Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Most interesting NFL player prop bets for 2018

Yardbarker's Ryan Fowler breaks down some of the more appealing NFL player prop bets ahead of the 2018 season.

The NFL season kicks off this weekend and along with the cold beverages, seven-layer dip and chicken wings come weekly investment opportunities. As sports gambling restrictions ease and the topic becomes less taboo in the United States, you’ll be hearing and reading more about point spreads, futures and prop bets.

In this gallery, we’ll focus on the latter. Player prop bets could be considered an off-shoot of fantasy football as the goal is to predict a player’s statistical production in any given week or season. Each prop bet typically carries and Over/Under threshold that must be met to win the bet.

For example, Joe Player will finish with O/U 10 receptions this weekend with the OVER odds at +275 and UNDER odds at -350. If you bet $100 on the OVER and he catches 11+ passes, you’d win $275, but you would need to bet $350 to win $100 on the UNDER as it’s rare for a player to catch more than 10 passes in the game.

All odds via Bovada unless noted

 
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It's investment season

It's investment season
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season kicks off this weekend and along with the cold beverages, seven-layer dip and chicken wings come weekly investment opportunities. As sports gambling restrictions ease and the topic becomes less taboo in the United States, you’ll be hearing and reading more about point spreads, futures and prop bets.

In this gallery, we’ll focus on the latter. Player prop bets could be considered an off-shoot of fantasy football as the goal is to predict a player’s statistical production in any given week or season. Each prop bet typically carries and Over/Under threshold that must be met to win the bet.

For example, Joe Player will finish with O/U 10 receptions this weekend with the OVER odds at +275 and UNDER odds at -350. If you bet $100 on the OVER and he catches 11+ passes, you’d win $275, but you would need to bet $350 to win $100 on the UNDER as it’s rare for a player to catch more than 10 passes in the game.

All odds via Bovada unless noted

 
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Will Colin Kaepernick be with an NFL team in 2018?

Will Colin Kaepernick be with an NFL team in 2018?
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: Yes +500 | No -800

Politics aside, Kaepernick hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2016. Following the release of Nike's ad campaign featuring Kap, his odds of being signed by an NFL team this season worsened  from -700 to -800. That means if you don’t think Kaepernick will be on an NFL roster at any point this season, you’d have to risk $800 to win $100. With the NFL and political climate so contentious, it would take an owner/general manager with a lot of guts to ink CK7 to a contract, but we've seen teams like the Cincinnati Bengals take risks in the past. The decision probably won't come down to his on-field ability, but ownership's cachet.

The Bet: NO

 
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Josh Gordon total receiving TD’s in 2018 Over/Under Six (6)

Josh Gordon total receiving TD’s in 2018 Over/Under Six (6)
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O +115 | U -145

This wager is predicated on Gordon playing in at least 14 games this season. The talented wide receiver made chicken soup out of chicken droppings a few seasons ago when he erupted and produced monster stats week after week … with Jason Campbell as his quarterback . So long as he stays healthy and out of the dog house, Tyrod Taylor is going to find Gordon and Gordon will find the end zone early and often for the new-look Cleveland Browns.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Alvin Kamara Over/Under 750 Yards in 2018

Alvin Kamara Over/Under 750 Yards in 2018
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -110 | U -120

Oddsmakers don’t quite believe Kamara can replicate his 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year production. However, the second-year back out of Tennessee will earn the majority of the work the first four weeks as Mark Ingram serves a four-game suspension. Kamara averaged nearly 52 receiving yards per game last year. In order to the OVER to hit in this bet, Kamara would need to average 47 receiving yards per game.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Russell Wilson total rushing yards in 2018 Over/Under 525

Russell Wilson total rushing yards in 2018 Over/Under 525
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -115 | U -115

These aren’t the same playoff-caliber Seahawks you’ve read so much about throughout this decade. They are weaker and less talented, but that doesn’t mean Wilson is stuck in the pocket. Pro Football Focus ranks the Seahawks offensive line 30th, which means Wilson won’t have a ton of time to look downfield and will likely call his own number on a regular basis. Wilson has averaged 550 rushing yards the past two seasons.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Keenan Allen total receiving yards in 2018 Over/Under 1250

Keenan Allen total receiving yards in 2018 Over/Under 1250
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -105 | Under -125

I’m convinced if Allen played in the Eastern Time Zone, he would challenge Antonio Brown for the most digital ink and headlines. Injuries have also impacted Allen’s overall notoriety, but when on the field, he’s Philip Rivers’ favorite target. He caught 102 passes on 159 targets for 1,393 yards last season and even with Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams lurking, Allen is poised to scream by 1,250 receiving yards again this season.

The Pick: OVER

 
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How many starts will Lamar Jackson make in 2018 Over/Under 0.5?

How many starts will Lamar Jackson make in 2018 Over/Under 0.5?
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -160 | U +130

The only reason Jackson would NOT make a start in 2018 is if the Ravens are in the running for a playoff spot late in the season. Baltimore is about to make a change at quarterback and although they kept Robert Griffin III, he won’t be the man to receive the torch from Joe Flacco. Even with the pricey juice of -160, I like Jackson’s chances to earn a start via Flacco injury or late-season “let’s see what we got for 2019” preview.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Andy Dalton total passing touchdowns in 2018 Over/Under 24

Andy Dalton total passing touchdowns in 2018 Over/Under 24
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -115 | U -115

Dalton’s averaged fewer than 22 passing touchdowns per season over the past four. The case for why this OVER would hit is that his offensive line is better than it was a year ago and John Ross is healthy, which provides an upgraded WR-2 opposite A.J. Green. Where this TD total gets murky is when evaluating Tyler Eifert’s ability to stay healthy all season. He’s played in only 10 of 32 games the past two seasons. Eifert is big part of the offense, but can’t be counted on to help Dalton hit this prop.

The Pick: UNDER

 
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Antonio Brown Over/Under 10 receiving touchdowns in 2018

Antonio Brown Over/Under 10 receiving touchdowns in 2018
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -110 | U -125

Le’Veon Bell’s extended holdout with no specific date of return adds an interesting wrinkle to this prop bet. Had he not missed two games in 2017, Brown would have scored 10-or-more receiving touchdowns for the fourth consecutive season. One of the best route runners in the NFL needs Ben Roethlisberger to stay healthy for 15-16 games to maximize this return on investment, which does pose some risk as Big Ben is entering the twilight of his career. However, I like Brown’s chances.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Peyton Barber Over/Under 675 Rushing Yards in 2018

Peyton Barber Over/Under 675 Rushing Yards in 2018
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -135 | U – EVEN

Barber shared a backfield with Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers last season and still managed to rush for 423 yards. Heading into 2018, there was belief that second-round draft pick Ronald Jones would push Barber for touches, but the rookie struggled to impress this preseason leaving the incumbent as thee definitive lead back. Barber’s in line for 200+ rush attempts. With such a heavy workload, he should cover the OVER 675 yards with ease.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Andrew Luck total passing yards in 2018 Over/Under 4,000

Andrew Luck total passing yards in 2018 Over/Under 4,000
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -105 | U -125

In Luck’s four seasons where he played in at least 15 or more games, he averaged 4,299 passing yards. His ailing shoulder appears healed and while some of his receiving corps from years past have either retired or moved on, Luck is going to need to air it out to keep Indianapolis in games because their defense is atrocious. This means a lot of second-half garbage yardage in attempt to rally the troops through the fourth quarter. It’s also worth noting that with Frank Gore now with the Dolphins, the Colts continue to search for their definitive lead running back. Thus, more reason to believe in this OVER.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Chris Hogan Over/Under Six (6) Receiving Touchdowns in 2018

Chris Hogan Over/Under Six (6) Receiving Touchdowns in 2018
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -135 | U +105

Because he only played in nine regular season games last season, Hogan’s above-average production was somewhat muted. The sixth-year receiver out of Monmouth caught five touchdowns during the regular and two more during the Patriots postseason. So, he scored seven touchdowns on just 75 targets. He was targeted inside the red zone more than once per game, which, with Rob Gronkowski’s health often in flux, is a trend that should continue.

Tom Brady trusts Hogan and so should you.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Josh Allen average passing yards per game Over/Under 210.5 YPG

Josh Allen average passing yards per game Over/Under 210.5 YPG
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -110 | U -120

The Bills possess the league's fourth-worst offensive line according to Pro Football Focus. Despite this, they remain run-oriented with lead back LeSean McCoy pacing the offense. Nathan Peterman earned the Week 1 start over Allen, which leads one to believe the rookie still needs to marinate with a clipboard. Granted, Allen could come in for one game and pass for 250 and hit the OVER, but on a macro level, Peterman won't last long as the starter and there aren’t enough quality receivers to indicate early-career success for Allen to pass for more than 210 yards per game.

The Pick: UNDER

 
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Delanie Walker Over/Under 800 receiving yards in 2018

Delanie Walker Over/Under 800 receiving yards in 2018
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O +110 | U -140

The veteran tight end has played in 15 or more games in each of the past seven seasons. However, Marcus Mariota’s security checkdown blanket is now 34 years old and about to enter his 13th season. He missed the past few weeks dealing with a toe injury. After averaging 803.5 receiving yards the last two seasons, I fade this and project he plays fewer than 15 games in 2018.

The Pick: UNDER

 
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Eli Manning Over/Under 14 interceptions in 2018

Eli Manning Over/Under 14 interceptions in 2018
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -125 | U -105

Manning has thrown 14-or-more interceptions in each of the past four seasons. With the -125 favoring the OVER to hit, oddsmakers believe Manning is likely to toss 15+ picks, which makes sense. The Giants attempted to upgrade their offensive line in the offseason, but still rank among the worst in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. So, Manning’s pass protections won’t be great. Additionally, having Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram – his top three targets – all healthy and active may lead the veteran trigger to take more chances. Thus, Manning’s odds of making more mistakes increase. One bad bounce here or there and he’s at 17 interceptions and the OVER hits.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Blake Bortles Over/Under 21.5 passing touchdowns in 2018

Blake Bortles Over/Under 21.5 passing touchdowns in 2018
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: O -115 | U -115

Seven of Bortles’ 21 touchdown passes last season came in just two games. In the other 14 games, he tossed 14 touchdowns or an average of one per game. Bortles lost his top receiver Allen Robinson to a torn ACL last season and free agency this year, the 2017 team leader in receiving touchdowns, Marcedes Lewis, to free agency and last year’s team leader in receptions and targets, Marqise Lee, to a season-ending knee injury. That’s a lot of missing passing-game production for a quarterback who ranked 24 th in completion percentage last season.

The Pick: UNDER

 
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Will Jalen Ramsey or Odell Beckham get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in Week 1?

Will Jalen Ramsey or Odell Beckham get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in Week 1?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: Yes +800 | No -2500

Odell Beckham claims he’s changed for the better and won’t let Ramsey get under his skin this Sunday. However, the betting public doesn’t believe him. So much money poured into “Yes, one of these guys will get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct,” that the odds changed from 10-1 to 8-1 between Thursday and Friday. The public believes a flag will be thrown and this bet is their lottery ticket. For every $25 you wager, you could win $200 at +800. Even if the boys behave themselves, who’s to say an over-anxious ref doesn’t toss some laundry prematurely in an effort to keep the peace?

The Pick: YES

 
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Will Jimmy Garoppolo have more passing yards than Tom Brady in Week 1?

Will Jimmy Garoppolo have more passing yards than Tom Brady in Week 1?
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Odds: Yes +150 | No -200

Brady passed for 358 yards and five touchdowns against the Texans last season. While he’s receiving corps is arguably a little weaker in 2018, at least he doesn’t have to travel to Minnesota with the 1 p.m. early kickoff for a West Coast team. The Vikings possess one of the best defenses in the NFL, every starter returns, and they allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game a season ago. Jimmy G’s good looks won’t bail him out in Week 1 and while you’d have to lay $200 to win $100, I like Brady’s chances to cruise in this head-to-head prop.

The Pick: NO

 
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Larry Fitzgerald Over/Under 6 receptions vs. Redskins in Week 1

Larry Fitzgerald Over/Under 6 receptions vs. Redskins in Week 1
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to Pro Football Focus, Fitz has the second most-favorable matchup against Redskins defensive back Fabian Moreau. Last season, he caught six or more passes in nine (9) games. With Sam Bradford behind center this season, he a proponent of the dink-and-dunk passing game, I look for Fitz to be a receptions machine.

The Pick: OVER

 
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Todd Gurley Over/Under 85 rushing yards vs. Raiders in Week 1

Todd Gurley Over/Under 85 rushing yards vs. Raiders in Week 1
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams starting running back averaged 87 rushing yards per game last season. The Raiders defense allowed nearly 109.0 rush yards per game. Granted, there is a lot of talent surrounding Jared Goff this year, but as Gurley goes, so go the Rams. Look for him to make a big Week 1 splash against the beaten down Raiders.

The Pick: OVER


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