Island games are the highlight of any NFL week for betting enthusiasts. And as the industry continues to grow, some of the most discussed moments belong to these single-game opportunities.
Week 12 was the worst weekend of the season for our prime-time writeups, as we went 7-20 for -9.98 units. Our overall record moves to 92-111, though we are still up +5.92 units through the first 12 weeks. It’s time to rebound.
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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.
Players are finishing under their posted total at a much higher rate than last season. It has been one-sided for player prop unders overall this year, so you are swimming upstream if you're trying to bet overs in this market. At this point in the season, the path of least resistance is to sweat out some unders, even if it feels uncomfortable at times.
Receiving and passing 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, as do the over-one-interception lines for some quarterbacks.
A better way to quantify an edge is utilizing PFF's best bets 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 DAK PRESCOTT: UNDER 1.5 TDs (+175)
Prescott has been on a touchdown tear this season — he still ranks eighth among quarterbacks in touchdown passes despite missing a week due to injury. However, there are a few key reasons why he might not throw multiple scores in this one.
Firstly, star wide receiver Amari Cooper has only just been reactivated from the COVID-19 reserve after missing last week's game and remains a game-time decision. And with Ceedee Lamb likely not 100% in his first game back from a concussion, Dak’s receiving corps could struggle against a Saints defense that ranks 11th among NFL defenses in team coverage grade and fourth in red-zone touchdowns allowed this season.
Additionally, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently said that he expects Ezekiel Elliott to carry a “serious load” against the Saints, which could mean an extra goal-line carry or two and therefore one or two fewer opportunities for Dak to throw a touchdown.
Not only does PFF’s player props tool see the under as the more likely side to cover (with a 50.6% probability), but the value here is too good to pass up for bettors at +175 odds.
QB DAK PRESCOTT UNDER 0.5 INTERCEPTIONS (-115)
Prescott ranks among the NFL's top five quarterbacks in turnover-worthy play percentage this season (2.3%), which is a better predictor of future interception likelihood than raw interception totals. Given that Dallas is likely to rely on the ground game due to their positive expected game script, Prescott shouldn't have to force too many throws in this game.
six of WR DEONTE HARRIS UNDER 34.5 RECEIVING YARDS (-115)
Saints Wide Receiver Usage in Week 12
|Player||Offensive Snap %||Routes Run %||Target %|
If Harris’ usage continues to slip in favor of younger players, he has no chance of going over a receiving yardage prop that he has cleared in just six of his 10 games this season.
There is also the lingering question of Taysom Hill taking over more snaps at quarterback, which will cut into the receiving corps' opportunities as the offense shifts toward highlighting Hill’s rushing ability.
Everything is pointing toward Harris going under this receiving yardage number, with PFF’s betting tool showing 1.5% value at the current price.
PFF Greenline gives the Saints a 53.4% chance to cover as home underdogs, which represents positive expected value for sports bettors at -110 odds.