BETTING PLAYER PROPS WITH ETR
With legal sports betting expanding across the USA and sportsbooks providing more reliable betting options, as well as there being an increased emphasis on expanding available player props markets, we have upgraded our prop betting coverage this season. The goal of this article is to explain our general process for approaching this market while providing a peek behind the scenes of our evaluating a bet. There is a lot of noise in the fantasy and betting communities; our goal is to provide only the highest-quality products to our subscribers, and we hope you’ll take that away from reviewing our approach to betting player props.
Alongside Adam Levitan’s personal sourcing of props, Establish The Run has assembled a team of skilled fantasy players and projections-oriented news grinders to source as many good bets as we possibly can throughout the NFL and NBA seasons.
Overall, we’re confident in our combination of quantitative (our projection system) and qualitative (knowledge of betting markets, access to reliable news and information) analysis, particularly as we dedicate more resources to this effort. While we cannot guarantee these results will continue, our performance thus far confirms the belief that our props betting process is built to win.
2021-22 NFL: 216-118, +$8,572 through Super Bowl LVI
2021-22 NBA: 751-495, +$20,348 through the NBA Finals
2022-23 NFL: 308-222, +$5,860 through Super Bowl LVII
2022-23 NBA: 630-414, +$16,462 through April 11, 2023
*Both assume betting to win $100 on each favored prop and risking $100 on each underdog prop. All plays are released with push notifications to our Discord community (subscriber-only) at the time of release. Note: We expect these win rates to regress going forward.
The marriage of our industry-leading projections with an experienced team of analysts is the secret sauce of Establish The Run’s props offering.
If you’re an ETR subscriber, you know how much time and effort our staff puts into our fantasy projections. Our analytics team is led by longtime DFS pros Mike Leone and Drew Dinkmeyer, who, in addition to creating and managing projection systems for years, successfully deploy our system’s outputs in the highest-stakes fantasy contests in the world.
Our efficiency and play-calling (run/pass ratios) models have been thoroughly refined. Adjustments to rates and efficiency are made by our projections team based on injuries, news, weather, etc. Altogether, we combine the qualitative expertise of Evan Silva and Adam Levitan with a rigorously-tested quantitative approach to provide the best projections in fantasy sports.
However, projections are just a starting point. The props market is dynamic and requires more than just following a quantitative projection system to win. To address this, Adam Levitan, who previously sourced bets on his own, leads a small team of analysts to source prop bets we think have incorrect lines.
Our experienced team of analysts allows us to pair our projections with a deep understanding of the sports betting landscape.
Reacting to injury information continues to play a big role in our success. In the NBA, for example, understanding how rotations will change if a questionable player is ruled in or out gives us a leg up on the sportsbooks. Our team is also able to make informed guesses on player statuses before they become official, which enhances our head start so we can pounce on bad lines whenever they’re released.
Additionally, we have analysts available around the clock to monitor props, injury news, and status updates to cross-reference with our projections. This allows us to react quickly to news and have multiple voices weighing in on the validity of a potential wager.
Lastly, our approach to betting props goes hand-in-hand with improving our projections across the board. Because we can get a feel for how sportsbooks are projecting an entire team, the large menu of props available to bet helps us hone in our projections down to the individual player level. If we’re too high or too low on a specific player, we can cross-reference the betting lines for his teammates to see if we’re off at the player level, the team level, or the overall game environment.
The result? An exhaustive process that combines both a quantitative and qualitative approach with the goal of consistently identifying winning bets.
THE PROCESS IN ACTION
To illustrate how our props team utilizes both our player projections and our qualitative insights to make nuanced betting decisions, we’ve outlined our process for betting Quez Watkins UNDER 44.5 receiving yards in Week 8 of the NFL season.
Week 8 Bet: Quez Watkins under 44.5 rec yards -115 (DraftKings, FanDuel)
Watkins was a bet that we were pretty confident we got in “good”. Our mean projection from our fantasy projection system on Watkins was showing an UNDER (38.8 yards) when compared to the line. The first thing we want to do in that scenario is make sure the inputs feeding our projection are accurate.
On the volume side, while Watkins’ role had been growing in recent weeks (season high in snaps in Weeks 6 and 7), it wasn’t a huge increase from the snaps he had been playing en route to a ~10% target share at that point in the season. Plus, Jalen Reagor was still playing 70+% of snaps each week. As a result, we felt we were adequately adjusting for the slight uptrend in role with a projected target share of 12.5% for the week. Additionally, we had the Eagles running more offensive plays but throwing at a much lower rate (projected 60.5% called pass plays) because of the projected game script. Add it all up, and we were confident in our 4.1 target projection.
On the efficiency side, we thought Watkins’ current 13.4 yards per target was likely inflating this prop line. Our expectation, even in a matchup expected to boost efficiency, was around 10 yards per target (which is aggressive). So, our final yardage projection of around 40 yards seemed to pass all the projected sanity checks and was perhaps even aggressive on the efficiency front.
The second thing we want to do in this scenario is consider “mean” versus “median” projection. In general, players have a median projection lower than their mean projection. That’s especially true for players like Watkins who have a high yards per catch and a medium-sized role, providing more room to outperform his projection to the high side than the low side. These “ceiling” performances skew the mean upwards, despite most performances coming in lower than that. Even though our mean projection was only showing an under by a handful of yards, the range of outcomes further confirmed that this was a good bet on the under side.
Week 8 Result: Quez Watkins, 18 rec yards (UNDER 44.5 rec yards) ✅
BET PROPS WITH ETR
Now that you’ve seen how much thought and effort we put into our prop betting process, join the ETR community and allow us to do the hard work for you. After signing up, the process is simple:
Our props team sources as many prop bets as we can find and relays them to you via push notifications to your mobile device, courtesy of Establish The Run’s Props Discord channel.
In addition to posting props we take to the ETR website, we will often (but not always) release a blurb about why we like the bet.
Lastly, you will receive access to the ETR subscriber-only Discord community, which is a great place to discuss props with other enthusiasts. Our goal is to get props and betting enthusiasts together and form a community where we can enjoy fantasy and betting together.
To get started betting props with ETR, subscribe to our NFL and NBA packages below:
To gain access to our NFL props offering, subscribe to our NFL Props Package.
Please note: Accessing our Discord server AND Telegram channel will be essential to maximizing your experience with our props package. If you do not want to use the Discord app on your phone to receive push notifications, we recommend keeping expectations low about available lines. Lines will move quickly and you will need to be ready to act in order to get the same or similar lines. Please read this FAQ before purchasing a props package.
If you have any additional questions about our props offering or in-season packages, please reach out to [email protected]
– The ETR Team