When the time comes for California to roll out the welcome mat for full-fledged sports betting, NFL player props are bound to get their fair share of the wagering action.
This guide is a crash course for NFL player prop bets that will give you a complete breakdown of the odds, bet variations, and other essential tips on how to make this wager work.
We can expect another push for legal sports wagering during the new legislative session in California. In the meantime, players can check out novel ways of placing bets, such as using social betting platforms like Fliff, which is entirely legal in the Golden State.
What Are NFL Player Props?
NFL player proposition wagers are centered around a player’s individual performance and various statistical elements in a game. These bets aren’t related to the outcome of a particular event in any way but rather to any statistical category or in-game accomplishment of the player. Some of the most common forms of NFL player props include:
- Touchdown scorer
- Pass attempts/completions
- Passing, receiving, or rushing yards
- Total receptions
- Rush attempts
NFL player props can roughly be divided into four categories: touchdown scorer props, passing props, rushing props, and receiving props. Quarterbacks and wide receivers are the focal points of proposition bets and, as such, tend to be the targets of unhappy bettors.
Generally, player props in the NFL are primarily an Over/Under betting affair on a specific event or statistic, with an occasional yes/no option, such as Will Cam Akers of the Los Angeles Rams score a touchdown?
The Over/Under props for player stats mainly offer lines similar to spreads, such as -110, which indicates you need to wager $110 to win $100 in profit. However, TD scores props, such as Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers being the first player to score a touchdown, are notoriously difficult to hit, hence the odds of +220, which could give you a profit of $220 for a $100 wager.
You can expect NFL player props to count in overtime as well unless stated otherwise. In case a prop (such as the total passing yards, which is an Over/Under and features a line that’s a whole number) can’t be settled because the player has hit precisely that number of passing yards, say 280, we have the so-called push situation on our hands. When a push or tie occurs, most sportsbooks will remove the wager from the calculation and settle the bet based on the results of other legs.
How to Calculate NFL Player Props Winnings
Two key factors influence how much you stand to win from a winning NFL player prop: the odds at the time you placed the bet and the stake.
The bet that has a bigger probability of winning is indicated by negative (-) odds. In turn, these odds would produce a smaller payout than your stake. On the other hand, positive (+) odds showcase a wager with a smaller probability of winning, hence the chance to double your money or more.
Here’s how the payouts work with the NFL player props. Since most of these wagers offer an Over/Under choice, we’ll start there. Say the number for Patrick Mahomes’ total passing yards is set at 285.5. The betting lines for an Over wager are -137, meaning you’ll need to wager $137 to win $100 in profit. If Mahomes passes 286 or more yards, the sportsbook will send $237 your way.
However, if you think Mahomes will pass 285 or fewer yards, you should opt for Under and benefit from odds like +100, telling you how much you stand to win for staking $100. With the odds of +100, you can double your money.
If a little bit of sixth-grade math doesn’t scare you, you can use a couple of formulas to calculate the payouts on any NFL player prop:
- When the odds are negative (-): Profit = Odds/100 * Stake
- When the odds are positive (+): Profit = 100/Odds * Stake
Since we’re on the subject of payouts, we need to factor in the vig (or juice), which is the fee that every sportsbook collects for facilitating the wager. The cut that the sportsbook takes ensures that it makes a profit no matter which side of the wager wins. The vig usually ranges up to 10% on standard spreads, moneylines, and all other two-way markets, such as NFL player props.
Best Sportsbooks for NFL Player Props
Compared with totals, spreads, and moneylines, NFL player props attract fewer bettors, despite the softer lines and lower limits that translate to greater profit potential. However, to evaluate the worth of an NFL player prop and find the best sports betting odds in California, you need to observe multiple factors.
First, you need to start looking at the value of the bet, and that’s where line shopping comes into play. Two different totals can be offered for the passing performance of Justin Herbert of the LA Chargers. For example, in Sportsbook A, the total for the week’s game is 281.5, while Sportsbook B has set the total to 279.5. This is almost the same as Herbert’s season average of 279.1 and, thus, a more attractive option.
Second, you need to analyze the betting lines. The lines for an Under bet in both sportsbooks may be -115, but the lines for an Over wager in Sportsbook A are just +120, which doesn’t exactly match the risk and should be avoided.
Among all NFL player props, the biggest discrepancies can be seen with the touchdown markets, such as the player to score a touchdown. The line for Austin Ekeler against the Jaguars in BetMGM was -190, while the line for the same wager at FanDuel was -145, making the latter a far better choice — especially considering the fact he ended the match with two TDs in his box score.
Variations of NFL Player Props
There are several iterations of NFL player props you can find in most sportsbooks, each targeting a player in a different position — mostly quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs. Here are some of the popular variations of the bet.
- Touchdown scorer: A touchdown scorer bet is likely to have its own category on the sportsbook app. You can choose between several players to be the first touchdown scorer, last touchdown scorer, or an anytime touchdown scorer.
- Passing props: Passing NFL player props imply you’ll take an Over/Under bet on a number of passing stats, such as total pass completions, total passing yards, longest passing completions, and total passing touchdowns. Passing props are all about the quarterback’s performance, so looking at their recent stats can be of help here.
- Receiving props: Receiving props also offer Over/Under figures for a variety of stats of the receiver, such as the total receptions, total receiving yards, and longest reception on the game.
- Rushing props: Rushing NFL player props revolve around the performance of the running back, so you can bet on the total rush attempts, total number of rushing yards, or the combination of rushing and receiving yards. Some NFL coaches and teams, such as the 49ers, employ elaborate rush systems in their offense, so you can focus on the performance of their running backs.
- Exotic NFL player props: During the Super Bowl, you’ll find a bunch of novelty player props, such as the Super Bowl MVP, the color of Gatorade, and more. In addition, there are other props you can explore, such as the total made field goals, total kicking points, and total made extra points.
Best Strategy for NFL Player Props
NFL player props largely depend on luck — more than on a detailed analysis of statistical factors. Still, research may help. For instance, the first touchdown scorer is a prop bet that holds the promise of a big payout, but it’s one that you should avoid. Namely, it’s extremely difficult to pinpoint a pattern here and considering the long odds, you’d be best off betting on something else.
Other player props to avoid are sportsbook-suggested player prop parlays. These usually don’t provide fair value compared to the risk they entail. If you’re curious, you can create a parlay containing the same bets in different sportsbooks to see the price they might offer. Most of the time, it’ll be much better than the originally suggested one.
Player projection systems and tools you can find online are a good starting point. They analyze a player’s weekly and seasonal performance and can point you in the right direction. However, you need to look into other factors as well — the injury reports, the status of the offensive line and whether it can give the QB the protection he needs to make plays, and other key data that can help you make the right decision.
Once you’ve consulted the player projections, analyzed the rosters, players’ usual performance against that opponent, and other factors, you should go shopping for the best lines to maximize your payout opportunities. Also, pay attention to odds boost and no-juice promotions and similar California sports betting bonuses that can help you gain some sort of an upper hand on the bookmakers.
NFL Player Props for San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers fought their way to the third appearance in the past four NFC Championship Games in the 2022-23 season, showing the outstanding potential of their roster.
However, after careful analysis, some of the best NFL year-long player props were Brock Purdy with Under 31.5 pass attempts since he only managed to throw 31 passes in a game twice in the whole season.
On the other hand, we can see Christian McCaffrey constantly exceeded his yardage total, making going over the usual 60.5 rushing yards total we saw throughout the year a great choice.
When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers (title contenders in pretty much every season), you can count on a variety of good options in most sportsbooks, no matter which player prop you opt for.
How to Place an NFL Player Props Bet on an Online Sportsbook App
Before you can place an NFL player prop wager, you need to set up an account with the sportsbooks. Here’s the rundown of the entire procedure:
- Visit the sportsbook’s homepage and find the Sign Up/Register button. Tap it and complete the registration form by providing personal information such as name, phone number, address, and last four digits of your SSN.
- Deposit funds into your account and claim the welcome bonus if offered.
- In the betting menu, NFL betting options will be among the top choices. Browse the games you want to bet on and click on them to expand all betting opportunities.
- Player props will have their own subcategory. In some sportsbooks, touchdown scorers’ prop wagers will also have a separate section.
- Choose the NFL player prop you want to bet on and pick the player.
- Select the bet, and it’ll be automatically added to your betslip.
- Input the stake.
- Confirm the wager.
NFL Player Props FAQs
The odds marked with a minus (-) sign in front of NFL player props indicate how much you need to wager to win $100, whereas odds with a plus (+) sign show how much you stand to win with a $100 bet.
NFL player props aren’t as popular as moneyline, spreads, or totals but are still wagered on frequently — heavily due to their big payout potential.
DraftKings offers NFL player prop bets. In fact, rushing, passing, touchdown, and receiving props all have their separate sections for easier navigation.
FanDuel has a variety of player props to offer, including most rushing yards, most touchdown passes, and most QB sacks. All of them come with good odds, especially around the Super Bowl.