Sunday’s Best NFL Prop Bets: Saquon Barkley, Lamar Jackson, More
Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Lamar Jackson
- Mike Randle breaks down the five best NFL prop bets for Sunday's main slate.
- See how to bet Saquon Barkley's receptions, Lamar Jackson's passing TDs and more props.
NFL player prop bets offer tremendous value on the board every week. They receive less action and money than the traditional bets, so savvy bettors can gain a big edge by reacting to news quicker than the books. The betting lines for prop bets are often less efficient than NFL sides and totals, opening up attractive opportunities.
One of the best resources to help determine which prop bets to wager is our FantasyLabs Player Props tool.
We leverage the listed prop bets against our player projections from Sean Koerner, the No. 1 in-season fantasy football ranker in three of the past four seasons.
Each prop bet receives a Bet Quality grade between 1 and 10, with 10 being the biggest edge.
Now let’s take a look at five props with a Bet Quality of at least 9 for Sunday’s main slate. Last season, props with a grade of 9 or higher went 436-279-29 (58.6% win rate).
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
THE PICK: Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-125)
Bet Quality: 10/10
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Our top prop last week was Lamar Jackson over 0.5 passing touchdowns, even at an unattractive -250 line. He delivered with five passing touchdowns in a huge 59-10 win at Miami.
In the nine games Jackson has started (including playoffs), he has thrown 12 touchdowns. There is no reason to think that trend will end in Baltimore’s home opener against a woeful Arizona defense.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2019
In their eight road games last season, the Cardinals allowed 29.3 points per game on average. They bring a defensive secondary to Baltimore that just allowed Matthew Stafford to throw for 385 yards and 3 touchdowns. All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson (suspension) and veteran cornerback Robert Alford (broken tibia) will again miss this game, further limiting the Arizona pass defense.
Our model projects 1.8 passing touchdowns for Jackson, which represents 20% more than the implied total of 1.5. Ravens starting running back Mark Ingram was limited in practice with a shoulder injury, raising the possibility for more passing volume under run-heavy offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
The -125 line is perfect for Jackson to repeat as a 10-graded prop bet. It probably won’t be another five-touchdown performance, but all we need is two on Sunday.
Giants RB Saquon Barkley
THE PICK: Over 4.5 Receptions (-130)
Bet Quality: 10/10
The Giants gave Saquon Barkley only 15 touches in their 35-17 loss at Dallas, a mistake they will not make again. With wide receivers Golden Tate (suspension) and Sterling Shepard (concussion) out for New York’s home opener against Buffalo, look for Barkley to be the overwhelming focus of the Giants offense.
Barkley averaged 7.6 targets and 4.9 receptions in New York’s eight home games last season. When former Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham was not in the lineup, those numbers increased to 7.2 targets and 5.2 receptions in six home matchups.
While Buffalo’s pass defense finished second in DVOA in 2018, the Bills were surprisingly generous to their opponents pass-catching running backs. They allowed the eighth-most targets (120) and 11th most receptions (90) to the opposition’s backfield.
We project a 20% increase (5.5) over Barkley’s implied reception total of 4.6 receptions, and fully support this 10-rated Sunday main slate prop bet.
Redskins WR Terry McLaurin
THE PICK: Over 42.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Bet Quality: 9/10
While there may be regression coming for Washington’s rookie wide receiver, it is difficult to see Terry McLaurin totaling less than 50 receiving yards in their home opener.
The first-year Ohio State product racked up 125 receiving yards on 5 receptions last week at Philadelphia. His receiving total was 89 yards more than the next closest wide receiver (Paul Richardson). Starting tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) will again miss this game, continuing to free up targets for McLaurin.
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— NFL (@NFL) September 8, 2019
The Dallas defense is strong, but starting All-Pro cornerback Byron Jones was on a snap count in Week 1 and is still not fully recovered from offseason hip surgery. Washington quarterback Case Keenum tallied 380 passing yards and 3 touchdowns on 44 attempts in Week 1 and will continue to move the Redskins offense through the air.
Our model projects McLaurin at 50.8 receiving yards, 6.8% more than the implied projection, grading out as a 9 in our props tool. Washington only rushed for 28 total yards on 13 carries last week and will need to lean pass-heavy to keep pace with the Cowboys explosive offense.
Seahawks WR Jaron Brown
THE PICK: Over 19.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Bet Quality: 10/10
This is my favorite Prop Bet for Week 2, simply because of Brown’s zero reception on zero target Week 1 performance. Brown will again be Seattle’s third wide receiver with David Moore still recovering from a fractured shoulder.
The Seahawks will travel to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers team that has averaged 29.1 points and 303.8 passing yards in their last 16 home games. Seattle allowed Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton to throw for a league-leading 418 yards in their Week 1 home game.
This means that Seattle will need to score points to compete, and their run-heavy offense scheme will be tested against a Pittsburgh defense that was eighth-best in run defense DVOA last season.
Seattle leading wide receiver Tyler Lockett was limited in practice this week with a back injury and was limited to one reception last Sunday against the Bengals. Brown’s 4.45 40-Yard Dash speed at 6-foot-2, 205 lbs carries all the prerequisite athletism for weekly big-play ability in a game script that will force Seattle to throw.
We project Brown for 26 receiving yards which is 28% more than his implied total, making this a 10-graded prop bet.
Packers RB Aaron Jones
THE PICK: Under 15.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Bet Quality: 10/10
Aaron Jones was forced out of the season-opening win over the Bears with a knee injury. Before he left, Jones struggled to produce against a stout Chicago defense, totaling 39 rushing yards on 13 carries with no receptions.
The Packers face another tough defense in the Vikings, who held the dynamic Atlanta pass-catching duo of Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith to a total of four receptions and 21 receiving yards.
The Vikings defense held opposing running backs to the eighth-fewest receptions (74) in 2018, and Jones has struggled against the Vikings in his career. In three games against Minnesota, Jones has averaged a minuscule 1.3 receptions and 7.3 receiving yards.
Much to the chagrin of Aaron Jones fantasy truthers, running back Jamaal Williams has a significant role in the Green Bay backfield. Williams logged 24 of the Packers 61 snaps and had two receptions for 15 yards. It appears a 65-35 split of touches is a best-case scenario for Jones.
Our model projects Jones at 13.3 receiving yards, 21% less than the implied total of 16.4 yards. This under grades out as a 10 in our props tool. In Week 1, those specific type of prop bets finished with a remarkable 79% win rate (27-7).