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NFL Betting 2020: Thanksgiving Day player props for Week 12

iNov 22, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing goes better with turkey than player props and bet sweats. That’s what football is. One of the easiest ways for fantasy players to get accustomed to sports betting is through player props.  

Player prop unders hit at a 55% rate between 2017 and 2019. The early weeks of 2020 saw fewer unders hit than we had seen in the past, but that has started to correct outside of one outlier Week 7 when the majority of props went over their stated number.

In 10 of the first 11 weeks of the season, most props finished under their number, while three of the past five full weeks have had the highest percentage of unders hitting on the season. Week 11 went back to the early-season split, with props still favoring the under, though not at the high rate we saw in recent weeks.

Week Percentage of Under Wins Percentage of Over Wins
1 52.45% 47.55%
2 51.49% 48.51%
3 51.42% 48.58%
4 53.50% 46.50%
5 55.15% 44.85%
6 59.49% 40.51%
7 46.41% 53.59%
8 57.06% 42.94%
9 52.48% 47.52%
10 58.19% 41.81%
11 52.35% 47.65%

The percentage of props going under now sits at 53.62% for the season. We have seen a correction back to the downside for the majority of prop categories. At a macro level, it appears that passing attempts are down based on expectation, but a higher percentage of those attempts are completed.

Passing touchdowns lean toward the over, but this is a spot to watch for heavy juice shaded to one side or the other. All yardage related props continue to go under at a higher rate, which makes them great to target late in the season. This is especially true of rushing yardage props when usage looks to be split for a timeshare between two or more backs.

Prop Category Percentage of Under Wins Percentage of Over Wins
Passing Attempts 58.67% 41.33%
Passing Completions 51.07% 48.93%
Passing Interceptions 50.74% 49.26%
Passing TDs 49.46% 50.54%
Passing Yards 54.39% 45.61%
Receptions 52.29% 47.71%
Receiving Yards 53.55% 46.45%
Rushing Yards 57.77% 42.23%
All Props 53.62% 46.38%

One way to consistently find defined edges is by utilizing PFF's player props tool. The ability to adjust both number and price means you are always certain of the expected value for each prop bet. 

My written plays went 3-5 in Week 11, with situations playing out close to expected but falling just short on a couple of overs. The slightly down week brings my year-to-date written prop record to 59-40-1 for +14.65 units. We are still in the black on the season, with a few quality weeks left to continue the winning ways. 

We are hitting the point of the season where usage is better understood and are now looking for mispriced lines and situations that have moved too much to one side based on recency bias. There are also situations where players are returning from injury, yet we don't fully understand how they factor into their respective offenses, making these valuable opportunities to target.

Some of the props written may not be the most comfortable bets, but taking a loss that is still based on sound process is a useful skill that all sports bettors should master.

Let’s take a quick look at what the betting market is implying for each Thanksgiving Day matchup before diving into some of the best player props, according to our tool.

HOUSTON TEXANS @ DETROIT LIONS

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