September 22, 2022 at 8:33 a.m. EDT
Tom Brady’s numbers have not impressed this season, so tips on how to evaluate his passing yardage prop before Week 3? (Butch Dill/AP)
As legal sports betting spreads, oddsmakers are offering increasingly more options in your wagering dollar.
Beyond the usual point spreads and totals, bettors can wager on a large menu of individual player stats for a game, also generally known as player props. For typical NFL games, bettors can wager on a quarterback’s passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and interceptions, not to say the production of running backs, receivers and tight ends. You may even bet on the variety of tackles, sacks and interceptions defensive players can have, a mind-numbing array of options for any given contest.
In comparison with sides and totals — the more common NFL bets — the player prop market attracts fewer bettors (and fewer dollars), which should theoretically mean the books offer less efficient prices.
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“It was obvious we could beat them with our projections,” Adam Levitan, co-founder of Establish the Run, said in an interview. Originally his team’s projections were focused on every day fantasy sports, but they were later redirected to the player prop markets. “It will not be like sides and totals where there are tens of millions of dollars bet and the market trends toward efficiency,” Levitan said. “It’s less liquid and the bounds are lower and the lines are undoubtedly softer.”
A better market with a possible for profit? Sounds good. Just remember, “easier” is an extended distance from easy. Even in case your goal is primarily recreational, there continues to be plenty of work to do before placing your first bet. Here’s an example of how you might evaluate one prop.
All you would like is a very good projection system. (Easier said than done.)
Player projections are widely available online, albeit of various quality. Fantasy Pros, Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders all project weekly player performance, some behind paywalls and a few outside them. As all the time, you get what you pay for, but what we’re searching for is to be directionally right. In other words, we don’t must know exactly what number of passing yards Tom Brady can have against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday; we’d like to know if he’s prone to go over his offered total of 251.5 passing yards at Caesars or under the 255.5 yards offered at DraftKings.
We’ll get to those totals discrepancies in a moment. First we’d like to get an estimate for Brady.
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Per Fantasy Pros — which averages the projections from STATS Inc, numberFire, NFL.com, CBS Sports and ESPN — Brady is anticipated to throw for 267.6 yards on Sunday. That’s significantly above the 251.5 yards offered by Caesars, so the over is appealing, especially at its current price of +102. As well as, Pro Football Focus projects Brady will toss for 305.8 yards, one other data point for the over.
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After all, you may have to take a look at other aspects, too. What’s the injury situation in Brady’s banged-up receiving corps? How will he impacted by Mike Evans’s one-game suspension? Can his offensive line protect him long enough to make the plays he’d need for the over to hit? Projections are only a place to begin; now it’s time so as to add some context.
It’s also necessary to recollect player projections typically center on average production, while prop markets are based on the median production. The median is the midpoint of your entire distribution of outcomes, where half of the outcomes are above the projection and half are below. The typical will generally skew higher than the median, since it is more likely a passer will throw for 400 yards than zero.
There are tools online that permit you to enter average projections to get prices for various data points, making it easier to guage a particular prop bet at a particular price.
For those who feel adventurous, there are also some outlets, like Unabated, which help teach you tips on how to create your personal projections.
Once you may have projections you want, you’re ready to begin searching for value.
As all the time, line shopping is the important thing to success. We already saw two different totals offered for Brady’s passing performance at two different outlets. That is common. Sometimes, the gap will probably be significant. For instance, FanDuel offered Jacoby Brissett’s passing yards total at 185.5 for this week’s Thursday night game while Caesar’s offered 193.5. That’s one other huge difference for a similar basic wager, although the costs are also barely different.
Anytime touchdown markets also often have exploitable differences in pricing. In last Thursday’s Kansas City Chiefs-Los Angeles Chargers game, the worth for rookie fullback Zander Horvath to attain a touchdown was +600 on DraftKings — a $100 bet would win $600. The identical bet was priced at +1200 on Caesars and +1600 on FanDuel, massive differences.
Alternate pricing is usually a source of value, too. The chances for Kansas City’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling to go over 74.5 receiving yards against the Chargers was +550 at BetRivers, but FanDuel was offering just +390 for him to go over 80 receiving yards — a worse price for a much bigger number.
“There are big discrepancies in juice across books and there are big discrepancies in [player prop] lines,” Levitan said. “Anytime you’re betting on anything, getting the very best possible line is so necessary.”
Some player props are to be avoided
One player prop it is advisable to avoid: first touchdown scorers, that are popular due to occasional big payouts and exciting results. It’s simply difficult to seek out any exploitable pattern in these markets. Buffalo scored the primary touchdown in 16 of its games last season and the players getting the touchdowns were, so as, Gabriel Davis, Davis again, Devin Singletary, Dawson Knox, Stefon Diggs, Josh Allen, Isaiah McKenzie, Singletary, Knox, Matt Breida, Davis, Allen, Knox, Emmanuel Sanders, Singletary and Davis.
You may even wish to avoid suggested player parlays. These almost never provide fair value in comparison with the chance involved. For those who are thinking about a proposed combination, see in the event you can recreate the wager at one other sportsbook. You’d be surprised at how often yow will discover a greater price — even when the unique parlay was supposedly “boosted.” Pat Freiermuth scoring a touchdown on Thursday night and going over 49½ receiving yards would pay +550 with a “boost” at Caesars. It will pay+668 as a single-game parlay you create yourself at FanDuel.