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NFL Player Props and Odds: Saquon Barkley and Najee Harris Stand Out in Week 12

The Giants and Steelers running backs have some profitable odds and will exceed their game totals set by SI Sportsbook.

After 11 weeks of trying to beat the SI Sportsbook with my player prop predictions, I am 27-26 while being -3.65 units on a 100 dollar baseline of each investment.

Last week, I went 2-3 to put me one game over .500 for the season while donating $170 to the wrong team. With six weeks left in the year, I need a big push to get back on the winning side of the equation.

If I wager on the favorite, I lay the juice to win $100 (-115 betting line = 115 dollars 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: More than 65.5 yards receiving for Michael Pittman

In 11 games, Pittman has 57 catches for 752 yards and five touchdowns on 81 targets. He gained over 65.6 yards in six of his games while averaging just over 68 receiving yards. But in the last six weeks, the Colts gave him a low number of chances in five games (3, 4, 6, 5, and 5). This week, Indy will need to pass the ball more to keep up with Tampa Bay on the scoreboard. The over/under for this game is 53.5, pointing to plenty of offense by both teams.

Tampa struggled vs. wideouts over the first three weeks (27/303/3, 17/277/3, and 19/291/3). However, they allowed only two touchdowns to wide receivers over the next seven games with 73 catches and 736 yards. Their success came from a favorable pass schedule (NE, MIA, PHI, CHI, NO, WAS, and NYG).

The Bucs will game plan to slow down Jonathan Taylor, leading to more chances for Pittman. He owns top-tier wide receiver talent, but game flow doesn’t always lead to a starring role. I have him projected for six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) carries the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers as offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (70) blocks during the second half at MetLife Stadium.

Bet: More than 52.5 yards rushing for Saquon Barkley

In his first game back in the starting lineup after missing five weeks, New York had Barkley on the field for 62 percent of their plays. He finished with 55 combined yards and six catches, but the Giants only gave him six rushing attempts. From Week 2 to Week 4, Barkley failed to deliver an impact game (13/57, 16/51/1, and 13/52/1) on the ground, setting the tone for this game’s over/under in rushing yards (52.5). New York had him on the field for 86.1 percent of their plays over this stretch.

Philadelphia played well defending running back in the run game over the past four weeks (17/57/1, 21/64, 17/93/1, and 21/93). They allowed over 90 yards rushing over their first seven games due to a high number of runs (32 per week).

After firing Jason Garrett, a new offensive game plan should lead to a better-structured rushing attack and a moving passing window for Daniel Jones. Barkley should see his playing time improved to over 80 percent, giving him a floor of 15 rushes. He would only need to gain 4.0 yards per carry to win his player prop in rushing yards. I have Barkley on a path for 18 rushes for 74 yards with a 75 percent chance of scoring.

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Bet: More than 4.5 receptions for Najee Harris (+125)

The under for Harris’s catch prop (4.5) has come in four of the past six weeks (2, 6, 3, 3, 4, and 5 catches). His best game of the season catching the ball came in Week 3 (14/102) in a chaser game against the Bengals at home. Without that success, he averages 3.5 catches.

Cincinnati struggles to defend running backs in the passing game (76/583/2), highlighted by four matchups (MIN – 11/71, PIT – 15/105, DET – 9/60/1, and NYJ – 14/166/1). In four other contests, backs caught between five and six passes four times.

Harris averages 23.7 touches while being on the field for 84.7 percent of the plays run by the Steelers. As a result, he has one of the best opportunities in the game as far as playing time at running back. So, in essence, the chance of him catching more than 4.5 passes sits at 65 percent while also getting positive juice.


Bet: More than 4.5 receptions for George Kittle (-165)

Over seven games, Kittle has 34 catches for 412 yards and three scores on 47 targets. His floor in receptions has been four (four times). The 49ers averaged 31.1 passes and 30.4 runs in his seven starts, giving San Francisco a balanced offense. Low passing attempts (19 and 22) restricted Kittle’s opportunity over the past two weeks.

The Vikings have a below-par defense against quarterbacks (26th), running backs (22nd), and wide receivers (30th), but they rank fourth vs. tight ends (34/442/1 on 57 targets). Three players (Maxx Williams – 7/94, Gerald Everett – 5/54, and Mark Andrews – 5/44) have more than 4.5 catches. Every other tight end has two catches or fewer. Some of their success comes from a favorable tight end schedule. In most weeks, offenses gain their edge at running back and wide receiver, covering up possible downside defending tight ends.

The over/under for this matchup is 49.5. Minnesota should play a competitive game offensively, leading to the 49ers throwing the ball more than the previous two weeks. Kittle is a top-two option in San Fran’s passing game, and I expect him to be active in Week 12. My conservative projections have him catching five passes for 74 yards with a score.

Bet: More than 4.5 receptions for Adam Thielen (-160)

Thielen has been a better player in the Vikings’ offense on the road over the previous three seasons (30/442/3, 42/488/6, and 33/328/5 – 69/888/11 on the road). This year, he has six catches or more in four of his five matchups (9/92/2, 6/39/1, 11/126/1, 2/6/1, and 5/65) away from Minnesota. In addition, Thielen tends to work as the chain mover with a spike in scoring in the red zone.

San Francisco sits 11th defending wide receivers (129/1,566/7 on 194 targets). Davante Adams (12/132/1) and Cooper Kupp (11/122) dominated their secondary while seven other wideouts caught a minimum of five passes. In four games (DET, PHI, CHI, and JAC), the 49ers faced offenses with weakness in their passing game.

Thielen comes in as a heavy favorite (-160) to catch more than 4.5 passes, but his matchup points to him being active in a chaser game. I have him catching six balls for 64 yards with a 75 percent chance of scoring.