We’re back with three data-driven prop betting recommendations for the QBs on the Week 18 slate. Here are the top opportunities to take advantage of this weekend.
Season Record: 25-20
WHY YOU SHOULD BET THE OVER FOR TREVOR LAWRENCE PASSING YARDS IN WEEK 18
- Pass-heavy scenario
- Colts defensive scheme
- SIS Projection: 245 passing yards
The Jaguars have been mathematically eliminated for several weeks but they’ll have a chance to make their mark on the playoff picture if they’re able to knock off the Colts.
- 225.5 passing yards on BetMGM (-115)
It’s been a rough and tumultuous rookie season for Trevor Lawrence. We all know it’s usually a difficult transition for rookie starting QBs, especially those who join a losing team as the first overall pick, and even more so when the head coach is fired midseason.
Lawrence can start to put it behind him on Sunday by finishing the season on a positive note. As 15-point underdogs, the Jaguars are likely to be in a scenario that warrants passing early and often if they want to pull off the upset that potentially knocks their division rival out of the playoffs.
The Indianapolis defense plays fast and is skilled at forcing turnovers, but pass coverage may be its biggest weakness (24th in Pass Coverage Points Saved and 28th in Pass Success Rate Against).
A few of their key tendencies align with the positive side of Lawrence’s passing splits. Indianapolis plays 70% zone coverage and is near the bottom of the league in blitz rate. Lawrence ranks dead last in the league in Independent QB Rating (IQR) vs Man and against the blitz.
Trevor Lawrence Passing Splits with/without Blitz (2021)
Additional tips: The hope is that Lawrence and the Jaguars come out inspired to pull off a win, or at worst put up a good showing in their final game. Lawrence ranks 25th-of-32 with a 73% On-Target Throw Rate, but he has come in above 80% in three of his last four games. If the line moves up, play it as far as 227.5.
WHY YOU SHOULD BET THE OVER FOR JUSTIN HERBERT PASSING YARDS IN WEEK 18
- Peak performance needed
- Raiders defensive scheme
- SIS Projection: 283 passing yards
All the marbles will be on the table on Sunday night when the Chargers visit the Raiders with a playoff berth awarded to the winner.
- 278.5 passing yards on BetMGM (-110)
Justin Herbert’s name isn’t mentioned in the MVP conversation and most fans would offer several others if asked to name this season’s best quarterbacks. Herbert is likely to end up as the top QB in SIS’ Points Earned and WAR metrics. He’ll have a chance to earn more respect with a big performance on Sunday that leads his team to the playoffs.
The Chargers head into this game with the sixth-highest neutral pass rate in the league (63%). Brandon Staley is one of the brightest head coaches in the league and will assuredly put this crucial game in the hands of his star QB.
The Raiders defense uses zone coverage on 75% of their plays. This bodes well for Herbert who ranks first in IQR against zone (111) but just ninth against man (98).
Add into the equation that Las Vegas hardly blitzes (10%, lowest) and the recipe becomes even more appetizing. Only Patrick Mahomes has dropped back more times than Herbert against zone coverages with a 3- or 4-man rush, and nobody has performed better in terms of IQR.
Independent QB Rating (IQR) Leaders vs Zone + No Blitz (2021)
Additional tips: It’s win or go home for the Chargers so expect to see a heavy dose of Herbert in what the sportsbooks expect to be a close, competitive game. BetMGM users can take advantage of their one-game parlay feature to stack Chargers moneyline + Herbert over 278.5 passing yards for +210 odds. Let it ride up to 281.5 passing yards.
WHY YOU SHOULD BET THE UNDER FOR ZACH WILSON LONGEST COMPLETION IN WEEK 18
- Bills short passing funnel
- Wilson’s recent track record
The Jets will travel to Buffalo for their season finale where temperatures are expected to be below freezing at game time.
- 30.5 longest completion on DraftKings (-110)
We have decided to go back to a proven winner one final time. The Bills defense has been one of the top all-around units this season, but has particularly specialized in limiting big gains through the air.
Buffalo’s secondary has allowed just seven completions traveling 20+ air yards, which translates to less than one every two games. Opponents rarely even attempt it, going deep on just 7% of their throws (lowest rate in the league) and they’ve allowed an explosive play on just 5% of passing plays.
There was concern that the loss of Tre’Davious White in Week 12 could compromise the Bills secondary, but they’ve allowed just one deep ball completion in the five games since he went down.
Fewest Deep Ball Completions Allowed (2021)
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Zach Wilson is coming off one of the best games of his rookie season but is still playing very inconsistently. Good or bad, Wilson has not been connecting on long plays lately, with zero completions of 30+ yards in his last five games.
Additional tips: The weather and data trends all point to the under. The sportsbook isn’t blind to this matchup and has set a low line – long completion lines are most commonly between 32.5 and 35.5. We wouldn’t expect the number to move here, but the odds may. Feel confident playing it as high as -120.