After four weeks of trying to beat the SI Sportsbook with my player prop predictions, I am 14-5 and +9.35 units on a $100 baseline of each investment.
My only loss came from Josh Allen not throwing more than 2.5 touchdowns. Buffalo struggled to make plays in the red zone, leading to them kicking four field goals in the second and third quarters.
If I wager on the favorite, I lay the juice to win $100 (-115 betting line = $115 to win $100). On the underdog side, I wager $100 to win the extra profit ($100 to win $150 with +150 betting line).
When reviewing all the props lines, I’m looking for flaws in pricing. I would expect most of my investments to come on the overside, unless I see an overcorrection in a stat line.
Bet: Over 67.5 yards receiving CeeDee Lamb (-115)
The Cowboys’ offense has gone much more in a rushing direction than most fantasy owners believed when drafting Lamb early in the third round in the high-stakes market. He has 20 catches for 264 yards and one score through four games, giving him a slight progression from his rookie season (74/935/1).
Game flow led to 15 targets in Week 1 (7/104/1) and 10 chances in Week 2 (8/81 – one rush for 13 yards). The Cowboys shifted to a high-profile run game (31/198/2, 41/160/2 and 34/245/1) over their last three wins, leading to a significant decline in chances in the passing game (663 yards and seven touchdowns on 75 attempts). Over this span, their wide receivers finished with only 30 catches for 355 yards and three touchdowns on 38 targets (their wideouts had 42 targets in Week 1 – 27/303/3).
Part of Dallas' regression in wide receiver opportunity comes from improved play from their tight ends (29/290/4 on 35 targets). They caught 15 passes for 170 yards and four touchdowns on 20 targets over the last two weeks.
Cowboys’ tight ends caught 18 percent of the team’s completions in 2019. That number grew to 24 percent in 2020 and 29 percent this season.
Wide receivers have 61 catches for 659 yards and three touchdowns on 82 targets vs. the Giants. Three wideouts have gained more than 67.5 yards (Jerry Jeudy – 6/72; Terry McLaurin – 11/107/1; and Marquez Callaway – 2/74). New York held Calvin Ridley to eight catches for 61 yards in Week 3.
Lamb played well at home against the Giants (8/124 on 11 targets) in 2020. In eight home games in 2020, Lamb caught 43 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns (five catches for 77 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game).
This week, I expect him to be more active in the passing game after a dull effort in Week 4 (2/13 on five targets).
Bet: Over 31.5 yards rushing for Kyler Murray (-135)
Murray has 23 rushes for 109 yards and three touchdowns, which is behind his explosive pace set in 2020 (133/819/11). Last year, he averaged 8.3 carries for 51 yards and 0.69 touchdowns per game..
In his four career starts vs. the 49ers, Murray gained more than 31.5 yards in each matchup (5/34, 8/67/1, 13/91/1 and 8/75).
San Francisco struggled to defend Jalen Hurts (10/82/1) in the run game in Week 2 and Russell Wilson made a couple of plays (4/26/1) last week.
The 49ers will be conscious of Murray, but he also has a deep receiving corps. San Francisco needs to defend the whole field in the passing game, and Arizona's backs are gaining momentum (96/427/4). I expect Murray to hit on a couple of long runs.
Bet: Over 64.5 yards receiving for A.J. Brown (-125)
Brown missed last week’s game with a hamstring issue. The injury knocked him out of Week 3 after eight plays. He caught only seven of his 17 targets for 92 yards and one score in his first two games. In both contests (4/49/1 and 3/43), Brown fell short of his over/under yards line (50.5) posted for this week’s game.
Betters have been hammering his catch line (4.5) this week, leading to a rise to -150. Over the first two seasons, Brown averaged 17.4 yards per catch.
With three catches and similar success in his distance per catch, he may only need three catches to gain more than 50.5 yards.
Last season, Brown dominated in Jacksonville (7/112/1).
The Jaguars allowed more than 200 yards receiving to wide receivers in all four games (13/200/1, 14/216/1, 17/238 and 18/238/2). They caught 75.6 percent of their targets while gaining 14.4 yards per catch.
Five wideouts (Brandin Cooks – 5/132; Courtland Sutton – 9/159; A.J. Green – 5/112; Christian Kirk – 7/104; and Tyler Boyd (9/118)) topped100 yards receiving vs. Jacksonville, plus Ja’Marr Chase (6/77) had a productive game.
CB Tyson Campbell will have his hands full in this matchup. He allows a high catch rate, and receivers have already beat him for many big plays over his first four games after being drafted in the second round.
Bet: Over 5.5 catches for DeAndre Hopkins (-160)
Despite being one of the best wide receivers in the game, Hopkins has been relatively quiet over the first month of the season (17/225/3). He ranks 24th in wide receiver scoring (14.38 FPPG) in PPR leagues after finishing 1st, 5th and 4th from 2018-20. Over this span, Hopkins averaged 10.1 targets per game.
This year, Murray has only looked Hopkins' way 25 times (6.25 per game), partly due to a rib injury. Despite his health issue, Hopkins has played 97, 91 and 96 percent of the snaps over the past three games.
Last season, in his first year with the Cardinals, Hopkins tallied 14/151 and 8/48 against the 49ers.
San Francisco has defended wide receivers well over its first four games (13/118/1, 6/138, 16/233/2 and 11/109/2). Only one wideout (Davante Adams – 12/132/1) had more than four catches. The 49ers don’t have an elite cornerback, pointing to regression in their wide receiver defense in this matchup.
Hopkins had six catches or more in 35 of 49 games (71.4 percent) from 2018-20. His star will rise in this matchup.
Bet: Over 6.5 catches for Keenan Allen (-120)
The Chiefs (8/50/1) and Raiders (7/36) held Allen to short games despite receiving 23 combined targets. He gained only 5.7 yards per catch.
Allen played well at home in 2020 (69/701/4) under the guidance of Justin Herbert, highlighted by four impact games (13/132/1, 10/125, 9/103/1 and 16/145/1). He has 11 catches for 144 yards on 19 targets at home this season, with his best showing (4/108) coming vs. the Cowboys.
The Browns rank sixth in wide receiver defense (45/607/3 on 76 targets). They had no answer for Tyreek Hill (11/197/1) in Week 1 and Brandin Cooks had surprising success (9/78/1) in the next game. Despite holding the Vikings to 203 passing yards and one touchdown, Justin Jefferson (6/84/1) had a productive showing against them. The Browns do have talent in the secondary and they can get after the quarterback.
Herbert will want to get the ball out quickly this week, and his best chain-moving wide receiver is Allen. His over/under in receiving yards (77.5) looks well within reach, but I trust his opportunity to catch seven passes more. Last year, he had more than 6.5 catches in six of his seven home starts.
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