Givin Props: NFL Week 9

Myles Gaskin #37 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball after a reception against the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Image Credit: Michael Reaves/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.

First losing week in the history of podcast at 4-5 last week, but still at 64% for the year at 50-28. 

Brad: I got unlucky with two picks, Jameis Winston got hurt after throwing a TD early and needed just one more the rest of the game. And I lost by one carry with Dalvin Cook. (Kirk Cousins went 3-for-13 on third down.) But I’m going to get more unlucky than lucky because my numbers are good.

Is it like if you bet on a coin in 10 flips to come heads or tails five times and you lose? You can only be unlucky there?

Brad: Exactly right.

So let’s see what inefficiencies you can exploit this week. I thought the first one was almost a made up number. I can’t believe Jalen Hurts’ over/under on passing yards is a pretty robust 239.5. You like the Under.

Brad: Coaches when they have success stick with it. And last week the Eagles scored 44 points and threw the ball 14 times. And the fans and media here in Philly where I live have just killed the Eagles all year for not running the ball enough. They finally ran and I don’t think they’re going to go back to being more pass heavy. They will stay run heavy.

By the way, this century, that’s tied for the third fewest passes scoring 44-plus points. So a very unusual game script. 

Brad: They ran 46 times. Hurts is 5-3 to the Under this year so Hurts, irrespective of their success in Week 8 running, would be a good pick Under anyway. Plus this is a Chargers team that has a terrible run defense, allowing 5.5 yards per carry. I think Hurts not only goes under 239.5, I think he goes under 189.5 passing yards.

In the same game, Austin Ekeler Under 65.5 rushing yards.

Brad: He’s played 17 games without Melvin Gordon. We’re not counting the Gordon games. He’s 12-5 to the Under. And one game when he went over, he had 66 yards. The Eagles are actually decent against the run. And the Eagles ability to run in this game is going to give them the edge in time of possession so less plays for the Chargers, too. Instead of 65, maybe they get 55. That’s a big deal. Those are less plays and carries and yards for Ekeler.

Zay Jones Under 33.5 receiving yards.

Brad: This is related to the terrible Henry Ruggs situation where he’s no longer on the team after the DUI charge where a woman died. I don’t think Jones is likely to get enough snaps and targets to hit this number. He’s been a disappointment. I went on BetPrep, 42 of 60 games, he’s gone Under. He’s also Under in 24 of his last 30. So he still went under 60% of the time when he was the de facto No. 1 WR. He’s not the No. 1 receiver on Sunday.

Sticking with the Raiders, Josh Jacobs under 19.5 receiving yards. Jacobs famously does not catch passes for the Raiders so I’m guessing he’s over this like twice.

Brad: Well he’s 19-9 to the Under; but the last two games he’s gone over. That’s good for us. That’s why the number is higher. He’s averaged just 15.5 receiving yards in the period. And when the numbers are small, these differences are obviously bigger. So the four yards here is much more than it would be in a prop with a high yardage total. The scarcity of the yard is worth so much and again they have Kenyan Drake there on third downs. Give me the Under for Jacobs, who we will dare to get 20 receiving yards.

Cortland Sutton Under 66.5 receiving yards, is this Trevon Diggs or Teddy Bridgewater?

Brad: Neither! It’s actually Jerry Jeudy. Last 11 games, Sutton is 7-4 to the Under. He’s a guy with high variance because he will go way over periodically. He’s the type who gets 120 yards or 30. The best way I can answer this is that I would have made Sutton’s number 66.5 if Jerry Jeudy was out. And he’s not. Plus there’s the chance you get Diggs covering Sutton most of the day. (Diggs held Justin Jefferson to just four targets in Week 8.)

Boston Scott over 44.5 rushing yards.

Brad: Most people look at the Eagles without Sanders and say, “They (the three running backs) all got 12 carries.” But they did not. Jordan Howard and Boston Scott split all the carries until the game was over and then Kenneth Gainwell got all of his 12 in the fourth quarter of a blowout. So Scott is going to get half the RB carries and that will probably be about 15 the way I expect this to go. And I think I only need nine Scott carries to win this bet because Scott is a very efficient runner historically against a very bad Chargers run defense.

Myles Gaskin Over 11.5 rushing attempts.

Brad: I am not stubborn. I had a Gaskin Under yardage prop just a couple of weeks ago. But that’s when there were three backs and now there’s two. Since Malcolm Brown got hurt, he’s had 15 and 12 carries, so he’s won Over both games. And without Brown there are an extra seven carries that have to go somewhere and they’re mostly going to him. And remember, he went over against Buffalo as a big underdog and now he’s a favorite. And even with Tyrod Taylor playing, which makes me like this less, the game is at least going to be close. I don’t see Houston blowing Miami out.

Aaron Jones Under 99.5 combined yards with unvaccinated Aaron Rodgers out with COVID-19. 

Brad: Like with Courtland Sutton, this is the right number if Rodgers was playing. I know it’s against the Chiefs, but Jones is about 50/50 going Over 99.5 scrimmage yards. But without Rodgers, you have to figure the Packers will get less yards than they would with him. We don’t know about Jordan Love, but if I were to guess, I’d say he’ll be bad. I’m going to make the Packers prove to me that Jones can have his average game without Aaron Rodgers.