Island games are the highlight of any NFL week for betting enthusiasts. As the industry continues to grow, some of the most discussed moments belong to single-game opportunities.
Last week's writeups went 9-7 for +5.15 units, making up for the disaster that hit in Week 8. Our overall record moves to 70-75, and we are up +11.99 units through the first nine weeks.
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One of the easiest transitions into sports betting is through player props, as fantasy applications help evaluate betting opportunities.
Props are priced for a player's median stat projection in a simple, over-or-under, two-sided market. For historical context, we saw 53% of player props hit the under, regardless of the category, during the 2020 season.
Most Week 9 player props fell heavily toward the under, with players finishing under their posted total at the second-highest rate of the season. In fact, the last eight weeks have all had a majority of props finish under. At this point in the season, the path of least resistance is to sweat out some unders, even if it feels uncomfortable at times.
|Bet type||% of under wins||% of over wins|
|Rushing & Receiving Yards||48.1%||51.9%|
Receiving-yardage unders remain the best props to target. And because target share is somewhat consistent but more difficult to predict than rushing-attempt share, reception totals are also a worthwhile betting category.
For bettors looking to target overs, rushing attempts and combined rushing and receiving yardage numbers present the best opportunities, but we have seen an uptick in interceptions and pass attempts, as well.
One of the best ways to quantify an edge is utilizing PFF's player props tool, as the ability to adjust both number and price means you are always certain of the expected value for each prop bet. Let’s dive into the best player props to bet for the NFL Thursday night game.
QB LAMAR JACKSON: Over 9.5 Carries (-105)
Jackson has increased his rushing volume over the Ravens' last four games, averaging 13.75 carries per game compared to just 10.5 from Week 1 to Week 4. But despite this upward trend, Jackson’s carries prop has actually decreased. After closing at 10.5 most weeks (with a high of 11.5), it has now been 9.5 over the last three.
The former MVP is also coming off a monster volume game, as he carried the ball a season-high 21 times in Baltimore’s overtime victory over the Vikings. As expected, Jackson leads all quarterbacks in rushing attempt percentage and missed tackles forced per attempt this season.
PFF’s player props tool gives Jackson a 53.6% chance to rush at least 10 times in this game, representing positive expected value for bettors at -105 odds.
RB DEVONTA FREEMAN: Under 45.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
Baltimore ran the football 41 times in Week 9 — their second-highest total on the season. Freeman saw 36.6% of the total team rush attempts, and Le’Veon Bell saw 29.3%. A similar split is projected for Thursday night.