• RB David Montgomery, Detroit Lions: Over 48.5 rushing yards — We’re fading, to a degree, how good the Bears' run defense actually is, and we're also buying low on Montgomery in just his second game back from injury.
• WR Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers: Over 33.5 receiving yards — The Chargers have been incapable of defending slot receivers, allowing the highest completion rate, second-highest explosive reception rate, most yards per coverage target by a full yard, highest success rate, highest first down rate and fifth-highest EPA per target.
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Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
We’re back with a two-pack of player props for Week 11. With a short turnaround to a three-game Thursday slate, tune in to the PFF Forecast and join the Printing Press Discord to keep abreast of our favorite bets.
Detroit Lions RB David Montgomery over 48.5 rushing yards (-115, DraftKings)
The Chicago Bears‘ run defense has been a topic of conversation recently, with the unit ranking second in the NFL in EPA per rush allowed and rushing success rate allowed. While there are legitimate reasons for the unit’s improvement — free agent additions in linebacker T.J. Edwards and nose tackle Andrew Billings, plus trade acquisition edge defender Montez Sweat — there is another factor at play here.
Chicago’s past five opponents rank as follows in EPA per rush on the season: 27th, 32nd, 19th, 18th and 20th. Earlier in the season, the Bears faced the 30th- and 26th-ranked teams, with just one opponent out of 10 so far ranking in the top 10 of EPA per rush. We talk a lot about pass-defense performance being largely a product of opposing quarterbacks faced, and the same principle doesn’t apply as cleanly here, but odds are Chicago doesn’t magically have an elite run defense — rather, an above average to good one.
Another reason for Montgomery’s lower number here is the emergence of Lions first-round running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who has earned a more equal split of the workload. Gibbs had 14 carries in Week 10 to Montgomery’s 12, yet Montgomery still exploded for 116 yards, which did include a 75-yard touchdown run. A game script against Chicago, with Detroit currently a 7.5-point favorite, could lead to Montgomery bleeding out the clock in the second half against his former team, a club he left with some bad blood after they didn’t make much of an effort to retain him.
Chicago will likely be without linebacker Tremaine Edmunds in this game, and backup Jack Sanborn is dealing with an illness that may impact his performance. We’re fading, to a degree, how good the Bears' run defense actually is, and we're also buying low on Montgomery in just his second game back from injury.
Green Bay Packers WR Jayden Reed over 33.5 receiving yards (-115)
This number is higher than the lines for the past month for Reed, but the upward adjustment is not enough, considering the opponent, with the move likely accounting for the fact Reed has had his two highest yardage outputs of the season over the past three weeks but not how inept the Los Angeles Chargers have been against slot receivers.
The Chargers have been incapable of defending slot receivers all season long, allowing the highest completion rate, second-highest explosive reception rate, most yards per coverage target by a full yard, highest success rate, highest first down rate and fifth-highest EPA per target. No matter how you slice it, it has been beyond ugly.
Reed lines up in the slot on 77% of snaps and has had the trust of quarterback Jordan Love right out of the gate this season, earning targets at all levels of the field. Packers running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver Christian Watson have been limited in practice all week, which could open up a few more opportunities. Finally, this game figures to have a higher pace and present a game script that necessitates passing from Green Bay, giving us more volume to capitalize on.