In this weekly NFL player props preview, we’ll highlight some bets you should consider for the upcoming week. Since player props typically aren’t posted until closer to game day, this early preview will look at some particularly favorable or unfavorable matchups that could become actionable.
This doesn’t mean we should automatically bet on these props, but these are some of the first players to check when lines are posted. Hopefully, oddsmakers haven’t identified the same trends as us, and we can find favorable value on these player props.
Also, be sure to check out the Sharp Angles Betting Podcast every Thursday for further discussion on these player props and more betting advice for the week ahead.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON VAN JEFFERSON’S LONGEST RECEPTION PROP BET
Though Van Jefferson is a secondary option in the Los Angeles Rams offense, this looks like an ideal matchup for him against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.
According to Sports Info Solutions, opponents have attempted 46 passes at 10 or more yards downfield against the Seahawks (11.5 per game), the third-most in the NFL.
Opponents are also completing 60.9% of those attempts, the league’s fifth-worst rate.
Unfortunately for Seattle, the Rams are better equipped to take advantage of this weakness than in past seasons due to the addition of Matthew Stafford. Through four games, Stafford is both throwing downfield at a higher rate and completing those passes at a higher rate than Jared Goff in 2020.
Matthew Stafford/Jared Goff Comparison
QB % of Total Att at 10+ Yards Comp% at 10+ Yards 2020 Jared Goff 25.2% 49.6% 2021 Matthew Stafford 33.3% 57.8%
These trends bode well for all Rams receivers potentially hitting the over on their longest receptions prop, but Jefferson’s number (20.5 yards on the DraftKings Sportsbook) is especially enticing.
Jefferson has been targeted at least 10 yards downfield on 61% of his targets this season and has a reception over 20 yards in three of four games.
In fact, when the Rams throw 10 or more yards downfield, Jefferson sees a 24% target share. So, assuming Los Angeles follows the trend of picking on Seattle down the field, we should expect to see an increased workload for Jefferson.
As a result, taking the over on his receptions (3.5) might also be worth consideration.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON NICK WESTBROOK-IKHINE’S RECEIVING YARDS PROP BET
Last week, I recommended taking the over on Cincinnati Bengals’ rookie Ja’Marr Chase’s receiving yards based on his matchup with Jacksonville Jaguars rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell. It paid off, as Chase had 77 yards on a career-high six receptions.
In three games as a starter, Campbell has been targeted on 25% of opponents’ pass attempts, accounting for 29% of total air yards, according to Sports Info Solutions.
Additionally, when teams throw 10 or more yards downfield against Jacksonville, 38% of the time Campbell has been the targeted cornerback.
If either A.J. Brown or Julio Jones returns to action this week 一 they both missed Week 4 with hamstring injuries 一 they’re probably the Titans receiver to target. Their returns sound questionable, however, which makes Nick Westbrook-Ikhine the likely beneficiary of Campbell’s struggles.
Westbrook-Ikhine finished with just three receptions for 29 yards last week against the Jets, but saw eight targets, including a team-high four targets at 10 or more yards downfield.
Assuming Tennessee also identifies Campbell as Jacksonville’s weak link, Westbrook-Ikhine is likely the guy they’ll try to get lined up across from him when they want to throw downfield.
Westbrook-Ikhine’s yardage total was set to just 36.5 yards last week and, since he went under, we can probably assume it will be in that range again, making the over a strong bet.
CONSIDER THE UNDER ON GEORGE KITTLE’S RECEIVING YARDS PROP BET
It’s been an inconsistent season for George Kittle, though his slow start isn’t entirely his fault.
Kittle has seen only 76 catchable air yards on 21 catchable targets, according to Sports Info Solutions. That’s just 40% of his total air yards, the lowest rate in the league and a massive dropoff from his 85% rate in 2020.
Clearly, he’s had a difficult time getting on the same page as quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.
Though his struggles have mostly come with Garoppolo throwing him the ball, Lance was 0-3 with zero catchable passes when throwing Kittle’s way in the second half of last week’s loss to the Seahawks.
Lance is likely to make his first career start in place of the injured Garoppolo this week and, at this point, there’s no reason to expect the rookie to solve the 49ers’ issues getting Kittle the ball.
Additionally, the Arizona Cardinals have been a tough matchup for tight ends, allowing just 4.0 yards per target and a 57.1% completion rate, both ranked third in the league.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON DEVIN SINGLETARY’S RUSHING YARDS PROP BET
The Buffalo Bills are a pass-heavy offense, but there’s always added incentive to run the ball against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. So unless Kansas City builds a big early lead, we can probably expect a few extra carries for Devin Singletary this week.
Not only could his workload get a boost, but the Chiefs’ defense might be a particularly good matchup for Singletary.
According to Sports Info Solutions, the Chiefs rank dead last in yards per carry allowed to teams in 11 personnel (6.2 yards per carry). That’s an exciting trend for Singletary, who’s seen 76% of his carries in 11 personnel, while picking up 5.6 yards per attempt in the formation.
The Chiefs shut down the Bills run game in last year’s AFC Championship Game 一 Singletary had six carries for 17 yards 一 but it appears as though the defense has taken a significant step backward.
Assuming the line for Singletary’s rushing yards prop is available at a similar number to past weeks (around 45 yards), the over looks like the bet to place.