Betting on the NBA can be exciting on its own, but sometimes sports bettors want to mix it up and try out some fun and unique bets - that’s where NBA prop bets come in. Betting on NBA props is like any other betting type, in the sense that you need to know what you’re doing, and have a betting strategy to ensure you aren’t wasting your hard-earned money.

The season is well underway, with bettors now being able to access a variety of prop betting lines available for each game. As well as that, we have prop bets for the Regular Season Rookie the Year. The odds were last updated on May 11, 2021:

Rookie of the YearBovadaBetOnlineBetUS
LaMelo Ball-227-230-227
Tyrese Hailburton+300+300+300
James Wiseman+900+900+900
Anthony Edwards+1000+1000+1000
Cole Anthony+1600+1600+1600

In this guide to NBA prop betting, we will provide some insight into what proposition bets are, how to read the odds, and how to become successful at betting on NBA props. You won’t become rich overnight from betting the props, but you can make some smart picks and come out with immediate payouts if you play your cards right.

NBA Prop Bet

What is an NBA Prop Bet?

An NBA prop bet is a side wager placed on an event within the game that doesn’t affect the final outcome of the game. These can be fun or unique happenings in the game that you wouldn’t normally think to bet on. A good example is choosing which team wins the opening tip-off or the first team to 10 points.

The prop bets can be tied to player performance, and we like to call these NBA player props. Player props won’t affect the outcome of the game at all, making them popular options for sports bettors to wager on. There are countless player props for any given NBA game, and many online sportsbooks offer a huge selection and update them in real-time, as the game occurs.

Many of these NBA prop bets will be in the form of an over/under - like betting on the number of points a player might get in the game. Another form is a yes or no question based on what a certain player might do.

A great example of an NBA player prop would be if we were betting how many points Lebron James would get in a game. The oddsmakers would set the lines as an over/under wager - and predict how many points Lebron would get against a certain team. The oddsmakers do plenty of research and they’re pretty good at getting close to the actual, after evaluating Lebron’s stats, and the opposing team’s defense.

NBA Prop

Let’s say the line looks like this:

  • Lebron James over 34.5 points (-110)
  • Lebron James under 34.5 points (-110)

For this example, you have to determine how many points Lebron James will get in the game, and if your estimate is higher or lower than the projected 34.5. If you choose to bet the over, you are saying that you think that Lebron will get over 35 points that game. If you bet the under, you think Lebron will get less than 34 points.

You will notice the odds are evenly spread on both bets because the likelihood of both of these is relatively the same. Like we said, oddsmakers are pretty good at determining these over/under and the actual total usually isn’t that far off.

Some other NBA player prop bets you can bet on for any game include props for points, rebounds, assists, steals, turnovers, three-pointers, and even combinations of all of those. The NBA is so fast-paced and high scoring, making room for countless opportunities to bet on any aspect of the game.

In recent years, we’re seeing more and more teams recruiting more all-around, versatile players. Props have always been assigned based on position played, and now we can see some unique props (with juicy odds) for players to make a three-pointer that usually wouldn’t even get the opportunity to make that shot. If you bet on this prop, you would be rolling in cash.

Some props can sort of tie into NBA Futures betting, which means that a prop will be active throughout the duration of the season. You might bet on a unique outcome that will happen at some point in the season, as the overall over/under on a player’s season-long points total.

The other main category is what we call team props. In these, the main item on the betting line is the team. For example, you can bet if the Los Angeles Lakers or the Utah Jazz will be the first to score, or if they hold possession for more time. 

NBA prop bets

Why choose NBA Prop Betting?

So, now that you understand NBA prop betting and how it all works, you might be asking why you’d spend time betting on these outcomes instead of betting on the overall game outcome. There are a few reasons why some of the professional sports bettors lean into prop bets each and every NBA game.

For one, betting on the moneyline or game outcome can get boring, and sometimes betting on NBA props can make things a bit more interesting, and even if a team sucks, you can still get value out of their top player if he racks up points in a game. The team doesn’t have to win, but if you enjoy watching Zion Williamson, you can still bet on him and not worry about the rest of the Pelicans.

Value is another important piece to NBA prop betting. You can find some really great value on an absolute dud of a game, just by choosing a few props that you can almost guarantee will cash. While you may not be able to wager top dollar, as many sportsbooks have betting limits on props, you can ensure you pick a few winners and walk away with some extra betting dollars each game.

With a 50/50 chance of being right, it’s not hard to put in a little extra research time to make sure you pick the right side of the wager.

NBA Prop

If you’re a daily fantasy fan, and you monitor your players regularly, you will know the players better than you would know the actual teams. DFS players have a huge advantage when betting on NBA player props especially, as you do much more research when it comes to drafting your team, and you do plenty of research each week when choosing your active roster, so you have a good idea how players will perform each game. Props offer a great avenue to bet on NBA games without having to actually handicap each team.

Our best advice is to follow some NBA beat writers that specialize in sports betting and do regular NBA previews - they will always hunt down some great NBA prop bets to guide you toward on gameday. They do plenty of research and take most of the work out for you so you don’t have to spend hours gruelling over statistics and match up reports.

Top Online Sportsbooks for NBA Prop Betting

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    If you’re ready to bet on NBA props, you’re in the right place. We can help guide you towards the top online sportsbooks for NBA prop betting. The top online sportsbooks we promote offer the best NBA odds and lines, exceptional proposition lines, and even some great NBA betting bonuses that you can take advantage of while you’re there.

    But first, you will want to review some of the sportsbooks to find the right one based on your needs. Ensuring that a sportsbook has great NBA props, the deposit and withdrawal options you need, and updated NBA lines will be your main priority.

    Betting on NBA props is simple, and finding an online sportsbook to place a wager at should be just as easy! Ensure you bet responsibly and have a little fun with your NBA betting.