Best NFL Prop Bets for Buccaneers at Panthers: Greg Olsen Receiving Yards, 2 More
Nov 4, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) catches a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
- NFL Week 2 gets underway with a Thursday Night Football showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers (8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network).
- This piece will focus on prop bets for Bucs WR Justin Watson, Panthers TE Greg Olsen and Bucs RB Peyton Barber.
Player props can offer some of the best betting value on the board in any given week. They typically feature smaller limits and take less action than traditional game bets, so the market can often be less efficient than NFL sides and totals.
This is where the FantasyLabs Player Props tool comes in handy.
We leverage 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 then receives a Bet Quality grade between 1 and 10, with 10 being the biggest edge. Note that unders have typically done the best in our tool, and last season those bets were profitable even with grades below 10:
- Unders with Bet Quality of 10: 152-57 (72.7% win rate)
- Unders with Bet Quality of 9: 183-123 (59.8% win rate)
- Unders with Bet Quality of 8: 413-256 (61.7% win rate)
- Unders with Bet Quality of 7: 627-474 (57.0% win rate)
- Unders with Bet Quality of 6: 1,005-697 (59.1% win rate)
Overall, unders in our tool hit at a 59.0% rate in 2018. Don’t take our word for it, though: Our props tool keeps track of its record at all times, so you can query performance of any time frame.
Let’s take a look at three props for Thursday Night’s clash between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers.
Buccaneers WR Justin Watson
THE PICK: Under 11.5 receiving yards (-115)
This prop literally feels like free money. Watson played just one offensive snap in Week 1. One! He unsurprisingly didn’t see any targets in that contest, and he tallied just one catch for five yards during the 2018 season as well.
Watson could potentially see a larger role in the offense if Mike Evans is still limited by an illness, but all accounts suggest he’s good-to-go for tonight’s contest.
Anything can happen when you bet on sports, but it’s tough to envision a scenario where Watson hits the over. I’d like this bet all the way up to -200.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen
THE PICK: Over 27.5 receiving yards (-115)
I’m definitely on team #BetTheUnder when it comes to NFL player props, but this line is simply too low. Olsen managed only four catches for 36 yards in Week 1 vs. the Rams, but he did rank third on the team with nine targets. That’s an extremely low catch rate for Olsen, who has averaged a mark of 62.2% during his time with the Panthers. He should see some progression in that department moving forward.
This is also a fantastic matchup. Tampa Bay was dreadful against the pass last season, ranking 30th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA. Olsen dominated the Bucs at home last season, catching six passes on six targets for 76 yards.
Olsen is clearly on the downside of his career, but he should still be able to advantage of this matchup. I’d play the over up to -150.
Buccaneers RB Peyton Barber
THE PICK: Under 15.5 receiving yards (-115)
The Bucs used a three-man rotation at RB in Week 1 vs. the 49ers. Dare Ogunbowale led the position with 27 offensive snaps, Barber played 25 and Ronald Jones played 22.
Ogunbowale is the clear passing down back — he led the position with five targets in Week 1 — while Jones led the team with 15 carries. Jones was also much more efficient with his carries than Barber, and the team used a second-round draft pick on him last season. It’s possible that Barber could lose more playing time to him as the season progresses.
This matchup in particular stands out as a poor one for Barber’s receiving outlook. The Panthers employ one of the speediest linebacking corps in football, and they limited Rams RBs to just one combined catch in Week 1.
There’s a lot to like about the under in this matchup, and I’d play it up to -140.