Chris Carson: Over 15.5 Rushing Attempts
Result: Loss (13 Rushing Attempts)
Even with overtime, Carson was unable to get the 16 carries needed to cash this prop with the Seattle Seahawks only producing 14 total running back rushes this week. While Carson was able to save his day with two rushing touchdowns, we were unfortunately left holding the bag. Carson was inefficient from the start, accumulating 31 yards on his 13 touches, failing to record a single catch. To make matters worse, the game script was here for Carson as the Seahawks lead for most of the game. The margins may have been a bit thin on this one in hindsight, with the likelihood of Carson seeing 20+ carries appearing to be capped.
David Montgomery: Over 14.5 Rushing Attempts
Result: Win (20 Rushing Attempts)
As expected, David Montgomery was dealt a more favorable game script in Week 2 and was handed 20 carries with three catches on four targets. Damien Williams was held to just four total touches (two carries, two catches) as the Chicago Bears lead throughout. While Montgomery was inefficient with his rushing attempts, the Bears have shown they prefer Montgomery in all but the most negative game scripts. Even in such scripts, Montgomery is able to still see the field, due to his increased pass catching role since Tarik Cohen’s ACL tear in early 2020. Keep an eye on how this offense adjusts to the change in signal callers, with Justin Fields making his first career start in Week 3.
Josh Allen: Over 38.5 Pass Attempts
Result: Loss (33 Pass Attempts)
The Buffalo Bills won their Week 2 matchup vs. Miami 35-0, leading 14-0 at halftime, and 21-0 at the end of three quarters. Josh Allen STILL threw the football 33 times and continued to throw well into the final quarter. The Bills continued to show little interest in running the football with their running backs early this week (23 total RB carries, eight on the final drive), despite being in control from start to finish. It’s quite possible that a Miami shutout on offense, after a Tua Tagovailoa injury on the Dolphins second series, was one of the only game scripts that could keep Josh below this prop.
Baker Mayfield: Under 34.5 Pass Attempts
Result: Win (21 Pass Attempts)
Well, that was easy. Hilow has been spot on with his Edge write-ups on the Cleveland Browns so far in 2021, providing great insight into how they will most likely attack and how they wish to distribute touches. This one was a gimmie from the books, and despite the prop falling into the early 30s, this was one of the easier props available in Week 2. Even with the Houston Texans keeping the game close into the third quarter, the Browns game plan was carried out effortlessly through their running backs, shortening the game and coming away with a win. Baker Mayfield did appear to injure his shoulder in Week 2. That may be something to monitor in practice this week ahead of any potential Week 3 prop bets on the Cleveland Browns.
Week 1: +10.0U
Week 2: -1.2U
Book: Draft Kings (-125), Bet MGM (39.5 PA: -105)
Date Available: September 23rd
“The Lions have thrown 93 passes versus only 43 runs, and while game flow has influenced those numbers, the Lions are also being aggressive.”
“The most likely game flow is the Ravens jump on the talentless Lions defense and do their typical dismantling of below-average units.”
“Dan Campbell is more than happy to let Goff sling it, as the Lions have thrown the ball 93 times through two weeks. These numbers are the result of game flow, but the Lions are going to be losing a lot this year.”
“Any QB in a high total game, priced at $5,200, with the potential to throw 50 times, is in play.”
Jared Goff opened the season with 57 pass attempts in the Detroit Lions Week 1 loss to the 49ers in a game in which they never held a lead. We can expect much of the same this week, as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens take advantage of the Lions lackluster defense early and often on the ground while looking for splash plays through the air. The Detroit coaching staff has already shown a willingness to let Goff prove the Los Angeles Rams made a mistake turning the page too soon and I expect Detroit to abandon their run game early and instead use their runningback tandem in the passing game, building on their 28 targets so far this season. Goff has performed much better in his career with a clean pocket, which should be available to him with the Baltimore Ravens failing to get to the QB with any frequency early this season. This should allow Goff to string multiple successful drives together and the most likely gameflow leads to Goff reaching 40+ attempts frequently, with room for much more if forced into our ideal game script early on.
Book: Draft Kings (-105), Bet MGM (-105)
Date Available: September 23rd
“This game started with a low total, and it has been bet down. There isn’t much to like from either passing attack.”
“In the absence of an evident defensive weakness, I expect the Patriots to default to their strength, pounding the rock behind an elite O-line.”
“Expect Payton to try and limit his QB’s ability to make mistakes for as long as he can while hoping his defense can force Mac Jones to the air and create turnovers. Early in the game, expect Alvin Kamara to be the focal point and to remain the focal point unless game flow dictates otherwise. Sean Payton will be happy to win this game with his star RB and defense.”
“No one expects much scoring in a game that is likely to have a slow pace between two above-average defenses.”
“The Saints have remarkably only thrown 44 passes through two games, a testament to the fact that Payton knows who he has at QB.”
The New Orleans Saints are operating the 7th slowest offense so far this season, averaging 51.5 plays a game after their comically low Week 3 total of 39. Yes, 39. When they are running plays, they are handing the ball off at the 2nd highest situation-neutral rate, while adjusting to life post-Drew Brees. The New England Patriots also play slowly, ranking 20th in situation-neutral rate so far in the 2021 season. With Vegas expecting a close game, we can expect both teams to drain the clock unless forced to open things up. Teams are running against the New Orleans defense at the 9th highest rate this year, which bodes well for the Patriots to stick to their desired game plan. As long as this game remains close, there is little chance Sean Payton will choose a Bill Belichick defense to unleash his new QB. This game opened at 42.5 and has quickly been bet down to 41.5 by midweek. In a battle of good defenses, expect the ball to stay grounded this one.
Book: Bet MGM (-105)
Date Available: September 23rd
“The Jaguars absolutely baffled me in Week 1 when they came out and allowed their rookie quarterback to sling it around all day in his first NFL game. They proceeded to attack in the same manner in Week 2, ending the week with the highest situation-neutral pass rate in the league.”
“The team currently operates at the league’s sixth-fastest pace of play at 26.18 seconds per play.”
“The Jags have run the ball a league-low 16.0 times per game.”
“Lawrence has thrown the sixth-most passes over the first two weeks. When we factor in the likely fast pace of this game with the high likelihood of Jacksonville playing from behind, we are left with a clear path to upwards of 40-50 pass attempts here.”
Like Rickie Bobby, these teams just want to go fast! The Jacksonville Jaguars have ranked first in situation-neutral play rate combined with the league’s highest situation-neutral pass rate leading to 84 pass attempts from Trevor Lawrence, tied for 6th in the league with Josh Allen, through two weeks. On the other side of the ball, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals snap the ball at the ninth quickest rate in neutral situations, leading to more drives and opportunity in this track meet of a contest. The Cardinals routinely score heavily in the first half of games, averaging 24.0 through Week 2, which would create an ideal flow for Lawrence to get into the 40s in pass attempts. Jags games currently rank 5th in total combined plays at 130 on average, and although the Cardinals games have accumulated a middling total to start the 2021 season, we can expect that number to rise substantially as the year goes on to gain ground on their second-place ranking during the 2020 season.