A Guide to Betting NFL Player Props

Aug 18, 2022

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In 2019, a prominent sportsbook reported that 80 percent of its NFL bets were in three markets – moneyline, point spread, and totals. The other 20 percent was in the NFL player props market.

Those numbers are changing and will continue to change as a new generation of bettors takes over. Bettors that have grown up with fantasy football are now entering the betting market and find betting on players rather than teams more exciting.

It’s a trend that will continue. The average bettor will make more player prop bets than in the past. How do you go about winning more of them?

Understand the NFL Player Props Market

Usually, you won’t find these bets until a Tuesday morning in a game week. Sportsbooks will add more props as the week goes on, so it is important to monitor the market.

Player props markets are relatively newer, so sportsbooks protect themselves by reducing the maximum allowed bet. They also charge more juice on player props than on traditional bets. The standard -110 on a point spread bet is more often -120 on a player prop bet.

Bets to Choose

The public loves to bet on Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers touchdown passes or passing yards. Sportsbooks love these bets because they are usually on the right end of those bets.

The one bet that really gives sportsbooks headaches is the Anytime Touchdown Scorer. Sportsbooks will usually offer the bet on up to 20 players per team per game. They will go deep into the roster and find a third-string WR or TE and offer long odds – +10000 for example.

At one sportsbook last year, more money was wagered on Cooper Kupp to score a touchdown than on the game’s point spread. Kupp, the game’s MVP, did score and thousands of bettors were happy.

So, how do you win more NFL player props bets?

Analyze Matchups

One of the first things to look at is the matchup. What you are looking for are extremes. Looking for a top-5 receiver against a bottom-5 defensive back has more value than matchups more toward the median.

Look at the best statistics and metrics available online. If you are betting on a wide receiver’s total yards, for example, look at stats like targets per game, catches per game, yards per catch, and usage rate.

Player Usage

Bettors should have an idea of player usage. This is simply how often a player is used. For a running back, it is how many carries. This is an important piece of the puzzle in predicting a player’s outcome in a game.

It helps to understand a bit about football strategy too. For example, in a game with high winds, teams are more likely to run the ball. This would have an effect on a running back’s usage and, ultimately, his rushing yards and/or touchdowns.

Use Spreads & Totals

It helps to look at a game’s point spread and total to use as a guide when betting player props. Take the 10-point road underdog as an example. You like their running back’s rushing yards prop.

Does it make sense to back this running back in a game where his team is getting 10 points? They are getting 10 points for a reason. They will likely be trailing, especially in the second half. That means more passing as the team tries to catch up. That will affect the running back’s props.

It’s the same with a game total. Betting the Over on a quarterback’s passing touchdowns with a game where the total is 40 doesn’t make sense. Use these lines as a guide when betting NFL player props.

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