College Football Player Props & Picks: Best Value Bets for Ole Miss vs. Louisville, Including Matt Corral & Malik Cunningham (Monday, Sept. 6)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Corral
Nothing gets the adrenaline flowing quite like a standalone Monday night college football game on this glorious Labor Day holiday.
Tonight’s contest features Ole Miss (-10) and Louisville in a potential barn burner. The nonconference clash and final tilt to close out Week 1 boasts the highest total on the board (75.5) so far this season.
We’ve already taken a stance on the spread in this one, but which players should you bet or fade in the prop market?
Let’s take a closer look at the odds, courtesy of PrizePicks.
Ole Miss QB Matt Corral, Under 46.5 Rushing Yards
Corral’s dual-threat abilities give the Rebels offense an added element.
The California native ranked seventh in the nation in both passing yards (3,337) and touchdowns (29) last season but morphed Ole Miss into a more lethal unit with a career-high 506 yards on the ground.
Corral could run amok on a Louisville defense that coughed up 4.8 yards per rush in 2020 (89th in the country), but the under’s the play in this spot.
Ole Miss rarely needs Corral’s legs when laying a big number. In four starts when his club’s a double-digit favorite, Corral’s gone under the rushing total comfortably in all four.
Matt Corral Rushing Stats As A Double-Digit Favorite
|Opponent||Line||Corral Rushing Total|
|New Mexico State||-28.5||3|
He certainly doesn’t have to do it all himself tonight; Ole Miss ranked top-20 nationally in returning skill position usage and third overall in returning total expected points added entering the season.
Ole Miss RB Jerrion Ealy, Over 83.5 Rushing Yards
Ealy gets swept under the rug in a passing potent offense, but he was sneaky good last year, totaling 5.1 yards per carry and nine scores on the ground in as many games. If he build’s off his 2020 momentum, he’ll dust this number.
Ole Miss’ lead back topped 83 yards in three of his four final contests and five of the last seven, despite registering 20 or more carries just once all season.
Ealy ranked 18th in the country in EPA per attempt (0.068) in 2020 and finished eighth among running backs with 130+ carries — not too shabby against an all-SEC schedule.
Meanwhile, Louisville’s rush defense wilted at times last season, ranking 77th nationally in Stuff Rate and 79th in Line Yards per carry.
Louisville QB Malik Cunningham, Over 275.5 Passing Yards
Cunningham’s dangerous with his feet, but he carries tremendous upside as a passer here due to both his volume and game script.
Louisville was primarily a running team last year, dialing up rushes on roughly 55% of plays. However, once the Cardinals took their shots through the air, they went for gold; Cunningham ranked top-20 in the country in yards per attempt (8.6).
Last year’s stable of deep threats is gone, including Dez Fitzpatrick (19.3 yards per catch in 2020) and Tutu Atwell (team-high 46 catches), but the offense would be wise to take the air out of the ball Monday against a pass defense that surrendered the second-most passing yards in the entire country.
The Rebels’ offense will operate at a breakneck pace when it has the ball — they ranked fourth in plays per game last year (81.6) — which should, in turn, give Louisville plenty of added possessions throughout the game.
As double-digit ‘dogs, the Cardinals should find themselves in passing situations, making Cunningham a great “over” pick.