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 MILES SANDERS’S RUSHING YARDS PROP BET
It mostly isn’t his fault, but Miles Sanders just can’t get going this season, and it’s tough to envision a scenario where he breaks out of his slump on Thursday night. Despite the low number, betting the under on these rushing yards props looks like a good value:
- 34.5 rushing yards on BetMGM
- 34.5 rushing yards on FanDuel SportsBook
- 33.5 rushing yards on DraftKings Sportsbook
Since the start of the 2020 season, the Philadelphia Eagles have used 30 different offensive line combinations, according to TruMedia. None of those combinations have appeared in more than three games together.
The Eagles added numbers 29 and 30 to that list last week and the line continues to deal with injuries, as rookie guard Landon Dickerson suffered an ankle injury during the game.
Dickerson was back at practice on Monday, but it’s clear this unit is still far from healthy.
The most significant issue is the loss of right tackle Lane Johnson, who is dealing with a personal issue and is not expected to return on Thursday.
Johnson is such a valuable part of the Eagles running game, the team noticeably adjusts the rate at which it hands the ball off without him 一 a trend which has held true this season even after a coaching change.
Eagles RB Run Rate in One-Score Games
Year Lane Johnson ON Field Lane Johnson OFF Field 2021 28% 23% 2020 32% 27% 2019 38% 31% 2018 34% 29%
The Eagles would likely struggle to run the ball against anyone right now, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a particularly bad matchup.
When the score is within a touchdown, opposing running backs have been contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage on 63% of their carries against Tampa Bay, the second-highest rate in the league according to TruMedia/PFF.
Additionally, in those situations running backs are picking up just 1.9 yards after contact per attempt against the Bucs’ defense, also the second-best rate in the league.
This is troubling for Philadelphia, as its running backs rank dead last with an average of 0.4 yards per carry when contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage, per TruMedia/PFF.
We saw the Eagles abort the run all together in a 41-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys a few weeks ago 一 Sanders finished with two carries 一 and they could be forced into a similar game plan on Thursday.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON DEREK CARR’S PASSING YARDS PROP BET
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has gone under his passing yards prop each of the last two weeks. That trend coupled with a respected Denver Broncos defense, could give us a favorable number for betting the over this week.
Carr has been challenging defenses downfield at a high rate this season, and he has become even more aggressive when facing a blitz.
According to TruMedia/PFF, when Carr is blitzed, 37% of his throws are at least 15 yards downfield, the league’s highest rate. He’s also completing those attempts at a 57.9% clip, tops among all quarterbacks with at least 10 such throws.
These numbers are noteworthy, as the Denver Broncos blitz at the league’s fourth-highest rate (33.3%).
Though Denver does have one of the league’s better secondaries, they aren’t unbeatable down the field. Opponents are averaging eight attempts of 15 or more yards per game against Denver (eighth-most) and completing 47.5% of those throws (11th highest).
Denver is allowing just 207 passing yards per game, but consider the quarterbacks they’ve faced:
Quarterbacks vs Broncos Defense
Week QB Total Pass Yds Comp-Att vs Blitz Pass Yds vs Blitz Week 1 Daniel Jones, NYG 267 2-4 17 Week 2 Trevor Lawrence, JAC 118 0-8 0 Week 3 Zach Wilson, NYJ 160 4-10 37 Week 4 Lamar Jackson, BAL 316 12-24 182 Week 5 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 253 4-8 60
Denver’s defensive stats are padded by two games against rookie quarterbacks, but Lamar Jackson clearly had no issues throwing against their blitz.
Carr’s aggressive tendencies and success against the blitz should give us confidence in betting the over on his passing yards prop this week.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON EMMANUEL SANDERS’S RECEIVING YARDS PROP BET
Stefon Diggs remains the number-one option in the Buffalo Bills’ offense, but Emmanuel Sanders has emerged as a trusted deep threat for Josh Allen as well.
On throws 15 or more yards downfield, Sanders actually leads the Bills in target share (36%) with an average of three targets per game at that distance.
Due to Sanders’s heavy downfield usage, 52% of his targets have come on plays where Allen holds the ball for at least three seconds, the highest rate in the league according to TruMedia.
Given Sanders’s role, the Tennessee Titans are likely a matchup in which he’ll see a fair amount of downfield targets.
According to TruMedia/PFF, 30% of throws against the Titans occur after 3 or more seconds. And on those throws, the Titans only pressure the quarterback 46% of the time, the league’s eighth-lowest rate.
Since Allen likes to take his time 一 36% of his throws occur after 3 or more seconds, the fourth-highest rate 一 he’ll likely take advantage of this friendly Titans defense.
Sanders has hit the over on his yardage prop in four of five games, but the available props haven’t adjusted yet. His receiving yards prop peaked at 53.5 yards last week 一 if it’s around that number again, the over looks like a strong bet.
CONSIDER THE UNDER ON AARON RODGERS’S PASSING YARDS PROP BET
Although the Green Bay Packers are a pass-first offense, Aaron Rodgers’s passing volume hasn’t been great because the team plays so slow. Rodgers ranks 21st in the league in attempts per game (32.6).
When the score is within a touchdown, Green Bay runs a play once every 31.6 seconds, the league’s fifth slowest pace. In the same situation, the Chicago Bears run a play once every 32.8 seconds, the second-slowest pace. And during Justin Fields’s three starts, Chicago’s pace is the slowest in the league at 34.1 seconds per play in a one-score game.
Green Bay is favored by 4.5 points, further increasing the odds Rodgers’ passing volume is low, assuming the Packers are holding a second-half lead.
With the Packers likely playing with a lead and with both offenses preferring to play slow, Rodgers likely won’t have the passing volume to hit the over on his passing yardage prop.