NFL Prop Bets & Picks: Jimmy Graham’s Under Is The Top Thursday Night Football Prop

Credit:

Leon Halip/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Graham

  • Jimmy Graham had a monster game just two weeks ago, but the Bears tight end is worth fading on Thursday Night Football.
  • Sean Koerner explains why the under on Graham's receiving yardage is the top prop bet for the Buccaneers vs. Bears matchup.

Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, is highlighting his favorite prop(s) for every slate throughout the 2020 season — he’s 39-22 (63.9%) so far and has a 241-170-5 (58.6%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action app.

Find his pick for the Thursday Night Football showdown between the Buccaneers and Bears below. And if you’re looking for more action, his projections also power the FantasyLabs NFL Player Prop Tool, which grades every prop.


NFL Prop Bet: Buccaneers vs. Bears

  • The Pick: Jimmy Graham under 31.5 Rec Yards (-112)
  • Bet Now: DraftKings

Jimmy Graham has cleared this number in back-to-back games, but I expect him to cool off against the Bucs.

Graham’s best game this season was against the Falcons in Week 3, when he had six catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns. But it’s important to contextualize that performance: The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to TEs on the season, coughing up the following lines to starting TEs:

  • Greg Olsen in Week 1: 4/24/1
  • Dalton Schultz in Week 2: 9/88/1
  • Jimmy Graham in Week 3: 6/60/2
  • Robert Tonyan in Week 4: 6/98/3

So, we shouldn’t overweight his performance against the Falcons, given how poorly they’ve defended TEs.

We should also assume that Graham (who turns 34 next month) will see his play and health decline a bit as the season goes on.

He’s run a route on 75% of pass plays this season, a rate that will likely decline as the Bears’ second-round rookie Cole Kmet sees an increase in playing time. Head coach Matt Nagy already hinted at that to local media earlier this week: “[Cole Kmet’s 15 snaps in Week 4] is not enough. He needs to be out there more, No. 1. So we’re aware of that.”

Those snaps will likely come at the expense of Jimmy Graham.

Here is Graham’s route tree from his first game with Nick Foles under center last week:

If the Bears have a similar plan for Graham tonight, it could pose problems.

According to Sports Info Solutions, the Buccaneers are the stingiest defense against pass plays to the right or right middle (allowing a league-low 38% success rate). That’s the side of the field stud linebacker Lavonte David roams, and he could be tasked at stopping Graham.

The Bucs 42% success rate against opposing TEs ranks fifth-best in the league. So far they’ve limited TEs Ian Thomas 0/0/0, Noah Fant 5/46/0 and Hunter Henry 2/39/0 at or below expectations. Graham should be next on that list.

It’s critical to get the best number in this market. I would set his median at 27.5 and would bet this down to 30.5, but here are the projected chances of him going over or under all the yardages in this range so you can compare to your book:

Yards
Over
Under
27.5
49%
51%
28.5
47%
53%
29.5
45%
55%
30.5
43%
57%
31.5
42%
58%
32.5
40%
60%

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

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