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 UNDER ON CHUBA HUBBARD’S RUSHING YARDS PROP
This is the third straight week I’m recommending the rushing yards under against the New Orleans Saints (Leonard Fournette and Myles Gaskin were both winners). Starting running backs have hit the over on their rushing yards only three times against this dominant Saints defense.
Each of the last two weeks I’ve referenced the Saints’ ability to wreak havoc in the backfield as the reason to take the under. According to Sports Info Solutions, opposing running backs are averaging -0.5 yards before contact per attempt relative to their season average against New Orleans, the best rate in the league.
On the flip side, Carolina Panthers running backs are gaining -0.2 yards before contact per attempt, relative to their opponent’s season average allowed, the second-worst rate in the league.
So Chuba Hubbard will be running behind an offensive line that gets blown up on a weekly basis, against arguably the most dominant run defense in the league.
Since Christian McCaffrey went back on the IR, Hubbard’s rushing yards prop has been available at 60.6 and 45.5 yards. As long as that number doesn’t drop below 40 this week, the under looks like a strong bet.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON FOSTER MOREAU’S RECEIVING YARDS PROP
The Indianapolis Colts have been among the worst defenses at defending tight ends, which makes Las Vegas Raiders tight end Foster Moreau’s receiving yards prop a strong play this week.
Colts’ opponents have targeted their tight ends an average of 2.5 more times per game against Indy than against other opponents, the largest average difference in the league.
Moreau has been filling in for the injured Darren Waller, and has fully taken over Waller’s role in the offense, playing at least 85% of the Raiders’ offensive snaps in each game Waller has missed.
It appears Derek Carr has gradually become more comfortable with Moreau in the offense, as he’s seen 13 targets over the last two games combined.
In the four games without Waller, Moreau’s yardage prop has been available at an average line of 33.5, and no higher than 36.5. After consecutive games over 60 yards, expect that line to jump this week, but if it’s available at 45.5 yards or lower, the over still looks good.
It’s worth noting the Raiders are hoping to get Waller back this week, but his availability is currently “touch and go.” If Waller returns and is expected to see a full workload, we can pivot away from Moreau and place the same bet with Waller.
CONSIDER THE UNDER ON MAC JONES’S PASSING YARDS PROP
It’s probably safe to assume the New England Patriots can allow Mac Jones to hit the over on his passing yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars if they want to, but that’s probably not the game plan.
With a big game against the Miami Dolphins awaiting them in Week 18, Bill Belichick likely wants to keep things simple, limit mistakes, and just get out of this game with a win.
Consider Jones’s passing output in the Patriots most recent easy victories:
- vs Panthers: 18 attempts for 139 yards
- vs Browns: 23 attempts for 198 yards
- vs Falcons: 26 attempts for 207 yards
As bad as the Jaguars defense has been at times, quarterbacks aren’t padding their stats against them because it just hasn’t been necessary. The passing yards under has been a winner in nine straight games against Jacksonville.
Mac Jones’s passing yards prop was available at 209.5 yards in Week 13 against Buffalo (the game heavily affected by weather) but in every other game, Jones’s yardage prop has been available at 232.5 or higher.
Against a Jaguars team that may have already quit on the 2021 season, it probably isn’t necessary for Jones to put up that kind of passing yardage and the under looks like the bet to place.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON KYLER MURRAY’S INTERCEPTIONS PROP
Kyler Murray’s interceptions prop is consistently available at 0.5, and the over looks like a smart bet against an opportunistic Dallas Cowboys defense.
The Dallas defense leads the NFL with 25 interceptions, and while luck is definitely a factor in interception totals, there is evidence the Dallas secondary is genuinely skilled at getting its hands on the ball.
Dallas ranks fourth with a Ball Hawk Rate (percentage of plays in which the defense makes a play on the ball) at 13.1%, according to Sports Info Solutions. A high Ball Hawk Rate is a good indication that a strong interception rate is sustainable.
As 5.5-point underdogs, expect an elevated passing rate for Murray and potentially a more aggressive downfield passing attack in this contest, increasing his interception odds.