Between the ever-evolving situation that is the NFL's COVID problem, along with the rest of the building American and global news cycle, does anyone else feel like NFL Sundays are getting farther and farther apart? Just me?
Anyway, after four weeks of picking a top matchup for each major timeslot, I figured that it might be time to change things up a little bit, as well as expand my coverage of betting outside the spreads. In light of this decision, here are five player prop bets that I think are worth taking a look at this Sunday.
All lines are courtesy MGM Grand Sportsbook and subject to change.
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Cards vs. Jets
Maybe it's because I'm a Jets fan, but the return of Le'Veon Bell is pretty good news for the Jets, as far as good news for the Jets goes. I don't think the return of Bell is indicative of any major upturn for the Jets, but with Joe Flacco taking the helm of New York's offense this week, I expect Bell to see a lot of time with the ball in his hands. The Jets are still without most of their top receiving options (Crowder may still be a possibility), and Arizona is one of the worse teams in the league this year at stopping the run. The total yards given by the books is honestly pretty low, and I think Le'Veon will hit this target with a decent amount of time left in the game.
My Pick: Le'Veon Bell OVER 38.5 rushing yards (-115)
Chief Kelce Ain't This, Chief Kelce Ain't That: Chiefs vs. Raiders
Considering Travis Kelce's last few performances against Vegas, or Oakland at the time, I'm pretty confident Andy Reid will be calling enough plays to give the veteran tight end plenty of targets from Patrick Mahomes. In his last three performances against the Raiders, Kelce picked up 92, 107, and 168 yards respectively. This season, Kelce hasn't hit under 60 yards since Week 1. The Raiders sit towards the middle of the table in terms of defense against the pass, so I'd hammer the over on this one.
My Pick: Travis Kelce OVER 65.5 yards (-115)
Deshaun Watson Redemption Tour: Texans vs. Jaguars
I mentioned last week that due to the way a lot of teams' schedules have panned out so far, the current NFL standings are kind of weird. There are a lot of teams that have records way better than what I think they can do long term, and there are a few teams who have played the hardest part of their schedule very early on. My prime example of this is the Houston Texans. Sitting at 0-4, the Texans played the Chiefs Week 1 and the Ravens Week 2. I'm not going to give them an excuse for the Vikings loss, but you gotta feel for them a little bit. I think the departure of Bill O'Brien is going to do wonders for this team, starting this week, in which they will become the third consecutive winless team to take down the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have defended the pass horribly, so look for a solid game from Deshaun Watson, and if you have him in fantasy, give him the start.
My Pick: Deshaun Watson OVER 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-250)
Not Today, Joe: Bengals vs. Ravens
I had to have at least one under in here. The under gets a lot of slander, and while I agree that it's less of a primal dopamine hit to want the fun sports numbers to stay low, it's important to not be gluttonous. So far, Joe Burrow has had an impressive season, on a steady pace for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He's even more impressive for the books, leading Cincinnati to a 3-1 record against the spread with a 1-2-1 record straight up. However, Burrow faces his biggest challenge yet against the Ravens defense. I don't think we'll see many sacks, but Baltimore's effective pass rush will force the inexperienced Burrow to make a few bad targets.
My Pick: Joe Burrow UNDER 270.5 Passing Yards (-115)
YOU LIKE THAT, SEATTLE!?: Seahawks vs. Vikings
You may be surprised to hear me say this, given how much I've praised Seattle this season, but here it is; the Seahawks pass defense has been severely bailed out by Russell Wilson and the MVP-caliber season he's having, along with his receiving unit in peak condition. No quarterback playing against Seattle has thrown for less than 300 yards this year, and they rank dead last in total pass yards allowed and pass yards allowed per game. Cousins has had one of his weaker starts behind center this year, but I think if he's going to exceed expectations at least once this year, it'll be this week.
My Pick: Kirk Cousins OVER 275.5 Passing Yards (-115)