Once again, I’m using DraftKings Sportsbook for props because of the volume they have to choose from. Still, I suggest that you do some line shopping for more favorable player totals across multiple sportsbooks if you have time. For instance, finding a lower yardage number for a player prop you like enhances your odds of cashing the over. Conversely, if you want an under and find a higher yardage total, the same idea applies.
Let’s take a look at a few player props for Thanksgiving that caught my attention.
Josh Jacobs Under 71.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards (-115)
Rich Bisaccia was inserted as the interim head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 6. In five games played for Bisaccia, Josh Jacobs has exceeded 71.5 rushing plus receiving yards two times. Further, he’s bested his prop only one time in three games without Henry Ruggs III as the offense has cratered without the field-stretching wideout.
In addition, Jacobs is inefficient in general and attached to a 7.5-point underdog, less than ideal from a game-script perspective. According to Pro Football Focus, among 63 running backs with at least 20 rush attempts since Week 6, Jacobs has ranked 31st in yards after contact per rush attempt (2.73 YCO/A) and has only five rushes of 10-plus yards.
Jacobs can hang his hat on running 80 routes to only 59 for Kenyan Drake with Bisaccia as the head coach. However, Drake has 140 receiving yards, and Jacobs has only 131 receiving yards in those games. Thus, Jacobs’ increased role in the passing attack is a plus, but it’s not unreasonable to wonder if the more efficient Drake will reclaim a larger share of the passing game role. Nevertheless, Jacobs has produced back-to-back clunkers, totaling 36 scrimmage yards and 61 scrimmage yards, and I’m doubtful a short week won’t cure what ails him.
Cole Kmet Under 3.5 Receptions (+105)
The Chicago Bears are playing in an NFC North slop fest against the Detroit Lions. As a result, the Bears are a rare favorite, laying three points to the hosts. If the game goes according to the script, onlookers can expect the Bears to lean on their running game.
According to Sharp Football Stats, when the offensive scoring margin ranges from trailing by seven points to leading by seven points, the Bears pass at the lowest rate (50%). In addition, in a tight, back-and-forth, low-scoring affair with an injury to Justin Fields, resulting in Andy Dalton (who is starting again this week) closing the game against the Baltimore Ravens last week, they attempted only 34 passes. As a result, Cole Kmet received only two targets in Week 11.
Unfortunately, Kmet hasn’t garnered much attention from Dalton this year. This year, the veteran signal-caller has attempted 74 passes, chucking only eight the second-year tight end’s way. In addition, the matchup is unlikely to do Kmet any favors. According to Pro-Football-Reference, the Lions have allowed the ninth-fewest receptions (44) to tight ends, an average of 4.4 per game. Kmet has gone under 3.5 receptions in six of 10 games, and I expect him to go under once again.
DeSean Jackson Anytime Touchdown (+500)
I love long-shot touchdown props. So DeSean Jackson scoring anytime against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving is the latest touchdown prop that’s on my radar. D-Jax is off to a slow start through two games with the Raiders.
However, the underlying measures are trending in the right direction. First, according to the snap counts at FantasyPros, D-Jax’s offensive snap share doubled from 17% in his debut for the Raiders to 34% in his second game. Second, according to Pro Football Focus, his routes also doubled from five to 10.
The speedy veteran wideout reportedly voiced confidence in his comfort with the playbook before last week’s game, and Bisaccia stated the team had “multiple packages” for Jackson in Week 11. Two data points are admittedly a tiny sample. However, when underlying numbers align with the coach and player quotes, that’s a promising development.
The Raiders desperately need a field-stretcher, and D-Jax has the requisite speed. Finally, he has a matchup that invites a big play or two. According to NFL.com, the Cowboys are tied for the ninth-most 40-plus yard passing plays allowed in 2021. Additionally, according to Sharp Football Stats, Dallas is ceding the seventh-highest average explosive pass rate (10%). Thus, I’m banking on D-Jax’s field-stretching prowess resulting in a long touchdown against his long-time former NFC East nemesis.
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