As NFL Week 1 odds inch closer, time is winding down for bettors to wager on season-long player props. With that in mind, TheLines’ staff has shared their NFL betting strategy for these types of selections at legal sportsbooks.
Click on any of the odds below to place a wager.
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NFL Betting: Season-Long Player Prop Wagers
Cam Akers Under Rushing Yards
(via Eli Hershkovich)
After suffering a torn Achilles in July 2021, Akers surprisingly returned for the Rams’ Super Bowl run, averaging 16.8 carries per game across their four postseason matchups.
But Los Angeles coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Liam Coen have stressed their plan to rotate Akers and fellow tailback Darrell Henderson Jr. often, with McVay stating, “I look at it as we’ve got two starting backs.” Plus, ESPN’s Sarah Barshop noted that the two were splitting carries in training camp before they each suffered their own respective soft tissue injuries.
Mind you, Henderson wasn’t able to see his fair share touches in the playoffs because of a knee injury.
Considering Akers is still in the midst of recovering from a serious wound — on top of Henderson’s inability to exhibit his burst down the stretch — expect the 23-year-old to fail to reach this number in a pass-happy offense. The Rams’ offensive line is also in transition after losing Hall of Fame left tackle Andrew Whitworth (retirement) and right guard Logan Bruss (torn ACL and MCL).
Even with those two in the lineup last season, Los Angeles generated the third-fewest expected points added (EPA) per rush attempt. EPA is calculated by the expected points scored based on the down, distance, and field position at the start of a play — compared with the end result.
Related: 5 NFL Betting Tips For 2022 Season
Adam Thielen Over Receiving Yards
(via Matt Brown)
Full disclosure, I’m extremely bullish on the Vikings. Thielen will have an actually good Kirk Cousins throwing him the ball, along with an offense run by two former Rams coordinators in Kevin O’Connell and Wes Phillips.
Although there are only preseason contests to mull over, Minnesota has run 11 personnel, which includes three wide receivers and one tight end, on 70.9% of their offensive snaps. It did so just 42.5% of the time last season — under the guidance of the inept Mike Zimmer. Hence, Thielen will have a multitude of opportunities to connect with Cousins.
We obviously can’t predict injuries, as Thielen was limited to only 13 games last season. He fell short of topping this 750.5-yard threshold by 24 yards. Even if the injury bug gets him for a couple of games this year, he’d need to average a mere 51.0 yards per game over 15 games to get us home.
Keep in mind, Thielen played in 15 games two seasons ago while tallying 925 receiving yards in the process. Yes, Justin Jefferson is going to soak up a ton of targets, but there will be plenty left for Thielen — as he is able to suit up for enough snaps.
Moreover, TheLines managing editor Stephen Andress is high on Cousins’ potential in the new-look offensive scheme, betting over passing yards as a result.
Nick Chubb Over Rushing Touchdowns
(via Brett Gibbons)
With Deshaun Watson slated to miss 11 games, the league’s sixth-heaviest rushing team from 2021 is going to lean into their star running. Nick Chubb forced a missed tackle on 8.3% of his carries last season (18th-highest) and finished third at his position in yards per attempt (5.5).
Chubb also tallied the 10th-most red zone rushing attempts (22), but only four of those resulted in touchdowns. I take this as a sign for positive regression. Running backs, who amassed similar rushing attempts, compiled 8.0 scores on average.
Red zone opportunities were the Achilles heel for Chubb’s scoring output, but he proves to be a home run threat on any play. The Browns finished 2021 with the fifth-highest rushing EPA per carry. Cleveland’s offensive line was one of the best in the NFL, leading the league in adjusted line yards (4.85). It battled injuries up front, but return those players are at full strength this season. Despite that concern, along with missing three games of his own, Chubb finished with eight rushing touchdowns in 2021.
An initial over 8.5 rushing scores (-122) at FanDuel Sportsbook has since been deemed off-market. That number has jumped to 9.5, which is closer to numbers at other legal sportsbooks. Both DraftKings and BetMGM, respectively, put juice on over 10.5 (-125) while FanDuel still lags behind at 9.5 (-112).
As long as the number stays below 10, I believe it to be a bet-worthy number.
Jared Goff Over Passing Touchdowns
(via Mo Nuwwarah)
While poring over the NFC rosters for the latest Gridiron Gamble podcast, I noticed something unexpected.
The Lions actually have a potentially solid offense from top to bottom. They have at least four solid receiving options if DJ Chark returns to form along with D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown and TJ Hockenson. The offensive line looks like a top-10 unit as well. So even though Jared Goff isn’t a well-respected signal caller, sure, he can probably produce with this group around him.
What’s more, the secondary looks pretty leaky. Plenty of top-round picks out of recent drafts dot the unit, yet none of them has established a high level of play or even a decent one really.
Therefore, I foresee the Lions finding themselves in quite a few shootouts. I like that the fall to Goff’s backup (Tim Boyle) should be pretty massive, too, discouraging the team from benching him even if he’s struggling.
Goff hasn’t fired 23 TDs since 2018 with the Rams (32). But, he managed 19 last year despite missing three games with a bad unit. Given the improvement and my read on Detroit’s defense, I like Goff to go over here.