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 8:09pm ET on Friday, December 6.

 

Week 13 Record: 5-0, +527
YTD Record: 45-22, +$2052
* Won/lost dollar amount is based on betting to win $100 on each favored prop and risking $100 on each underdog prop.

 

1. Chris Carson rushing yards
Line: 65.5
Projection: 57.3
Bet: Under (-112)

Notes: There are multiple ways we can win this one. Rashaad Penny could take so much work that Carson doesn’t get enough volume. Carson’s fumble-itis could return and he gets benched. Or the Rams stout front (3rd in rush defense DVOA) could simply shut down Carson. It’s a case of the median projection being close but wanting to lean unders in murky situations.

 

2. Russell Gage receiving yards
Line: 21.5 yards
Projection: 37.2 yards
Bet: Over (-112)

Notes: Yes, Julio Jones and Austin Hooper are back. But Gage still has the Mo Sanu role and has shown excellent chemistry with Matt Ryan. This line is far too aggressive in docking Gage – he’s topped 21.5 yards in five straight games.

 

3. Jack Doyle receiving yards
Line: 36.5 yards
Projection: 48.5 yards
Bet: Over (-112)

Notes: The Doyle props were a printfest last week and the books are again slow to adjust. Without TY Hilton and Eric Ebron, we could argue Doyle has the best pure tight end usage in the game. And now he faces the Bucs’ massive pass funnel.

 

4. Drew Lock passing yards
Line: 215.5 yards
Projection: 198.1 yards
Bet: Under (-112)

Notes: I want to be bearish on the Broncos pass game. Yes Drew Lock won his debut, but he completed 18 passes for a pathetic 134 yards. There’s little reason to think it will be better this week Lock makes his first road start against an improving Texans pass rush.

 

5. Patrick Laird receiving yards
Line: 20.5
Projection: 24.5
Bet: Over (-112)

Notes: The cult hero of the fantasy community is the Dolphins’ best pass-down back this week. With Kalen Ballage injured, Mark Walton cut and Kenyan Drake traded, the backfield is down to Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin and De’Lance Turner. Laird, who played some wide receiver at Cal, is the one likeliest to get the hurry-up and third-down work.