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NFL Player Prop Bets: Week 5 (2021)

by October 9, 2021
Matt Ryan

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 Week 5 that caught my attention.

View the best player prop bets for this week’s slate with our NFL Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

Matt Ryan Under 259.5 Passing Yards (-115)

Matt Ryan has passed for 260 or more yards twice but has fallen short of his yardage prop twice through four games. Overall, he is averaging 247.5 passing yards per game. Unfortunately for him, he’ll be without No. 1 receiver Calvin Ridley this week. As a result, I’m expecting him to struggle in a less-than-ideal matchup.

FootballOutsiders ranks the Jets 19th in pass defense Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). Nevertheless, New York’s mid-pack ranking is adequate. Further, they shine in a few metrics. According to Pro-Football-Reference, they’ve allowed the 12th-fewest passing yards per game (226.3), are tied for the 12th-fewest Net Yards per Pass Attempt (6.0), and are tied for the 11th-highest pressure percentage (26.5%).

Finally, the Jets are unlikely to do Ryan any favors regarding pace. Football Outsiders ranks the Jets 23rd in situation-neutral pace. Add it all up, and I’m expecting Matty Ice to pass for fewer than 260 yards in London.

Place the bet now >>

Dan Arnold Over 2.5 Receptions (+140)

The Jaguars shook things up early last week by trading for tight end Dan Arnold on Monday. Remarkably, Arnold was up to speed enough to play Thursday. Now, he has had over a week to further acclimate himself to Jacksonville’s playbook.

Understandably, Arnold wasn’t fully unleashed. However, he hauled in both of his targets for 29 yards. Also, according to ProFootballFocus, he played 13 passing snaps, running 11 routes, aligning wide three times, inline four times, and from the slot six times. The team made no bones about how they intend to use him. They didn’t waste time using him as a blocker. Instead, he was used as a glorified big wideout.

Further, the tight end has played an integral role in this year’s offense. Excluding Arnold’s work last week, Jacksonville’s other tight ends combined for 23 targets and 15 receptions. So there’s a chance Arnold will account for the bulk of the team’s looks at tight end from now on.

The team has a gaping hole in the offense because of D.J. Chark Jr. breaking his ankle last week. Thus, Arnold may have a sizable hand filling Chark’s vacated targets. Finally, the Jaguars might be playing in a negative game script this week, as the BettingPros consensus lists them as 4.5-point underdogs. If Jacksonville is stuck playing catchup, that bodes well for Arnold’s targets and receptions. As a result, I’m expecting him to snare three catches or more.

Place the bet now >>

Quez Watkins Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+400)

I’m ending these selections with a small longshot selection for a speedy second-year wideout whose offensive role is growing. Quez Watkins has only one touchdown to his name in 10 career games as a pro. However, it appears that he is moving up the pecking order in the passing attack.

According to ProFootballFocus, Watkins ran only 19 routes in Week 1 and 15 in Week 2. The tide is turning, though. In Week 3, he ran 32 routes. Last week, he eclipsed that mark with 34. Additionally, he set a new career-high with seven targets.

However, even if Watkins’ targets regress, he only needs one play from anywhere on the field to make a house call. He’s averaging an NFL-high 21.9 yards per reception, and he recorded a 91-yard reception this season. Further, according to PlayerProfiler, his 4.35-second 40-yard dash is a 97th-percentile mark.

Additionally, for as great as Carolina’s defense has been this year, they’re merely mid-pack for average explosive pass rate allowed (nine percent), per Sharp Football Stats. I’m buying the trajectory of Watkins, and Jalen Hurts has flashed his passing ability, so this looks like a viable longshot wager.

Place the bet now >>

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

NFL, Picks