad rap amongst the general public, but for me, prop betting is one of my favorite ways to wager on the outcome of NFL games. They can be risky, and they can get complex, but they’re also a ton of fun. Part of the complexity arises from the fact that there are a huge number of different types of prop bets, some of which hold good value for profit-driven gamblers, others of which don’t.
The simplest definition of prop bets is that prop (or proposition) bets are any bets made on events that do not directly affect the final outcome of a game. The two most profitable types of prop bets in my experience are team scoring prop bets (e.g. margin of victory, total touchdowns, etc.) and individual performance prop bets (e.g. number of receptions in a game, number of passing yards in a game, etc.).
Timing prop bets (e.g. what will be the running time of the game) and first team props (e.g. which team will score the first touchdown of the game) can often trick you into believing they hold good value, but the actual outcomes of these props often have more to do with chance than with anything else. For example, the first team to score depends on the outcome of the coin toss, which has 50-50 odds.
“Will it Occur” prop bets (e.g. will there be a defensive touchdown in the game) fall into much the same category, with a heavy element of chance. Future prop bets are defined by being long-term in nature (i.e. on the scale of weeks and months rather than hours and days). For this reason, there is different strategy involved with futures, and I have a separate page devoted to NFL Future Betting Strategy.
The last category of NFL prop bets is the category that gives prop bets a bad name. I call them miscellaneous prop bets, which defines everything and anything else, that doesn’t fit into the above categories. This includes things like betting on the outcome of the coin toss, the color of the liquid dumped on the coach’s head after a win, and many, many others. These bets are fun, but impossible to reliably predict.
In deciding which prop bets to wager on and which to stay away from, one overarching rule is to avoid those “fun” prop bets that you can’t predict, and focus only on those “investment” prop bets where you believe you truly have grounds to make a prediction. One litmus test for this is to ask yourself: Does the film I’ve watched on these two teams help me decide which outcome to wager on? If no, stay away.
In my experience, the team scoring and individual performance categories generally provide the greatest opportunity to leverage your hard-earned knowledge and intuition about NFL teams to make informed prop bets. It takes discipline to wager only on these prop bets (and not on the purely recreational bets), but if your goal (like mine) is to make money, you need to make sure you don’t get trigger-happy.
In addition to being smarter and more disciplined than the average gambler, a basic understanding of dutching (i.e. “hedging your bets”) can help you make money with props. In simplest terms, this strategy involves dividing the principle for your wager evenly amongst several different possible outcomes, such that if one of these outcomes pays out, the whole divided wager ends up turning a profit.
Specifically, you can follow this general rule (explained in more detail above): If the average odds between the outcomes you wager on are greater than or equal to the total number of wagers times 100, (and you split your money evenly between these wagers), you’re guaranteed to turn a profit (provided one of them pays out). For example, 3 equal wagers, on 3 outcomes, if each has odds of +300 or better.
In conclusion, these specific strategies will help you make money with prop bets, but it’s important to remember that all of these strategies require making accurate predictions about the outcomes of NFL games. For more information on the general NFL Betting Strategy I use in order to make these predictions, check out the link, and read the explanation of my personal three-stage process.
Prop betting gets a bad rap, but it’s a ton of fun and a great way to make money gambling on the NFL.