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 D.J. Moore’s receptions prop
With Tyson Bagent starting at quarterback again for the Chicago Bears, take the over on D.J. Moore’s receptions.
D.J. Moore’s receptions prop, current line:
Though the Bears offense may be better with Justin Fields, Bagent’s style of play bodes well for increased opportunities for D.J. Moore.
Take a look at the rate at which the Bears’ quarterbacks get rid of the ball in 2.5 seconds or less, per TruMedia:
- Bagent: 56%
- Fields: 37%
Bagent doesn’t have Fields’ scrambling skills, so he needs to get the ball out quickly. Additionally, as a young quarterback, the Bears want to design easy throws for him, to limit his time in the pocket attempting to read complex defenses.
This shift to a quicker offense bodes well for Moore based on his target share breakdown from TruMedia:
- 36% target share on throws released in 2.5 seconds or less
- 18% target share on throws released after 2.5 seconds
Last week, in Bagent’s first start, Moore saw a 32% target share, above his season average of 26% entering the game.
The Los Angeles Chargers bring one of the league’s softest pass defenses into this matchup, so it’s unlikely they’re able to slow down this Bagent-Moore connection.
Consider the over on Josh Downs’ receptions prop
We’ve won with this prop two weeks in a row, so let’s take the over on Josh Downs’ receptions against the New Orleans Saints.
Josh Downs’ receptions prop, current line:
Since Gardner Minshew took over at quarterback for the injured Anthony Richardson, Josh Downs has emerged as a featured weapon in the Colts offense. Take a look at his target share from each quarterback:
- Minshew: 22%
- Richardson: 16%
Since Downs lines up in the slot, he benefits from Minshew’s tendency to get rid of the ball quickly. Downs sees a 22% target share on throws released in 2.5 seconds or less compared to 17% on longer developing plays, per TruMedia.
The Saints defense may also represent a particularly good matchup for Downs, based on his role in the slot.
According to TruMedia, Downs has lined up in the slot on 84% of his routes, and 38% of throws against the Saints have been targeted at a weapon lined up in the slot, the league’s highest rate.
This trend against the Saints is likely due to their high rate of man coverage (31% outside the red zone, fourth highest rate). Across the league, slot receivers see a 35% target share versus man, compared to 29% against zone.
Downs’ usage has followed this trend. When lined up in the slot, he sees a 28% target share against man, and 21% against zone coverage, per TruMedia.
Consider the over on Mark Andrews’ receptions prop
In a favorable matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, take the over on Mark Andrews’ receptions prop.
Mark Andrews’ receptions prop, current line:
This prop is only 3-3 on the year, but Arizona’s defense scheme indicates Mark Andrews should see increased usage this week.
Not only is Arizona arguably the league’s worst defensive unit, but its tendency to rely on two-high coverage should create more opportunities for the Ravens tight end. Arizona’s 58% two-high coverage rate outside the red zone is tied for the league’s highest rate, per TruMedia.
Like most tight ends, Andrews sees increased usage against two-high coverage, which leaves the middle of the field open.
Take a look at Andrews’ target share based on coverage type via TruMedia, excluding Week 1 when he was inactive:
- Two-high coverage: 28%
- Single-high coverage: 20%
Andrews has at least four receptions in each game, so a slight increase in usage should allow him to hit the over in this matchup.
Consider the under on Brian Robinson’s longest rush prop
In a tough matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, take the under on Brian Robinson’s longest rush prop.
Brian Robinson’s longest rush prop, current line:
Brian Robinson’s longest rush has hit double digits in just three of seven games, and he’ll have a tough time hitting the over in this matchup against the Eagles.
The lack of explosive plays is caused by a mix of Robinson’s talent and a weak run-blocking offensive line.
Take a look at some key numbers for Washington running backs from TruMedia
- 50% contact rate at or behind the line of scrimmage, ranked 30th
- 18% rate of gaining three or more yards before contact, ranked 28th
Robinson is also likely to suffer from the game script with the Eagles favored by 6.5 points. Robinson has played 58% of his team’s snaps in the second half when winning, compared to 46% when the Commanders are trailing.