NFL Picks: Guide to NFL Props Betting

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, July 25, 2013 6:28 PM GMT

Prop bets can be some of the most intriguing bets to make on a Sunday afternoon, but that doesn’t mean they are more valuable than a straight bet.


In the NFL Odds, you have to look for value in every place you can, and certain prop bets are not excluded. Let’s take a look at a few of the strategies you can use to find value in NFL prop bets.

The first thing you have to do is shop around. Whether you are in Vegas or not, finding different prop bets from different books is crucial. One book could easily have NFL Odds on Peyton Manning’s passing yards that day at 278.5, and another could have 276.5. I see it every week, and shopping around can give NFL bettors that two or three extra percentage points they need. However shopping around can only get you so far. In the NFL especially, finding these line discrepancies is hard and rare. 

There are two different prop odds, offseason and regular season. Offseason prop odds for the NFL are things like ‘who will win the MVP’ and ‘who will win defensive rookie of the year’? The most popular offseason NFL prop odds are a team’s wins totals. I have already covered every team and their season-win totals, which you can view at the NFL Picks page; they are probably my favorite offseason prop odds.

The in-season prop odds are obviously more popular, and when you get away from wagering on certain props and betting instead on situations, you can make game props a valuable asset to your betting arsenal. 

Check out my article on Parlay Betting, here.

Take for instance one of the props from last year’s Super Bowl. The 49ers were -3 ½ favorites over the Ravens, and if you were really on the Ravens (I hope you actually were) last year before the game, and you thought it would be as close as the spread suggested, you could have taken the Ravens to win between 1-4 points at +450, which would have been a rich addition to your Super Bowl bets.

The 49ers were subsequently +350 to win between 1-4 points, which would have been pointless even if you liked the Niners to win. However, props like these can really boost your betting value. In this particular situation, getting three times the value on what was basically a money line bet is a rare but valuable example. The Ravens were only around +165 on the money line in the Super Bowl, and +450 saying they would win by three points ended up being a very good wager.

These kinds of odds are very hard to find week-to-week, because the Super Bowl obviously has more prop bets than half of the teams in the NFL have in 16 regular season games. Prop betting is much more prevalent in the NFL playoffs, but weekly you can find some prop bets that more or less don’t have value by themselves, but have value as a tool to bolster or hedge some of your straight bets. NFL Prop Odds for the whole season and for Week 1 are starting to come out from sportsbooks like Will Hill, and now is the time to see if you can find value as training camps start to open. 

Also, don't forget to check out my guide to betting Teasers!