Football. That is all.
No need to say anything more. The NFL is back, and its return means your Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays are occupied until further notice.
Week 1 is not short on intrigue, either.
Packers-Saints, Browns-Chiefs, Chargers-Washington, and others headline an opening slate of intriguing games. And, as such, the start of football also presents a handful of wagering opportunities.
As for player props, the world is your oyster. You have options, and we are here to help you make good decisions with so many options at your disposal.
Using odds from PointsBet and DraftKings, here is what I am targeting in football’s debut voyage in 2021.
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Best NFL Player Props Week 1
NFL Week 1 Player Props
Najee Harris Over 57.5 Rushing Yards (-150) vs. the Buffalo Bills at PointsBet
I’m comfortable if I have company on this bet. Hop aboard. Najee Harris is going to be a star for the Steelers, and it’ll begin immediately. Pittsburgh did not draft a running back that early in the draft to be a compliment to its offense. Pittsburgh drafted Harris to be the fixture.
Sure, Buffalo is a good team, and the defense, which was good against the rush in 2020, will be a challenge. But to me, this is more about carries.
Harris will carry the ball at least 18 times. By volume alone, he should get 60 yards.
Justin Herbert Under 261.5 Passing Yards (-115) vs. Washington at PointsBet
I love me some Justin Herbert. Ultimately, he looks like he’s going to blossom into a star for the Chargers as long as he stays healthy and protected. Heck, he might be there by now.
But this matchup, especially out of the gate, is sub-optimal. Playing on the road against one of the best defenses in football, headlined by a pass rush that should push those new pieces on the offensive line, is not an ideal place to begin.
Washington wins, and Herbert throws for only 220 yards.
Baker Mayfield Over 1.5 Touchdown Passes (-112) vs. the Kansas City Chiefs at PointsBet
The fact that this game is being played at Arrowhead Stadium and the spread is less than a touchdown speaks volumes. Cleveland is poised to take that next, next step forward, and a big part of that next step will be the continued development of Baker Mayfield.
With a total hovering around 54 points, I expect Cleveland to do its part. While the running game is solid, look for Mayfield to nab at least two scores in a game that could, and should, live up to the hype.
Kyle Pitts To Score A Touchdown (+129) vs. the Philadelphia Eagles at PointsBet
He’s going to be a star. Not three years from now or even three weeks from now. Kyle Pitts, if used accordingly, should find stardom immediately. Atlanta, do not botch this.
Against a team trying to find its identity, I don’t foresee this being an issue. I saw enough of Pitts at Florida and in the preseason to know the kind of rare athlete the Falcons are getting. With Julio Jones off the roster, Atlanta will need to use its best red zone threat immediately.
And use they shall.
Damien Harris Over 68.5 Rushing Yards (-115) vs. the Miami Dolphins at PointsBet
Let me start by saying I hope Damien Harris is on your fantasy team. The development of Mac Jones and the confidence in the rookie quarterback from its head coach only adds to my intrigue in a player I have followed closely since Alabama.
While New England is historically a running back by committee franchise, I expect to see that tweaked some this season. Harris has asserted himself as the go-to back this year, and he should be able to eclipse this total in Week 1 despite facing a quality rushing attack.
NFL Player Prop Bets Tonight: Sunday Night Football Week 1 (Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) vs. Chicago Bears)
Let’s zero in on Rams vs. Bears. Los Angeles, which is still weird to type a few years later, is more than a touchdown favorite, which is reflected in our NFL gameday odds. Here are the player prop bets I like.
Matthew Stafford Under 273.5 Yards Passing (-115) at DraftKings
To be clear, I am Team Matthew Stafford. I am the proud holder of an MVP future ticket. But the Bears defense, while maybe not what it once was a few years ago, still has plenty of talent.
The Rams will win and Stafford will play well, but he’ll finish comfortably under this yardage total in his debut with his new team.
David Montgomery Over 54.5 Rushing Yards (-115) at DraftKings
I absolutely love this number. For the Bears to be even remotely competitive, David Montgomery will have to eclipse this total. By the sheer number of carries along, I feel, barring injury, it will be hard for him to fall short.
Even if Chicago gets down early, which they may, the running game will be an essential part of the strategy to keep the ball out of Stafford’s hands. Look for Montgomery to get at least 75 yards and also score a touchdown in this NFL bet of the day.