NFL Prop Betting

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2021-22 NFL Regular Season Player Props

Now that training camps and the preseason are over, we know the full rosters for all 32 teams heading into the 2021 NFL regular season. That means it’s time for the full list of NFL player props to hit the board at Bovada Sportsbook. There are over 400 regular-season proposition bets waiting for you, but you have to be quick – once the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys kick off this Thursday (8:20 PM ET, NBC), the betting window will close.

NFL Regular Season Player Props

NFL prop betting will continue throughout the season, of course, but now is the time to get those regular-season props taken care of. Let’s update the Top 5 list of our favorite player props at Bovada heading into the new season and see if anything’s changed in recent weeks.

1. Tom Brady Regular Season Passing TDs

The Buccaneers had a remarkably smooth training camp without any major injuries, although several players ended up contracting COVID-19. Brady himself reportedly caught the coronavirus after last year’s Super Bowl parade. Everyone’s back off the COVID-19 list in time for Thursday’s opener, and Brady’s total for touchdown passes is holding steady at 36.5, with the Under at –130. 

2. Patrick Mahomes Regular Season Passing Yards

Good health will be critical for Mahomes this year if the Kansas City Chiefs are going to make it back to the Super Bowl. It’ll be even more important if Mahomes is going to eclipse his total for passing yards, which is 5050.5 heading into Sunday’s opener (4:25 PM ET, CBS) against the visiting Cleveland Browns.

3. Davante Adams Regular Season Receiving TDs

Adams was a popular No. 1 choice at wideout for NFL fantasy betting, and he’s getting plenty of love on the NFL player props board as well. When we last checked in, the Under was favored at –120 for Adams’s total of 11 touchdown catches; the Over is now on top at –120, with the Green Bay Packers expected to do big things on offense this year.

4. Derrick Henry Regular Season Rushing Yards

It’s full-steam ahead for the Tennessee Titans and their workhorse running back. Henry’s total for rushing yards is holding firm at 1555.5, with the Under at –130. His chances of going Over improved last weekend when QB Ryan Tannehill returned from the COVID-19 list, although five players are still inactive at press time, including tight end Geoff Swaim and offensive linemen Nate Davis, Ben Jones and Cole Banwart.

5.  TJ Watt Regular Season Sacks

This is a pivotal year for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They need their defense to step up if they’re going to make it out of the tough AFC North, and Watt will have to shoulder even more of the load now that DE Stephon Tuitt (knee) is starting the season on injured reserve. Watt is still looking at a total of 12.5 sacks with the Under pegged at –125; does Tuitt’s absence for at least the first three weeks make Watt more or less likely to reach that target?

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Prop bets (short for proposition bets) have been around at least since the first professional baseball leagues began in the 1870s. But betting on football props didn’t officially take off until 1986, when Caesars Palace bookmaker Art Manteris posted odds of 20/1 that Chicago Bears defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry would score a touchdown at Super Bowl XX. With the game already well in hand, Perry found the end zone on a 1-yard plunge as the mighty Bears beat the New England Patriots 46-10.

While the Perry touchdown would end up costing Caesars Palace $120,000 in the short term, it set off a wave of NFL props betting that has yet to slow down. These days, there are dozens of prop bets available on every NFL football game, and literally hundreds of Super Bowl props. Here’s how you can get in on the action at Bovada Sportsbook.

 

What are NFL Props?

A prop bet is often a question as to whether an event that’s not directly tied to the game’s outcome will occur. The structure behind an NFL prop bet is a lot like that of spreads or totals. For props with YES/NO betting options, odds will be listed for both the YES side and the NO side. Here’s a typical prop for an NFL game:

Will a special teams or defensive touchdown be scored?
YES: +250
NO:  –325

The line in this case is expressed in the form of American odds, just like the moneyline, or the vigorish when you’re dealing with NFL spread betting. If you bet $100 on YES for the above example and someone scores a touchdown on defense or special teams, you’ll win $250. If you bet $325 on NO and one of these touchdowns doesn’t get scored, you’ll win $100 (or any multiples thereof). As with other NFL lines, the sportsbook can move the odds at any time before kick-off in order to balance the action on both sides and limit exposure. Some NFL props will only list odds for the YES side; these are usually reserved for highly unlikely events, like whether there will be a “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show.

You’ll also find NFL props that are listed much the same as NFL totals, asking you whether an event will go over or under a certain number – like how many touchdown passes the starting quarterback will throw. Other NFL props ask you to choose from a list of possible outcomes, each with its own odds attached. For a hypothetical example, here’s how the odds might appear for the famous “Gatorade” Super Bowl prop, asking which color liquid will be dumped over the winning head coach:

Yellow   1/1
Clear   7/5
Orange   4/1
Green   5/1
Red   12/1
Blue   12/1

The odds for these multiple-choice NFL props are often expressed as fixed odds, like the ones above, although American odds are also used. In this example, if Orange is the winning color, bettors will be paid $400 for every $100 they bet, or any multiple thereof. If no liquid gets dumped on the head coach for whatever reason, this prop will likely be graded as "No Action" and all monies returned – check for any such conditions listed when you bet on NFL props. Also note that some NFL props come with a smaller maximum bet than usual, especially those dealing with entertainment; a cap of $50 is common with these wagers.

 

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How to Bet on Props

NFL props fall under a few different classifications, which you can find on the NFL odds betting menu at Bovada Sportsbook:

 

NFL Player Props

These props deal with outcomes regarding a specific player, like whether the starting quarterback will throw over or under a certain number of touchdown passes.

NFL Team Props

Instead of a specific player, you’re now betting on the whole team and their accomplishments (or lack thereof), like how many touchdowns they’ll score.

NFL Game Props

Now you’re betting on something not specific to one team, like whether or not a safety will be scored in the game.

NFL Season Props

Extending the betting range from a single game to the entire season (or the remainder of the season), you can bet on NFL season props like whether a team will make the playoffs or finish the year undefeated. You can also bet on who will be the NFL regular season MVP.

NFL Specials

This term often gets used interchangeably with NFL props, but any prop bet that doesn’t fall into the other categories winds up here; for example, you can bet on who will be the next head coach for a certain team.

Again, NFL props are made available for every game on the schedule, but you’ll find the most props for the most important games – and no single game in sports is more important than the Super Bowl. The more exotic prop bets should be made for entertainment purposes only, but if you do your homework when you bet on football, you should be able to find some value bets on the NFL props market. Happy hunting.

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