If fretting wagering on NFL spreads and totals (historically the sharpest lines available at any book), props can be an intriguing and outright fun way to have an invested incentive in a player’s performance each and every Sunday. This continued series will be a weekly feature outlining my favorite player props for the upcoming week, including the five detailed below. Any additional bets will be added and updated over the weekend. All props and odds have been sourced accordingly and tracked for accountability below.
Austin Ekeler OVER 4.5 Receptions (-155) — DraftKings Sportsbook
Hunter Henry’s (knee) absence has dwindled Los Angeles’ target tree into concentrated involvement from Keenan Allen, Ekeler, and to a lesser extent Mike Williams. Perhaps the latter’s progressed to being fully healthy for Week 3, but Ekeler’s six targets per game would stick out of necessity anyhow given the Chargers’ urgency to dispense the ball quickly behind their leaky o-line, which has allowed the fourth-highest pressure rate (34.2 percent) through Week 2. Note that Houston’s been tagged for the ninth-most receptions (13) allowed to opposing running backs thus far.
Mecole Hardman OVER 39.5 Receiving Yards (-113) - Pinnacle
There’s no question who Kansas City’s starting receivers are sans Tyreek Hill (collarbone) as Byron Pringle merely ran four routes as the team’s No. 4 option behind Sammy Watkins (43), Demarcus Robinson (42), and Hardman (37) last week. The No. 56 overall pick technically notched this prop twice in his first career start, having a 72-yard bomb negated on 3rd-and-14 for offensive holding. Baltimore’s 10.2 YPA allowed to 11 personnel should help check this one off quickly.
Joe Mixon UNDER 49.5 Rushing Yards (-115) – Pinnacle
Following an offseason that saw Cincy’s No. 11 overall pick OT Jonah Williams undergo shoulder surgery and two additional o-linemen (Clint Boling, Christian Westerman) walk, it’s unsurprising the Bengals rank stone-last in average rushing yards before contact’s been made (-0.10). Don’t expect it to improve this week with LT Cordy Glenn (concussion) still in the league’s protocol and backup LT Andre Smith (groin, questionable) limited. Coach Zac Taylor also said starting LG Michael Jordan (knee, questionable) wouldn’t start even if he’s deemed healthy enough to play. Any production from Mixon will have to stem from the backfield as a receiver.
Kenny Golladay OVER 0.5 TD Receptions (+147) – Pinnacle
Eagles CB Ronald Darby was torched for 7/115/2 against the Falcons last week, allowing 4/78/1 to Calvin Ridley from the left side (per SIS). Unfortunately for Darby, left of the formation is exactly where Golladay’s lined up on a nice 69.3 percent of his snaps. While Marvin Jones, T.J. Hockenson, and Danny Amendola see their involvement and production from Matthew Stafford fluctuate from week to week, we can confidently depend on Golladay’s 33 percent target share and team-high 148 air yards to deliver. The third-year wideout has seen Detroit’s only target inside the 10-yard line so far.
Luke Falk UNDER 0.5 TD Passes (+140) – Pinnacle
The Jets are currently implied to score 10 points, the lowest team total Vegas’s projected since 1978. Odds are New York’s lone touchdown (if it even occurs) doesn’t come from last year’s sixth-rounder who unexpectedly came off the bench on Monday to take shots against an unprepared defense while trailing by two scores throughout. Sports Info Solutions also charged the Jets’ offensive trenches with the seventh-highest pressure rate allowed (32.5%) through two weeks. You can get slightly better vig on this one by wagering at Pinnacle over DraftKings Sportsbook (+138).
DeVante Parker OVER 35.5 Receiving Yards (-115) – DraftKings Sportsbook
This is simply a bet on positive regression in what’s expected to be a negative game script for the Dolphins throughout. Parker has quietly accrued the second-most air yards (310) and a 36 percent target share among all skill players but only has three catches and 10.5 fantasy points to show for it. Josh Rosen’s gone 1-of-6 on attempts 20-plus yards downfield this year, but his adjusted completion rate sits at 50 percent since two of said attempts were outright dropped. Given that Parker could easily score this one with a single catch, it’s the safer option over his 3.5 Receptions (+135) prop.
Last Week: 4-2, +5 Units
Total: 6-8, +4.1 Units