What Is Prop Betting?

A prop or “proposition” bet is a wager on something happening, or not happening, during a game that most likely does not directly affect the outcome of that game.

Props often surround a specific player or team achieving or not achieving a certain statistical milestone throughout the game.

Props can be fun side bets and have become a popular way to get even more action down on a game outside of betting on one team or the other to win.

Keep reading if you’re interested in betting props in Michigan as we go through:

  • A detailed explanation of prop betting
  • A guide for placing prop bets in Michigan
  • Some of the most popular props you’ll find at Michigan sportsbooks

Prop bets explained

Think of a statistical question related to a player or the teams in almost any sporting event and you can probably turn it into a prop bet.

Will the Detroit Red Wings score a powerplay goal in tonight’s game? Will Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin get more or less than 10 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday? Will Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera hit a home run in Tuesday’s game? Will Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford throw more or less than three TD passes against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday?

Each of these questions, and others like them, are actual prop bets you’re likely to find available at most Michigan sportsbooks. You book these prop bets and others at moneyline odds. The odds are subject to change ahead of game time, but you will lock in the posted odds at the time you place your prop bet.

Live props

You will also find many of these prop bets available as live betting options during games once the Michigan online and mobile sports betting market goes live.

This means you can bet in the middle of a game on the same props available pregame at odds that are adjusted throughout.

Season-long props

You will also find season-long props at Michigan sportsbooks ahead of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA football and basketball seasons. These season-long props are like futures bets surrounding a particular player or team reaching a statistical milestone throughout the season.

These props may include things like an over/under on Stafford’s passing yards, the Pistons’ win totals, Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi‘s goal totals, or Cabrera’s hit or home run totals.

Obscure props

The more interest in a game, the more props will be posted surrounding that game at Michigan sportsbooks.

That means an event like the Super Bowl will see more props posted than most.

That said, it’ll be up to the Michigan Gaming Control Board as to what Super Bowl props are authorized. That means the props will probably be restricted to game action only.

You may have read about crazy props in the past surrounding the singing of the National Anthem or the halftime show, but these kinds of obscure props will most likely be left off the board at Michigan sportsbooks.

Prop odds

You bet props at negative moneyline odds that are quite often the same, or only slightly different, for either side.

Michigan sportsbooks set the line and odds on most props hoping they will ensure an equal amount is bet on both sides.

You have to lay money betting the prop at negative moneyline odds and this is where the sportsbooks earn a profit. As long as an almost equal amount of money is bet on either side they keep what’s known as the vig or the juice on the bet.

As a result, Michigan sportsbooks have no real interest in which side wins any particular prop, just as long as they can get an equal amount bet on either side.

For example, you might find a Matthew Stafford regular-season passing yards season-long prop with the following odds on the PointsBet Sportsbook mobile app:

Over 3899.5 (-112) and Under 3899.5 (-112).

That means you’d have to bet $112 to win $100. Only one side can win this one and the sportsbook only has to pay $100 for every $112 bet on the winning side. As long as an equal amount is bet on both sides, they can simply take $100 out of every losing side bet to pay the winning side and keep the extra $12 as a profit.

Line movement

To keep the same amount of money coming in on both sides of a prop Michigan sportsbooks may alter the line and odds on that prop ahead of a game.

Let’s say there’s a Matthew Stafford single-game passing yards prop for Sunday’s Lions-Packers game with the following odds:

Over 299.5 (-112) and Under 299.5 (-112).

Let’s also say Stafford is coming off two big games and, by Wednesday, one Michigan sportsbook has taken in over $1 million in bets on the over and just $300,000 on the under.

They will move that line to try to get more betting on the under. Any new bets coming in will have to be booked at a new line of somewhere around O/U 350 (-112).

The sportsbook will be banking on people betting the under now that Stafford will have to throw for 50 more yards for the over to come in.

That should be enough to get an equal amount coming in on the other side and the sportsbook can guarantee the vig as its profit.

How to make prop bets online

Placing prop bets is mostly about finding prop bets. That’s an easy process with mobile sports betting apps in Michigan and the self-service betting kiosks at Michigan retail sportsbooks, where you can browse through your options almost endlessly.

It’s a little more difficult at betting windows inside Michigan retail sportsbooks where only a limited number of props can be listed on most odds boards.

That said, you should be able to ask sportsbook staff about the availability of a prop you’re interested in betting.

They should be able to tell you the odds and you can decide if you want to bet it or not right at the window.

With Michigan’s online and mobile sportsbooks and the self-service betting kiosks at Michigan retail sportsbooks, you simply browse through the prop markets and click on the prop bets you want to make.

Then, you fill in the amount you wish to bet for each prop on the instantly-created bet slip.

A potential payout will be displayed for each prop and once you’ve verified that all the numbers are to your liking, you can click one more time to place the bets.

Prop betting is easier and more convenient with online and mobile sportsbooks and self-service betting kiosks.

You can find more props, browse through your options more readily, and see the potential payouts before choosing a prop or series of props.

Online and mobile sports betting may launch in Michigan as soon as November 2020, and it will certainly enhance the prop betting experience across the state.

Popular props

Michigan sportsbooks will likely offer a large variety of props surrounding NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA football and basketball games and seasons. They will also offer props surrounding golfers in PGA Tour events and the events themselves.

Here’s a list of the kind of props you might find:

  • What will the margin of victory be?
  • Will there be any points scored in the first half/quarter/period?
  • Which player/team will score first?
  • What will be the highest-scoring quarter/half?
  • Who will be the top-scoring player (or another statistical leader)?
  • Will (a certain player) score?
  • Will a team’s total number of (scoring methods or other trackable statistics) be over or under (a line set by oddsmakers)?
  • Will the total combined number of (scoring methods or other trackable statistics) be over or under (a line set by oddsmakers)?
  • Will the team that scores first win?
  • Will the halftime leader win?
  • Will there be overtime?
  • Which player will lead the league in scoring during the regular season?
  • Who will win (various league awards)?
  • Will the total points be an odd or even number?
  • Will the coin toss land on heads or tails?

Prop betting strategy

Props are all over the map. They cover all kinds of different outcomes inside a game and that makes it nearly impossible to identify one single, solid prop betting strategy.

Each prop deals with a different set of circumstances making it hard to find any way to relate one prop to another.

For example, predicting one quarterback’s passing yards total seems a lot different than predicting a running back’s total rushing yards.

Related props

You should look for ways certain props do relate. Quarterback and running back props for players on the same team can be related, in that it’s unlikely both will have big games at the same time.

In other words, if you’re betting a QB passing yards over the prop, consider betting his teammate running back’s under rushing yards prop, figuring that team is going to go to the air more often on that day.

You can also figure many pitchers and hitter props for opposing MLB teams will be somewhat related as well. Look for these and other related props to make sure your bases are covered and that you’re not betting against yourself.

Look for mistakes

Like any sports betting strategy, the best prop betting strategies revolve around research.

Get to know leagues, teams, players, and standard probabilities with research before you start betting props and you’ll win more often. It’s as simple as that.

Good research and a solid understanding of probabilities will also help you identify mistakes made by oddsmakers when they set-prop lines.

Coming off a pair of bad games where he threw for under 150 yards, oddsmakers are quite likely to set the over/under on a Stafford total passing yards prop for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears pretty low.

If you do a little research, find out the Bears’ pass defense is suspect and one of the starting corners is listed as doubtful to play, the over is an easy bet. Research leagues, teams, and players exhaustively and mistakes like these will present themselves in several different sports.

Key takeaways on prop betting in Michigan

Props are about the games within a game and not necessarily the game itself. Props surround stats and player and team achievements. But most of all props are about fun and increasing your betting action on a game outside of betting on the game itself.

As such props should be among the most popular types of side betting action available at  Michigan sportsbooks.

Props are a great way for stats nerds and big sports fans to test their knowledge of sports and players against oddsmakers. As long as Michigan sportsbooks can make a profit on props through the vig by setting lines that attract bettors to both sides there will be prop betting in Michigan.

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