Welcome to Player Props. Starting with tonight’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, I will be choosing a few player prop bets that I would feel comfortable putting real money on.
Let’s face it though. It’s only Week two. Things are still a crapshoot, especially for the young players without a preseason. Betting on anything at this point is largely irresponsible. Who cares though. Nobody wants to hear that. Let’s bet!
Also to make things easy and clear, I will be using FanDuel odds.
Tyler Boyd OVER 50.5 receiving yards (-110)
Last week against the San Diego Chargers, Tyler Boyd hauled in just four catches for 33 yards. He had five targets and 14 percent of the team’s target share. His five targets matched the likes of CJ Uzomah, Giovani Bernard, and John Ross. AJ Green led the team with nine targets and reminded everyone who the number one wide receiver in Cincinnati still is. One would think that Boyd’s production of over 1,000 receiving yards last season will be on the decline in 2020, right?
I don’t believe so. Joe Burrow showed last week that he will be at least be a competent NFL quarterback and better than anyone Cincinnati trotted out last year. Although Boyd’s targets last week were tied with those players listed above, I believe that he will emerge as Burrow’s second or at very least third option starting this week.
Last season against the Browns, Boyd had five catches in each game, once for 75 yards and once for 59. I expect more of that tonight.
Jarvis Landry UNDER 4.5 receptions (-124)
The Browns passing game was a mess last week. Baker Mayfield had very little time to make decisions and looked like his normal happy feet self. That said, Jarvis Landry still got his in the form of five catches for 61 yards. His six targets trailed only Odell Beckham Jr. and were tied with Kareem Hunt.
So why the under? I expect the Browns to target Beckham Jr. more this week. Yes, even more than his team-leading 10 targets last week (although Kenny Hyttenhove noted that only four of those balls were catchable). We’ve barely made it through one week in the season and OBJ’s name is already making its way around the rumor mill. The Browns desperately need to get him more involved before things go nuclear. Because of this, Landry will take a backseat in the offense.
I also want to note that although Landry caught 83 passes last season, he only caught five or more passes in eight of 16 games. Against the Bengals, his catch totals were two and four.
Odell Beckham Jr. OVER 4.5 receptions (-112)
If Landy isn’t going to rack up the catches tonight, somebody else has to. Also, with David Njoku placed on IR, more opportunities will be available. Taking Austin Hooper over 3.5 catches (-102) may not be a bad idea.
Anyways, if not now for Beckham Jr., when? As noted above, OBJ received the highest target share of any Brown last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Against a worse Bengals’ defense, Beckham Jr. could be due for a breakout. That said, last season against the Bengals, Odell did not do much in terms of receptions. He racked up five total catches in two games although he did average 24 yards per reception.
Perhaps I’m totally wrong on this. Maybe he and Mayfield simply don’t mesh. Maybe the Browns’ offensive line is so bad that Baker doesn’t have enough time to find his star receiver on the longer, over the top routes. I don’t know. Having said all of that, it’s hard for me to believe a receiver as talented as OBJ will continue to not produce. Find him on the short slant. Toss him a screen. Try desperately to get him the ball in space. Even if Odell doesn’t light the world on fire tonight, the guy will get at least five catches.
Take it to the bank.
Joe Mixon OVER 17.5 rush attempts (-118) and OVER 71.5 rushing yards (-110)
Last week, Joe Mixon rushed 19 times for 69 yards. Dating back to last season, he rushed at least 18 times or more in the final six weeks. In those final six weeks, he averaged 102 yards per game. Mixon is the bell cow back for the Bengals. He destroyed the Browns in both games he played them recording 23 attempts for 146 yards and 26 attempts for 162 yards.
I don’t expect much to change tonight. Mixon will get his touches and will be the focal point of the Bengals’ offense.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)