The NFL is as difficult as ever to bet right now. Between the usual parity in the league and the COVID outbreaks, it’s worth waiting until close to each game to bet it and really locking in on your strongest spot. And now that we’re in Week 18 with questionable motives for plenty of teams, betting sides and totals is even more difficult. However, the player prop market is loaded with incentivized situations, whether it’s financially or historically. That’ll be my focus. Let’s dive into some plays on DraftKings Sportsbook!
While I will have other sports betting related content throughout the week, including best bets articles for both MNF and TNF each week (along with CFB best bets), this article will be where all my best bet wagers, along with unit size live on a weekly basis.
For updates, always follow along on Twitter — @julianedlow. I’ll usually come back with some additional plays as the week goes on in this article, including some player props over the weekend.
Stefon Diggs OVER 5.5 Receptions (-150) — 2.5-units
You’ll notice a HEAVY theme on incentives this week, and this is my favorite one. You’ll notice the amazing DK Promotions tab with Record Breakers that we’re running this week, which I absolutely love. Let’s cut out the meaningless stuff and post props for the numbers that matter.
So Diggs sits at 94 receptions this season, and gets a $1.55 million bonus if he reaches 100. Say no more. Diggs averages just over 5.8 receptions per game this season, and is 9-7 to the over so far. So in that sense, we’re looking at a little better than a coin flip here. But Josh Allen knows what his elite WR needs this week for a massive payday, and he’d be smart to keep Diggs happy and help him get it. So even if Diggs is having an average game, no reason he won’t see a couple more screens to get those easy receptions. It helps that Buffalo is more than a two-touchdown favorite at home, so there should be wiggle room to help him get some extra touches. The matchup against the Jets is also a cakewalk. Diggs went for 8-162-1 in the last matchup in New York during a 45—17 win. Diggs should get here just in the flow of the game, but once he’s close, they’ll make sure he gets there.
Cooper Kupp OVER 11.5 Receptions (+380) — 0.2-units
We played Kupp last week and fell just short, but he had a good enough game to keep himself close to the records and in position to achieve at least one of them this week. These numbers are no coincidence, Kupp needs 12 receptions and 136 yards to set single-season receiving records.
Now, the only red flag in this one is that it’s a big game for both sides. The Rams are playing for the division and seeding, and the Niners are playing to get in the playoffs. But Kupp did have 11 receptions for 122 yards in a loss the first time these two teams met, so the numbers are very obtainable. I think the yards are more in reach, and worth investing in over just his regular receiving yards prop. If he gets close, they’ll get him there and it’s worth the extra payout. The receptions are a lot to ask for, but worth a splash.
Jonathan Taylor OVER 113.5 Rushing Yards (-115) — 1.5-units
Jonathan Taylor OVER 265.5 Rushing Yards (+3000) — 0.1-units
The Colts have a simple task on Sunday after being upset as huge home favorites in Week 17 — beat the Jags and you’re in. It should be easy as massive favorites, but keep in mind Indy has lost outright in its last six trips to Jacksonville.
The 113.5 number is just above his season average, but I’ll pay the premium. It’s a spot where the Colt got to have it, and Taylor has smashed the bad AFC South run defenses this season (21-116-1 in a narrow home win vs. JAX). I think all game scripts set up well here — if Indy is cruising it’s because of Taylor, if it’s a closer game then Indy needs to keep riding him.
I’m pretty confident in the prop number, but just for fun we’re making a tiny splash on Taylor to get that 2,000-yard season. Derrick Henry was in this spot last year in a game his team had to win going for a 2,000-yard season — he finished 34-250-2.
Rob Gronkowski OVER Receptions — likely 1-unit
Still hurt from the Antonio Brown prop last week? Yeah, me too. But I’m gonna guess nobody else quits mid-game this week. We do need to see how motivated Gronk is in this spot — he once had a game he needed 11 receptions for $1,000,000 and wound up with zero. That said, the atmosphere in Tampa is a bit more laid back, and we know the Bucs want to play to win in this game.
If we’re just looking at the game, Tom Brady needs to start ramping up the targets to his old buddy for this playoff run. The losses of Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown are massive. Last week Gronk pulled in seven grabs for 115 yards on 10 targets. This week, Gronk needs just seven receptions for a $500,000 bonus and 85 yards for another $500,000. Both are well in reach, and TB12 is well aware. If Gronk wants that money, he’ll get it.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.
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