Expert Insights

A Guide To NBA Prop Bets

August 22, 2023

When it comes to NBA betting, few methods come as close to the thrill as prop betting. Free from the pressure of choosing a champion, betters can hone in on smaller aspects of the game and link their bets with their favorite players or even wager on matchups between their favorite competitors starting from NBA opening night.

Interested in learning about NBA player props betting and how you can get in on the fun? Keep reading for your complete guide.


What Are Prop Bets?

Player prop bets, or proposition bets, are bets that are placed regarding a single aspect of a game instead of the outcome of the game itself. In other words, instead of picking an overall winner between two teams, you can place your betting options based on the performance of individual players. Prop betting typically involves:

  • Traditional statistics
  • Individual player performance
  • Player-against-player wagers

Because you aren’t limited to merely choosing a winner, NBA prop betting increases your options for how you place your bets, giving you potentially hundreds of betting opportunities per game. In most cases, you can place wagers on the five key players from each team.

How To Bet NBA Player Props

Placing NBA prop bets isn’t complicated, but it isn’t as straightforward as placing a wager on one or another NBA team to win a game.

Many NBA player prop bets resemble futures betting. For most Sportsbooks, the common line for the odds is -110, which means you need to wager at least $110 to win $100.

But things get a little tricky from there. This is because NBA player prop bet rules generally stipulate that wagers follow an over/under model. This means you aren’t merely choosing a specific performance marker and betting that a player will meet it. Instead, you’ll wager that a player will perform either over or under that marker.

For example, suppose you’re betting on an upcoming game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. And you’re considering placing a prop bet on how many points LeBron James will score during the game. James scores almost 40 points per game on average, so in the sportsbook, the prop bet would look something like these odds:

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  • Over 35 (+125)
  • Under 35 (-125)

If you wager $125 that James will score over 35 points in the game, and he does, you walk away with $100. But your betting options also could include could also bet that he scores fewer than 35 points. If his total points don’t meet that number, you win the bet.

Some of the most common NBA over/under player props are:

  • Point Total
  • Assists
  • Rebounds – If you choose rebounds, it works the same. You choose a player and pick an over/under score.
  • Steals and three-pointers are also popular NBA over/under player props, but they aren’t the only player statistics you can bet on. You can also place bets based on statistics in combination with one another, such as:
  • Combined rebounds and assists
  • Combined rebounds, assists, and points

With some sportsbooks, you may be able to place wagers on how specific players perform against one another. For example, for a matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, you could wager that Jayson Tatum will average more rebounds than Joel Embiid, or that Jaylen Brown will average more assists than James Harden.

Long-Term Prop Betting And The NBA

Most NBA player props bets are placed for a single game and reflect an individual player’s performance in that game only. But in some cases, you may be able to place wagers according to sequences of games or entire seasons leading up to the NBA finals. This is what’s known as long-term prop betting.

For long-term prop betting, your bet will likely focus on a player’s average as opposed to a hard number.

To illustrate, let’s return to our earlier example using LeBron James. For regular basketball prop bets, you would wager that James will score over or under 35 points in a single game. But for long-term prop betting, you’d wager that he will score an average of 35 points per game during the upcoming season or over a short-term stretch, like the next three games.

Bet NBA Player Props With Tipico

Interested in trying your luck with sports betting but aren’t sure how to bet NBA player props? Tipico’s online NBA sportsbook is your ticket for courtside seats to one of the most popular and exciting ways to wager on your favorite players and find out some of the best NBA player props available.

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Tipico staff contributions