Givin Props: NFL Week 2

David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on October 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Image Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Each week, BetPrep’s Player Prop Guru and NBC Sports Betting Analyst Brad Feinberg discusses how the site’s historical data shaped his picks with Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. Here are some highlights from the latest episode of the Givin’ Props Podcast.

So one of the ones that we talked about last week in the column that we do together for The Athletic was Allen Robinson UNDER 64 yards. That cashed. You went 5-1 at The Athletic. That was because of the respect for Jalen Ramsey. But now you like him over 5.5 catches.

Brad: Listen, I thought the Bears looked great last week. I know people think this is nuts. Robinson went against the number one cornerback in the league in Jalen Ramsey. When I stretch him out for the last two years, again all this stuff’s right on BetPrep, last 33 games he’s gone over 22 times. Last 10, he’s 8-2. He was even over the catches against Ramsey (we avoided that and took UNDER the yards).  There’s no I just there’s no reason for me not to like this play. I think this is about at least a 60% winning play, maybe 66%.

Next we have the law firm Jakobi Meyers, OVER 4.5 catches against the Jets who were kind of feisty, especially in the second half defensively in Week One.

Brad: I’m very much math, one of the reasons we get along so well. And I think the probabilities are on my side here but there’s also a little bit of me going with my gut. I look at Jakobi Meyers since he became the number one target in New England. He’s gone over 7 of 11 games, averaging 5.5 catches. Mac Jones is a guy who can pass the ball. Cam Newton could not. I think Meyers, if healthy, will catch 100 passes this year. His situation clearly improved from last year. And even with the bad situation, he’s still 63% going over 64% going over.

I haven’t seen this bet so I’m curious as to why you did it this way. You have Ben Roethlisberger UNDER 283.5 combined rushing and passing yards. Why combined yardage?

Brad: Because it’s six yards over his passing yardage prop and last year he averaged 0.5 rushing yards per game. That is a gift, dude. Will those extra five yards we’re getting make a difference? Probably not. But if it does, I’m going to pat myself on the back. Now in his last 18 games, he’s 13-5 under passing 283.5. He’s averaging 242 passing yards per game in this period. The Steelers are also favorites against the Raiders. And I think they want to run the ball with Najee Harris.  Can Big Ben throw for 284? He absolutely can. But again, I think I’m at least a 62% favorite here.

Mecole Hardman, everyone’s “wait until next year guys” UNDER 3.5 catches versus the Ravens.

Brad: Sometimes, again, as I say, it doesn’t have to be hard. Or in this case Hard-man. The guy’s played, in his career, 32 games. He’s 26-6 to the under. Okay, what’s his last 16? 13-3 to the under. Huh? Okay. Maybe his last nine? 9-0. Again, this does not mean you can’t lose. If you pick Steph Curry making a free throw, he certainly can miss it. But this to me is like in blackjack, you have a 19 against the dealer’s 6. You are a HEAVY favorite to win this bet. I would be much more leery in fading the yards because Hardman can take one catch a long way. So make sure it’s just the catches.

Mike Williams, coming off a 12-target game, over 53.5 yards. This again seems like one of your patented 65% win bets.

Brad: I can’t quite go that high. But Justin Herbert is elite right now. He’s sensational. My gut, my instinct says that Mike Williams this year is going to be a real part of this offense. I’m not saying he’s going to get 200 targets. But he’ll get a lot.

He’s had a 1,000-yard receiving season and a 10-TD one but just can’t put both together. He’s one of the air yards kings, which is just the distance the ball travels downfield. That tends to be way more stable than catches week to week. But the more air yards, the higher the likelihood of actual receiving yards — especially with a great QB.

Brad: When I saw Mike Williams 53.5 I thought he should be 63 or so. I bet him last week at 37, but that was against a defense that was expected to be a lot better (Washington) than Dallas’.

Jarvis Landry UNDER 70.5 receiving yards?

Brad: You know, it’s funny, Odell Beckham is not playing. So people want to give Landry more yards. But OBJ has been out a lot, missing half the season last year. And that hasn’t mattered. This team spreads it around and they don’t like to throw that much. Landry did have 71 yards last week, I would have lost by a half yard. But in his last 16 games, he’s averaging 57. He’s gone under in 13 of them.  Plus game flow should be on my side as a 12-to-13-point favorite. I also took Baker Mayfield under 35.5f attempts for the same reason. So there’s a bonus pick.

David Montgomery OVER 14.5 rushing attempts.

Brad: I watched him his rookie year and I was like, “This guy sucks.” I thought he was pedestrian at best. But I was wrong. He’s good. He’s a little bit of Chris Carson. Couch Nagy said they want to get Montgomery the ball 20 times. In his last six games, he’s 5-1 over 14.5 attempts. I don’t want to go back further, and BetPrep allows you to go back as far as you want, because Montgomery’s role on this team now is fundamentally different than it was, in my opinion.

Mark Ingram over 8.5 attempts.

Brad: I like this one very, very much, actually. Okay. And this is where psychiatrist Brad comes into play. My rates are reasonable! Houston just beat a NFL team by three touchdowns. They won that game by giving the ball to Mark Ingram, not 10 times,15 times, 20 times, heck, not even 25 times. They gave it to him 26 times! So don’t you think they want to do that again? Ingram is going to beat this 8.5 rushes in the first half.

DeVonta Smith, over 44.5 receiving yards. I thought Smith looked great and while there’s not a lot of data on him, rookies who get 70-plus receiving yards in their first game go over 44.5 subsequently a lot, I think it’s safe to assume. Especially when they’re Top 10 overall picks.

Brad: This kid was probably — and I don’t think I’m overstating this — the greatest wide receiver in college football history. So he has a nice pedigree, right? Won the Heisman Trophy. Last week he was 44.5. I bet it. Won easy despite a bad game script for passing. And they give me 44.5 again? Now that they’re playing Frisco as a home dog? The Niners with a banged up secondary? Yeah, I’m taking Smith again.