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 Kenny Pickett’s completions
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense is designed to get easy completions, so take the over on Kenny Pickett’s completions, even in a tough matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
Kenny Pickett completions prop, current line:
- Take the over at 20.5 or lower
The Bills have one of the league’s best defenses, but it’s also the most vanilla unit in the league. Outside the red zone, Buffalo uses the combination of zone coverage with no blitz on 86% of opponent dropbacks 一 league average is 60%, per TruMedia/PFF.
This scheme increases completion rate, but Buffalo trusts its linebackers and safeties to keep the play in front of them and limit yardage.
As a result, Buffalo ranks fourth in yards per attempt allowed, but 19th in completion percentage allowed.
Pittsburgh quarterbacks have been pressured at the eighth-lowest rate when the defense does not blitz, so Picket should have enough time in the pocket to have a relatively efficient day.
There likely won’t be many big plays available for the Steelers, but if Buffalo is going to give them open targets underneath, expect Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada to take advantage of the opportunity to build up his rookie’s confidence with some easy completions.
Consider the under on Christian McCaffrey’s rushing yards
Against a tough San Francisco 49ers defense, take the under on Christian McCaffrey’s rushing yards.
Christian McCaffrey rushing yards prop, current line:
This recommendation is based on a trend we chased at the end of last season, and it seems to be holding true again.
Over the 49ers’ last 17 games, the under is 15-2 for the opposing running back with the highest rushing yardage prop.
This trend has a lot to do with the 49ers’ ability to limit long runs. Last year, opposing running backs gained 10 or more yards on just 6.8% of carries against San Francisco, the league’s second lowest rate.
The Niners rank second by that metric again this season, allowing 10 or more yards on just 3.8% of carries by running backs.
Although McCaffrey is capable of explosive plays, he’s been struggling to find open lanes behind the Panthers’ offensive line this year.
McCaffrey currently ranks 27th in explosive rush rate, gaining 10 or more yards on just 8.6% of his attempts.
With the 49ers favored by 6.5 points, expect a light workload for McCaffrey in the run game, and the 49ers should be able to keep him mostly bottled up.
Consider the under on Daniel Jones’s passing yards
The under is 4-0 for Daniel Jones’s passing yards prop. Assuming he’s healthy, take the under again. If he’s not, apply the same logic to his backup.
Daniel Jones’s passing yards, current line:
- Take the under at 190.5 or higher
This recommendation is mostly based on the potential for Green Bay to dominate this game and limit the Giants’ opportunities on offense.
The Packers’ game plan this season appears to be based on ball control, as they’ve significantly increased their run rate and are playing at the second slowest pace in the league (31.7 seconds per play).
Due to this offensive strategy 一 plus some quality defensive performances 一 Packers opponents are averaging just 54.9 plays per game, the fewest in the league.
Additionally, the Giants will likely attempt to establish the run as long as the score is relatively close.
Green Bay ranks 27th in yards per attempt allowed to running backs (5.2) and is allowing three or more yards before contact at the fourth highest rate (27%), according to TruMedia.
So expect the Giants to lean on Saquon Barkley as much as possible, likely suppressing Jones’s pass volume in this matchup.
Consider the under on Melvin Gordon’s longest rush
On Thursday night, take the under on Melvin Gordon’s longest rush against a strong Indianapolis Colts’ run defense.
Melvin Gordon longest rush prop, current line:
Excluding short-yardage situations, Denver Broncos running backs have run into a stacked box on 79% of their carries.
Over the last two seasons, Gordon has run for 14 or more yards on just six of his 195 carries into a stacked box (3.1%), according to TruMedia.
Against the Colts’ defense, Gordon will likely have even less room to run, as Indy has contacted opposing ball carriers at or behind the line of scrimmage on a league-high 59% of their carries.
Gordon has not gained 14 more yards when contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage since the 2020 season.
All of these numbers paint a bleak picture for Gordon in this game. Perhaps he hits the over on his total rushing yards prop due to volume, but it appears safe to bet the under on his longest rush prop.