Updated: Jan 9, 2023
If you are looking for current NFL predictions for player props. You can find today’s picks here.
Although legalized sports betting is relatively new in North America, fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports have been very popular for many years.
Those who have been invested in the DFS community are sitting on a wealth of information regarding individual NFL players and their capabilities.
Now that sports betting has begun to legalize across the US and Canada, those with this unique player knowledge can capitalize by betting on the NFL Player Prop Market.
Below we detail some player prop betting strategies you should consider when making your NFL Player Prop bets.
Take Advantage Of Industry Experts
Of course, we always recommend that every bettor do their own research and homework before placing a wager.
But educating yourself with some industry experts who have the time to compile a lot of data and the skills to analyze it will only help you long term with your bets.
We aren’t suggesting you find some experts and start blindly betting on all their projections and recommendations.
However, we are suggesting you compare your homework to their homework and see if you see things the same way.
Track your bets, and maybe even track some of their ideas. How does your thinking compare to their analysis?
It is also important to remember that when we recommend taking advantage of industry experts, we must warn against uneducated opinions that can actually set us back.
Picking who to trust with their betting information can be difficult.
There are a lot of mainstream media members who get paid to deliver colorful opinions and make bold player prediction statements.
Often, these opinions are based less on data and more on getting page views and followers.
Spend time to find the experts whose data and ideas will help you make future winning bets, and stay away from those spewing suggestions to pad their followers.
Understanding Advanced Analytics
The NFL game continues to evolve, with coaches continually looking to innovate and try something new to give their team an edge on the field.
Just like the game itself, the analytics and stats we use to evaluate teams and players continue to evolve as well.
For those who enjoy handicapping their own games, you must become familiar with the advanced analytics now being tracked and shared.
Below are just a few new-age metrics used by industry experts.
A savvy bettor will continually educate themselves on all stats and analytics available and then determine which ones can help from a betting perspective.
Air Yards (AYds)
Air Yards is a metric that helps us understand a player’s potential receiving yards throughout a game.
Air Yards is simply the distance the ball travels in the air when thrown to a receiver.
This stat is tracked for both complete and incomplete passes.
This stat can benefit a bettor who enjoys playing in the NFL player prop market.
While receiving yards tell us a lot about catches made by the receiver, Air Yards indicate how often a QB is throwing to a receiver and the overall potential for that receiver to put up big stats.
Target share is simply a percentage assigned to players, telling us how often he is the intended receiver every time his team throws the ball.
Let’s use Cooper Kupp’s weekly target share stats from last year as an example.
The lowest target share Kupp had last year was 20% in Week 17.
That tells us that for every five passes Matt Stafford threw that game, one was intended for Kupp.
In Week 14, Kupp had a 50% target share, meaning that for every two passes thrown by Stafford that week, one went to Kupp.
Target share gives us a better understanding of how important a player is to his team and how many opportunities you can realistically expect for him during a game.
This is another excellent tool for those who like to bet on NFL player props.
Embrace The Under
There have been a lot of studies done on NFL game totals betting, and you can see a complete breakdown of how to bet NFL over/unders here.
When it comes to betting season-long NFL player props, the research being tracked shows that under-player totals are cashing more than overs.
This could have a lot to do with injuries, and sportsbooks are still unsure how to factor a potential injury into the player prop totals being set.
When it comes to weekly player prop betting, the best thing a bettor can do is be aware of key injuries on a team and how they can impact other players’ usage.
If the RB1 gets hurt, that doesn’t automatically mean RB2 will see a considerable spike in carries.
A bettor can’t assume that to be true, without researching the other RB options on that team and the coach’s tendencies to distribute the football.
If WR3 had 70 yards receiving last game but only had four targets and a target share of 15%, we have to be careful about getting too excited about his chances to go over his receiving total the following week.
Always Shop Around
Even if you love to spend hours in the data-science lab, handicapping games, analyzing stats, and developing strategies, you will never devise an edge bigger than your ability to shop around for the Best Odds available.
When it comes to betting on player props, sportsbooks are making difficult predictions, with many of them having their own unique algorithms.
This means that lines will often vary, according to the player and the sportsbooks.
Let’s look at DK Metcalf and his season-long total receiving yards bet.
DK Metcalf Total Receiving Yards Prop Bet
|D.K. Metcalf||PointsBet 949.5 YDS||Caesars 925.5 YDS||BetMGM 899.5 YDS|
Our table above shows us the total set by three different sportsbooks.
Once a bettor has an idea of how they project Metcalf to perform this year, they can then go shopping for their Best Odds.
If Bettor A determines that Metcalf will have somewhere between 800 – 900 yards receiving, then they may want to place a Metcalf UNDER 949.5 receiving yards bet with PointsBet, who has the highest total number of yards set for him.
If Bettor B determines that Metcalf is actually going to gain between 1000 – 1100 receiving yards, then their best option would be to place an OVER bet with BetMGM and their total set at 899.5 yards.
By shopping around, a bettor gives themselves the best possible chance to beat the sportsbook and to make a profit long term.