After four weeks of trying to beat the SI Sportsbook with my player prop predictions, I am 16-8 and +6.55 units on a $100 baseline of each investment.
I went 2-3 last week, with my closest loss coming on Keenan Allen’s catch over/under of 6.5 (he finished the day with six catches for 75 yards).
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.
Roethlisberger ended his four-game streak with only one passing touchdown in Week 5 when he passed for 253 yards and two scores against the Denver Broncos. It was his first time this season with over 7.4 yards per pass attempt (10.1), thanks to a pair of long completions (50 and 59 yards). The Steelers ran the ball better last week (35/147/1), but they’ve gained only 3.6 yards per rush on the year with three rushing scores.
The Seahawks can’t stop offenses from moving the chains, leading to them losing the time of possession battle in all five contests. Their defense has been on the field for almost 36 minutes a game. In addition, the loss of Russell Wilson hurts the Seahawks' ability to move the ball. Quarterbacks gain 8.3 yards per pass attempt with nine passing touchdowns vs. Seattle. They allowed over 300 yards passing over the past four weeks (347/0, 323/3, 322/3, and 365/1), with offenses averaging 32.4 rushing attempts per game.
A play on Roethlisberger’s passing yards over/under (256.5) also looks attractive. Pittsburgh played better offensively against Denver, and I expect them to build off that success against Seattle.
The Colts continue to rotate in running backs, leading to Taylor only seeing the field for 50.3 percent of their plays. His stock rose over his previous two starts on the road (283 combined yards with three touchdowns and six catches), but Taylor has yet to eclipse 17 rushing attempts in any game this year. In 2020, he rushed for over 80 yards in both of his matchups against Houston (13/91 and 16/183/1).
The Texans struggled in two contests against the run (Browns: 34/156/3 and Bills: 40/199/2) on the road. Despite their shortfall, no running back has over 95 yards rushing against them (Nick Chubb – 11/95/1).
Taylor is a big-play threat, and his ceiling would be helped if the Colts would give him more chances. His Week 6 matchup points to an explosive game, and I have him projected for 102 rushing yards with 1.5 touchdowns. He is a -150 favorite to score a touchdown this week.
McLaurin’s ticket came in twice (11/107/1 and 6/123/2) in his five matchups this season. He has over 10 targets in three games, including six catches over 20 yards. Over his first two seasons in the NFL, McLaurin had six catches of 40 yards or more, but none so far in 2021.
Kansas City’s defense struggles with running backs (739 combined yards with seven touchdowns and 28 catches), requiring the safeties push up to support the run on many plays. As a result, wide receivers gain 15 yards per catch with seven touchdowns. Three players (Marquise Brown – 6/113/, Mike Williams – 7/122/2, and DeVonta Smith – 7/122) gained over 100 yards receiving.
Washington lacks depth in talent at wideout, and the injury to Logan Thomas pushed more targets toward McLaurin. Kansas City will score, forcing Washington to the air to compete on the scoreboard. The Chiefs’ defense has yet to allow under 29 points in a game.
The Bengals threw the ball more over the previous two games (32 and 38), leading to 629 passing yards by Joe Burrow. However, over the first three weeks, game flow and play-calling led to only 25 passes per matchup and a weaker than expected opportunity for the Cincinnati’s wide receivers (38/517/7). Boyd shined in Week 4 (9/118) while offering only one other week with a winning play in receiving yards (Week 2 – 7/73). In his three down games, he's had a combined 15 targets.
There is a beacon flashing in the night in this week’s matchup against Detroit. The Lions' defense allows 10 yards per pass attempt, with receivers gaining over 20 yards on 23.9 percent of their 92 completions. Quarterbacks have the third-highest rating (110.9) against the Lions, despite averaging only 27 passes. In addition, their top two cornerbacks (Jeff Okudah and Ifeatu Melifonwu) have been on the injured list for the past three games (out again this week).
Boyd most likely needs to secure five passes (his over/under in catches is 4.5 this week) to reach 50 yards. His possession skill set led to 272 catches for 3,198 yards and 17 touchdowns (5.4/64/0.34 per week) over his last 50 games. Even in a three-way split for targets, he’ll have enough chances this year to post a top 36 wide receiver season. Boyd looks to be on a path to catch six passes for 79 yards against the Lions with a 50 percent chance of scoring.
The SI Sportsbook has the Cowboys favored by three in New England with an over/under of 50.5 points. Dallas played great over its last three wins at home (122 points with 16 touchdowns over 34 possessions). The Cowboys' success comes from a dominating run game (145/804/8 over the previous month). In addition, they continue to use their tight ends (35/369/4) at the expense of their wide receivers (40/570/5) over the last four games.
The outline here is that Dallas should score plenty of points in this game, requiring New England to air the ball out. Wide receivers have 72 catches for 1,058 yards and six touchdowns on 122 targets against the Cowboys. Seven receivers have gained over 62 yards receiving.
In three games at home this season, Meyers has 23 catches for 208 yards on 35 targets. Mac Jones looked his way 14 and 12 times against the Saints (9/94) and Bucs (8/70) respectively. New England has had him on the field for 94.2 percent of its plays this season. Meyers projects to catch six passes for 86 yards with a 50 percent chance of scoring against the Cowboys.