Week 1 of the NFL is upon us, and it brings with it a long list enticing player prop bets to attack.
We’ll start by keying in on some of the better running back player props this week.
First up, a game that is going to be decided in the trenches in Baltimore.
Collins Carries the Day
Alex Collins is the unquestioned lead back in Baltimore and a good bet to hit 16 carries, paying off at a price of 1.75 (-133).
Collins took over full-time duty in the Baltimore backfield in Week 8 last season. From there, he:
- Averaged 16.7 carries per game.
- Had at least 16 carries in six out of nine games.
- Hit 20 carries twice and 18 carries twice.
His Ravens go into the game as a -7.5-point home favorite over the Bills. Buffalo is starting Nathan Peterman at quarterback, who’s best known as the guy who tossed five interceptions in his only start last year. Vegas doesn’t see this as being a contest, so the Ravens should be able to rely on their defense and run game to close it out.
Especially against the Bills, who gave up the fourth-most rushing yards in the league last year.
Teams were clearly willing to attack them on the ground, as Buffalo’s opponents averaged 29.4 rushing attempts against in 2017, the fifth-most among all teams. And the splits were skewed even further on the road, where they gave up two more rush attempts per game than when they were at home.
Kamara a TD Value
If you’re looking for more of a long shot, Alvin Kamara looks like a solid value bet to score two rushing TDs against the Buccaneers.
Kamara has one 2-TD game in his short career and scored a total of eight rushing TDs as a rookie. However, that was with Mark Ingram in the lineup. Ingram found the end zone 12 times last season, but as you may have heard, he’s suspended for the first four games of 2018.
That opens a huge crack for Kamara, and two TDs is well within his range of outcomes, especially against a bad Tampa Bay rush defense.
The Buccaneers surrendered the second-most rushing TDs to opponents last year. In fact, in the past two seasons, they’ve given up two TDs to a single RB on seven occasions, including once to Ingram and the Saints.
So, we know that over the past two years, the Buccaneers have given up two rushing TDs 21.9 percent of the time. Yet the +480 payout on this prop bet suggests an implied probability of 17.2 percent.
Everything suggests that Kamara has better-than 17.2 percent chance of scoring two TDs, so it’s a spot to simply take the value.
You’ve Got to Love the Drake
Dolphins head coach Adam Gase sure does. He’s previously said he wants to give Kenyan Drake “15-20 carries per game.” While 20 per game is perhaps not realistic, 13 carries is.
That’s where his player prop bet has been set this week.
I think bookmakers are keeping this line low after listing Frank Gore as a “co-starter” this week.
Drake spent most of last year in a time share, but when running mate Damien Williams went down in Week 12, Gase utilized him in heavy doses. In the final five games, he carried the ball 23, 25, 16, 13, and 14 times for the Dolphins.
Gore is certainly a threat to steal carries, but he also made a late appearance on the injury report this week.
Frank Gore (Achilles) limited in Dolphins’ practice on Wednesday https://t.co/4mXZIChcQZ
— numberFire NFL (@numberFire_NFL) September 5, 2018
Any mention of an Achilles is a huge red flag, especially from an RB who is 35-years old.
The Dolphins have little reason to get their veteran back involved in this one when they have a highly productive young back who has already shown he’s capable of carrying a big load.