NFL Prop Bets: Week 1
By Jamie Shepherd
NFL football is finally back upon us with a tasty week 1 slate to get into. If you’re looking to have a flutter, I’ve listed some of my favourite bets for the week below – with my top 5 player props, my scorecast of the week and a punt on a 4 fold anytime TD scorer acca.
The below odds all come from Bet365 and are all purely for entertainment. Please gamble responsibly.
Top Five Player Props
Elijah Moore Over 32.5 Receiving Yards: 5/6
Elijah Moore is hoping to jumpstart his career in Cleveland and the Browns have made it clear how much they value the young receiver. It looks like he’s going to be a pretty big part of an offense that is looking to be unrecognisable compared to the group that finished out the year with a rusty Deshaun Watson.
It’s likely that Watson will be a lot closer to his 2020 version as opposed to what we saw from him on his return last year. This would mean we would be seeing Moore, who looked like a real talent coming out of Ole Miss, on the end of some competent QB play after dealing with Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco and Mike White with the Jets and being criminally under utilised.
For this to land, Moore and Watson have to have the beating of a young Bengals secondary. Although they could be great and Lou Anarumo is a fantastic defensive mind, I think its a secondary that we will see grow throughout the season. Chidobe Awuzie is a brilliant corner and will be the leader of this secondary but may have to get back to speed after coming off an ACL; and we will see how Dax Hill fares in a now starting role at safety. Mike Hilton is a strong pass defender too, but overall I think Moore has enough to beat this relatively low line.
Trevor Lawrence Over 255.5 Passing Yards: 10/11
Things have not felt this promising in Duval county for a long time, and it’s a mouth watering week 1 matchup for the Jags in what should be a comfortable victory. While the Calvin Ridley line looks pretty tasty in this one, ultimately I’ve gone for generational talent Trevor Lawrence to mitigate any week 1 rust for Ridley coming off his suspension.
The offensive play calling in Jacksonville last year took me by surprise at how good it was and Lawrence looks to be going from strength to strength after enduring a year under Urban Meyer. With Ridley back alongside stars Christian Kirk and Evan Engram from last season the Jags’ main man will have no shortage of explosive weapons to help him torch a really poor Indianapolis defense. The Colts secondary is one of the worst in the league, with a DB room riddled with mediocrity – which should be in for a pretty tough day on Sunday. Even one of the best players on the defense in LB Shaq Leonard isn’t that great in coverage; his strengths lie more against the run.
There are definitely some questions about the Jags O-line after losing star RT Jawaan Taylor, but hopes are high that Anton Harrison can be a sound replacement – and on the other side for me Walker Little is a competent enough LT. The biggest threat to this line is star DT Deforest Buckner getting the better of the interior and getting after Lawrence. However he can’t do it alone and I think Trevor and the Jags have enough to make this bet a pretty comfortable one.
James Cook Under 43.5 Rushing Yards: 10/11
Without a doubt the biggest concern surrounding this Buffalo team is it’s lack of a run game. It’s a concern that’s been around for a few seasons now and nothing seems to have changed this year. James Cook is nothing more than an okay back who we rarely see out there fighting for yards. Cook succeeds when hitting large gaps which I just can’t see this Jets D-line leaving. It’s one of the most stacked position groups in the league with stars like Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Meyers and Carl Lawson to mention a few, alongside promising rookie Will Anderson. I can see them overwhelming the Bills O Line and swallowing up the run.
Any breaks Cook may get will no doubt be quickly sniffed out by a strong group of Jets linebackers and DBs. CJ Mosely, Sauce and DJ Reed have all proven themselves in run defense, making plays all over the field, so I can’t see where Cook can win here to beat the 43 yard line.
Damien Harris is also with the Bills now who should see a good percentage of touches. The Bills like Cook in the receiving game – and will especially lean on this now given the off season injury to Nyheim Hines, likely leaving Harris with the majority of the rushes. The combination of a lack of touches and a strong Jets D should make this bet an easy one.
Sam Howell Over 1.5 Passing TD's: 27/20
I don’t think we’ll see the Commanders this strong favourites much this season, but it’s completely understandable against a Cardinals side that looks destined for the no. 1 pick. The Commanders are high on Howell coming into this season and this week 1 matchup is a good opportunity for him to begin proving himself as one of the best 32 QBs in the league.
Sam Howell was once a projected top 10 draft pick in the league by many after his 2020 season, but his draft stock dropped massively after some really poor coaching in his final year in college – and if there’s one thing I’m certain on, he’s definitely better than a 5th round pick. Howell reads defenses well and has underrated arm talent so at such a good price for 2 TD’s or more I’d leap at this one.
The big news for Washington this week is that star WR Terry Mclaurin will play alongside Jahan Dotson, who had a pretty good rookie season last year. Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas are also decent enough players to make up a good group of weapons for Howell to cash this bet against a really poor Cardinals defense.
Across the d-line, linebackers and secondary, there’s very little to get excited about in Arizona – in this game and for the rest of the season. BJ Olujari could bring something at edge coming out of LSU, but it’s his first NFL start and working in a Cardinals’ front seven tha is laughably poor…
Isiah Simmons traded Arizona for New York a few weeks ago, leaving the Cardinals with Kyzir White and Zaven Collins at linebacker. Whilst these two are an okay group of linebackers it’s nothing to write home about – and then there’s the secondary, which won’t be stopping many TDs in my opinion this season. There’s no doubt Budda Baker is a talent but he can’t do it all himself and it’s going to be a long old season in Phoenix.
Sam Howell will get at least two TDs, and the better QBs of the league will have even more fun with this side this season. Easy money.
Davante Adams Over 5.5 Receptions: 20/31
My last pick is in the AFC West’s Raiders Broncos matchup, and I’m backing one of the best receivers in the league to see a lot of the ball.
Jimmy G is the QB in Vegas now, and they will no doubt improve on the play that saw Derek Carr get dropped last season. Jimmy is familiar with the Josh McDaniels scheme from his time in New England, and is firmly cemented in the middle tier of league QBs. We know we’re not going to see a huge highlight reel from the ex-San Fran man, but he’s great at getting the ball out of his hands quick. He’s a sensible QB and he knows that Adams is the guy he wants to be targeting all game.
The Broncos d-line is nothing more than average, so shouldn’t put Jimmy under too much stress – giving Davante a lot more time than he needs to get open. There also is not any danger in the linebacker room covering Adams or getting to the QB, as it suffers from the same mediocrity as the Broncos pass rush.
The threat to this bet comes from a talented Broncos secondary. Pat Surtain is one of the best corners in the league and Justin Simmons is a real talent at safety, complimented by some nice supporting pieces like Damarri Mathis and K’Wuan Williams. It’s a secondary that’s going to cause some issues for a lot of good receivers this year, but we’re talking about Davante Adams here – if anyone is beating this group it’s him. Davante averaged 5.8 receptions per game last year and the probable improvement in QB play makes me confident in this selection.
Scorecast Of The Week
Chris Olave to score a TD anytime, and Saints to win by 1-6pts: 8/1
Touchdown Scorer Acca Of The Week
The below 4-fold for anytime TD scorers comes in at 53.25/1:
Feature Image Credit: AP Photo/David Richard
A Hull native, Jamie has followed the NFL from a young age, ever since his dad went to a London game. A Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida Gators fan, you can find Jamie on Twitter @JLShepp66.