We go across the board for prop bet talent this week by making projections on a couple of quarterbacks, a running back, a wide receiver and a tight end in hopes that spreading the bets across the board will have a better chance of taking you to the pay window this week.
The Lion King
Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson hasn’t been consistent in the new-look Lions offense, but both of Minnesota’s top linebackers (Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr) are injured and he can create mismatches with safeties. His Over/Under is very modest (45.5 receiving yards at -114 for both). He has never hit that number in four career games as a Viking, but he is now the go-to guy in Detroit. He’s averaging less than 10 yards per reception, but the Vikings are vulnerable over the middle. It may take just one splash play down the seam to get you halfway home, and add two or three checkdown Charlies to seal the deal. Take the Over (-114).
Stuck in neutral
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has gaudy season-long passing numbers, due primarily to an amazing start before the Jon Gruden/Henry Ruggs sagas played out. His Over/Under for passing seems reasonable (268.5 passing yards at -115 Over, -112 Under). He’s at home against Washington, which, on paper looks positive. However, Washington hasn’t allowed more than 24 points in its last five games (including Green Bay and Tampa Bay). The reason? Washington’s defense has started looking a lot more like its D from last year, and the team held the ball for 35 minutes, on average, over the last five games. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for an opposing QB to make big plays, especially without his big-play receiver. Take the Under (-115).
Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans has had to share the wealth more than he typically has as Tom Brady brought a couple of his buddies down to Tampa to fatten up the roster. However, with Antonio Brown under suspension, the load of targets he would receive needs to be spread around. Evans Over/Under is surprisingly low given he’s playing the Falcons (59.5 receiving yards at -114 for both the Over and Under). In his last 11 games against them, he has topped that number eight times. With Tampa Bay still looking to lock down the No. 1 seed if the chips fall right, pounding Atlanta is on that menu. Take the Over (-114).
Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Giants running back Saquon Barkley continues to disappoint, but he continues to get respect when it comes to his Over/Under numbers compared to his production (55.5 rushing yards at -115 Over, -112 Under). After starting 1-7, Miami has rattled off four straight wins on the back of its defense – opponents have scored just 46 points in the last four games. Barkley will be targeted when he is in the game, and his lack of attempts in his return from injury may require him to pop a big run to hit this number. Is he capable of topping this modest number? Yes. But, he’s only done it once this season and that was with 57 yards in Week 2. Take the Under (-112).
Freedom and Justin For All
There are some numbers you check because you want to see how high they are – only to be shocked at how low the number is. Such is the case with Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert and his rushing projection (15.5 rushing yards at -112 Over, -115 Under). Not only is it a low number, but the line indicates that he should hit the Under. In the last two games, Herbert has had his two best rushing yardage games of the season – 90 against the Steelers and 36 against Denver. In two of his last three games, he has a single scramble that surpasses this number. The Bengals bring the heat and sacks don’t count against your rushing numbers. He will be flushed from the pocket, and it can reasonably be anticipated he will scramble three times. One of them will likely be with open real estate in front of him. Take the Over (-112).
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