We are into Week 3 so that means more data points to decipher when it comes to player props. If you’re in the mood to place a little wager on a player prop or two, hopefully this piece will help you make some informed decisions. I’ve identified some matchups that can possibly help you be successful in Week 3.
Record to date for the 2021 NFL season: 3-3 (-0.60 units)
Editor’s note: All betting lines are courtesy of Sports Interaction, and current as of time of publication.
Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions 1:00pm EST
Wager to watch: TE T.J. Hockenson total receiving yards (Over 61.5 -120, Under 61.5 -120)
Both teams head into this matchup at Ford Field after playing in primetime in Week 2. The Ravens are fresh off that thrilling Sunday night win over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, while the Lions were thumped by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau. We’re really interested in T.J. Hockenson’s total receiving yards prop for this game. The 24-year-old tight end is averaging 81.5 receiving yards per game, 9.5 targets per game and eight receptions through two games in 2021 to rank third overall at the position.
Here are some more advanced stats that show how impressive Hockenson has already been this season: Hockenson has averaged 1.05 air yards per snap, he’s grabbed 23.6 per cent of Detroit’s team air yards and is getting 22.0 per cent of the Lions’ team targets.
The Ravens, meanwhile, had no answer for Las Vegas TE Darren Waller in Week 1 and couldn’t stop Kansas City’s Travis Kelce last week. Kelce had seven catches for 109 yards on eight targets and a touchdown. Baltimore has been having a hard time against the tight end position this season. The Ravens have coughed up 245 receiving yards which ranks dead last in the NFL through two weeks. Baltimore has also given up 19 receptions (31st) and 8.45 yards per target (20th) to TEs in 2021.
Pick: I think the Lions could be playing from behind in this game, meaning that they should be throwing the football more to catch up. The Ravens have shown so far in 2021 that they’ve had difficulty in slowing down elite tight ends. I’m taking Hockenson’s total of 61.5 OVER here at -120.
New York Jets @ Denver Broncos 4:05pm EST
Wager to watch: QB Zach Wilson total passing yards (Over 211.5 -120, Under 211.5 -120)
The Broncos have won seven of the last 10 meetings while the Jets have lost 11 straight games in the month of September. The Jets are the biggest underdog of the week, but we want to focus on whether New York rookie quarterback Zach Wilson can have any success through the air against the Denver defence at Empower Field at Mile High.
Zach Wilson completed just 19 of his 33 passes for 210 yards and four interceptions in last week’s 25-6 loss to Bill Belichick’s Patriots. Wilson also rushed three times for 19 yards. The 22-year-old quarterback is only completing 55.7% of his passes with an average of 6.7 yards per passing attempt. Wilson hasn’t been really getting much help from his receivers so far this season. New York WRs are averaging a putrid 4.8 yards after the catch and have dropped six passes (8.6% drop rate).
Denver is fresh off shutting down another rookie quarterback in Trevor Lawrence who was just 14-of-33 for 118 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Jacksonville last week. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is a stellar 18-9 as a defensive coordinator or head coach against rookie quarterbacks in his NFL career. Denver has surrendered 385 passing yards to QBs which is the fourth-best mark in the NFL so far this season. The Broncos are even better by only giving up 5.50 yards per passing attempt which ranks third best in the league.
Pick: The schedule makers have not been kind to Zach Wilson and the Jets to start the 2021 season. Wilson has struggled against both the Panthers and the Patriots and I think that will continue in Denver Sunday against Vic Fangio and the Broncos. I’m taking Wilson’s passing yards total of 211.5 to go UNDER the number at -120.
Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings 4:25pm EST
Wager to watch: WR Tyler Lockett total receiving yards (Over 76.5 -120, Under 76.5 -120)
The Seahawks go on the road to face a Vikings team that will finally play at home at U.S. Bank Stadium for the first time this season after back-to-back losses in Cincinnati and Arizona. Minnesota is 0-7 against Seattle since Russell Wilson took over at quarterback, but we want to focus on what has been Wilson’s favourite target early this season in Tyler Lockett. We were on Lockett last week so let’s try to stay hot!
Tyler Lockett caught eight of his 11 targets (16.2 yards per target) for 178 yards and one touchdown at home against the Titans last week. Lockett is one of six wide receivers in NFL history with TD catches of 60 or more yards in each of the first two games of a season. The 28-year-old is getting 30.8% of Seattle’s team targets and his average depth of target is 16.7 yards.
Here are some more advanced stats that show how many big plays Lockett has already made this season: Lockett has averaged 2.84 air yards per snap, he’s garnered 52.1 per cent of Seattle’s team air yards and has picked up an eye-popping 133.5 air yards per game.
The Vikings, meanwhile, were torched by the Cardinals through the air last week. Minnesota allowed 371 passing yards and 29 completions on 36 attempts in that 34-33 road loss to Arizona. Mike Zimmer’s defence has struggled big time against wide receivers through two games this season. The Vikings have given up 473 yards to WRs this season which ranks 29th in the NFL. Minnesota has also allowed 11.54 yards per target to wide-outs in 2021 which is the second-highest rate in the league.
Pick: The Vikings haven’t been able to slow down WRs so far this season and Sunday could also be another long day for Minnesota’s secondary. Russell Wilson has targeted Tyler Lockett 16 times through two games, and that could be bad news for the Vikings. I really like that spot for Lockett here and I’m taking the total of receiving yards to go OVER the total 76.5 at -120.