2 years ago - 7 minute read

Prop it like it’s hot with our guide to player prop bets

Player prop bets are undoubtedly one of the best ways to bet on the NFL.

They combine entertainment, a full-game sweat and most importantly value into one compact little package. Your bet is rarely dead and every play can offer hope or fear depending what side of the spread you are on.

In summary, player props are bets on how individual players perform in the game. This can be total passing yards for quarterbacks to total rushing yards for running backs to total receiving yards for wide receivers.

They are widely regarded as some of the toughest markets to accurately price up as they depend on so many complex variables but due to the wealth of stats available on fantasy football they offer one of the levelest playing fields for your typical punter.

As a result, these bets can be hard to get on consistently at a good price with the traditional bookmakers. They tend to not like getting beaten every week by smart punters on these markets so it’s not uncommon for bettors to get restricted and it’s also not unknown for you to find some chunky margins on markets where they are less than confident.

Saints QB Drew Brees is a regular for Over Backers on QB’s Total Passing Yards.

The best prop odds around

You will always find hugely competitive odds on all player props offered on Matchbook, with odds as close to evens as possible on both sides of the bet, which is vastly different to the types of markets you may find elsewhere.

At Matchbook a typical game can see player props markets with overrounds as low as 100.5% on the back market and lay markets below 100%.

What this means in practice is you’re giving away almost no edge on your bets even after the tiny 1.5% commission. For example, if you bet £100 at odds of 2.0 (+100 or evens) on Matchbook and paid 1.5% commission you would get £197 returned if you won. That’s equivalent to betting at 1.97 (97/100 or -103) at a traditional book.

When you take into account bookmakers will usually price up player props at 10/11 (1.91 -110) at the absolute best and frequently 5/6 (1.83 or -120) then you can see how much additional value you are getting simply by shifting to Matchbook. It may not sound a lot but shifting from 1.83 to 1.97 is equivalent to £14 in every £100 you win. You really don’t need to make a lot of winning bets a season for that to become a significant amount.

Taking advantage of a level playing field

What’s even better is the level playing field player props afford the casual bettor. If there is one thing the NFL loves it is stats. The internet is bulging at the seams with detailed statistics on every aspect of a player’s performance, which you can chop and analyse to your heart’s content. What’s even better is an awful lot of them are free to access and the quality and quantity of free data is improving all the time.

Sites like the NFL stats database and ESPN players stats allow you to see player stats by year, by quarter, by home and away record, by playing surface and a whole host of other data points. While sites such as Pro Football Reference go into even more detail. These numbers won’t guide you magically to a good bet, but they act as a starting point for more research into that specific week’s matchups.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown’s total receiving yards are often closer to the century mark than many others.

Matchbook’s resident NFL expert Brad Allen likes to use projections from subscription services such as Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders as his starting point, but you can also get free projections from Numberfire and ESPN that are designed for fantasy football but are extremely useful for betting. He also recommends looking into player matchups, weather, injuries and a host of other data points to find your edge.

Finding the right bet at the right time

Matchbook offers player prop markets on all the main televised NFL games on Sky Sports, with some of the best odds you will find anywhere in the world and some very competitive lines too. Whether it’s passing, rushing or receiving yards, you will see over/under numbers that you may not find anywhere else, because at Matchbook you’re betting against other punters and not the house.

For those who don’t have the time on their hands to do the hard yards in researching your own stats, don’t worry as we’ve got you covered at the Matchbook Betting Podcasts. Brad and Matchbook’s own Aidan O’Sullivan record a special byte-size pod every Monday and Thursday that focuses specifically on player props for the Thursday and Monday night games.

So if you want to get started on player props make sure you subscribe now to the Matchbook Betting Podcast wherever you normally get your podcasts. And make sure you start investigating the player prop markets on Matchbook for yourself, because, trust us, you don’t want to miss out on the value here.

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