Prop Betting In Canada

Betting on sports goes much deeper than simply figuring out which side will win or by how much. There’s an abundance of choices to consider for each game and event, many of which aren’t even remotely attached to the ultimate result of the contest.

Prop betting continues to grow in popularity as an alternative to moneylines, spreads, and totals. These wagers aren’t entirely dependent on the final result of the game and can include player statistics or a countless number of other in-game events.

Considering that Canada betting expansion is opening the door to many more options beginning with online sportsbooks in Ontario, there should be plenty of props on the table across a variety of sports.

Here, we’ll teach what to know about betting on props in Canada including what they are, how to read the lines, and which markets are available for the sport of your choosing.

What is a prop bet?

Props are sports bets that aren’t the conventional moneyline, spread, or total. Think of props as side bets that aren’t directly related to the outcome of the game, though some newer prop markets may combine an element of the final score with another aspect. These wagers fall under one of three categories: player, game, and team props.

Player Props

These bets are based on individual statistics and are perfect for any bettor that also enjoys fantasy sports. This includes over/unders for passing, rushing, and receiving yards in football, and points, rebounds, and assists in basketball. There are markets for RBIs, runs, strikeouts, hits, and more in baseball, and hockey has points, goals, assists, and shots on goal.

The point is, regardless of which sport or league you’re betting on, there are bound to be player props available for you.

Game & Team Props

While player props are the most popular among the bunch, there is also a wide range of options for game and team props. The latter usually includes team totals for specific clubs, and that can be for the full game or for a selected portion such as a quarter, period, or half.

Game props are much more bountiful and cover just about any aspect of the game that isn’t directly related to a specific team or player. That can include First/Last Team To Score, Race To X Points, Winning Margin, plus so many more. See our below sections on each sport for more specific examples.

Which sportsbooks are best for props?

With sports betting options expanding across Canada and, in some places, commercial Canadian online sportsbooks on the way, many bettors will be able to pick and choose where they wager.

Getting started is simple. Head to the sportsbook on your own or get there even easier by clicking on one of our links once everything is live and running. From there, you’ll be able to register and place wagers in a matter of moments.

While there are plenty of sportsbooks to choose from, not all of them are the same when it comes to props. So when you’re looking to dig deep into the betting options, consider the following sites:

DraftKings Sportsbook: Featuring one of the best betting platforms in the business, DraftKings is a popular destination for many bettors. For props, you’ll likely find a good variety and even some promotions that reward you for a bet that includes props such as same-game parlay insurance or free bets.

One of the top features at DraftKings is its menus for available props. At some online sportsbooks, you may have to do a lot of hunting to find what you want. That’s not the case here as the clean layout makes it easy to view lots of choices at once.

FanDuel Sportsbook: FanDuel is simple to use while still offering a variety of features. That’s a big part of what has helped the company become an industry leader.

Props appear in specific categories so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. Lots of choices, ease of use, and innovative features help to separate FanDuel from the pack for prop betting.

BetMGM Sportsbook: BetMGM is noteworthy for its large menu of sports and betting options. Once you click on a game listing, you’ll arrive at a new screen that lists all of the available props cleanly and efficiently.

You’ll find a variety of props for each contest. BetMGM also features props that you might not see elsewhere, such as head-to-head bets on which QB will throw more touchdowns and other player stats.

Caesars Sportsbook: Caesars is expanding its influence in the world of online sports betting. Competitive odds and regular promotions have certainly helped bring people in the door, but there’s also plenty to like if you stick around.

Caesars has a solid menu when it comes to props. There are plenty of choices, it’s easy to get around, and there are regular odds boosts for house special props.

What are the returns like for prop betting?

Just like any other bet, the returns on winning prop bets will depend on the odds at the time that you place your bet. If there happens to be a shift in the odds afterward, you’ll still be locked into the original line.

Your exact return will also depend on what type of market you wager on. Standard player props could look like a typical spread in terms of juice, or it can vary widely like an NHL puck line or an MLB run line.

While many are of the over/under variety with modest payouts, there are others that may be more lucrative, such as picking TD scorers in an NFL game, notably the first one or selecting a player to score more than one.

For this wager, the most likely scorers — as in those who handle the ball the most — are at the top of the board with lower odds. As you scroll down the list, you’ll see numbers for players further down the depth chart.

Can prop bets form parlays?

Yes, you can tie together multiple prop bets in one parlay for a chance at greater returns. In order to win, you have to be correct on all of your choices. Get just one wrong and you win nothing. For example, you could put together a parlay on QB passing yards, an anytime TD scorer, and an over/under on tackles plus assists.

Note that each sportsbook may have its own rules on what you can combine on a single betting slip. If you try to put together a combo that the book doesn’t allow, you’ll receive a notification.

In all cases, normal house rules apply, meaning you can’t wager on two sides of the same bet on one slip. Parlays can help increase your returns, but remember to keep your expectations in check as they’re difficult to win consistently.

Budgeting for prop bets

Whether you plan on betting once a week or more frequently, you should always have a plan in place. As part of your plan, you should pinpoint what your exact bankroll will be.

For the single-game bettor, you may decide that you’re willing to put up $100 per contest, but you want to spread it out across multiple types of bets, such as half for game lines and the other half for props.

When you have plans for betting regularly throughout the year, take the time to envision your entire bankroll. The amount should be funds that you have on hand in your account, as well as any money that you may need to use to replenish. No matter how much you bet with, it should be discretionary funds that you don’t need for any necessities.

So let’s say that you’ve scoped out the CFL season and are comfortable putting a total of $2,000 in play to carry you through the regular season and into the playoffs. To make sure that your money lasts, you put some rules in place that you will stick to:

  • A conservative approach calls for you to wager no more than 1% to 2% of your total bankroll on any one single bet. Your betting size will be $20 to $40 per wager.
  • For those looking to be more aggressive, the unit size could go up to 3% to 5% of your roll. At these numbers, you’re looking at $60 to $100 per bet.

The exact approach is up to you, but remember that your goal is to make it through the season on the bankroll that you have. At $20 to $40 per wager, you’ll have more opportunities to bet each week, while the aggressive approach could limit your options, especially if you hit a losing streak.

Which sports are best for prop betting?

While there are props available for virtually any sport that you can wager on, the options can be rather scant for some of them. Generally, the sports that attract the most betting action — the NFL, etc. — will have the biggest selection to choose from. By extension, they’re the best ones to focus your efforts on for prop betting.

When it comes to other sports — golf, soccer, etc. — there will be less of a selection, but this also opens up the possibility that you’ll find some more value.

The odds will fluctuate less, and books may pay less attention to setting the lines. As a result, a savvy bettor who is well-versed in that sport may be able to find some value.

You may be able to find value in the bigger sports as well, but that comes with the caveat that you have to put in the work to uncover it. Additionally, since there are so many props to choose from, you can focus your efforts on what you know best and take a pass otherwise.

Prop bets for each sport

If there’s a sport that you can wager on at an online sportsbook, then there’s a good chance you’ll find some prop bets. Here are some of the more popular options:

NFL & CFL prop bets

In the past, most sportsbooks haven’t offered too wide of a range of CFL props. But sportsbooks in Ontario and across Canada are likely to increase their offerings. If so, things will look a lot like it does for the NFL, even if there aren’t quite as many markets to choose from.

NFL betting has become a spectacle each week, with a nearly endless set of options. Included among them are the following:

  • Touchdown Scorer (First/Last Of Game, Anytime, 1st Half, 2nd Half)
  • Over-Under Passing/Rushing/Receiving Yards
  • Over-Under Pass Attempts, Completions, & Receptions
  • Quarters/Halves Moneyline, Spread, & Total
  • Team Totals (Quarters, Halves, Full Game)
  • Winning Margin
  • Team Totals (Quarters, Halves, Full Game)
  • O/U Total Field Goals/Touchdowns (Halves, Full Game, By Team)
  • First Team To X Points (10, 15, 20, 25, etc.)
  • Halftime/Full-Time Result

NBA prop bets

The high-scoring nature of NBA games aligns well with prop betting. You can bet on stats for players up and down the bench or many other in-game occurrences.

  • First Basket Scorer
  • Player Points, Rebounds, Assists (Separate or Combined)
  • Player Made Three-Point Field Goals
  • Player Performance Doubles
  • Player vs. Player Stats
  • Alternate Spreads/Totals
  • Moneyline or Spread/Total Points Parlays
  • Quarter/Half Moneyline, Spreads, and Totals
  • Winning Margin
  • First Team To X Points (10, 15, 20, 25, etc.)

MLB prop bets

Stats are a big part of MLB research. You can focus on hitters and/or pitchers, or dig into the specific game and team circumstances.

  • Home/Away Team Totals
  • Alternate Run Lines/Totals
  • 1st Inning Moneylines, Spread, & Totals
  • Innings Moneylines, Spread, & Totals
  • Player Total Hits/Runs/RBIs/HRs
  • Player vs. Player Stats
  • Pitcher Total Strikeouts

NHL prop bets

While hockey doesn’t have as many stats as some of the other top sports, you can bet on all of the main ones.

  • Home/Away Team Totals
  • Alternate Spreads/Totals
  • 1st/2nd/3rd Period Moneylines, Spreads, & Totals
  • Player Shots On Goal
  • Player Goals/Assists/Points
  • Goaltender Saves Total

College football prop bets

Some areas that allow sports betting will not allow player props on college athletes. Offerings can be a little limited here as a result, but there’s still a decent selection.

  • Home/Away Team Totals
  • Alternate Spreads/Totals
  • Winning Margin
  • First/Last Team To Score
  • First Team To X Number Of Points
  • Player Passing/Receiving/Rushing Yards

College basketball prop bets

It’s the same story with college basketball. You won’t find near the number of options that you would for an NBA game, but some are better than none.

  • Home/Away Team Totals
  • 1st Half Spread/Total
  • Winning Margin
  • Match/Total Double
  • Player Total Points

Golf prop bets

There are also props for the top individual sports. For golf, props may be for an entire tournament or for individual rounds.

  • Finishing Position (Top 5, 10, 20, etc.)
  • Nationality Props (Top American, etc.)
  • Hole In One (Player, Tournament)
  • Player vs. Player Matchups (Round & Tournament)

Tennis prop bets

For tennis, each match in a tournament is its own event. By clicking on a match listing, you’ll find other ways to wager beyond just picking the winner.

  • Alternate Game/Set Totals
  • Correct Set Score
  • Set Betting

MMA prop bets

While the majority of betting focus for UFC and other MMA events is on who will win, there are also additional props.

  • Winning method
  • Round betting
  • Time of finish

Soccer prop bets

Soccer is similar to hockey in that there aren’t as many stats as you would find in football, basketball, or baseball. If it’s tracked, however, you can likely bet on it.

  • Goals, assists, shots and saves
  • Red and yellow cards, corner kicks
  • Exact final score

Prop betting mistakes to avoid

Betting on props can be highly entertaining and potentially profitable. Just like any other bet, it takes some effort to find consistent success. As you work toward getting to that point, there are some pitfalls that can really set you back. Here are three that you’ll want to try to avoid:

Always taking the over on player props

The general betting public tends to flock toward the favourites and the over. While there are plenty of times when those bets make sense, they can also be well off the mark.

Always betting in one direction and hoping to come out ahead is a recipe for disaster. Treat each wager on its own merits and don’t be shy about going against the crowd when your research points you there.

Spreading yourself too thin

The average big game will have dozens of props to choose from. Betting on as many as possible and hoping for the best will rarely turn out well.

Instead, take a targeted approach with the props that you have researched thoroughly and that you think may give you an edge. Make a list of options and focus your research efforts there with the goal of finding a few high-confidence plays to bet on.

Betting out of your comfort level

As sports bettors and fans in general, it’s natural to have a gut feeling about how things may play out. While having confidence in your selections is always good, don’t mistake that feeling for a guarantee. Anything can happen on the field of play, so even your best possible picks can go awry. Resist the urge to go overboard.

House rules for prop betting

All legal online sportsbooks have their own house rules in place. They mainly cover the settlement and placement of bets, as well as circumstances that can impact your wagers. For prop betting specifically, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • If a team announces in advance that a player will not play, either due to injury or some other reason, a sportsbook will pull prop bets involving that player off the board. It will also void and refund any existing props on that player.
  • The settlement for all props will depend on official data and statistics. Sportsbooks will not entertain disputes on rulings you disagree with.
  • In the event of a cancellation or a game moving to a later date, sportsbooks will void any prop bets. They’ll remain active in the event of a slight delay, however.

It’s your responsibility to know the rules wherever you play, so be sure to take the time to review. Many sportsbooks have a dedicated section for their rules, while others may include them in the FAQ or help sections.

Strangest props that you can bet on

The range of prop betting options and other wagers is already vast, but many bettors are intrigued when something different pops up. Sportsbooks aim to satisfy the demand with regular innovations, including when it comes to props.

For the Super Bowl, you can bet on props that have a novelty factor attached. Examples include the result of the coin flip, the colour of Gatorade used for celebrating on the winning sideline, or the length of time the national anthem will take in comparison to the game’s shortest scoring drive.

There are also crossover props that tie together separate events, such as TDs thrown by a starting QB versus goals scored by an NHL star. For regular games and events, sportsbooks will offer house specials and odds boosts on certain props. While generating buzz is a good thing, crossing the line into the illegal realm is not.

Legal sportsbooks have to stick to the rules and regulations for the markets where they operate. In almost all instances, one of the main restrictions is that you can only bet on actual sporting events and outcomes.

The line gets slightly blurry when it comes to the Super Bowl, but rules still apply there. You won’t be able to bet on things like celebrity appearances in the stands or the chances of profanity during the halftime show.

If you come across a strange bet that’s not available elsewhere, there’s a good chance that you’re looking at an offshore betting site. Betting at such a site is much less safe than betting at a legal sportsbook, and we recommend you move along quickly. With legal sports betting expanding, there’s no need to take the risk.

How did prop betting start?

The roots of prop betting go back to Super Bowl XX, which took place on Jan. 26, 1986. The Chicago Bears were 10-point favourites over the New England Patriots, with the over/under at 37.5 points.

Beyond the usual betting angles, there was another huge point of interest for bettors at the Caesars sportsbook in Las Vegas: Would William “The Refrigerator” Perry score a touchdown?

The hulking 300-plus-pound Bears defender had become a pop culture phenom during the season. He was used at the goal line on occasion. Bettors were rooting for him to hit paydirt on the grand stage and had some celebrating to do when he made it happen.

In the years that followed, prop betting on the Super Bowl and just, in general, became immensely popular, and it is now a standard option at all legal online sportsbooks.