NFL Week 3 Player Props: Sunday Exotic Picks for Marcus Mariota & Aaron Rodgers
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.
While sides and totals are still the standard when it comes to NFL betting, player props have exploded in popularity for the casual and seasoned bettor.
New player prop markets are being offered every season and finding an edge in one of these offerings can be quite profitable.
For the 2022 NFL season, while I’m known as the anytime touchdown prop specialist with The Action Network, I’ve decided that I can’t deny my love for all player prop bets and will give out my best bets every week. This could include player prop markets like receiving yards, rushing attempts, passing yards, touchdown passes, interceptions and so many more.
Each week during the regular season and playoffs, I will give out my three favorite NFL player prop picks on Fridays. Through two weeks, I’ve gone 3-3 for +0.6 units. As a reference, during the 2021 season (including the postseason), my record for these props was 43-25 for +21.7 units in profit. Had you blindly tailed me, you’d have made profit in 17 of 22 weeks.
As always, you can get all of these picks as soon as I lock them in by downloading The Action App.
Here we go for Week 3!
NFL Week 3 Player Props
Over 3.5 Receptions
Although the Jonathan Taylors and Derrick Henrys of the world get their just due for being the best running backs in the NFL, Bengals RB Joe Mixon needs to start being included in that tier. One phase of the game that he’s been heavily involved in since the start of last season is on passing downs. That’s why I like him to get four or more catches against the Jets.
Mixon has 10 catches through two games, with seven in Week 1 and three in Week 2. The latter can be attributed to the Bengals' offense going stagnant vs. Dallas and needing Mixon to be a blocker for edge rushers like Micah Parsons. Now, the Bengals are going up against a porous Jets pass rush that has only three sacks on the season.
Last year, the Jets allowed 103 receptions to running backs, which was 27th in the NFL. One of those games was against Cincinnati, when Mixon caught four passes and scored a touchdown.
The trend of Mixon’s passing exploits began last season, and was enhanced during the playoffs when he caught four or more passes in five of the Bengals’ last six games (including the Super Bowl). With this being a kitchen-sink game for Cincy, I project Mixon’s snap count to be 80% or more, which should allow him plenty of opportunities to cash this prop.
Over 28.5 Rushing Yards
Marcus Mariota may not be the quarterback of the future for the Falcons, but he’s certainly trying to seize this starting opportunity. That’s why I love the OVER for his rushing yards against Seattle in Week 3.
The Oregon product has been running like his career depends on it; he put up 72 yards rushing on the Saints' stout defensive line in Week 1. He fell back to Earth in Week 2 against the Rams with only 16 yards — though he still ran six times which is encouraging.
The Seahawks' defense has been getting gashed on the ground; they're allowing 146 rushing yards per game, which is 25th in NFL. The 49ers, for example, had three players have at least 30 rushing yards in Week 2 vs. Seattle. Cordarrelle Patterson may be RB1 in the Falcons' offense, but it’s safe to say Mariota is functioning as their RB2.
This is a fair number at 28.5 after it was all the way up to 32.5 in Week 2. If Mariota hits over 30 yards, bettors may never see this line below 30.5 for the rest of the season.
To Throw An Interception
Six QBs have plus odds to throw an interception in Week 2, including Marcus Mariota, Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes.
While those three would certainly entice me to bet on them in a normal week, I’m going big-game hunting. I’m after the White Whale. That’s right, I’m betting Aaron Rodgers (gulp) to throw an interception against the Buccaneers.
I’ve been hesitant to fire on Rodgers for this market because he’s one of the more careful QBs in the league. Over the last two seasons, he’s thrown nine interceptions total. That’s a typical three-week stretch for guys like Matthew Stafford or Trevor Lawrence. However, here’s why I’m taking a swing at these odds:
Rodgers’ connection with his receivers this season has been hit-or-miss and he threw a pick in Week 1 vs. the Vikings. Some of his passes were tipped in Week 2, but the Bears' secondary has been terrible for a few seasons now — 28 INT since 2019 — so bettors weren’t going to find any diamonds in the rough in that matchup. This week though, he’s got the Buccaneers and it won’t be so easy.
The Bucs are second in the NFL in forced interceptions with four, along with 35 picks over the last two seasons since Tom Brady arrived. The strength of the Bucs’ defense is to get after the quarterback and force poor decisions. That’s why the Buccaneers are also first in sacks (10).
The last time Rodgers went to Tampa Bay in 2020, he threw two interceptions. When the Packers hosted the Bucs later that season in the playoffs, he threw another. At these odds, I’m willing to bank that the reigning NFL MVP’s connection with his receivers is still shaky and the Bucs will get an interception as a result.