In this weekly NFL player props preview, we’ll highlight some bets you should consider for the upcoming week.
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.
Consider the over on Miles Sanders’ receptions prop
Against a friendly Seattle Seahawks defense, take the over on Miles Sanders’ receptions prop.
Miles Sanders’ receptions prop, current line:
- Take the over 3.5 receptions or lower
The Seahawks blitzed on just 14.9% of their plays last year, the lowest rate in the league per TruMedia. Although their blitz rate spiked against the Rams in Week 1 (31%) it dropped back down to 16% last week against the Lions.
If defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt maintains a low blitz rate, it could lead to increased usage for Miles Sanders in the Carolina Panthers passing game, as it does for most running backs.
Take a look at the target share breakdown for running backs across the league since the start of last season, according to TruMedia:
- Against blitz: 13%
- No blitz: 20%
During Frank Reich’s last full season in the league in 2021 with the Colts, his offense matched up with this trend, as his running backs saw a 14% target share against the blitz compared to 25% against standard pressure.
Through the first two weeks, Sanders has 11 targets 一 none of them occurring against the blitz.
Consider the over on Kirk Cousins’ longest completion prop
This a good matchup for the Vikings passing attack, so take the over on Kirk Cousins’ longest completion against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Kirk Cousins’ longest completion prop, current line:
- Take the over 38.5 yards or lower
Opponents have been aggressively attacking the Chargers secondary this season, and it’s resulted in a league-high 12 completions allowed at 15 or more yards downfield.
Take a look at these numbers from opposing quarterbacks on those downfield throws, via TruMedia:
- Tua Tagovailoa: 9-15
- Ryan Tannehill: 3-4
This trend bodes well for Kirk Cousins, as he throws downfield at a rate near the league average and has multiple receivers capable of taking those throws and producing big plays.
Since the start of the 2022 season, Cousins has a completion of at least 40 yards in 11 of 19 games.
It’s also reasonable to take the longest reception over for Justin Jefferson and/or Jordan Addison up to 29.5 yards for each. Addison’s line was available at just 18.5 yards last week. He already has four targets at 20 or more yards downfield, so he may be the safer play on that prop.
Consider the under on Josh Jacobs’ longest rush prop
The Raiders run game is struggling, so take the under on Josh Jacobs’ longest rush against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Josh Jacobs’ longest rush prop, current line:
- Take the under 10.5 yards or higher
The Raiders offensive line has failed Josh Jacobs through the first two games. Jacobs does not have a single carry on which he’s gained at least three untouched yards, according to TruMedia.
When a running back gains 15 or more yards, 79% of the time it starts with three or more untouched yards. So until the Raiders offensive line starts clearing lanes, Jacobs is going to struggle.
Jacobs’ longest rush to date is just seven yards, and he has just four carries of five or more yards.
Consider the over on T.J. Hockenson’s receptions prop
We’re 2-0 on this prop so far, so let’s stick with it 一 take the over on T.J. Hockenson’s receptions against the Chargers.
T.J. Hockenson’s receptions prop, current line:
- Take the over 4.5 receptions or lower
Since Hockenson arrived in Minnesota, he’s hit the over on his receptions prop in nine of 11 games, and the prop has never climbed above 4.5 receptions.
So long as it remains in that range, let’s keep riding it.
Outside the red zone, the Chargers have used two-high safety coverages on 47% of their snaps, just above the league average of 43.7%, according to TruMedia.
Those coverages tend to open up the middle of the field, where Hockenson has seen 62% of his targets since joining the Vikings.
Consider the over on Sam Howell’s completions prop
The Buffalo Bills defense may create some easy opportunities in the passing game, so take the over on Sam Howell’s completions.
Sam Howell’s completions prop, current line:
- Take the over at 22.5 completions or lower
Although this doesn’t look like a great matchup for the Commanders, the Bills’ defensive scheme may actually be friendly to Howell.
In recent years, when healthy, Buffalo tends to sit back in zone coverage and force quarterbacks to challenge its secondary. Through two weeks, that’s been the trend once again.
According to TruMedia, the Bills have played zone coverage without a blitz on a league-high 77% of their snaps.
This strategy works for the Bills because its secondary excels at taking away the deep ball, but it does open up opportunities underneath which can inflate a quarterback’s completion percentage.
Take a look at Howell’s completion percentage breakdown so far this season, per TruMedia:
- Versus no blitz/zone: 76.7%
- All other coverages: 48.1%
If Buffalo sticks with this game plan, it should lead to a lot of short, easy completions for Howell.
That said, keep an eye on the health of Bills safety Micah Hyde. If he’s out with a hamstring injury, that could alter their defensive approach.