John Brown giveth, and John Brown taketh away.
The red-hot burner cooled slightly last week, contributing to an ugly 1-3 record in this space. However, with 14 targets, the volume was there for Brown to have a blow-up week, so we’re not sweating it. We also got extremely unlucky with the Matt Breida bet, as he had 56 yards rushing in the first 20 minutes, and would have easily beat Phillip Lindsay if not for an injury.
That’s how it goes in prop betting. We’re now 5-4 on the year.
Time for some head-to-head prop bets. Be sure to check out even more head-to-head picks over at Bet the Prop, and follow us on Twitter for more wagers throughout the weekend.
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John Brown > Michael Crabtree, Receiving Yards
1.5 Units to Win 1.13 Units
Unaffected by an unlucky game in which Brown failed to convert an incredible amount of opportunity, we’re going right back to the well with Brown.
Why? Because volume is king in prop betting, and Brown is King in the (AFC) North.
- He leads all WRs in Air Yards. More than Antonio Brown, more than DeAndre Hopkins.
- While Brown has three fewer targets than teammate Crabtree, his average depth of target is more than double, leading to 58 percent more raw yards (396 > 250).
- Crabtree also committed several egregious drops in Week 5, and his role may not be completely secure going forward.
The icing on the cake is Brown’s matchup. While the Titans have a solid secondary, their weak link is CB Malcolm Butler, against whom Brown will face off against this weekend.
Taylor Gabriel > Danny Amendola, Receiving Yards
2 Units to Win 1.18
It’s a chalky bet at -169, and an unsexy match up to boot, but there’s value here.
Amendola is a low-floor, low-ceiling option on a one of the league’s lowest-volume offenses. He hasn’t surpassed 42 receiving yards once yet this year, and now averaging 30.2 yards per game, he’s unlikely to breakout against one of the league’s premier defenses.
Elite against the run, the Bears are still very good against the pass, surrendering the ninth-fewest yards to opposing WRs.
On the other side, head coach Matt Nagy has quietly been using Taylor Gabriel the same way he used Tyreek Hill in K.C. last year.
Gabriel has had more targets than No. 1 WR Allen Robinson over each of the past two weeks, also pacing the team in total Air Yards.
Giving up the 11th-most yards to WRs on the year, the Dolphins do not present an imposing test for Gabriel.
Alex Collins > Peyton Barber, Carries
We played Phillip Lindsay > Barber with total carries in our companion piece at Bet the Prop, and we’re double down on the Barber fading here, only this time with Collins.
Barber’s been among the worst RBs in the league, and as a result his carries have decreased in every game. Now he may be falling behind rookie Ronald Jones as well.
While Barber hasn’t had double-digit carries since Week 2, Collins’ workload has remained steady in recent weeks, averaging 13.7 since Week 2.
Collins faces a Titans defense which is vulnerable on the ground and gives up the seventh-most carries to opposing backs.
Given that the Ravens are three-point favorites, and the Bucs are three-point underdogs, Collins should also have the better game script for a busy day on the ground.
Tyler Lockett > Doug Baldwin, Receiving Yards
1 Unit to Win .96 Units
Locket has more yards than Baldwin in both games since the veteran WR returned to the lineup. With his knee clearly at less than full health, Baldwin managed just one target for one yard last week in a game where the Seahawks put up 31 points.
Volume is going to be an issue for both receivers in such a run-heavy offense, but it’s Locket with the better matchup.
Slot WRs Emmanuel Sanders (96 yards), Keenan Allen (90), and Albert Wilson (74) have all done well against the Raiders in recent weeks.
Locket has been a little light on volume, but he’s converted on his chances, putting up receiving lines of 77, 53, and 98 over the past three games.