Image for Richard Janvrin Richard Janvrin - January 10, 2023

NBA Prop Bets Today: Best NBA Prop Bets, Player Props & Expert Picks

Best NBA Prop Bets Today

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What Is an NBA Prop Bet?

In the NBA, there are three types of prop bets—game, team, and single-player.

Generally speaking, props are micro-events that happen within the game. Instead of looking at the point spread, money line, or totals, you’re looking at more minor things within that game—the final result doesn’t necessarily matter, depending on the bet. 

Below, let’s look at examples of these three prop bets.

  • Game: Exact correct score

  • Team: Team total points by half/quarter

Single-Player: Total points, total rebounds, total assists, etc.

Where Can I Place an NBA Prop Bet Online Legally

Logo #1

BetRivers

9/10

$500 Free Bet

21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500

Logo #2

BetMGM

9/10

$1,000 First Bet Offer

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Logo #3

DraftKings

9/10

Deposit Bonus Up to $1,000

21+ | T&Cs apply

Logo #5

Caesars

9/10

Up To $1,250 On Caesars

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Sports betting was launched in the United States in 2018 following the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act getting overturned in May of that year. 

As of January 2023, the following states are live online or are pending launch:

Within each of these states are numerous sportsbooks. Choose the best one for you from some of the options we listed above. Or head to our page for the best online sportsbooks for US players to see more options.

How to Place an NBA Prop Bet Online

If you’ve never placed a prop bet before, a bit more navigation is required to finish this bet, but it’s still easy to complete. Below we have a step-by-step guide for how to do it.

Note: There are multiple steps here, but we did this to make it as easy to follow as possible. 

  1. Find the online sportsbook(s) you’d like to play at.

  2. Download the mobile app or visit the desktop site.

  3. Create your account, including personal information such as your name, email, date of birth, address, last four digits of your social security number, and more.

  4. Make your first deposit. Most sportsbooks offer methods such as debit/credit cards, PayPal, online banking, and more. 

  5. Head back to the homepage.

  6. Find the NBA page.

  7. Find the game you’re interested in betting on.

  8. At first, the game will only list the moneyline, point spread, and total.

  9. Click on the game you’d like to wager on to open up a page dedicated to the game.

  10. Here, you’ll find a menu of additional bets offered.

  11. Scan for team, game, or player props.

  12. Find the prop bet you want to wager on and select it.

  13. The betslip will open—input the amount you want to wager and confirm your bet.

  14. Wait for the result—good luck! 

Best Sportsbooks for NBA Prop Bets

FanDuel

The prop betting market at FanDuel is quite robust, including options you won’t find anywhere else. 

Looking over the three prop bet types mentioned above, you’ll find many team and player props. 

Here are examples that we found of each.

  • Team: Home team total points, away team total points, home team alternate points, away team alternate points.

  • Player: Points, rebounds, assists, and three-pointers.

On the NBA homepage, there are additional options above, including “Player Doubles,” which feature bets like a player's total points and their team winning. There are also “First Basket” and “Star Player” props. 

The “Star Player” prop section is a nice touch because it’s to be expected that more casual players want to bet on LeBron James, for example. 

BetMGM

BetMGM

9/10

$1,000 First Bet Offer

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

While BetMGM has plenty of tools available for parlay bets, there’s also a great library of prop bets available. 

  • Game: Winning margin, Race to a number of points, overtime, most points scored in which half, and more. 

  • Player: Points, rebounds, assists, steals, three-pointers, blocks, combinations of those stats, double-doubles, triple-doubles. 

The combination of statistics makes for some exciting wagers because you’re accounting for multiple stats at once. The player props aren’t just limited to a few players, either. 

For example, looking at a regular week NBA game, I see nine options for total points prop bets, just in one game.

Caesars

Caesars

9/10

Up To $1,250 On Caesars

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

At Caesars Sportsbook, you’ll find many of the same prop bets mentioned above for BetMGM and FanDuel. 

Where there are some additions, though, are player props specifically for the first quarter and first scorer. 

A few more prop bets are available here compared to FanDuel and BetMGM. 

NBA Player Props

We’ve covered some of these already, but with player props, you’ll be focusing on the statistical performance of individual players.

  • Total Points

  • Total Rebounds

  • Total Assists

  • Total Steals

  • Total Blocks

  • Double-Doubles

  • Triple-Doubles

  • Combination of the stats above

  • Three Pointers

  • First Scorer

Remember, these bets won’t be offered everywhere, but these are the types of bets you can expect to find if you look across each legal sportsbook in your state. 

NBA Team Props

NBA team props are more limited than player props, but a solid number of team prop bets are available, depending on where you look. 

  • Winning Margin

  • Double Result (which team “wins” each half)

  • 1st Half Winning Margin

  • Margin of Victory

  • Overtime 

  • Home Team Total Points

  • Away Team Total Points

  • Home Team Alternate Total Points

  • Away Team Alternate Total Points

Full Season Props

When examining season-long prop bets, you’re bordering on wagering on futures bets. Some examples that are considered props include:

  • Team Total Wins

  • League Leader in Points Per Game

  • League Leader in Rebounds Per Game

  • League Leader in Assists Per Game

  • Milestones (LeBron James Becoming All-Time Leading Scorer)

These would fall under the futures betting category, but anything associated with statistics can be considered a prop bet. 

Skill Prop Bets

Skill prop bets is a phrase used to describe certain types of prop bets as opposed to this being its category at a sportsbook.

With skill props, you make prop bets when you use research, knowledge, and strategy to make them.

Examples would be single-player props such as the player’s total points. You can research things such as how they’ve been performing, if the team is coming off of a day off, how they’ve done historically against a team, how good the opposing defense is if the player is dealing with an injury, and more. 

These prop bets may not also have anything to do with the game's outcome. For example, if you bet on James Harden to go over 20.5 points, he could score 50, and the Philadelphia 76ers could still lose. 

Fun Prop Bets

Fun prop bets are wagers you’ll make that have much more of a “gambling” element. You can make educated guesses on these props, but the research associated with them is minimal.

Here are some examples:

  • Total fouls

  • Total dunks

  • First technical foul 

  • Certain player's name mentioned a certain number of times during a broadcast

  • Gatorade color

As you can see, there’s a massive element of randomness associated with these. There’s nothing to go off of, but these, like any wager, should be reserved for entertainment. 

Best Strategy for Betting NBA Props Online

Choose More than One Betting Site

If you’re in a state that has more than one legal sportsbook, there are many advantages to utilizing multiple sportsbooks. 

Within each sportsbook, you’ll find a few things that can make your betting experience better. 

  • Odds Shopping: Browse odds for each prop bet and find the most lucrative line for the bet you want to make.

  • Welcome Bonus: If you haven’t created an account at a certain sportsbook, you can utilize the welcome bonus at the new sportsbooks to enhance your wager on the prop bet. 

  • Existing Player Promotions: If you have an account at multiple sites, you can browse the promotions pages to see if there are any daily promotions for certain bet types or odds boosts. 

Look At The Player’s Previous Track Record

It should go without saying, but you should always research how a player performs when placing a single-player prop bet.

Let’s use the Harden total points line mentioned above of 20.5. 

Over his last five games as of January 4, 2023, Harden has finished with the following number of points:

  • 1/2/23: 27 points

  • 12/31/22: Inactive

  • 12/30/22: 20 points

  • 12/27/22: 26 points

  • 12/25/22: 29 points

So, if you look at his past five games, you can see that he finished under 20.5 just once but also missed a game. Outside of that 12/30/22 performance, he’s finished with less than 20.5 points four times since 12/5/22. 

From here, you could look at the opposing defense. On 1/4/23, they’re playing the Indiana Pacers. One statistic you can look at is opponent points per game. The Pacers are 21st in the league, allowing 115.8 per game. 

This is, of course, a very rudimentary process, but it’s a great start. 

Monitor Injury Reports

When it comes to injury reports, you first want to ensure that you’re betting on a player that’s going to play. More often than not, sportsbooks won’t offer prop bets on players who are up in the air in terms of availability. 

However, you see a player on the injury report with prop bets. In that case, you’ll want to look at when the injury occurred and their availability since it first came up. 

You can ask questions like the following:

  • Has he been practicing regularly?

  • Has he seen a dip in minutes? 

  • Has he been playing more minutes?

  • Has he been playing fewer minutes?

For statistical performance, availability is everything. 

Beyond the injured player, you can also examine players that will benefit from limited usage or absence. 

For example, suppose Fred VanVleet was to sit out for a game for the Toronto Raptors. In that case, Malachi Flynn, who averages just 16 minutes per game, could see more usage. Averaging six points per game in 16 minutes, if he were to play 32 minutes and his total points prop was 15.5, you could project his total points based on his current role.

Playing 16 minutes and scoring six, if you were to project that across 32 minutes (double his usual role), you would arrive at 12 points. From here, you would then go down a rabbit hole similar to the track record strategy above, looking at other injuries, opponents' defense, and more. 

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AUTHOR

Richard Janvrin

345 Articles

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.

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