- Mar 6, 2018
Mike Clay's guide to NFL player prop bets for Week 6ESPN PLUS $ MATERIAL
Each week of the 2021 NFL season, I will review every individual player prop available via our partners at Caesars Sportsbook and pick out my favorite plays. This week's best bets are listed below in no particular order.
Season results: 33-27 (+3.9 units)
Tyler Lockett over 57.5 receiving yards (-115), DK Metcalf over 61.5 receiving yards (-115)We're coming out firing this week with somewhat risky "over" picks for a pair of standout wide receivers who will be without their standout quarterback. Metcalf has reached 62 receiving yards in three straight games and did so in 10 of 17 games in 2020. Lockett has hit 58 yards in two of five games this season and in eight games last season. Though we must lower expectations with Russell Wilson out, we must raise them against a Pittsburgh defense that is allowing 196 receiving yards per game just to wide receivers. That includes at least 221 yards in three games (at Buffalo, vs. Las Vegas, vs. Denver). Eight wideouts have already reached 58 receiving yards against the Steelers this season (nine, if we include Raiders tight end Darren Waller). Yes, Wilson is out and Geno Smith is under center, but these lines seem to have overcorrected a bit, especially with the Steelers' struggling pass defense on deck.
Projection: Lockett 78.8, Metcalf 87.5
Joe Burrow under 35.5 pass attempts (-125), under 23.5 completions (-105), under 282.5 passing yards (-115)
We took the under on all three of these Burrow categories last week and had all three looked like winners ... until the last seconds of regulation. We still had two of the three through 60 minutes but lost them in overtime. Despite the trifecta bad beat, it's safe to go back to the well in Week 6. So far this season, Burrow has been below 36 pass attempts in four of five games (29.0 average), below 24 completions in three of five games (20.8 average) and below 283 yards in four of five games (253.8 average). The Bengals are calling the game script-adjusted seventh run-heaviest offense this season and have been competitive, which has left Burrow sitting 26th in the league in pass attempts, 20th in completions and 18th in passing yards. Detroit's defense has struggled, but it has yet to face more than 34 pass attempts in a single game, and only Kirk Cousins cleared 24 completions (25 last week). Detroit has allowed 283-plus passing yards in only two of its five games (269 yards per game). Same as last week, go heavy on the unders.
Projection: 20.4 completions, 30.7 attempts, 233.6 yards
Mac Jones under 1.5 Pass TDs (+105), over 0.5 INTs (-130)We're 5-1 and up 3.5 units on Jones props alone this season, so why not stick with what's working? Jones has reached two pass touchdowns in only one of his five games, having totaled five on the season. Though Jones is underachieving relative to his expected pass TD total of 6.1, the number isn't overly fluky, as (a) inefficiency is expected for a rookie QB, and (b) New England's eight offensive touchdowns trails only the Jets for fewest this season. Jones has thrown a lot of passes, though, ranking ninth in the league in attempts. That has helped lead the rookie to five interceptions, including at least one in three straight games. The opposing Cowboys, meanwhile, lead the NFL with 10 interceptions. Dallas has allowed a hefty 10 passing TDs this season, though four were via Tom Brady in Week 1. The Cowboys held both Justin Herbert (one) and Daniel Jones/Mike Glennon (one total) under two passing TDs.
Projection: 1.1 pass TDs, 1.0 INTs
Jakobi Meyers over 5.5 receptions (+110), Jonnu Smith over 2.5 receptions (+150)
As noted, the Patriots call a ton of pass plays, and that should be the case again this week with New England a 3.5-point home underdog. Dallas is a good team that runs a fast-paced offense, which has led to a 74% pass rate by opposing offenses (second highest). The Cowboys have, in turn, faced the second-most pass attempts and have allowed the third-most pass completions. They've already allowed four wide receivers to reach six receptions (including Kadarius Toney's 10 last week) and five tight ends to hit the three-catch mark. Meyers and Smith stand to benefit this weekend. Meyers has caught at least six passes in three of five games this season and in seven of 15 outings since stepping into a full-time role in Week 8 last season. With the projected added volume this week, he has a path to reach six catches, which makes this an attractive bet at plus money. Smith has underwhelmed thus far, but he has reached three catches in three of five games and has been targeted at least five times in four of those outings. Smith's short-area role (4.4 average depth of target) helps improve his catch rate and has him 17th among tight ends in receptions despite ranking 41st in routes. This one is too good to pass up at significant plus money.
Projection: Meyers 6.3, Smith 3.3
Darrel Williams over 11.5 carries (-105)Clyde Edwards-Helaire is out, which positions Williams as the Chiefs' lead back. Williams stepped into last week's game and played 32 snaps (five carries, five targets), leaving Jerick McKinnon to handle 25 snaps (one carry, two targets). That doesn't paint a great picture in the carry department, but game script was a big factor, as the Chiefs trailed the Bills on 80% of their snaps and never held a lead. The Chiefs are 6.5-point favorites against a struggling Washington defense this week and Williams is fully expected to handle a bulk of the team's carries, with McKinnon primarily helping out in pass situations. Williams reached this line in two playoff games last season while replacing/complementing Edwards-Helaire. Washington has faced 21.6 running back carries per game this season, with the opposing lead back hitting 13 carries in all five of their games.
Matthew Stafford over 0.5 INTs (+120)Stafford has thrown three INTs in five games this season and is up to a clean 150 in his career. In fact, Stafford has thrown at least one INT in 97 of 173 career games, which works out to 56.1%. Stafford has been aggressive in his first season with the Rams, as his 9.4 aDOT is the second-highest of his career. More downfield throwing will naturally increase the odds of a turnover. The Giants have an interception in three of their five games this season. This one is worth a look at plus money.