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 3:20pm ET on Friday, November 29.
Week 12 Record: 4-1, +288
YTD Record: 40-22, +$1525
* Won/lost dollar amount is based on betting to win $100 on each favored prop and risking $100 on each underdog prop.
1. Zach Pascal receiving yards
Line: 35.5 yards
Projection: 47.2 yards
Bet: Over (-112)
2. Zach Pascal receptions
Line: 2.5 catches
Projection: 3.5 catches
Bet: Over (+107)
Notes: The Colts will be playing without both Eric Ebron and TY Hilton. The Titans perimeter corner duo of Adoree Jackson and Leshaun Sims have struggled badly. These lines reflect Pascal’s seasonal averages, not this week’s context. Of course I’m likely to either win both bets or lose both, but I’m fine with that when I think the EV is really high. It also helps to make separate yet correlated bets when books are limiting you.
3. Chris Godwin receiving yards
Line: 84.5 yards
Projection: 77.8 yards
Bet: Under (-118)
Notes: I hate to bet against the God himself, but this is a big number for anyone. Particularly in a spot where Jameis Winston tends to struggle – against zone coverage and facing one of the league’s best pass rushes. Although Godwin is averaging 97.3 receiving yards per game this year, he’s only gone over 84.5 in 5-of-11 games. It’s an example of thinking median vs. mean when it comes to props.
4. Darius Slayton receptions
Bet: Over (-118)
Notes: This line does not reflect the Giants’ pass-catching situation Sunday. Golden Tate, Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison are all out. That leaves Slayton as the No. 2 option behind Sterling Shepard in a potential shootout.
5. Jack Doyle receptions
Bet: Over (+120)
Notes: Eric Ebron is out, TY Hilton is out and Mo-Alie Cox is questionable. Doyle, how is riding a streak of eight straight games with at least three catches, gets a big volume boost here. Yet the line reflects his season average, as we see so many times in the props market. If it was at -112 I likely would have passed, but +120 makes it a bet.