Last Updated: December 11th at 9:48pm ET
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 or season-long 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 on Friday, December 11th. I only look at DraftKings and Fanduel lines, if you shop more there will be softer options.
2019 Record (all individual game player props): 50-36, +$963
2020 Week 13: 3-1, +191
2020 Overall Record: 41-22, +$1680
* Won/lost dollar amount is based on betting to win $100 on each favored prop and risking $100 on each underdog prop.
1. Brandon Allen passing yards
Line: 212.5 yards (FanDuel)
Projection: 155.8 yards
Bet: Under (-114)
Notes: The Cowboys quietly have a big advantage here in terms of pass rush vs. offensive line, as highlighted by Thorn. Thorman has also projected a slow-paced slog. And the projection gap is massive.
2. Jalen Hurts rushing yards
Line: 43.5 yards (FanDuel)
Projection: 31.9 yards
Bet: Under (-109)
Notes: The Saints have the scouting report on Hurts, who profiles as someone you’ll dare to make beat you with his arm. Note that this is 39.5 yards under -112 on DraftKings — in other words the FanDuel line is a good one.
3. James Robinson receptions
Line: 4.5 catches (DraftKings)
Projection: 3.6 catches
Bet: Under (-118)
Note: Someone got to this one already as we have to lay -118. But this is an odd line considering Robinson’s mean catches per game this year are 3.5 and he has only reached five catches in 4-of-12 games.
4. Peyton Barber rushing yards
Line: 35.5 yards (FanDuel)
Projection: 49.8 yards
Bet: Over (-109)
Note: This is a good example of books reacting poorly to injury fallout. With Antonio Gibson (toe) out, we know Peyton Barber will handle a majority of early-down work. There are a lot of game scripts (neutral, WFT winning) that lead to 15+ Barber carries.