NBA Prop Bets

Malcolm Darnley

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

Looking for NBA betting predictions for player prop bets? You can find this week’s picks here.

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If you’re entering the world of NBA wagering, prop betting is one of the easiest ways to get involved and see what it’s all about.

Prop betting means you don’t rely on the games’ outcomes. Props focus on specific happenings that occur during a certain game.

The Super Bowl is the most famous event for prop bettors. You can bet on things such as the coin toss, how long the US anthem will take, or the color of the Gatorade that showers the winning head coach.

As said, it’s madness. The good thing is prop betting is available for everything, including the NBA.

The NBA is arguably the best league to bet on props and player props. The limits are somewhat low, so there isn’t as much of a boost for the oddsmakers to give an accurate, studied line to it.

They overlook the market. The sportsbooks can be slow to modify the NBA odds if news breaks. This gives you a big advantage regarding the value of the bet.

If mastered, NBA props are one of the best ways to build your bankroll effectively.

What Are Prop Bets?

A prop bet is quite simple. What you are betting on, basically, is if a certain player will ball or bail at fulfilling a stat.

These betting opportunities are for a wide menu of players in pretty much every NBA game.

Also, you can find props available for every stat a basketball game has. Let’s see some of the most popular ones.

Points Scored Props

How many points a player will get is the most wagered NBA prop.

Each player has a total line for their scoring output, and you can bet whether he goes over or under that mark.

Most props have more vig than a usual spread or total bet, with the standard line being -115 instead of -110. This means you need to risk $115 to win $100 back.

Having said that, the public will usually favor one side of the bet, causing the vig to rise.

Let’s say the Miami Heat face the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s scoring total is set at 28.5 points. Most people are betting on the over, which causes the juice to go from -115 to -150.

Because of this, the under moves from -115 to +120 to tempt some action on the underside.

Assists Prop Bets

Another popular bet is focusing on the assist department.

These lines are much lower than the scoring props. An NBA franchise has an average of 111.4 ppg but only 24.3 assists in 2020. The lines are very different.

Most assist lines are made around point guards. Nevertheless, there are players who can stack up dimes at other positions.

SF LeBron James and C Nikola Jokic are just some examples of non-PG players who get tons of assists.

Rebounds Prop Bets

Another popular prop bet is total rebounds.

This comes as no shocker as big men tend to dominate the boards. However, same as in the assists, we’ve seen other positions thrive.

For example, PG Russell Westbrook has averaged over 10 boards plenty of times in his career.

Points + Rebounds+ Assists Prop Bets

This is also known as a combination prop. Instead of having to hit the over or under in one specific stat, these props allow you to bet on a player’s performance as a whole.

Meaning you bet on his points, plus rebounds and assists he gets during a match.

The upside to these bets is that you can win them in multiple ways. If a player isn’t shooting well, he can make up for it by grabbing rebounds and passing.

If he’s scoring with ease, your bet can cash even if the other areas are mediocre.

The not-so-good news is that these bets are way higher than the individual props. It’s logical, but still.

As a tip, if you’re betting the over in this, grab players who have the ability to fill up the stat sheet. LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, or Luka Doncic are some of these. 

If a player is remarkably good in just one area, you better bet on the individual prop.

Double-Doubles & Triple-Doubles Prop Bets

This market provides some of the best odds as it’s not an easy task to accomplish.

A player needs to get at least 10 units in two different stats to record a double-double, for example, 10 points and 10 rebounds.

For triple-doubles, they need to hit double-digits in three different categories.

Double-doubles favor big men heavily, especially the ones who are top offensive options. Due to their position, they get easy points and lots of rebound opportunities.

In 2020, there were 301 double-doubles with points and assists. As for points and assists, the total was 1,375.

Triple-doubles are tougher to get, but we know the players that are capable of racking them up. LeBron, Harden, Jokic, Antetokounmpo, Westbrook, and Doncic are great at being well-rounded night in and night out.

Another shout is Ben Simmons, but his future is still up in the air. You can find prop lines to other stats like blocks, steals, turnovers, and more!

Prop Betting Strategies

The one mistake almost all prop bettors make is playing too many overs.

Actually, you want to be betting unders unless you have a credible reason not to.

We know betting on overs is more fun than betting on unders. No one wants to watch an NBA game and get a snoozefest.

But precisely because of that, most over lines get gloated, which creates lots of value for the under bets.

Mean Vs. Median

Betting on unders also employs the concept of “mean vs median”. What? Math? Yes!

The mean is the average scoring, while the median tells you the probable middling outcome.

For instance, LeBron James averages 25.7 points per game during the regular season. This implies his mean expectation is approximately 26 points.

Beware, as means can trick you. If LeBron decides to go off for a 40 piece, that’s going to take a toll on his mean scoring average.

But, you’re not getting extra profit if you bet on the over. It’s always the same payout.

This is where the median expectation is more helpful. The fact that LeBron averages 25.7 points per game this season is one thing.

But, he scored under 25 points the majority of his games (53.3%). Due to this, his median expectation should be closer to 24.5 or so.

Surprisingly, most NBA players fit this rhythm. This means the players will get a lower median scoring than the mean expectation.

Talk about getting an edge over the other bettors.

Recency Bias

Another tip, exploit the recency bias phenomenon.

People usually give recent outcomes way too much relevance. They tend to ignore the longer track record.

For example, a player has averaged 10 ppg for the better part of the season. Then, he goes off for 20+ points in three straight games.

This player is definitely worth caution and research. Check if his scoring streak is because he’s getting a better volume of shooting opportunities.

Maybe, he is getting a hot hand, but how long can that last?

To make it sweeter, his scoring total will probably be higher than usual since he is in hot form. Bet the under and cash out.

Prop Bets Market Usage

The purpose you should have on betting in the prop market is to identify and monetize exploitable bets. Still, you can use them in other ways.

The prop market gives a deep look at how oddsmakers are projecting each player to play.

Knowing this can be valuable as you can see how the market reacts to the odds.

Prop betting in the NBA is a great way to get into sports betting, and to make your bankroll grow. Bet on lots of NBA props, from scoring, rebounding, assists, and much more.

Do your research as well as the math for means and medians, and get those payouts.

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About the author

Malcolm loves to watch all kinds of different sports. He also writes about them.