Getting an Early Jump on NFL Prop Bets

We are now inside 75 days until the start of the 2022 NFL Season.  The 2022 NFL Draft, the key moments of Free Agency, and the ever so exciting schedule release (no league capitalizes on the schedule release quite like the NFL) have come and gone.  And like always, they did not disappoint.  Now, with a little over two months of anticipation of what our favorite teams and players might bring to the table, we as fans get to set our own expectations.

Leading up to the NFL season it has always intrigued me to comb through player props and see where the ‘market’ has landed on each team’s potential and possibly finding some value.  If you look hard enough and in the right places you will be able to spot some variances between what the bookmakers set the odds at and what you believe the actual value.

One player prop that stood out that offers a great deal of value is Ceedee Lamb to lead the NFL in total receiving yards.

Current odds: 20/1 @ Caesars (0.5 units)

Rational for back this play comes down to several different reasons.

Dak Prescott:  On all accounts he should be back to his healthy self with a chip on his shoulder to prove he was worth every dollar the Dallas Cowboys paid him.  This is also his second off-season with new head coach and play caller Mike McCarthy, which should mean more confidence in the offense. 

Available targets: In 2021, Lamb received 120 targets, up from 111 targets in his rookie campaign.  Injury aside, I do not see how the number of targets goes anywhere but up.  Star receiver Amari Cooper was traded to the Cleveland Browns this off season.  In the 15 games he suited up last year Cooper saw 104 passes thrown his way.  Yes, the Cowboys drafted highly thought of Jalen Tolbert out of South Alabama and signed free agent James Washington, but I believe Prescott will look the way of his Pro Bowl wide receiver when it comes down to it.  Keep in mind, the uber talented Michael Gallup will most likely be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks as he continues his recovered from a torn ACL.  Through nine games last year Gallup received 62 targets.  

Production: Above we looked at Lamb’s targets.  But some other eye-opening statistics are noteworthy.  In 2021, Lamb had 79 receptions, five more than the 74 in 2020, but his receiving yards for the year increased 167 yards.  His average yard per target increased to 9.2, up from 8.4.  Lamb also had 54 catches that resulted in a First Down, up from 46 the year before. 

Lamb is young, has a year of chemistry under his belt with Dak Prescott and the offense, now has a lion’s share of the targets from last year’s team off the field via trade or injury and has shown an increase in production from year 1 to year 2.  Injury aside, a significant year 3 leap is likely and worth the 20/1 odds to lead the NFL in receiving yards.  

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