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 Wednesday for further discussion on these player props and more betting advice for the week ahead.
Consider the over on Josh Palmer’s receptions prop
Assuming Mike Williams doesn’t return to the field this week, take the over on Josh Palmer’s receptions prop.
Josh Palmer’s receptions prop, current line:
- Take the over 4.5 receptions or lower
The Miami Dolphins use single-high safety coverages at the highest rate in the league (74%), according to TruMedia. With the league average rate down at 56%, this gives us an opportunity to find an edge based on how opponents attack single-high and two-high coverages.
The Chargers have demonstrated dramatically different splits against these coverage types, favoring Austin Ekeler versus two-high coverage and targeting Palmer and the other outside receivers at a high rate versus single high.
Take a look at the Chargers’ target share breakdown versus two-high coverage since Keenan Allen returned from injury:
- Ekeler, 24%
- Palmer, 19%
- Allen, 17%
And here’s the breakdown versus single-high coverages:
- Palmer, 28%
- Allen, 24%
- Ekeler, 14%
In recent weeks Palmer’s receptions prop has been available at 4.5, with Allen’s typically available at 5.5 receptions.
Based on these trends and the expected available lines, Palmer’s prop is the preferable bet 一 but Allen’s usage should increase as well, and both bets could be justified.
Consider the over on Tony Pollard’s longest rush prop
Against a porous Houston Texans run defense, take the over on Tony Pollard’s longest rush prop.
Tony Pollard’s longest rush prop, current line:
- Take the over at 18.5 yards or lower
We played this prop against the Texans last week with Nick Chubb and won, and it’s a matchup worth considering every week.
The Texans allow three or more yards before contact on 29% of carries outside the 10-yard line, the third-highest rate in the league, according to TruMedia.
This trend bodes well for Pollard, who is gaining 15 or more yards on 31% of his attempts when given at least three yards before contact, and 20 or more yards on 16% of carries, per TruMedia.
Consider the under on Latavius Murray’s longest rush
The Denver Broncos have been the least explosive rushing offense in the league, so it looks like a good bet to take the under on Latavius Murray’s longest rush prop.
Latavius Murray’s longest rush prop, current line:
- Take the under at 11.5 yards or higher
Murray has gained 10 or more yards on just seven of his 104 carries (6.7%), the fourth-lowest rate in the league, per TruMedia.
Additionally, Murray has picked up 13 or more yards only twice all year 一 a relevant number, as the line for this prop was set to 12.5 last week.
We played the under on this prop for Melvin Gordon a few times before he was released, and it looks like Murray has picked up where Gordon left off.
It is worth noting the Kansas City Chiefs are not a particularly tough matchup in the run game 一 they rank 26th in rate of allowing three or more untouched yards 一 but the Broncos rushing attack has been so plodding and slow, the under on Murray’s longest rush may be matchup proof.
Consider the over on Adam Thielen’s receptions prop
We won with this prop on Thanksgiving and we’re following similar logic this week 一 take the over on Adam Thielen’s receptions against the Detroit Lions.
Adam Thielen’s receptions prop, current line:
- Take the over at 4.5 receptions or lower
In the first meeting between these teams, the Lions used double coverage on Justin Jefferson at a high rate, opening up opportunities for Thielen and others. That trend alone could lead us to take the over on Thielen’s prop.
The Lions also tend to use single-high coverage at a high rate, which has consistently created more opportunities for Thielen.
According to TruMedia, Thielen sees a 23% target share versus single-high coverages, compared to 15% against two-high.
Minnesota has played five games this season in which its opponent used single-high coverage on over 50% of their dropbacks. Here’s a breakdown of Thielen’s production in those games:
- 6 receptions on 8 targets versus Detroit
- 8 receptions on 9 targets versus New Orleans
- 4 receptions on 8 targets versus Miami
- 6 receptions on 7 targets versus Arizona
- 9 receptions on 10 targets versus New England
Those numbers form a strong trend in favor of Thielen hitting the over on his receptions prop in this matchup, assuming the line remains steady at either 3.5 or 4.5, where it has been in recent weeks.