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NFL Props For Panthers vs. Texans: Christian McCaffrey & More PrizePicks Plays For Thursday Night Football

NFL Props For Panthers vs. Texans: Christian McCaffrey & More PrizePicks Plays For Thursday Night Football article feature image

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey

  • A Christian McCaffrey receiving under. A pair of David Johnson and Chris Conley overs.
  • Find out why those three Panthers vs. Texans props are among the best picks for Thursday Night Football.

One of the best ways to enjoy the Thursday Night Football game is betting on a few player props.

When it comes to NFL player prop projections, there is simply no one better than our own Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner. Using his projections in our Player Props Tool on FantasyLabs, we can easily identify the biggest advantages to help build our bankroll.  Each week, I’ll identify which TNF props on PrizePicks have the most attractive value when compared with Sean’s projections.

Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans.

What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player props in which you parlay two or more plays together.

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NFL Prop Picks for TNF

Christian McCaffrey Under 51.5 Receiving Yards

McCaffrey is an elite running back with fantastic receiving ability, but this total is just too high for our liking.

With Carolina now as an 8.5-point favorite against Houston rookie quarterback Davis Mills (check real-time NFL odds here), the Panthers should be able to control this game on the ground. If the Texans fall behind early, look for Carolina to control the time of possession and limit exposing McCaffrey in open space if not needed.

A quick turnaround to a Thursday night game — with a lengthened schedule to 18 games — means that teams need to find time to limit the workload on their star players. We saw this with Washington’s lead running back, Antonio Gibson, who saw his snap share drop from 97% in Week 1 to just 60.9% last Thursday night. Meanwhile, his backup J.D. McKissic went from six routes and one target in Week 1 to 17 routes and six targets last Thursday.

I expect Panthers backup running back Chuba Hubbard to be more of factor given the short turnaround.

The Texans have competed well in both games, but are challenged offensively with Mills under center. McCaffrey is great, but this total is too high in this scenario.

We project McCaffrey’s receiving total at 40.1, more than 11 yards under this line. Sean has graded this a 9-rated prop on our props tool.

Chris Conley Over 26.5 Receiving Yards

As a result of injuries to Danny Amendola (thigh) and Nico Collins (shoulder), the Houston receiving depth chart will be very shallow for tonight’s game. Conley is a veteran wideout with an explosive metrics profile who should have an increased opportunity against Carolina.

With Mills leading the Texans offense, Conley’s ability to find open space in the short to intermediate range of the field will be critical for sustained drives. Conley will operate across from Brandin Cooks, who has started the season with 21 targets and 210 receiving yards.

We project Conley for 30.3 yards, 14.3% above this total. This is a 7-rated prop (out of 10) by Sean in our props tool.

David Johnson Over 16.5 Rushing Yards

Thursday night triggers the need for diversified backfield usage, which leads us to project a higher use for Houston veteran David Johnson. The 29-year-old back has only nine carries for 35 yards on the season, but saw double the carries in Week 2 from the opening game.

In a mostly negative game script against Cleveland, Johnson battled for 25 yards on six attempts, combining with Mark Ingram for 20 of the team’s 25 attempts. As a strong pass catcher, Johnson is also involved in the backfield on passing downs, opening up opportunities for draw plays in certain situations.

This total sits at 16.5 yards, a full 7.5 yards below our projection for Johnson. There is value on this PrizePicks number, which sits below sportsbooks like FanDuel (17.5) and DraftKings (18.5).

As an 8-rated prop on FantasyLabs, this is one of our top plays on Thursday night.

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