Betting into an extremely liquid market such as NFL sides and totals is a very difficult endeavor. Lines move to efficiency very quickly and can’t be beat at -110 by the overwhelming majority of bettors.
However, player props are extremely beatable. As hardcore fantasy players, we are actually putting more time and thought into player outlooks than the oddsmakers. And since the limits on these player props are typically low, a lot of books don’t mind leaving up some soft lines. It’s essentially advertising to get people into their book. Don’t use player props as a guide for your DFS selections. Instead, we should be seeking out soft player props to bet.
The goal of this article isn’t to “tout” picks, it’s to help you develop your own process by showing you mine. You may not be able to get these lines at your book. The general idea is simple: Take a projection you’re confident in and compare it to the available line. After that, the key is to add in our knowledge of player usage to gain a bigger edge.
I made these bets at 10:31pm ET on Friday, November 15.
Week 10 Record: 2-2, -12
YTD Record: 33-20, +$1049
* Won/lost dollar amount is based on betting to win $100 on each favored prop and risking $100 on each underdog prop.
1. Mark Andrews receiving yards
Line: 47.5 yards
Projection: 59.2 yards
Bet: Over (-112)
Notes: We’ve seen Andrews play a limited role in games the Ravens weren’t forced to the air. That is unlikely to be the case Sunday with Deshaun Watson coming to town. Note that Andrews has an outrageous 39% target share from Lamar Jackson this season. I want to be bullish on Jackson in this spot and Andrews is a +EV way to do so. Lamar’s props were in line with projections.
2. John Brown receptions
Line: 3.5 receptions
Projection: 4.8 receptions
Bet: Over (-157)
Notes: I hate to lay -157, especially on an over. That line implies that the bet needs to hit 61.7% of the time to break even. But John Brown’s role has been so solid this season as he’s reached four catches in all nine games so far. There’s little reason to think he can’t reach his projection in this matchup at warm-weather Miami against a defense ranked 19th in completion percentage allowed and 31st in sacks.
3. Devin Singletary rushing yards
Projection: 55.9 yards
Bet: Under (-112)
Notes: I do think this is a nice bounce-back spot for Devin Singletary, but 66 yards is a big number for a player who has more than eight carries in a game once all season. It’s a case of the mean being different than the median. In other words, Singletary has some huge games in this spot where he does get to 18 carries and smashes this 65.6 yard prop. And that drags up his average. But the median is far lower because there are a lot of outcomes where he gets 12 carries or fewer.
4. Hunter Renfrow receiving yards
Line: 33.5 yards
Projection: 44.5 yards
Bet: Over (-112)
Notes: I certainly want to be bullish on the Raiders offense in this dream setup at home against the Bengals. While Renfrow is far from exciting, he has secured the slot role with ease and topped 42 yards in three straight. Note that Renfrow’s season average is 33.2 yards per game, which is likely where this line came from. It doesn’t reflect the more voluminous recent role.