In my first week trying to beat the SI Sportsbook with my player prop predictions, I went 4-0 with one no bet after Gus Edwards blew out his ACL in his knee shortly after my Week 1 article was posted.
When reviewing all the props lines, I’m looking for flaws in pricing. I would expect most of my investments to come on the over unless I see an overcorrection in a stat line.
RB Aaron Jones, Packers
(O/U 88.5 combined yards -115)
In the Week 2 projections at Sports Illustrated, Jones draws the number one seed in the running back rankings. He turned in a disastrous showing against the Saints in Week 1 (22 combined yards with two catches) as the Packers failed to show up on both sides of the ball. Last season, Jones dominated the Lions at home (236 combined yards with three touchdowns and four catches) with a dull showing on the road (75 yards with two catches).
Green Bay should bounce back offensively this week, and their run game should have their way against the Lions. In 2020, Detroit allowed 2,774 combined yards to running backs (173 yards per game) with 31 touchdowns and 79 catches. The 49ers finished with 147 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches vs. the Lions in Week 1.
I also have an interest in Jones catching over 2.5 passes (-125). Last season, Green Bay completed 96 passes for 716 yards and three touchdowns to their running backs. Their backs caught an average of six balls per game. The change in the backfield for the Packers after losing Jamaal Williams to free agency should shift more pass chances to Jones. Based on his previous 30 games, he had 96 catches (3.2 per matchup).
WR Russell Gage, Falcons
(O/U 3.5 catches -155)
Entering the second week of action in the NFL, we know that Tampa has a top run defense, and their offense should have no problem scoring against the Falcons. Matt Ryan has three straight seasons with over 400 completions (422, 408, and 407), which breaks down to 26.3 completions per game. In five of his previous six starts against the Bucs, he finished with 29 completions or more (31, 31, 23, 30, 34, and 29).
Gage brings a possession-type skill set who turned in an empty game in Week 1 (no catches on two targets). In his starts vs. Tampa in 2020, he posted two productive games (5/68/1 and 9/91/1) while succeeding in this match up the previous year off the bench (8/76 and 7/68). Gage finished Week 1 with WR2 snaps (49 plays – 68 percent).
Also, the Cowboys’ wideout had 27 catches for 303 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1. Tampa will be without starting CB Sean Murphy-Bunting in this game after suffering a shoulder injury.
RB Nick Chubb, Browns
(O/U 17.5 carries -120)
Chubb has an excellent matchup against the Texans, and I see possible wins on multiple props this week. He played well against the Chiefs (101 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches) while remaining in rotation with Kareem Hunt. The Browns had Chubb on the field for 53 percent of their plays in Week 1.
Last year, he rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against Houston at home. Cleveland ran the ball 41 times in a game where they won 10 to 7.
The Texans ranked last in 2020 vs. running backs (435/2,404/19 plus 81 catches for 723 yards and two scores). Houston played better than expected against the Jaguars’ running backs (16/78) while allowing 4.9 yards per rush, but Jacksonville bailed on the run game before it developed in the first half.
I have Chubb projected for 24 rushes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. This week, the Browns should run the ball close to 40 times, leading to both of their top runners having success.
RB James Robinson, Jaguars
(O/U 9.5 carries -125)
Jacksonville played poorly in Week 1, and game score led to them barely running the ball in the first half. Robinson finished with only five rushes for 25 yards while chipping in with three catches for 29 yards. The Jaguars had him on the field for 64 percent of their snap.
His first run led to a 12-yard gain, but it was overturned due to a penalty. Robinson had his first official carry (two yards) with 13:06 left in the second quarter. Carlos Hyde out-touched him 11 to 8 while gaining 58 combined yards. He gained 24 of those yards late in the game when a win was out of reach.
In 2020, Robinson rushed for over 40 yards in 12 of his 14 matchups. He had a floor of 11 rushes while seeing more than 15 touches in every game. Based on this, I see a win on his over 9.5 carries betting line.
The Broncos played well vs. the run in Week 1 (20/60), but the Giants didn’t push the issue with Saquan Barkley easing into the season. Last year, running backs had more success vs. Denver (365/1,702/14) in the run game.
I have Robinson projected for 16 rushes for 66 yards compared to Hyde having five runs for 19 yards.
RB David Montgomery, Bears
(O/U 64.5 rushing yards -115)
The sportsbooks gain an edge by laying a favorite line on both sides of many prop bets, requiring a higher percentage of wins to become profitable.
Montgomery has been sensational over his last eight games (144/737/8 with 25 catches for 236 yards and one score). Over this span, he averaged 92 rushing yards per game and 22.04 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues. His success should put him in the elite running back conversation, but he remains disrespected by some fantasy owners and the sportsbooks.
In Week 1, he continued his upward trend vs. the Rams (16/108/1 with one catch for 10 yards). The Bears had him on the field for 59 percent of their running back plays.
Last season, the Bengals ranked 22nd defending running backs (391/2,093/13 – 5.35 yards per rush plus 56 catches for 411 yards and four touchdowns). The Vikings struggled to run the ball (22/67/1) against Cinci, but their backs gained 138 combined yards with one score and 11 catches.
In the early prop lines, Montgomery didn’t have an attempt line. I have him projected for 20 rushes for 92 yards in this matchup.
More Betting Coverage:
• NFL Betting Week 2 Preview: Early Line Movement & Odds Tracking
• College Football Week 3 Bets: Odds, Lines, Spreads, Analysis & Picks
• College Football Week 3 Best Bets: Composite Ratings Pick the Winners
• NFL DFS Week 2: Plays, Values, Advice For DraftKings & FanDuel
• NFL DFS Week 2: Perfect Million-Dollar Lineup Guide
Senior analyst Shawn Childs is a multi-sport, high-stakes fantasy legend with lifetime earnings in the high six-figures. He has been providing in-depth, analytical break downs for years all while helping his subscribers to countless titles and winnings across season-long & DFS. An inaugural inductee of the NFBC Hall of Fame, Shawn can teach you how to prep like a champ!