The rise in popularity of fantasy football has led to an explosion in betting on NFL player props. Rather than just cheer for the players on their fantasy teams, fans are deciding to get even more involved in the action by betting on players to reach or not reach certain statistical benchmarks. These types of individual bets inside of games have grown more popular over the years.
There are two main types of NFL player props. The most common NFL player props are individual game player props, but there are also season-long props that open up in August.
Season-long NFL Player Props
Shortly before the NFL regular season gets underway, sportsbooks open up season-long NFL individual player props. These props are milestone props in that they set an over/under on players’ stats over the course of the regular season, and the players either surpass them or fail to reach them.
Quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers/tight ends will receive virtually all the attention from the oddsmakers when it comes to these types of bets. That makes sense because of the fantasy aspect of these wagers.
The season-long bets available for quarterbacks largely involve passing yards. Most passing yard totals were in the 3,000s last decade, but changes to the game have meant that many of the NFL’s quarterbacks will now see season passing totals in the 4,000-yard range.
Additionally, some sportsbooks will offer over/unders on a quarterback’s passing touchdowns, and mobile threats like Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Josh Allen will have rushing totals available too.
Most running backs will only have totals available for their rushing yards over the course of the season. Unlike quarterbacks, these numbers have largely dipped as teams are relying on the run less often than ever. Only two running backs ran for more than 1,200 yards during the 2020 season.
There are a few running backs that will have a total yardage prop. Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley are three-down backs that get a lot of work, and a few places will open lines on their total yards from scrimmage over the course of the season.
For wide receivers, you will typically see odds offered on receptions and receiving yards. Receiving yards are more prevalent, but the increase in possession receivers has led to sportsbooks posting lines on receptions.
A handful of sportsbooks have given defensive players some love too. Currently, the only season-long player props for defenders involve sacks, but Aaron Donald, T.J. Watt, and a few others are represented.
Single Game NFL Player Props
There will be individual game player props available on the day of every game over the course of the season. You can find those in different sections depending on the sportsbook, but there is a wide array of bets you can find here.
Any skill position player that will see significant action is likely to have props posted regarding their performance. The player could be the No. 4 receiver or a third-down running back, as there is interest in any player that will be on the field and see some touches.
You will generally see player props shaded toward the over. The reason for this is simple. Most bettors focus on the positive aspect of player props, and they want to bet the overs. A bettor is more likely to put their money down when they believe a player is set to have a big game.
That leads to some real opportunities for shrewd bettors. If the odds are shaded toward overs, that means there is value on unders. It’s not sexy or appealing for most people to bet unders and essentially root against offense, but it is profitable.
One of the most intriguing bets you will find is who will score the first touchdown. An off-the-wall pick can pay upwards of 20-1, so it’s worth digging into tendencies and potential mismatches to determine whether or not a reserve tight end or rarely used slot receiver makes the first score of the game.
Player props can be one of the most effective ways to build your bankroll if you know how to take advantage. They are well worth your time if you want to become a winning bettor.