Bart Boatwright-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Hunter Renfrow
- Matthew Freedman is kicking off 2019 with a new series featuring his favorite prop bet of each day.
- On Monday, he looks at the Clemson-Alabama national title game and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow's reception prop of 4.0.
I had a great 2018 betting on props, thanks primarily to our FantasyLabs Tools, so for 2019 I will have a quick-n’-dirty daily piece in which I highlight one of my favorite props for the day.
Why Betting on Props Is Fun
In 2018, I bet on thousands of props across a variety of sports: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, golf (PGA and European Tour) and eSports (League of Legends). I even placed bets on pop culture events, such as the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Was I successful with all of them? No. And that’s why I almost never bet on any kind of prop related to darts anymore. Almost never.
But overall I had success last year, and I also had a lot of fun. There are many practical reasons why people should play props. But I honestly play them because they’re fun.
Before 2018, I knew very little about almost every sport outside of the NFL. Now, I still know almost nothing, but I know more than I did, and on a daily basis I enjoyed sweating the individual performances of many players across all sorts of sports.
I’m looking to keep the good times rolling in 2019.
What Tools I Use to Bet Props
Here are the research tools and articles I use to inform my prop-betting decisions.
The FantasyLabs Props Tools: These tools compare our industry-leading projections to the props available in the market and highlight which props offer the most value.
The FantasyLabs Models: Some sportsbooks offer fantasy point props, which I’ve bet successfully using the projections in our daily fantasy models.
The RotoViz Tools: I got my early start in the industry at RotoViz (as did FantasyLabs co-founder Jonathan Bales), and RotoViz has a great collection of NFL and NASCAR apps. Here are some of my favorites.
The Action Network Articles: Each day, you can find at least one props piece on The Action Network, most likely written by one of the following contributors.
- Matt LaMarca: NBA & MLB
- Justin Bailey: NFL & MLB
- Cort Smith (of Bet the Prop): NFL
- Nick Giffen (of RotoViz): NASCAR
Approximately 99% of the success I’ve had with prop bets is due to these resources. I suggest you consult them for yourself.
2019 Year-to-Date Record
2-4-1, -1.6 Units
- Golf: 1-1-0, +0.25 Units
- NFL: 1-2-0, -0.85 Units
- NBA: 0-1-0, -1.0 Units
- NHL: 0-0-1, +0.0 Units
Freedman’s Favorite Prop Bet for Monday, Jan. 7: Hunter Renfrow Over/Under 4.0 Receptions
The Pick: Over (-120)
Over the past three years, Renfrow’s role within the Clemson passing game has been fairly consistent: When the game is close, he’s usually on the field, and he’s relied upon as a savvy-and-shifty chain-moving receiver.
With the wealth of pass-catching talent Clemson has and the extent to which the Tigers typically blow out their opponents, no wide receiver has truly dominated the team’s share of aerial production since Sammy Watkins in 2013.
But within the current ecosystem of the Clemson offense, Renfrow is as trusted as any receiver when the Tigers need a completion.
Renfrow has two historical factors in his favor.
Since the 2015-16 College Football Playoff, Clemson has played in 14 games that were either losses or wins of no more than 13 points. In these contested games, Renfrow has averaged 5.1 receptions.
Additionally, he’s seemingly been at his best against Alabama. In three career games against the Crimson Tide, all of which have been postseason affairs, Renfrow has averaged 7.3 receptions with at least five catches in each game.
As long as Clemson doesn’t blow out Alabama, I expect Renfrow to be regularly involved throughout the game.
At 4.0, I’d bet this to -135, but I probably wouldn’t bet it if the line moves to 4.5.
Note: Steve Petrella provides further analysis on Renfrow in our staff piece on the best Clemson-Alabama player props.