Welcome to NFL Week 1, baby! It’s finally here. No more offseason drama between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. No more “when will Matt Nagy play Justin Fields” questions (until Sunday Night Football). No more “best shape of his life.” It’s time to get down to business, and I can’t wait. The games start for real in a matter of hours.
NFL Football is like no other sport. You can bet your asses the sportsbooks are crying tears of joy because with the return of football on Sundays comes the return of endless amounts of money being shelled out by gamblers.
However, we aren’t worried about how the books feel, we’re looking to crush them. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce the start of a new weekly series featuring my favorite prop bets. Let’s destroy the books together and put some money into your account.
Disclaimer: All betting odds are courtesy of BetRivers unless stated otherwise.
Kyle Pitts Over 47.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
Kyle Pitts is a freak athlete. We haven’t seen this type of athleticism from a tight end since Travis Kelce was a prospect. The Falcons are without Julio Jones, who was traded to the Titans in the offseason. Matt Ryan will need a second option behind Calvin Ridley. The team invested high draft capital in Pitts, selecting him with their first pick, fourth overall, making him the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history. The Philadelphia Eagles’ defense doesn’t have what it takes to match up with Pitts. He’s too big for cornerbacks and too fast for linebackers. Look for Pitts to eat in his debut today.
Julio Jones Over 62.5 Receiving Yards (-109) 🔒
Julio Jones joins forces with A.J. Brown and Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee after being traded from the Falcons this offseason. I’m seeing a lot of unwarranted skepticism when it comes to Julio. AJB is a YAC monster, and he could very well go over his receiving yards total in this game as well. But, why are we so low on Julio this year? Did you not see the season Corey Davis had last year as the Titans’ number two wide receiver? Davis put up a career year with almost 1,000 receiving yards. I think it’s safe to say Davis isn’t on Julio’s level talent-wise.
Jones fell to the fourth and fifth rounds in some fantasy drafts this year. Talk about overreacting to a trade. Where are those people that said DeAndre Hopkins would be a fantasy “bust” in Arizona? Right here, I was one of them. I won’t be making the same mistake with Julio. With a 53.5 Over/Under, this game between the Titans and Cardinals features the second-highest total on the slate. But, Julio’s going to have no part in that, right?
Let’s look at some history. In Julio’s 10 NFL seasons, he’s only had one Week 1 game with fewer than 66 receiving yards. To explain it another way, Julio has averaged 100 yards receiving in Week 1. Digging deeper, A.J. Brown had two knee surgeries this offseason, the team has been limiting him in practice, and he didn’t take a snap all preseason. Although they are shorthanded as far as wideout depth goes, I wouldn’t be surprised if they eased Brown into action. Look for Ryan Tannehill to get Jones the ball in his Titans debut and easily smash this 62.5 receiving yards prop.
James Robinson Over 17.5 Receiving Yards (-112)
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, their other first-round pick out of Clemson, Travis Etienne, will miss the entire season due to a Lisfranc injury. Fortunately for Robinson, that means he will once again be the workhorse back. Robinson finished the 2020 campaign inside the top-10 in yards from scrimmage. The Houston Texans project to be a dumpster fire, both on offense and defense. Robinson went back to his roots and switched his jersey number back to 25. He’s feeling good about himself, so I’m riding with him. All it will take is one soundly blocked screen pass for him to sail past this marker.
Raheem Mostert Over 62.5 Rushing Yards (-115 on DraftKings)
Albeit with a smaller sample size than most 29-year-old running backs, Mostert averages 5.6 yards per carry for his career. Trey Sermon will likely get a ton of work this season as the 49ers selected him 88th overall in the NFL Draft. However, all of the reports from camp suggest Mostert remains the clear-cut number one back in this offense. Sermon could vulture red zone opportunities, but as much as head coach Kyle Shanahan loves to run the ball, Mostert will get the opportunity to thrive today in Week 1. The 49ers are nine-point favorites, and the Lions come into the game with a banged-up defensive line. Additionally, they allowed the sixth-most rushing yards per game last season.
Bonus Picks: Michael Pittman Jr. Over 47.5 receiving yards (-110), Parris Campbell Over 32.5 receiving yards (-112)