First And 10: Top NFL Prop Bets For Week 2

Image Credit: Jenna Watson-IndyStar

Not long ago, NFL fans who wanted to dive headfirst into the prop-betting pool had to wait until at least January, when bookmakers would post a handful of prop offerings at the start of the playoffs.

Today? Bettors who would rather wager on team or player-specific props instead of the side or total can do so on the regular. That’s because every major sportsbook now offers a robust NFL prop bets menu from the Thursday night season opener through Super Bowl Sunday.

So throughout the 2021-22 season, will peruse that menu and serve up our 10 favorite NFL props of the week—even throwing in a free side of analysis. (What can we say? We’re givers!).

Now, this is the part where most sites would feel compelled to remind you that “the following is for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any actual cash wager”—but, come on. Who are we kidding?

All odds are as of 4:30 p.m. ET Friday, Sept. 17

NFL Prop Bets For Week 1

Jameis Winston Over/Under 0.5 Interceptions (at Carolina Panthers)

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The line: Over -165/Under +125 (at BetMGM)

The case for the Over: The last time the New Orleans Saints’ new QB was a full-time starter was in 2019, when he led the NFL with 30 interceptions. Winston was picked in 13 of 16 games that season, including five times in an October game against the Panthers. Not once did he go consecutive games without an INT—and he didn’t throw one last week.

The case for the Under: Speaking of last week, Winston was nothing short of spectacular in leading the Saints to a blowout win over the Packers, finishing with a sparkling 5-0 TD/INT ratio. And while he was thieved five times in that 2019 home game against the Panthers, in his previous three starts vs. Carolina, he didn’t throw a single pick.

Houston Texans Total Points Over/Under 17.5 (at Cleveland Browns)

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The line: Over -105/Under -115 (at PointsBet USA)

The case for the Over: In one of the more surprising results of Week 1, the Texans put up 37 points in a rout of Jacksonville—only New Orleans (38), Arizona (38) and San Francisco (41) tallied more in the opening week. Now veteran QB Tyrod Taylor goes up against a Browns D that surrendered 33 points to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs a week ago.

The case for the Under: With all due respect to Taylor, he’s not Mahomes (nor does he have Mahomes’ weapons). He’s also not Deshaun Watson, who last year led the Texans to a single touchdown in a 10-7 loss at Cleveland in Week 10. In fact, take out a 41-point effort at lowly Detroit, and Houston last season averaged just 17.3 points per game on the road.

Darren Waller Over/Under 6.5 Receptions (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

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The line: Over -132/U +100 (at The SuperBook)

The case for the Over: Any doubt that Waller is Derek Carr’s preferred security blanket was erased last week when the Raiders’ freak-of-nature TE caught 10 of 19 targets for 105 yards. Going back to Week 12 of last season, Waller has caught seven or more passes in five of his last six games.

The case for the Under: While Waller finished fourth in the league in receptions in 2020 with a career-high 107, more than 40 percent (43) came from Week 12 onward. Prior to that, Waller was held under six receptions in eight of 11 contests (including six straight on the road).

Jonathan Taylor Over/Under 58.5 Rushing Yards (vs. L.A. Rams)

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The line: Over -115/Under -115 (at The SuperBook)

The case for the Over: The second-year Indianapolis RB toted the rock 17 times in last week’s home loss to the Seahawks, but mustered just 56 yards. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good: It snapped a six-game streak during which Taylor averaged 123.5 rushing yards per game, gaining at least 74 yards in all six.

The case for the Under: Yes, the Rams’ star-studded D surrendered 108 rushing yards to Bears RB David Montgomery in Week 1—but 41 of those came on the game’s second play from scrimmage. Think Aaron Donald and Co., which finished third in the league in rushing defense in 2020, might be on a mission to stuff Taylor and dare Carson “What Body Part Will I Hurt This Week” Wentz to beat them?

Patriots -9.5 Vs. New York Jets (Alternate Point Spread)

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The line: +155 (at BetMGM)

The case for New England: Since October 9, 2011, the Patriots are 18-2 against New York, with both losses coming in overtime. During its current 10-game winning streak against the Jets, New England has prevailed by point margins of 14, 3, 33, 16, 35, 14, 10, 7, 38, and 5 points.

The case against New England: Not sure if you’ve heard, but that Tom Brady dude? He ain’t in New England anymore. Without him last year, the Pats barely eked out a 30-27 victory in the Meadowlands. And without him last week, the Pats lost 17-16 at home to the Dolphins. Lastly, in their last eight trips to Jersey, New England has two outright losses and four wins by a touchdown or less.

Tom Brady Passing Yards Over/Under 313.5 (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

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The line: Over -115/Under -115 (at PointsBet USA)

The case for the Over: I’m sick of Brady, you’re sick of Brady, everyone outside of Boston and Tampa Bay is sick of Brady. And one of these days, Father Time is gonna take down the Buccaneers’ geriatric QB (he has to). Until then, Mr. Avocado Ice Cream keeps shredding defenses, as he did last week when he threw for 379 yards against the Cowboys—the sixth time in his last eight regular-season games (and fourth in a row) that he’s topped 340 yards passing.

The case for the Under: Hmm, let’s see … well, the Falcons last week only allowed 264 passing yards against Philadelphia, which is 30 yards less than their per-game average in 2020 when they ranked dead last in pass defense. That’s something—except Atlanta surrendered those 264 yards to Jalen Hurts! Oh, and all Brady did vs. the Falcons last year was pass for 390 and 399 yards. Let’s just move on …

Amari Cooper Longest Reception Over/Under 24.5 Yards (at L.A. Chargers)

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The line: Over -115/Under -125 (at DraftKings)

The case for the Over: The Dallas Cowboys’ No. 1 WR lit up for the Bucs secondary to the tune of 13 catches for 139 yards in the season opener, including a long of 28 yards. In 16 games last year, including just five with Dak Prescott throwing to him, Cooper had a long catch of 26 yards or more eight times.

The case for the Under: The Chargers yielded a long pass of 27 yards in their Week 1 victory at Washington, but they only gave up 133 passing yards for the game. After what Cooper did to Tampa Bay last week, don’t be surprised if San Die … er, I mean L.A.’s game plan includes frequent double teams of Cooper.

Patrick Mahomes Longest Completion Over/Under 39.5 Yards (at Baltimore Ravens)

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The line: Over -110/Under -115 (at BetMGM)

The case for the Over: Last year, the Kansas City gunslinger went to Baltimore and piled up 385 passing yards, including a long pass of 49 yards—and that was against a talented Ravens secondary. This year’s Ravens secondary? It’s an injury-ravaged mess that yielded 435 passing yards to the Raiders’ Derek Carr last week.

The case for the Under: While Carr completed passes of 30-plus yards to three different wideouts last week, the longest was 37 yards. And while Mahomes connected with Tyreke Hill on a 75-yard bomb as part of a 337-yard passing effort against the Browns in Week 1, he failed to top this number in half of his 16 games last season.

Lamar Jackson Over/Under 67.5 Rushing Yards (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

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The line: Over -120/Under -110 (at DraftKings)

The case for the Over: Did somebody just say “injury-ravaged mess” and “Baltimore Ravens”? Well, it also applies to the team’s backfield, hence the reason Jackson led his team in rushing attempts (12) and rushing yards (86) in Las Vegas on Monday night. In Baltimore’s 34-20 home loss to KC last September, Jackson gained 83 rushing yards (on just nine carries).

The case for the Under: The Chiefs did a solid job of keeping Jackson contained the first two times they faced him, holding him to 67 rushing yards in 2018 and 46 rushing yards in 2019. Also, while Jackson has now rushed for 80-plus yards in five of his last six regular-season games, he had done so just twice in the Ravens’ first 10 contests in 2020 (although one of those was against Kansas City).

Mason Crosby Over/Under 1.5 Field Goals Made

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The line: Over -105/Under -125 (at BetMGM)

The case for the Over: All the veteran Green Bay Packers kicker has done in his last four games against division-rival Detroit is go 9-for-10 on field-goal attempts, splitting the uprights at least twice in three of those four contests.

The case for the Under: Crosby was responsible for all of Green Bay’s points last week, hitting a 39-yard field goal in a 38-3 loss. That’s now nine consecutive games (and 13 of 14) that Crosby has failed to attempt (let alone make) as many as two field goals. The last time he did so at Lambeau Field? Week 2 of last season … against the Lions.

Last Week’s Results:

P. Mahomes O/U 311.5 passing yards (OVER – 337 yards)
S. Diggs O/U 6.5 receptions (OVER – 9 receptions)
D. Henry O/U 0.5 rushing TDs (UNDER – 0 rushing TDs)
T. Lawrence O/U 1.5 passing TDs (OVER – 3 passing TDs)
J. Herbert longest completion O/U 35.5 yards (UNDER – 23 yards)
Miami Dolphins O/U 20 points scored vs. Patriots (UNDER – 17 points)
A. Kamara O/U 13.5 rushing attempts (OVER – 20 rushing attempts)
M. Stafford O/U 0.5 INTs (UNDER – 0 INTs)
Ravens-Raiders O/U 55.5 total points (OVER – 60 points)