College Football Player Props: 2 Thursday Picks for Graham Mertz, Sean Tyler (Aug. 31)
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Florida quarterback Graham Mertz.
There are a handful of interesting player props coming out of the 11-game slate on Thursday.
I’ve targeted an anytime touchdown play in the Big Ten opener between Nebraska and Minnesota and found a way to fade the Florida Gators during their first nonconference road trip outside the Sunshine State since 1991.
Let’s dive into my top player prop picks for Thursday’s college football slate.
Thursday College Football Player Prop Picks
In the table below, you'll find each of our college football staff's top player prop picks from Thursday's slate of college football games. Click on any pick or team logo to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Time (ET)||Player Prop|
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Nebraska vs. Minnesota
P.J. Fleck has been a head coach for 10 years, and in that time, he’s become known for two things: His “Row The Boat” theatrics and his offensive philosophy that centers around a bell-cow back.
In five of his 10 seasons, Fleck’s RB1 has punched in at least 14 touchdowns. That includes monster years like Jarvion Franklin’s 25 scores in 2014 at Western Michigan and Mo Ibrahim’s 20 touchdowns last fall with the Golden Gophers.
Sean Tyler arrives from Western Michigan via the portal after a nine-touchdown campaign in 2022 that saw him score three different ways (rushing, receiving, returning).
Ryan Burns of 247Sports projects Tyler as the starter and noted that he’s “arguably the most explosive back Minnesota has had in their backfield in the Fleck era.”
His ability to break the big play on the ground, through the air and via special teams, makes his ATD too good to pass up.
Sprinkle in Nebraska’a 108th-ranked run defense from 2022, and I’m willing to lay the juice to grab Tyler.
I will also be sprinkling on the first-touchdown prop for Tyler, which is currently priced just north of +400.
Pick: Sean Tyler Anytime TD (-180 · Play to -200)
Florida vs. Utah
In the past two seasons as Wisconsin’s starting quarterback, Mertz “racked up” -65 rushing yards. He’s a statue, plain and simple.
And as a reminder, sack yardage counts against a player’s rushing total in the college game. Here comes the Utah pass rush that finished eighth nationally in sacks last season. Opposing quarterbacks lost an average of 22 yards per game on sacks against the Utes in ‘22.
Florida boasted one of its best lines in recent memory last season, but many of those starters have moved on. The Gators return just 50% of their line starts year over year, and that inexperience was evident in the spring.
Adam Coleman reported that the “spring game concerned Florida fans with the offensive line allowing multiple sacks and struggling to create running lanes.”
There’s talent up front, including transfers from Alabama and Kentucky, but Utah and veteran defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley will test them with their RSNB (Relentless, Smart, Nasty, Ballhawks) style.
Mertz cashed with a negative rushing total in four of his last five starts at Wisconsin, and I’ll be leaning into that trend on Thursday night.