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.

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Consider the over on Patrick Mahomes’s longest competition prop

Against a friendly Los Angeles Chargers defense, take the over on Patrick Mahomes’s longest completion prop

Patrick Mahomes’s longest completion prop, current line:

The Chargers have allowed a completion of at least 40 yards in four of five games, with only Raiders rookie Aidan O’Connell failing to hit the mark. 

The rate at which the Chargers surrender big plays is especially notable considering their high rate of two-high safety coverage, which is theoretically designed to limit explosive plays.  

Take a look at the league-wide rate of allowing 30 or more yards outside the red zone, via TruMedia:

  • Two-high coverage: 3.1%
  • Single-high coverage. 4.5%

The Chargers play two-high coverage on 55% of plays outside the red zone and yet they’re allowing 30 or more yards on 5.6% of attempts, which underscores just how bad this secondary has been. 

Mahomes has completed just two passes of 40 or more yards, but that trend could work in our favor to lower the line. 

Consider the under on Jonathan Taylor’s rushing yards prop

The Cleveland Browns run defense has been dominant this season, so let’s bet the under on Jonathan Taylor’s rushing yards prop

Jonathan Taylor’s rushing yards prop, current line:

The Indianapolis Colts are gradually easing Jonathan Taylor back into action. After playing 15% of the team’s snaps in his season debut, he jumped up to 42% last week. 

We should assume his snap count climbs again this week, but his production in the run game may not improve in a tough matchup against the Browns.

The rushing yards under is 4-1 for starting running backs against Cleveland this season, with only Gus Edwards hitting his over:

RB vs CLERush Yds PropActual Rush Yds
Christian McCaffrey76.543
Gus Edwards36.548
Derrick Henry71.520
Najee Harris49.543
Joe Mixon58.556

The reason for this trend is the Browns’ absolute dominance in the trenches. 

According to TruMedia, Cleveland has contacted opposing running backs in the backfield on 54% of attempts  — the next best rate: 36% by the Seattle Seahawks. 

Due to this trend, we should also take the under on Zack Moss’s rushing yards prop if it’s at 40.5 yards or higher. 

The line for both Colts’ ball carries was available above 40 yards last week, though the expected increase in usage for Taylor may cause Moss’ line to drop against the Browns. 

Consider the over on Josh Downs’ receptions prop

We played this prop last week and won, so let’s go back to well and take the over on Josh Downs’ receptions

Josh Downs’ receptions prop, current line:

The Cleveland Browns are a tough defensive matchup, but that should work in our favor based on Josh Downs’ role in the Colts offense. 

Gardner Minshew will start in place of the injured Anthony Richardson again this week, which also helps Downs based on his target share from each quarterback:

  • Minshew: 21%
  • Richardson: 16%

Downs benefits from the quarterback change primarily because Minshew gets rid of the ball faster, and Downs is an easy target in the slot on quick throws. 

From both quarterbacks combined, Downs has a 21% target share on throws released in 2.5 seconds or less compared to 15% on longer developing plays, per TruMedia. 

The Browns have generated pressure in 2.5 seconds or less at a league-high 37% rate, so the Colts will likely rely on those quick throws even more than usual in this matchup. 

Consider the over on Kenneth Walker III’s longest rush prop

This prop has hit three weeks in a row, so let’s take the over on Kenneth Walker III’s longest rush prop

Kenneth Walker III’s longest rush prop, current line:

I usually stay away from Kenneth Walker III’s longest rush props due to his tendency to dance in the backfield and invite early contact. 

According to TruMedia, Walker has been contacted behind the line of scrimmage on 30% of his carries, ranked 35th out of 47 qualified running backs. 

This isn’t a concern against the Arizona Cardinals, however, as Arizona’s defense ranks dead last in this metric, generating backfield contact at a pitiful 15% rate. 

This trend is undoubtedly a factor in longest rush overs hitting in four of six games for starting running backs against Arizona, with only Brian Robinson and Joe Mixon hitting their unders. 

When he avoids early contact, Walker does have explosive ability, as he reaches 15 or more yards on 8.6% of his carries when reaching the line of scrimmage without contact, per TruMedia. 

Walker’s odds of hitting the over are also enhanced by the likelihood of a positive game script with the Seahawks favored by eight points. 

Consider the under on Josh Allen’s rushing yards prop

This prop is 5-1 on the year, so let’s take the under on Josh Allen’s rushing yards prop

Josh Allen’s rushing yards prop, current line:

The Buffalo Bills have been conservative in their use of Josh Allen in the run game, and he’s carried the ball more than four times only once this year (six carries for 36 yards against the Jets). 

Excluding quarterback sneaks, Buffalo has used Allen on just two designed runs all year, per TruMedia. 

Since Allen is dealing with a minor shoulder injury, the odds of Buffalo using Allen in the run game this week against the New England Patriots are likely even lower than usual 一 especially with the Bills favored by 9.5 points.