Football Prop Betting Explained – How to Bet NFL Props

Football prop betting, also known as proposition betting, is extremely popular among both new and experienced sports bettors. Online bookies offer so many different options available, and betting on football props is a great way to make football even more exciting.

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This page provides you with an abundance of information about football prop betting, how it works, and how you can become a successful football prop bettor.

What Is Football Prop Betting?

A football prop bet is a popular type of bet that is not directly related to the final score or outcome of a game. Football is one of the most popular sports for prop betting.


Available football props involve a wide range of bets. You’ll find propositions on player or team performance, such as passing yards or rushing touchdowns. There are also very specific actions during the game that you can wager, such as whether a coach will go for two after scoring a touchdown.

Football bettors everywhere love prop betting because it allows them to create their own wagers and make things more interesting.

Football bettors can use prop bets as a fun way to enhance their betting experience or as a strategy to increase the number of betting opportunities available during a game.

How Does Football Prop Betting Work?

Football prop betting for real money is similar to making other types of football bets. All you need to do is log into a football betting site, fill out a bet slip, and watch the game to see what happens. Many props are also a part of live betting and occur throughout different parts of the game.

As with any kind of betting, football prop bets are not for everyone. It is recommended that you have a relatively strong understanding of the sport before placing prop bets.

How Prop Bets Are Made

An important part of understanding how football prop bets work is understanding how they are made.

The way most football props are created is similar to the way regular bets are made. The bettor or bookmaker will create a range of possible scenarios that could happen and set odds for each one. In order for a prop bet to be made, one of these scenarios must come true.

Patriots Helmet

For example, say the New England Patriots have just been listed as a 3-point favorite against the Miami Dolphins. You may only care about one team’s offense and want to bet on the total number of points they will score. Instead of betting on either team to cover the spread, you could make a prop bet that the New England Patriots will score 26 points.

If the Patriots score 26 points, you will win the bet. If they do not reach that number, you lose your bet.

The chances of different outcomes for a football game are going to change throughout the match. Before each play in a football game, bookmakers will adjust their odds depending on what just happened in the previous play. This is one of the main reasons why many prop bets are live bets; they can occur at any moment during football games.

How Betting Lines Are Determined

Another important part of how football props work is understanding how the betting lines or numbers move based on betting activity. That’s because these changes can affect which scenario becomes most likely to happen and where the betting odds become good enough for someone to want to make a prop bet on it.

It may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. Every time someone places a bet on one of the outcomes in a football prop bet, that changes the odds for each outcome. The more people betting on an outcome, the lower that line will become.

For Example:

Say you want to make a prop bet based around three different possible scenarios surrounding how many yards running back Ezekiel Elliott will gain in his next game. These scenarios are listed as follows:

  • Over 65½ total rushing yards (-110)
  • Under 65½ total rushing yards (-115)
  • Exactly 65 total rushing yards (+300)

If there is no betting activity on any of these bets by game time, this means that under 65½ would be the favorite (because the odds would be -115). However, if the majority of bettors were betting that Elliot would be over 65.5 rushing yards, then the online sportsbook would automatically adjust the odds for those who want to take the under.

Again, due to the nature of football prop betting, betting lines are constantly shifting. So, it’s best to stay on top of them and keep your eyes peeled for any great value.

Football Prop Bet Examples

The possibilities of football prop betting are endless. In fact, there are some extremely weird and specific bets out there that you can make. While some are common, others are less common and sometimes even considered weird.

In general, NFL prop bets can be broken down into three categories:

  • NFL Player Props
  • Yes/No Props
  • Misc. Props

Here are some examples for each.

NFL Player Prop Bets

Team and player prop bets offer some exciting payouts. And if you consider yourself a football expert, then you may be able to benefit from those rewards.

Some common team and player prop bets include:

  • How many touchdowns will Tom Brady throw?
  • Will the Seattle Seahawks have more than 100 total rushing yards?
  • How many penalties will the New York Jets have?

Yes/No Football Prop Bet Examples

Yes and no prop bets are a favorite among football bettors because you always have a 50/50 chance of betting correctly. Here are some common yes and no football prop examples:

  • Will there be overtime?
  • Will there be a penalty on the first drive?
  • Will the home team score more rushing touchdowns?

Other Football Prop Bet Examples

Many of the example prop bets above are what you would expect to see when you are on a football betting site. However, there are some other football prop bets that have occurred in the past that would probably surprise you, such as:

  • Will Tom Brady attempt to high-five an official? (Super Bowl LV)
  • Will a streaker run onto the field?
  • How many pizzas will appear on screen during the next commercial break?

As you can see, they get really specific. And although these may seem odd, there are no prop bets that even come close to how intriguing the Super Bowl prop bets can be.

How Prop Bets Pay Out

Here is an example of how you might see prop bets payout, based on some moneyline examples:

Odds Potential Profit Potential Payout Odds Potential Profit Potential Payout
+100 $10.00 $20.00 -110 $9.09 $19.09
+110 $11.00 $21.00 -120 $8.33 $19.33
+120 $12.00 $22.00 -130 $7.69 $17.69

Calculate Your Own Payout

If you still need help or just don’t want to do math, we have a great tool for that. Use this calculator below to figure out what the payout will be based on the odds of your prop bet.


Super Bowl Prop Betting Examples

The Super Bowl is a massive event that captures the attention of millions of people every February. As a result, it is one of the most heavily bet on events every year.

Super Bowl

And one thing the Super Bowl is famous for is their unique and potentially lucrative prop bets. Some of these bets offer odds that exceed +50,000 but are understandably extremely rare to win.

Here are a few NFL prop bets that you should consider when betting on during this year’s Super Bowl:

  • Will an offensive lineman score a touchdown?
  • Will the first missed field goal be wide left, wide right, or short of the goal post?
  • What time will the final play of the game be completed?
  • What will be the first song played during the halftime show?
  • Who will be the first player to lose a fumble?

Most Profitable NFL Prop Bets

Prop bets are unique because they all carry dramatically different odds based on the situation. And if you take the time to do some line shopping across different real money football betting sites, then you can find some great value on certain sportsbooks.

In general, the prop bets that are based on skill rather than luck (more on that later) are the ones that are going to offer the highest chance for profit. This is partially a result of their intriguing odds as well as their ability to be analyzed for a best educated guess.

Some examples include:

  • Over/under passing yards for a quarterback
  • Yards allowed by a defense
  • Total sacks in a game

For gamblers who also closely follow the football games they bet on, there is a lot of opportunity for them to apply their knowledge to make smart and profitable prop bets online.

Profitability of Prop Bets vs. Other Common Bets

One big consideration for any football bet type that you make is how profitable it can be. And many people believe that props tend to make more money than common bets such as moneylines and totals. While this is not always the case, it is generally more profitable to bet on football props than moneylines.

There are many reasons for this, including the fact that football props are more versatile than other bets. Prop bets can be made against various events throughout a football game rather than just the final outcome. More betting flexibility translates to a higher chance of profitability.

Football prop betting is also not as popular as regular football bet types. Therefore, the betting lines are not being shifted as dramatically as some associated with common football bet types.

Another reason that football prop bets tend to be more profitable than moneylines or totals is because a lot of online sportsbooks offer better odds on these wagers. Although they admittedly are a bit tougher to win, you can make decent profit if you are good at predicting the game on a play-by-play basis.

5 Tips for Prop Betting Success

When it comes to football prop betting for real money, there are different ways to be successful. And if you are new to betting on football, then you may be looking for some tips to become a successful prop bettor.

Some of these tips can be used for sports betting in general, such as the importance of money management and knowing your limits. Other tips are more specific to football props.

Here are five tips for prop betting success:

  • Bet on Your Favorite Team
  • Know Your Budget
  • Look for Value
  • Know the Difference Between Skill-Based and Luck-Based Prop Bets
  • Look for Correlations

1. Bet on Your Favorite Team

It could be a good idea to bet on your favorite team when they are playing. Football prop bettors that typically wager on their favorite teams know them better than anyone else and will have a better chance at predicting the outcome of certain plays.

Furthermore, it helps if you’re cheering on your team while you’re watching any given matchup. This way, you will naturally become more invested in the game and hopefully pick up on any plays or strategies that could help you place winning bets later on.

Money Vector

2. Know Your Budget

Again, this tip is great for real money football betting in general but is especially important with prop bets. Since there are so many different options, it can be easy to accidentally overspend. This is especially true for live football proposition betting where you can make multiple bets throughout the game.

Know your limits, and keep an eye on how much you are wagering on your individual prop bets.

3. Look for Value

When checking out prop bets to wager on, look for value plays where the odds of success are higher than expected. These can be difficult to find since oddsmakers don’t always set lines exactly how they should be. However, there are certainly cases where certain wagers appear cheap even though their chance of winning is high.

A good way to find the best value is to do some line shopping and check out various online sportsbooks to see which ones offer the best betting odds.

4. Know the Difference Between Skill-Based and Luck-Based Prop Bets

A skills prop bet is a wager that takes into account a specific player or team’s ability and their chances of success. For example, you might place a wager on which team has more receiving yards at halftime or how many receiving touchdowns a wide receiver will score in a year.

The odds for these types of wagers take into account the abilities and potential of each player involved. Some skill and knowledge on your end can help you win these bets.

Luck props are those where success depends largely on chance. The outcome of such football bets is largely out of either team’s control. A typical example would be betting on what color jersey will be worn for any given game (the jersey color itself is irrelevant to the outcome). These types of prop bets can be more difficult to win but offer an even betting field for all bettors.

5. Look for Correlations

Our final tip for football prop betting is to always be looking for correlations between bets. By this we mean to watch for any betting outcomes that could affect the outcomes of other bets.

For example, let’s say that you bet on a certain player to score a touchdown and over for the total of receptions they will have in the game. If your player scores a touchdown, then he will likely also have more receptions throughout the game.

It also helps to look at correlations on an individual game level as well as on a season-by-season basis. This way, you can predict what might happen based on previous experiences and performances (and hopefully predict future outcomes).

Pros of Football Prop Bets

There are many pros to football prop betting that we could discuss. To save time, we will just touch on two of the biggest perks: the ability to take part in live betting and the possibility of high payouts.

Live Betting

Football prop bets are often referred to as some of the most exciting types of bets available. Part of this is due to their live betting aspect. Since many prop bets are created as the game is being played, you have the opportunity to bet whenever you want. This means you can either wait for the right betting opportunity to show up or continuously bet throughout the game in an attempt to earn several payouts throughout the day.

High Payouts

Because some prop bets are so specific, they offer some appealing betting odds that could translate to massive payouts. Again, these types of bets will be harder to win, but the possibility of making a bunch of money is always present.

Cons of Football Prop Bets

Naturally, there are always some cons to go along with pros, and this goes for any bet type. With prop betting for real money specifically, there are two primary cons that come to mind: fast spending and a lower chance of success.

Fast Spending

Prop betting has the tendency to be tempting. As a result, bettors usually bet on more than one thing. You might end up spending more money than you realize.

This can be especially troublesome when you are doing live proposition betting and find yourself on a cold streak.

Hard to Win (Sometimes)

There is no such thing as a super easy bet to win. If there was, that is what everyone would bet on. However, certain prop bets take the difficulty level up a notch and create extremely unlikely scenarios.

One such example is from a Super Bowl prop from years ago. There were betting odds for who would throw the game’s first touchdown. Instead of quarterbacks, the online sportsbook listed random players from various positions. It would be highly unlikely for any of these players to throw the first touchdown of the game, yet alone a touchdown at all. However, if you happened to take the chance on it, you could make a massive amount of profit from a small bet.

Discover More

Hopefully, this page has equipped you with all of the knowledge you need in order to become a successful football prop bettor. If you are looking for additional information about football betting in general, check out these resources below:

Football Betting Sites

Check this page out to find the top football betting sites that we recommend you play with.

How to Bet on Football

Take your knowledge beyond prop betting and learn how to bet on football for all bet types.

Common Football Betting Mistakes

Before you start placing your bets, be sure to check out these common football betting mistakes you should avoid.

Football Prop Betting FAQ

What Are Football Prop Betting?

Football prop betting is a type of bet that is not directly correlated with the final outcome of the game being played. They can get very specific and offer intriguing payouts.

Are Prop Bets Legal?

Football prop betting is legal anywhere that online sports betting is legal. Refer to our US gambling laws page for more detailed information.

Can You Bet on Football Props While the Game Is Being Played?

Yes, that is referred to as live proposition betting or in-game betting. This is extremely popular among football bettors who prefer to watch the games they bet on.

Why Is Football Prop Betting So Popular?

Online football props are popular because it provides bettors with a more creative gambling experience. And it features several possible lucrative betting opportunities. They also allow bettors to make live wagers, keeping the game interesting in every quarter of action.

What Are Some Advantages of Prop Betting?

Some advantages of prop betting include the ability to bet on different aspects of the game, potential massive payouts, and the ability to bet live.

Does the Super Bowl Have Prop Betting?

Yes, the Super Bowl is actually one of the most popular sporting events for prop betting. It features some of the most unique and odd prop bets you can find, like the duration of the national anthem.

Can You Create Your Own Prop Bets?

The football betting site will create the prop bets; however, you sometimes have the freedom to make specific bets, such as the exact number of points that one team will score.