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NFL Betting 2020: Week 14 Thursday Night Football player props

Dec 6, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) points at the line of scrimmage during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL player props continue to grow in popularity, as they are an easy way for fantasy football players to get accustomed to sports betting.

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 Week 13 was the second weekly occurrence where the majority of props went over their posted line. Up until the weekend, player props were trending toward unders hitting, which makes Week 13 feel like an outlier week.

Only six of 13 game totals went over last week, which makes increased efficiency seem like the reason for the prop numbers going over despite teams settling for field goals in the red zone. We don’t track touchdown props outside of quarterback passing touchdowns, but if these were included in the dataset, it’s possible that more unders would have once again hit.

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%
12 54.21% 45.79%
13 44.20% 55.80%

The percentage of props going under now sits at 52.86% 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 —especially rushing yardage props when usage looks to be split for a timeshare.

Prop Category Percentage of Under Wins Percentage of Over Wins
Passing Attempts 56.48% 43.52%
Passing Completions 50.15% 49.85%
Passing Interceptions 48.92% 51.08%
Passing TDs 50.15% 49.85%
Passing Yards 53.09% 46.91%
Receptions 50.99% 49.01%
Receiving Yards 53.20% 46.80%
Rushing Yards 57.64% 42.36%
All Props 52.86% 47.14%

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 3-4 in Week 13 after a couple of quarterback rushing props failed to find their way over. This brings my year to date written prop record to 67-48-1 for +14.2 units. 

We are hitting the point of the season where usage is better understood. We 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 where usage at the team level isn’t fully understood, making these valuable opportunities to target.

Some of the props written may not be the most comfortable bets, but being able to take 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 Thursday Night Football in Week 14 before diving into some of the best player props, according to our tool.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ LOS ANGELES RAMS

The Patriots hope to keep their playoff hopes alive on Thursday Night Football, with our latest simulation giving them a 14.4% chance to make the playoffs. A win tonight would double that figure, but a loss drops them to just a 5% chance. The Rams are all but locked into the playoff picture, with a 54.6% chance at winning the NFC West. A win doesn’t increase their chances as much as a loss drops their opportunity.

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