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 Allen Lazard’s longest reception prop
The Minnesota Vikings are a favorable opponent for the Green Bay Packers’ passing attack, making this a good opportunity to play the over on Allen Lazard’s longest reception prop.
Allen Lazard’s longest reception prop, current line:
- Take the over at 21.5 or lower
Opponents tend to attack downfield against the Vikings’ defense, as Minnesota has allowed 30 receptions at 20 or more yards downfield, the third most in the NFL per TruMedia.
Additionally, Minnesota’s secondary is allowing a 45.5% completion rate on throws of at least 20 yards, which ranks 27th.
We have to acknowledge Aaron Rodgers’s conservative play this season 一 he leads the league in percentage of throws that do not cross the line of scrimmage (31%). However, when Rodgers isn’t throwing screens, he’s often attacking with the deep ball.
According to TruMedia, Rodgers throws at least 20 yards downfield at the eighth-highest rate, so we should expect him to take some shots downfield against a vulnerable Vikings’ defense.
Lazard leads the Packers in deep ball targets (20 or more yards) and has maintained a steady downfield usage even since Christian Watson’s breakout. Over the last six games, Watson has nine targets on the deep ball, with eight for Lazard.
Against a defense like Minnesota, we should consider Lazard’s longest reception prop regardless of Watson’s status, but there could be added value if Watson is unable to play.
Watson left last week’s game with a hip injury and his status for Sunday is unclear.
Consider the under on Josh Jacobs’s rushing yards prop
The Las Vegas Raiders have thrown in the towel on the 2022 season which means we should take the under on Josh Jacobs’s rushing yards prop 一 and consider some unders for other Raiders starters as well.
Josh Jacobs’s rushing yards prop, current line:
- Take the under at 70.5 or higher
The Raiders have benched Derek Carr for the remainder of the season to get a look at Jarrett Stidham. Although no such announcement has been made about Jacobs, we should assume they’ll also give some opportunities to rookies Zamir White (if healthy) and/or Brittain Brown.
Additionally, since Josh McDaniels has stated a desire to get a good look at Stidham, it stands to reason the game will be slightly more pass-heavy, even if the game script does not dictate it.
If Jacobs does take on a full load, this is a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers’ run defense.
According to TruMedia, the 49ers allow 0.87 yards before contact to running backs, the third-lowest rate in the league. Las Vegas has only played two other defenses ranked in the top 10 by this metric 一 here’s a look at Jacobs’s numbers in these games:
- 13 carries for 66 yards versus Tennessee
- 17 carries for 67 yards versus Jacksonville
This appears to be a bad matchup for Jacobs, made worse by the team’s altered approach for the final two games 一 take the under on his rushing yards.
Consider the over on Saquon Barkley’s rushing yards prop
This appears to be a good matchup for the New York Giants against a sinking Indianapolis Colts organization 一 take the over on Saquon Barkley’s rushing yards prop.
Saquon Barkley’s rushing yards prop, current line:
- Take the over at 80.5 or lower
Barkley’s usage has, understandably, been heavily influenced by game scripts this season. Take a look at his carries per game based on the Giants’ outcome:
- 23 carries per game in victories
- 14 carries per game in losses
One of the Colts’ few strengths this year has been their run defense, but even that area of the team has fallen off as of late.
Through Week 11, the Colts were allowing 3.8 yards per carry to running backs, the league’s second-lowest rate. But since Week 12, that rate has climbed to 4.6, which ranks 23rd.
Even if the Colts’ run defense puts forth a decent effort, Barkley should hit the over on his rushing yards prop based on volume alone. In six of the Giants’ eight victories, the over has been a winner for Barkley.
Consider the under on Joe Burrow’s passing yards prop
A game between Joe Burrow and Josh Allen certainly has shootout potential, but there’s reason to believe the Cincinnati Bengals need to take a more conservative approach in this matchup making it a good opportunity to bet the under on Burrow’s passing yards prop.
Joe Burrow’s passing yards prop, current line:
- Take the under at 269.5 or higher
Burrow has hit the over on his passing yards prop just twice in his last eight games, so we’re falling in line with a decent trend.
The reason to trust the under in this matchup is the Bengals’ offensive line issues due to the loss of right tackle La’el Collins.
After Collins exited last week’s game, Hakeem Adeniji stepped in and promptly allowed five quarterback pressures, per TruMedia/PFF.
If Burrow is going to be under constant pressure, Cincinnati will likely shift to a more conservative approach in an effort to keep Burrow upright and avoid injury.
Another reason to expect a less pass-heavy approach from Cincinnati is Buffalo’s run defense, which is a relative weakness on defense.
Consider some of these numbers on the Bills’ defense against running backs, via TruMedia:
- 4.3 yards per attempt, ranked 16th
- 3.7 yards after contact per attempt, ranked 32nd
Leaning more on Joe Mixon in this matchup makes sense both in terms of attacking the Bills defense and taking pressure off Burrow behind a shaky offensive line.