Our Model’s Favorite Week 1 NFL Player Props
After much uncertainty with the coronavirus, the NFL finally kicks off this week! Our player prop betting model predictions at SportsGrid have highlighted some prop bets for Week 1 that may represent some value for bettors looking to have some action on the games this weekend.
The SportsGrid player props betting model lists player prop bets by the difference of our projections against FanDuel Sportsbook’s current listed odds. Let’s highlight a few that may have the best value!
Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin
FanDuel lists Chris Godwin’s over/under for receiving yardage at 75.5 yards. The SportsGrid projection for Godwin is 93.76 yards (if Mike Evans (hamstring) is ruled out), indicating a value of 18.24 yards in taking the over on the bet.
There’s some good supporting evidence in Godwin’s favor for this matchup. First, Godwin plays in the slot so that he will avoid star New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore’s shutdown coverage on the outside.
Second, both new Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bruce Arians prominently target and feature the slot wide receiver in their offensive preferences. In all but one season as a play-caller, the slot wide receiver in Arians’ offenses has received the most targets on their respective teams.
Third, the game itself has a high projected point total (currently the over/under sits at 48 points), which usually leads to lots of yardage and scoring, and is also in the New Orleans Super Dome, which lends itself to track meet style games.
Last, wide receiver Evans is currently questionable for the game, but if he does not play, Lattimore doesn’t go into the slot, so whether or not Evans plays, it should not affect where Godwin lines up.
However, with Evans currently projected in, we have Godwin projected at 77.61 yards, still indicating a slight value. I prefer this prop if Evans is ruled out.
The Pick: Over 75.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
FanDuel currently lists Lamar Jackson’s over/under for passing yards against Cleveland as 222.50. The SportsGrid projection for Jackson is 231.19 yards, indicating a value of 8.69 yards in taking the over on the bet.
First, the obvious injuries. Cleveland’s injury list for this game goes as follows: Cornerbacks Greedy Wilson and Kevin Johnson, inside linebacker Mack Wilson, and free safety Grant Delpit all are out for the game. That is a considerable number of backups playing in the secondary and an inside linebacker missing from the Browns starting lineup.
The casual fan knows Browns star defenders Denzel Ward and Myles Garrett, but there’s reason to believe that their impact this game should be relatively muted on Jackson for several reasons. Garrett will be going against a top-five offensive line that returns 4-of-5 starters from 2019 and has continuity from last year.
Ward will still be adapting to new defensive coordinator Joe Woods’s scheme. In contrast, Jackson’s head coach, offensive coordinator, starting running back, starting wide receivers, and tight ends will be back.
Continuity will be huge for Jackson here. Further, arguably the best pass-catching option for Jackson, tight end Mark Andrews should have a distinct advantage against a defense missing its starting inside linebacker and free safety.
The Pick: Over 222.50 Passing Yards (-110)
Bills WR Stefon Diggs
FanDuel currently lists Stefon Diggs’s over/under for receiving yards as 51.5 yards against the Jets. Diggs’s SportsGrid projection is 68.04 yards, indicating a value of 16.54 yards in taking the over on the bet.
This is supposed to be objective but let me inject some of my own bias here: I am a New York Jets fan. It is a tough life. The Jets defense was already bad before inside linebacker CJ Mosley opting out of the season and safety Jamal Adams being traded to Seattle. The starting cornerbacks are Colts castoff Pierre Desir and 2019 5th round pick Blessuan Austin. It projects to be one of, if not the worst secondary in the NFL.
The team, media, and fans have all effectively quit on head coach Adam Gase already. Diggs was the NFL’s top-ranked deep ball receiver last season and is absolutely lethal as a pass-catcher. The Bills have offensive line continuity returning 4-of-5 starters from last year, speedster John Brown to stretch the field and occupy the Jets safeties and water bug Cole Beasley for the underneath throws.
Further, Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is known as one of the most aggressive coaches in the NFL at calling blitz packages and leaving his secondary on the island. Given a normal 15-yard average for a completed pass to Diggs, this is asking him to get one catch a quarter from Allen, which is fairly likely.
The Pick: Over 51.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
Falcons WR Calvin Ridley
FanDuel currently lists Ridley’s over/under for receiving yards as 64.5 yards against the Seahawks. Ridley’s SportsGrid projection is 71.91 yards, indicating a value of 7.41 yards in taking the over on the bet.
The game has an over/under of 49 points and projects to be a shootout in Atlanta’s dome. Ridley has been a fantasy “sleeper” favorite this year and for a good reason, as he’s produced solidly as the secondary wide receiver in Atlanta to Julio Jones, on a team that has been in the top-three in pass attempts the last three seasons and one that lost tight end, Austin Hooper, to Cleveland in the offseason.
The team is simply bereft of pass-catchers behind Ridley and Jones. Matt Ryan’s current passing yardage prop is set at 292.5 passing yards. It shouldn’t be a stretch for Ridley to take 60.5 of those yards. The Falcons have offensive continuity and return all five starters across the line.
Further, the Seattle Seahawks’ defense isn’t what it once was. The Legion of Boom secondary is no more; the front-seven lost two stud defensive ends in Ziggy Ansah and Jadaveon Clowney. Perhaps as important, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was Seattle head coach Pete Carroll’s defensive coordinator for years before taking the Atlanta coaching job, so he knows how to attack a Pete Carroll defense better than most.
The Pick: Over 60.5 Receiving Yards (-110)