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NFL Betting 2020: First look at player props for Week 1 Monday Night Football

Player props continue to grow in popularity — they are an easy way for fantasy players to get accustomed to sports betting. Props are priced for a player’s median stat projection in a simple over-or-under, two-sided market. For historical context, 55% of player props hit the under — regardless of category — between the 2017 and 2019 seasons. This is because player props have to be shaded toward the over because of the asymmetrical distribution of the stats in question. 

This played out close to expected in Week 1, as we saw 54.8% of player props finish under the stated total.

Both Monday Night Football games have seen the totals drop, which in turn has caused the player prop market to move downward with it. Our player prop tool still finds considerable value on some plays. Let’s take a quick look at both games from a betting perspective before diving into the best prop bets to make as kickoff nears.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants 

The market has fallen in love with the Steelers, pushing this opening line from a 3.5-point spread out to 6. Both the cash and ticket percentages are heavily skewed toward Pittsburgh, but a higher percentage of cash has come in on the road favorite.

This signals that both the sharp and public side tend to be moving in that direction, but a higher percentage of big money bets have found their way onto the Steelers. Any more movement from the market could make it time to finally buy into the Giants — even though we don’t have a full understanding of the value of home-field advantage in this unorthodox season.

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