Parlay bets are a fun way to build your bankroll fast. However, the extra rewards come with extra risk — if you aren’t careful, parlays will burn through your bankroll faster than you can break even.
Fortunately, DraftKings offers users a $25 risk-free bet on NFL same-game parlays. So with nothing to lose (and bankroll to gain), how should you attack Thursday night’s action? For starters, expect to see me feature quite a few overs in this column. Since 2017, the over has hit in 60% of games played on Thursday; in 2020, it hit 57.1% of the time. I suspect that’s due to a lack of adequate rest and preparation, both of which make life hard for defensive players.
I advise that you approach this column as a strong parlay that features a handful of smart straight bets. I’ll include recommended unit sizes for each play, along with a recommended parlay size. NOTE: DraftKings Sportsbook’s same-game parlay feature uses lines that are not available as single-wager markets.
Parlay YTD: 2-5-0 (-1.34u)
Straight Bets YTD: 6-4-0 (+0.13u)
Leg #1. James Conner o39.5 Rushing Yards
Related Straight Bet: James Conner o45.5 Rushing Yards (-115 at DK Sportsbook)
Straight Bet Size: .5u
The Cardinals will face a depleted Packers team on Thursday Night Football. As 6.5-point favorites, the probable game script suggests Arizona will end up running the ball a fair amount. They’ll want to grind out the clock and keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers, after all. They have no one better suited for the job than James Conner.
Conner is averaging 48 yards on 12.7 carries per game. He has gone over this total in all but two matchups — he earned only 26 rushing yards (on eight carries) in the tightly fought battle against the Vikings and just 29 (on 10 carries) in a close contest against the 49ers. Those exceptions point to two factors that could derail this prop: a close game (reducing volume) or strong defensive line play (reducing efficiency).
So how do those factors relate to this game? First, the game script is likely to favor the Cardinals, as I mentioned above. Second, the 49ers’ defensive line ranked eighth in adjusted line yards, but the Packers’ unit ranks sixth-worst. Assuming Conner gets the workload, he’ll exceed this total tomorrow night.
Leg #2. A.J. Green o39.5 Receiving Yards
Related Straight Bet: N/A
I usually don’t pair overs in the rushing game with overs in the passing game, but I like Green enough to do so here. The Packers have struggled against opposing wide receivers since Jaire Alexander got hurt. Ja’Marr Chase burned them for 159 yards on six receptions in Week 5. Terry McLaurin went for 122 yards on seven catches in Week 7. While no individual Chicago wide receiver posted a noteworthy stat line against the Packers in Week 6, Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson combined for 98 yards on nine catches, and both went for at least 40 yards.
So why am I targeting Green and not another receiver? Well, Green plays the second-most snaps and runs the second-most routes of Arizona’s talented receivers. He won’t get displaced from his role on the perimeter by new acquisition Zach Ertz, either; Ertz’s arrival is likeliest to affect slot guys Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore. This held true in Week 7, as Green played on his typical share of Arizona’s snaps (84.1%). Green has also gone over this total in all but two games (like Conner, he failed to hit against Minnesota and San Francisco) and is averaging 58 receiving yards per game.
A critical reader might point out that the Packers could get Kevin King back here. As a perimeter cornerback, he’ll wind up covering either Green or a banged-up DeAndre Hopkins. However, that’s all the more reason to target this prop. King has been exceptionally beatable thus far — opposing wideouts have toasted him for 50 yards per game and an 88.9% catch rate allowed.
Leg #3. Kyler Murray u329.5 Passing Yards
Related Straight Bet: N/A
I’m breaking another rule I typically follow by pairing Green’s over with Kyler Murray’s under. However, I’ve teased this total high enough to feel comfortable about doing so. Murray has gone over this number in just six of his 39 career starts (15.3%). Those performances all came in very close games against competitive opponents (with one exception). With the spread sitting at -6.5 and Green Bay missing a coach and multiple receivers, the Cardinals may end up running more often than usual.
This play is a strong correlation bet with Conner’s over. If Murray isn’t throwing, Conner is probably running. Murray’s unteased total for this game sits at 276.5, so you’re getting more than 50 yards of wiggle room with this line.
Leg #4. Cardinals o2.5 Team Touchdowns
Related Straight Bet: ARI Wins Race to 20 Points (-200 at DK Sportsbook)
Straight Bet Size: .5u
Let’s wrap things up with what I see as a sure thing. The Cardinals are going to score points. They will probably score points quickly, too. Why? First, Green Bay’s defense isn’t great. They rank 24th in defensive defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA). Second, their defensive coordinator will miss this game due to a positive test for COVID-19. Oh, and third — the Cardinals are really good. Their offense ranks eighth in offensive DVOA, they have scored the second-most touchdowns (27, so 3.9 per game), and Kyler Murray himself has scored at least three touchdowns four times already.
Total Odds: +400 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Parlay Bet Size: .75u
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