Californians must wait a bit more before they can start placing bets at regulated sportsbooks. The propositions that promised to authorize online and retail betting across California encountered strong opposition from the voters in the Nov. 2022 ballot, postponing the launch of legal sports betting in the Golden State.
Nevertheless, many believe that legal online sports betting in California is just around the corner. With that in mind, this guide will explain how a particular type of NFL bet works: Popular NFL props.
What Are Popular NFL Props?
NFL props (short for proposition bets) are a group of wagers that don’t necessarily relate to the final outcome of a game but rather to some of its segments.
Being that the NFL is massively popular, top-rated sportsbooks come up with dozens of interesting prop bets for every game. Football props can include everything from guessing the correct score to picking a team to make the coach’s challenge first. You can also try to predict which quarter is going to feature the most points, whether the game will go to overtime, which player is going to score the first touchdown, and more.
The more important the game, the more props there are, which is why the Super Bowl is usually packed with them. In fact, it often features proposition bets that you won’t see during the regular season. For example, one of the wackiest props on the Super Bowl is guessing the color of Gatorade poured on the winning coach (blue, orange, yellow, red, clear, or purple). Some sportsbooks even allow you to predict the length of the national anthem sung at the opening ceremony.
How to Calculate Popular NFL Props Winnings
To calculate the winnings from a given NFL prop, you must look at the odds. In this case, we’ll use a prop bet found at DraftKings from this year’s Super Bowl as an example:
- The team to score first wins the game
- Yes (-190)
- No (+155)
Negative (-) odds are assigned to favorites and the bets that are likely to win, while the positive (+) ones go next to underdogs and those bets that are likely to lose.
It’s much more likely that the team who scores first will win the game, which is why we see the -190 odds next to that bet. This number suggests that you must wager $190 to gain a $100 profit. Of course, you’re free to choose your stake amount as long as it’s within limits.
Since the bet with positive odds is less likely to hit, your potential profit will be larger. In this case, you’ll win $155 on a $100 wager.
Luckily, you don’t need to calculate your winnings manually when betting online. As soon as you click/tap on the odds to add the bet to your slip and input your stake, the potential winnings will be calculated for you.
Best Sportsbooks for Popular NFL Props
If you’re set on betting on a specific NFL prop, you should explore all available options and place a bet that offers the best odds. This is called odds shopping. While the discrepancies in odds between betting sites might seem insignificant, they can add up over time and positively affect your total profit.
There isn’t a single best sportsbook for popular NFL props, but DraftKings is often considered the No. 1 betting app for proposition betting. They usually have the widest range of props, including plenty of unique ones. DK also offers competitive odds on NFL props and other bets.
DraftKings and other top-of-the-line sportsbooks may offer the best sports betting odds in California in the future; unfortunately, they’re prohibited from doing so at the moment. For now, you can legally place popular NFL props only on social sportsbooks like Fliff.
Variations of Popular NFL Props
Popular NFL props can be divided into three main categories:
- Game props: This category features all props that relate to the game as a whole. Typical game props for NFL may include things like the first touchdown, correct score, winning margin, will the game go to overtime, will the first drive result in a field goal, race to X points, odd/even on the final score, who will win the coin toss, Over/Under on total touchdowns, and more.
- Team props: If you wish to bet on a specific team, you should explore team props. Some common bets may include Over/Under on the 49ers’ total rushing touchdowns, Over/Under on the Rams’ field goals made in the first half, the Chargers to win both halves, the Rams to score first and win, and others.
- Player props: NFL props can be broken down all the way to individual player performances. You can guess the first, last, and anytime touchdown scorer in any game, or you can try to predict whether a player will have 2+ or even 3+ touchdowns in a single matchup. There are also Over/Under on all major statistical categories, including receiving yards, rush yards, pass yards, and more.
Best Strategy for Popular NFL Props
Betting on NFL props can be exciting, as you can practically wager on any segment of the game; however, it’s not always the smartest long-term option.
Many of the NFL props have a higher edge (worse odds) than the main bets. For instance, each side of the 1.5-point spread in the Super Bowl LVII matchup between the Chiefs and Eagles had -110 odds. Meanwhile, the Over/Under odds on Jalen Hurts passing yards were -110 on Over and -120 on Under. So, in total, this particular prop had a higher edge than the standard point spread.
The reason for this is that sportsbooks are unable to analyze and predict outcomes like they can for the main markets. To prevent themselves from taking a bath, sportsbooks will offer less-than-ideal odds on these props and create a higher edge.
This isn’t to say you can’t find value in some of these bets, but you’ll have to dig deep and, ultimately, have some luck. Sportsbooks have a habit of offering odds boosts on certain props, and while these are mostly long shots, they’re sometimes worth considering. Betting on props while using California sports betting bonuses can also prove beneficial.
Finally, stay away from guessing which team will win the coin toss, as it’s a sucker bet many novice NFL prop bettors fall for. The odds for either heads or tails are always 50/50. Therefore, this bet should be priced at +100 on each side, but it’s not. Instead, the odds are usually -110, creating a surefire long-term loss.
Popular NFL Props for California Teams
- LA Rams to have over 0.5 field goals scored in the first quarter vs. the Chargers (+200)
- Matthew Stafford to be the anytime touchdown scorer vs. the Chargers (-115)
- San Francisco 49ers vs. the LA Chargers, both teams to score 25+ points (+240)
How to Place a Popular NFL Props Bet on an Online Sportsbook App
Once legal online sports betting takes off in California, the process of placing a popular NFL prop bet should be as follows:
- Pick one of the available California sportsbooks by going to its website or downloading an app.
- Create an account by providing your name, birthday, email address, the last four digits of your SSN, and other necessary details.
- Place a deposit using a card, e-wallet, online banking, or other available methods. The minimum deposit is usually $10. After it goes through, you may claim a welcome bonus, although this is optional.
- Find NFL from the sportsbook’s menu (usually on the left-hand side) and choose a game. Note that you can bet on games that have already started.
- Each game should have multiple tabs where you can browse different types of bets.
- Find an NFL prop that you wish to bet on and click/tap on the odds to add that bet to your slip.
- Input your stake and confirm the wager. Good luck!
Popular NFL Props FAQs
NFL betting is very popular in general and can be found on every betting site and app in the US. The number of available props for NFL games usually surpasses that of other sports.
Yes, it does — as a matter of fact, DraftKings often has the biggest selection of NFL props.
Yes, betting on individual NFL player performances is available. You can guess each player’s number of rushing yards, passing yards, passes completed, touchdowns scored, and other stats.