USA Today Sports. Pictured: Ryan Johansen, Dylan Larkin
- Matthew Freedman is kicking off 2019 with a new series featuring his favorite prop bet of each day.
- On Friday he looks at whether Predators C Ryan Johansen or Red Wings C Dylan Larkin will score more points.
I had a great 2018 betting on props, thanks primarily to our FantasyLabs Tools, so for 2019 I will have a quick-n’-dirty daily piece in which I highlight my favorite prop for the day.
Why Betting on Props Is Fun
In 2018, I bet on thousands of props across a variety of sports: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, golf (PGA and European Tour) and eSports (League of Legends). I even placed bets on pop culture events, such as the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Was I successful with all of them? No. And that’s why I almost never bet on any kind of prop related to darts anymore. Almost never.
But overall I had success last year, and I also had a lot of fun. There are many practical reasons why people should play props. But I honestly play them because they’re fun.
Before 2018, I knew very little about almost every sport outside of the NFL. Now, I still know almost nothing, but I know more than I did, and on a daily basis I enjoyed sweating the individual performances of many players across all sorts of sports.
I’m looking to keep the good times rolling in 2019.
What Tools I Use to Bet Props
Here are the research tools and articles I use to inform my prop-betting decisions.
The FantasyLabs Props Tools: These tools compare our industry-leading projections to the props available in the market and highlight which props offer the most value.
The FantasyLabs Models: Some sportsbooks offer fantasy point props, which I’ve bet successfully using the projections in our daily fantasy models.
The RotoViz Tools: I got my early start in the industry at RotoViz (as did FantasyLabs co-founder Jonathan Bales), and RotoViz has a great collection of NFL and NASCAR apps. Here are some of my favorites.
The Action Network Articles: Each day, you can find at least one props piece on The Action Network, most likely written by one of the following contributors.
- Matt LaMarca: NBA & MLB
- Justin Bailey: NFL & MLB
- Cort Smith (of Bet the Prop): NFL
- Nick Giffen (of RotoViz): NASCAR
Approximately 99% of the success I’ve had with prop bets is due to these resources. I suggest you consult them for yourself.
2019 Year-to-Date Record
1-1-0, +0.25 Units
- Golf: 1-0-0, +1.25 Units
- NBA: 0-1-0, -1.0 Units
Freedman’s Favorite Prop Bet for Friday, Jan. 4: Ryan Johansen (-145) vs. Dylan Larkin (+115), More Points
The Pick: Larkin (+115)
I freely admit that I know almost nothing about hockey. You have been warned.
The puck drops for Predators-Red Wings at 7:30 pm ET, and there’s one prop I like. Although the Red Wings are +160 underdogs, the numbers in our FantasyLabs Models suggest that Larkin might be undervalued.
Larkin is at home, and over the past year, he and Johansen have had a nearly identical per-game point total (0.80 vs. 0.81). Larkin also has the long-term edge in time on ice (20.79 vs. 19.01 minutes) and Corsi For (15.96 vs. 15.1).
Plus, over the past month, Larkin has smoked Johansen in points (1.07 vs. 0.85), time on ice (22.35 vs. 19.84) and Corsi For (17.87 vs. 15.62).
Both skaters are on the first line and power play for their respective teams, so it’s not as if Johansen’s role is significantly more valuable than Larkin’s. In fact, Larkin has averaged 4.53 shots per game over the past month while Johansen has a mark of just 1.23.
Basically, all Johansen seems to have going for him is that the Predators are favored.