Prop Bets and Future Bets Explained

Prop Bets and Future Bets Explained

What are prop bets? What are futures? What do they mean?

Prop bets

In addition to the mainstream match markets that you will be familiar with, most sportsbooks offer a wide array of alternative bets that allow you to back your judgement about a particular player, or events that may take place in the game. These bets are commonplace in all the major US sports.

Whether you have a view about Kawhi Leonard rebounds or Ben Roethlisberger passing yards, you should be able to find a bet to suit you.  Nowadays, every televised game will be accompanied by a plethora of prop bets.

Notice that prop bets aren’t just limited to players.  You can take an opinion on the outcomes of various parts of the game too.

Best of all, prop bets don’t stop when the game starts.  Most sportsbooks offer updated lines on many of their prop bets in-play.

The most recent innovation in prop betting will be hitting these shores this season. The advent of same game multiple bets – known across the pond as ‘betbuilder’ bets, has been a game changer for European customers and we expect the same to happen in the States.

It is fair to say that bets concerning players can be harder for the sportsbooks to evaluate than match odds, so if you have done your research these types of bets can be worth investing in. 

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Futures bets

As the name implies, these are bets on events that will unfold in the future. Typically this involves predicting the winner of a tournament such as the NBA Championship, so your money may be tied up for several months.

However, nowadays most sportsbooks will update many of their futures odds as a season progresses and some will offer you the opportunity to cash your bet out at the prevailing price. Below you can see updated futures odds midway through the 2019 MLB season:

Futures bets can also be a good way to express your view about a particular team or player over the course of a season.  Here, for example, is a set of futures lines on various teams’ total regular season NFL wins – you have the option to bet under or over a number (e.g. Arizona 5.5 regular season wins).

The addition of a half point ensures that there can be no tie in this bet.

Read on about live betting.



Jonathan has over 25 years’ experience in the sports betting industry, as a senior odds compiler at a number of high profile fixed odds and spread betting firms in the UK. He is the architect of numerous bespoke internal training schemes for sportsbooks around the world, delivers training both online and in person and also builds bespoke trading tools for clients to complement their sportsbook operations.