Julian Edelman makes his season debut on Thursday night, and some of the smartest prop bets involve the Patriots wideout.
The New England Patriots (2-2) have clearly not been the same team offensively this season with wide receiver Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The good news for the Patriots is that Edelman is expected to be back in the starting lineup for the Week 5 Thursday Night Football matchup against the Indianapolis Colts (1-3), which is one of the reasons they are listed as double-digit home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The return of one of future Hall of Famer Tom Brady's top targets can only help New England's offense, especially with tight end Rob Gronkowski often double-teamed in the first month. Brady has looked mostly mortal the first four weeks without Edelman, who totaled a career-high 1,106 yards on 98 catches and scored three touchdowns in 2016.
Edelman missed all of last year due to a torn ACL, but the Patriots were able to overcome his loss with Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola combining for 126 catches. Cooks was traded in the offseason and Amendola left via free agency.
While Edelman has not been a huge touchdown scorer throughout his career, betting on him to hit paydirt here at least once is the best prop bet in this game at odds of +237 (bet $100 to win $237). Gronkowski and rookie running back Sony Michel are listed as co-favorites at +180 while fellow running back James White is next in line at +200.
White had two touchdowns in last week's 38-7 rout of the Miami Dolphins, and he has scored at least once in three of the first four games, making him another good bet.
In fact, you can also get +700 on the NFL Week 5 odds that White scores two or more touchdowns and +2600 that he scores three or more, with Edelman's odds to do that coming in at +1100 and +5100, respectively. Again, Gronkowski and Michel are co-favorites at +550 and +2100.
If you are looking for prop value on the Colts, consider wagering on tight end Eric Ebron scoring anytime at +275. Like White, Ebron has scored in three of the first four games to lead his team in that category.
If you want even more value, Ebron is +1300 to score the first touchdown of the game and +1300 to score the last as well. If you think he could total two or more touchdowns, you can get +1700 and +8100 on at least three scores.