Exotics, also known as props, are a great way to get action. There are hundreds of items available every day. These props or propositions range from the obvious and essential (Which team will score first?) to the absurd (How long will Lindsay Lohan be in jail?).
Types of Prop Betting
There are so many types of props that one could write a novel devoted to them. Let’s divide them into general categories of basic, intermediate, and advanced. These are loose categories and very subjective but will provide a good overview for prop newbies.
Fundamental propositions are easy things to define and bet. Something like “Is the coin toss heads or tails” or “How many times did Julio Jones catch the ball?”
These are pretty standard and available on most sites for most NFL games. These basic props are usually short (probably a complete game, at most).
These props are more involved. They may last for months or even an entire season.
They may include questions like “Will any NFL players pass more than 4,800 yards this season?”
These advanced or professional props can include anything that sports betting is crazy enough to think. Especially around Super Bowl Sunday, the Props get creative.
Questions such as “Total number of players throwing passes” and “Number of Dwayne Wade free throws completed with Ben Roethlisberger” is asked, wagered, and answered. Again, good-looking much anything you can think of is fair game.
What is Juice?
Props often have higher sap or house edges than standard edges or totals. Some sites have higher Juice than others.
For example, a popular bet is the Super Bowl coin toss. Some sites use the standard -110 for heads/tails, while others Juice as low as -101.
Usual juices range from -110 to -120, depending on the sportsbook. The lower the Juice, the more valuable it is and the easier it is to make money.
Finding value in props
With such a wide range of available props, bookies don’t always have the time or resources to master the props. It means that if the game line or other factors change, props associated with that game may not change as quickly as expected. These “underlying” bets or props are also called derivatives.
So there might be a prop that lists the total number of touchdowns scored in the game. All of a sudden, the total starts to drop rapidly. The Props may not move at all, and savvy bettors see an opportunity and pounce, placing big bets below. After a few max bets, the book might move the line or adjust the Juice. But it was too late.
Due to this feature, props are not as effective as regular game lines.
Some sportsbooks place big five-figure (and sometimes six!) bets on game spreads, but only up to $500 or $1,000 on props.
This inefficiency can be exploited and bet lucratively. However, most books soon restrict/ban players who take advantage of and actively bet on items.
Props can analyze and over-analyze to death, and another reason books limit their exposure. Players with expertise can have an advantage over sports books where the lineman might set many lines and not spend too much time on each player/team/situation.
Horse Racing Exotic
When betting on horses, bettors like to place some basic exotic bets. These basic bets are quinellas and Exactas.
The quinella bet is that both horses will finish 1-2 in the final score. So if you choose horses three and 5, the final result is 3-5-x-x, and you win. If the final result is 5-3-x-x, you also win. Any other outcome is a loser. The odds on this bet depend on the odds of each selected horse.
Exacta bets are similar, but you must choose the exact finish of the first two horses. So if your precision is 3-5 and completion is 5-3-x-x, it’s a loser. However, a 3-5 quinella would be the winner. To compensate for this, the odds of being precise are much higher.
Exotics cannot beat Long
Exotics or props are easy to beat for professionals who put in the necessary time.
However, sportsbooks are often quick to limit players who attempt to do so. It’s a cat-and-mouse game that often results in players and sportsbooks going back and forth, trying to hide their true intentions. It’s fun and often profitable in one way or another.