Givin Props: NFL Week 8

Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts rushes during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York
Image Credit: Joshua Bessex/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.

Brad, you’re coming off a 7-5 week. You’re now 46-23 for the season — and that was after a slow start. So we’re trying to build on that success and let’s start with Chuba Hubbard Under 69.5 rushing yards. 

Brad: He’s averaging 3.7 yards per carry. He’s been decently good. He’s not Christian McCaffrey, we know that. He has basically played five games and gone under this total four times. Also, the snap count last week was interesting. Royce Freeman only got three carries but the snap count was 53%-45%, Hubbard. So it really tightened up last week. I would have made his O/U 60 or 61 tops. At 69.5, I have to go Under.

One of the secrets that fantasy players know is that running back production is very dependent on quarterback efficiency, especially on third downs. Sam Darnold is really struggling. So you’re going against Hubbard and also Under on one of his receivers, Robby Anderson at a shockingly high 49.5.

Brad: I had this at 31.5 and I was jacking it up because he’s gotten so many targets relative to yards. Anderson is  having one of the worst WR seasons in history. It’s almost like you’re throwing all those targets to Brad Feinberg. Anderson’s inefficiency is off the charts. And this is a guy I drafted all season in fantasy. But again, it’s better to be right than to be consistent.

Jameis Winston, a QB you did not like in the summer, Over 1.5 passing TDs. 

Brad: You cannot run on Tampa Bay and you can pass on them. The Saints know they’re going to have to score points. I think that they’re good for three touchdowns in this one. The Bucs have allowed three rushing TDs all season. James is averaging 2.2 touchdowns for the year. I think James gets his two touchdowns here again the beautiful part about this one, I’m actually taking juice.

Alvin Kamara under 65.5 rushing yards. 

Brad: I do like Kamara’s Over on receiving yards. Not enough to recommend it but just given the expected game script here with the Saints probably forgoing the run. I’m just going to dare Kamara to get 66 rushing yards against a team that just doesn’t allow them.

You like the Colts to win the game as of our Givin Futures podcast. But you are taking Derrick Henry Over 103.5 rushing yards, which seems like a win indicator. 

Brad: Well, I’m not a game bettor. I am keeping these things separate. When I did my forecast, I had Henry O/U 113 rushing yards. I thought that was the fair number. If I’m getting 10 less, I have to go over. That’s just the process. In his last 29 games, he’s going over 18 to 29 games and is averaging 131 yards a game. I’ll take my chances. Again, people are on the opposite side of this one. We’ll see how it plays out.

Mike Davis Under 36.5 rushing yards.

Brad: This reminds me last week, a little bit when I lost on Myles Gaskin on a similarly low number. When the number is this low, you’re playing with fire. But I own Mike Davis unfortunately in many places in fantasy and even his mom would say he has not played well. He’s averaging 3.2 yards a carry. Also, the Falcons won their last game with Cordarrelle Patterson getting the bulk of the carries (14) and so I expect something similar again.

Jonathan Taylor Over a seemingly low 67.5 rushing yards. 

Brad: Frank Reich has a magnet where Jonathan Taylor gets between 13 and 16 carries a game and that magnet cannot change, right? But I made this one 83 yards. So I was shocked when I saw 67.5. Taylor absolutely is a 5.0 yards per carry kind of guy. He finally got to 69% of the snaps, a season high. His 19 carries were a season high, too. Since he became a feature back, he’s 9-4 to the Over and averaging OVER 100 yards in these games. How the heck are you making the number 67.5? The Titans must have a good run defense? Heck no. They’re 25th against the run.

The Jets Michael Carter over 10.5 rushing attempts.

Brad: Last week, we saw his highest snap count: 72%. I see a very strong chance that they’re going to use the running game more because Zach Wilson was their shiny new toy but he’s out. I think they’re going to try to protect backup Mike White and not humiliate themselves. I think Carter smashes the Over here and gets 15-plus carries.

Finally, Dalvin Cook Over 18.5 rushing attempts.

Brad: I had him at 22 before this line was announced. When I saw 18.5, my first thought was, this has to be at least a 70% winning bet. I went to the BetPrep site and put in last year, 12-4 Over. And then I kept adding carries and it was like the movie “Unbreakable” when they keep adding weight for Bruce Willis to bench press and he keeps pumping it up with no problem. Let me put in 19.5. Still 12-4. Let me put in 20 and 20.5. He’s 11-5. 21 carries? 11-5 to the Over still. That is a huge difference. A massive difference. The fact that this guy is still going 70% at 21.5 lets you know the Overs are not a fluke.