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 JAMISON CROWDER’S RECEPTIONS PROP
With the New York Jets playing as 10.5-point underdogs, expect a heavy passing volume for quarterback Mike White.
In last week’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, White leaned on his weapons in the slot, with 33.3% of his targets funneled that direction. When throwing to the slot, White completed 13 of 15 passes for 147 yards (9.8 yards per attempt), according to Sports Info Solutions.
That heavy slot usage included six targets to Jamison Crowder (and another three while he was lined up wide).
The Indianapolis Colts have struggled to defend the slot this season, partially due to a down year for the usually-reliable Kenny Moore.
Indy ranks 25th in EPA per target to the slot, while Moore is allowing a 63.0% completion rate when targeted in slot coverage, per Sports Info Solutions.
The line on Crowder’s receptions prop has consistently been at 4.5 in recent weeks. Assuming it’s available there or lower, the over looks like a strong bet in this matchup.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON A.J. DILLON’S RUSHING YARDS PROP BET
When the Green Bay Packers hold a second-half lead, A.J. Dillon has received a 50% share of the running back carries. In the first half (in any game script), he accounts for just 35% of the handoffs.
Dillon’s usage is obviously game-script dependent, but if you trust the Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs, this is an ideal matchup for him to run all over this Chiefs defense.
Kansas City is allowing 5.5 yards per carry versus 11 personnel (ranked 31st). This is the Packers’ preferred run package, in which Dillon is also averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
The Packers are seven-point underdogs in this matchup, which could work in our favor. Green Bay has previously been an underdog twice this season, and in those games Dillon’s yardage prop was available at 30.5 yards and 19 yards.
With Aaron Rodgers out for this game (COVID), building a lead may be more difficult. However, it also increases the likelihood Green Bay relies heavily on the run game, in an effort to control the ball and exploit Kansas City’s porous run defense.
Since Green Bay likely needs to adjust its offensive strategy, this looks like a winnable bet in either a positive or negative game script for Dillon.
CONSIDER THE OVER ON DEEBO SAMUEL’S RECEPTIONS PROP
In the last matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, Deebo Samuel had just three receptions, but that could work in our favor, lowering the line for this week’s game.
That Week 5 matchup was rookie quarterback Trey Lance’s first career start, and he struggled against the Cardinals’ blitz. Arizona blitzed on 40% of Lance’s dropbacks, and he completed just five passes on 14 dropbacks against the blitz, according to Sports Info Solutions.
Arizona will likely use a similar strategy this week 一 the Cardinals blitz at the fourth-highest rate (33%) 一 but the blitz shouldn’t cause as many issues for Jimmy Garoppolo. Per Sports Info Solutions, Garoppolo is averaging 11.8 yards per attempt against the blitz (third-most) and has a 63% positive EPA rate (second-highest).
This matchup also bodes well for Samuel’s usage because he sees a 44% target share versus the blitz, compared to 30% on non-blitz dropbacks.
This trend makes sense, as 46% of Samuel’s targets are within five yards of the line of scrimmage. So when Garoppolo identifies a blitz 一 especially when he anticipates it pre-snap 一 he likely looks Samuel’s way, as he’s often running a route designed for a quick target.
Samuel’s receptions prop has been available at 5.5 each of the last two weeks. If we get that line again, take the over.
CONSIDER THE UNDER ON ALLEN ROBINSON’S RECEIVING YARDS PROP
The under has hit on Allen Robinson’s receiving yards prop in four consecutive weeks, so perhaps the line will drop to a level where we want to stay away. But if it remains around last week’s 45.5 yards, the under still looks like a strong bet.
According to Sports Info Solutions, since Justin Fields took over as Chicago’s quarterback, only 32.6% of Robinson’s intended air yards have been catchable. During those six games, he’s averaging just 29 catchable air yards per game.
Robinson’s overall usage remains solid 一 five targets per game at an aDOT of 16.5 since Week 3 一 but we’ve seen a large enough sample size between him and Fields to know something is off about this connection.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense also factors in this week, as they’re allowing the ninth-lowest completion rate at 15 or more yards downfield (42%) 一 37% of Robinson’s targets from Fields have been at least 15 yards.