Week 1 NFL Betting Picks: Player Props

Sep 12, 2020
Week 1 NFL Betting Picks: Player Props

Football is back. That has to be my favorite sentence I’ve written in the past six months. The return of football also features the return of my weekly player prop article. I’ve broken down my favorite player props for the past three seasons and have been profitable every year. This article will usually drop on Saturday afternoon and focus on the player props available for the Sunday games. If you are new to the player prop world, welcome! It’s the easiest transition from fantasy sports to sports betting and is much easier than trying to outperform the chiseled player models or ship large-field GPPs in DFS. We created an Online Sports Betting Offers hub page for new customers to find the best deposit bonuses and see which “boosts” are available. Sportsbooks are heavily investing in customer acquisition and are willing to hand you a stack of cash just to get you in the door (Metaphorically speaking, of course. Everything is mobile nowadays).

Since it’s Week 1, this entire article will be free! Let’s jump in...

DraftKings Week 1 Player Prop Bets

Sam Darnold Under 224.5 Passing Yards (-111)

Many of you are probably looking at this number and thinking it’s already really low. The reality is Darnold has four new offensive linemen blocking for him, which is important to note with minimal practice. His pass-catching group is also banged up with Denzel Mims ruled out, in addition to Breshad Perriman at less than 100% due to knee swelling. In two games against the Bills last year, Darnold threw for just 175 and 199 yards, respectively. On the other side, the Bills defense figures to continue to be a strength after boasting the fifth-best passing success rate allowed (41%) and the No. 1 overall defense in explosive pass rate allowed (6%). The Bills allowed more than 224.5 yards in just six games last season and will have a chance to tee off against Darnold’s weakened offensive line. There’s a good chance Darnold finishes under 200 yards for the third-straight time. I’d bet this until 210 yards.

Risk: 1.11 Units to Win 1 Unit

Dalvin Cook Over 73.5 Rushing Yards (-111)

Cook only played against Green Bay once last season but ripped off 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Green Bay did essentially nothing to address their defensive line woes, a unit ranked dead last in rushing successs rate allowed and 21st in explosive run rate allowed last season. The Vikings lost Stefon Diggs, and first-round pick Justin Jefferson is progressing slowly. Their intentions were made very clear last year (4th in run rate, 8th in one-score-game run rate), and with Gary Kubiak remaining in the fold I expect a determined attempt at establishing the run. The Vikings are three-point favorites against the Packers, which raises his floor and decreases the likelihood he doesn’t get a full complement of carries due to negative game script. With Cook now securing a contract extension, all worries about a limited workload or him holding out should be forgotten. Bang the over.

Risk: 1.11 Units to Win 1 Unit

Marlon Mack over 54.5 Rushing Yards (-111)

Marlon Mack is in a fantastic spot here against the Jaguars. They were among the league’s worst run defenses last year, ranking 28th in success rate allowed and 29th in explosive run rate allowed. They also traded away Yannick Ngakoue and are very clearly tanking. On the other hand, the Colts have an elite offensive line that will open up truck-sized holes for both Mack and Jonathan Taylor. They will likely be very committed to the run after ranking third in one-score game run rate (49%) last season. As 7.5-point favorites, game script will likely be in Mack’s favor—raising both his floor and ceiling. The biggest offseason question surrounding this backfield was the split between Mack and Taylor. All of the latest reports have been saying Mack will be the starter to kick off the season and should see the majority of the carries. Who knows how long that lasts but it looks to be the Colts' plan heading into Week 1, at least. With a plum matchup and team dedicated to running the ball, it doesn’t get much better than this for Mack. I’m also interested in potentially taking the over on his carries whenever that prop is released.

Risk: 1.1 Units to Win 1 Unit

Irv Smith Jr. Over 22.5 Receiving Yards (-112)

With the departure of Stefon Diggs, many are turning their attention to former LSU WR Justin Jefferson to be the new No. 2 wideout. The issue is Jefferson has been running behind Olabisi Johnson and isn’t even slated to start this week. On the other hand, camp reports about Irv Smith Jr. have been glowing. He should see an expanded role and has been rumored to be lining up all over the formation. There’s a legitimate chance he ends up as their second most-targeted player behind Adam Thielen. Either way, the 22.5 line is far too low given his expected role.

Risk 1.1 Units to Win 1 Unit

FanDuel Week 1 Player Prop Bets

DeVante Parker Under 65.5 Receiving Yards (-122)

I’m shocked this line was even posted. BetMGM has Parker around 55.5 yards and we are projecting him for 54.3 receiving yards. Everyone knows he is one of few players who has had Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore’s number in the past but Parker is very likely to be limited here. Head coach Brian Flores on Wednesday: “Given no preseason, no one has played a football game in a long time. It’s hard to think somebody can jump out there and play 60, 70, 80 snaps.” Beyond that sentiment, Parker has been dealing with a lingering hamstring issue which has limited his reps in practice. Let’s not forget Parker’s splits with Preston Williams are very notable. In eight games with Preston Williams, Parker averaged just 6.5 targets, 3.5 receptions and 50 yards per game. It wasn’t until after Williams was lost for the season Parker broke out. In the game against the Patriots where Williams was active, Parker didn't record a single reception on a whopping seven targets. I would bet this down to 60 yards.

Risk 1.22 Units to Win 1 Unit

Mark Andrews Over 48.5 Receiving Yards (-110)

This opened at 42.5 where I was able to get down on it. If a line like that ever jumps out at me I’ll be posting it in the new 4for4 Discord Server. Sometimes these lines move fast and it’s important to grab the best number. Having said that, this number is bettable up to 55 yards. Andrews has a fantastic matchup against a banged-up Browns defense without Mack Wilson and Grant Delpit in the middle of the field. With Hayden Hurst gone and Andrews at full health, I expect him to play even more than he did last season and improve upon his 22% target share. We have Andrews projected for 65 yards—a number that might wind up being too conservative.

Risk 1.1 Units to Win 1 Unit

BetMGM Week 1 Player Prop Bets

Chris Thompson Over 24.5 Receiving Yards (-115)

Chris Thompson is once again reunited with former head coach Jay Gruden in Jacksonville, where he is now the offensive coordinator. With Leonard Fournette out of the picture, the Jaguars backfield is comprised of UDFA James Robinson, newly-signed Dare Ogunbowale, and Thompson. Robinson was listed as the starter on the initial depth chart but they can't always be trusted. I’m not sure how much of the early-down work Thompson sees but with already having Gruden’s trust it’s very likely he sees a lot of passing-down work. This bodes well for him as the Jaguars are more than a touchdown underdog and will likely be facing massive negative game script. Gardner Minshew also showed he is not afraid to dump the ball off last, evidenced by Fournette's 18% target share when the two played together. This is a great spot for Thompson to rack up 30+ receiving yards—I’d bet it up to that number.

Risk: 1.15 Units to Win 1 Unit

Pick Summary
Bet Book Odds Risk Win
Sam Darnold Under 224.5 PaYDs DK -111 1.11 1
Marlon Mack Over 54.5 RuYDs DK -111 1.11 1
Irv Smith Jr. Over 22.5 RuYDs DK -111 1.11 1
Dalvin Cook over 73.5 RuYDs DK -111 1.11 1
DeVante Parker Under 66.5 RecYDs FD -122 1.11 1
Mark Andrews Over 48.5 RecYDs FD -110 1.10 1
Chris Thompson Over 24.5 RecYDs BetMGM -115 1.15 1

I’ll be keeping tabs on my record every week in terms of percentage and overall units won. If you enjoyed this article and want to keep reading each week be sure to sign up for the DFS and Betting package. If you have any questions about subscribing or my picks each week feel free to send me a message on 4for4’s Members Only Discord Server or on Twitter @ConnorAllenNFL.

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