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 12:02am ET on Saturday, November 2.
Week 8 Record: 1-4, -359
YTD Record: 28-17, +$829
* Won/lost dollar amount is based on betting to win $100 on each prop.
1. Adrian Peterson rushing yards
Line: 74.5 yards
Projection: 62.5 yards
Bet: Under (-143)
Notes: There was clearly a lot of action on this prop before I got to it as I had to lay -143. And based on my projection, I shouldn’t be laying that much wood. But I want to be bearish on the Redskins offense here as Dwayne Haskins heads to an impossible spot in Buffalo to face one a top-3 defense. I also want to be bearish on 34-year-old Adrian Peterson as we enter November.
2. John Brown receiving yards
Line: 56.5 yards
Projection: 65.5 yards
Bet: Over (+100)
Notes: There’s some market resistance here as the money is on the under (-125). But getting this prop at even money allows me to cut it a bit closer on the projection while also getting exposure to a player I’m high on this week. Brown will burn Josh Norman whenever he gets a chance and he doesn’t have a game this year with fewer than 51 yards. Brown’s priors – when he was more of a boom/bust usage WR – are weighted too much in this line.
3. Noah Fant receiving yards
Line: 27.5 yards
Projection: 32.5 yards
Bet: Over (+100)
Notes: The money is on the under here as well, likely because Brandon Allen is starting. But I’d note that Fant’s chemistry with Joe Flacco was atrocious as the rookie tight end had turned 33 targets into just 185 yards on the season. It can’t get any worse than that and now Jeff Heuerman is out injured plus Emmanuel Sanders is gone. Fant projects to play every snap and will run a route on almost all of Allen’s dropbacks.
4. Dwayne Haskins passing TDs
Line: 0.5 passing TDs
Projection: 0.65 passing TDs
Bet: Under (+175)
Notes: This bet is simple: Will Dwayne Haskins throw a touchdown in his first NFL start or no? While the median projection suggests the bet should be yes, note that we are getting +175 on the no. That’s certainly enough to try to capitalize here on a very difficult matchup at Buffalo. If trying to manage a bankroll, you can bet “to win” one unit instead of risking one unit if you wish. For the purposes of this article, I’ll stick with risking one unit on all dogs and betting to win one unit on all favorites.