The NFL season is underway and so are all the glorious prop markets that come with it. We are looking into every market to uncover some of the week’s best team, player, and derivative prop bets. We do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to!
We’re coming into Week 2 with a ton more information at our disposal and on game day we're fading a QB at Lambeau, buying low on a receiver with an increased role, and backing an offense that will be playing in front of fans for the first time in two seasons.
We bring you our favorite free NFL prop picks and predictions for Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season.
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NFL prop picks for Sunday
A K.J. to Remember
The Denver offense was dealt a massive blow last week when rising star WR Jerry Jeudy was carted off the field. The 15th-overall pick in 2020 is going to miss 4-8 weeks, which will leave a vacant spot across from Courtland Sutton.
Coach Vic Fangio told reporters that Tim Patrick will likely move to the outside, with K.J. Hamler jumping in on three WR sets. Jeudy saw seven targets before exiting while both Patrick and Hamler saw four targets in a positive game script.
Sutton managed just a single catch on three targets, which has us very bearish on him as he tries to get back to game speed after returning from an ACL injury, and Noah Fant will have a big role in the passing game and is likely worthy of an Over bet (at just 45.5 yards), but it’s Hamler where we see the best value.
His receiving total can be found as low as 35.5 at some books and the 2020 second-round speedster could easily top this total — in one or two catches. Hamler has posted 12.8 yards per reception over his short NFL career and had a long catch of 22 yards last week. This Jaguars defense is possibly the worst unit in the league and gave up 13.9 yards per reception last week to a weak Houston squad.
Hamler bounces around from outside and can play out of the slot, which lets him exploit a great matchup versus Jags' nickel corner Tyson Campbell, who allowed five catches on five targets last week. We’re riding the Over 35.5 receiving yards on Hamler as this could be the lowest number we see on it.
PREDICTION: K.J. Hamler Over 35.5 receiving yards (best odds: -110 at FanDuel)
We aren't sort of narratives for the Week 2 Monday nighter, mainly "will the Packers bounce back after getting their doors blown off versus the Saints" and "is Jared Goff that bad?"
The answer to both these questions is likely yes.
Green Bay sits as an 11.5-point home favorite to a Detroit team that did most of its scoring in garbage time versus a soft 49ers defense. Goff threw the ball 57 times in the loss and may again need to throw more than he is comfortable doing at Lambeau.
Goff will face Green Bay corner Jaire Alexander, who was Pro Football Focus’ top-rated CB a year ago, and safety Adrian Amos, who was PFF’s No. 2-rated safety in 2020. Green Bay averaged 0.8 interceptions last season but failed to pick off Jameis Winston last week. A lot of that has to do with no tape being available to study for Sean Payton’s offense. There is tape on Goff in Detroit now,and this elite secondary will be foaming at the mouth after giving up five TD passes a week ago.
Goff is not a good QB, especially without Sean McVay, and he could be forced into passing a ton Sunday with a no-name receiving corps that is easily the worst in the division. Goff escaping this game without an interception would be a miracle.
The best price on the board is -149 for Over 0.5 interceptions thrown. This is by far the most vig we’re paying this week, but we’re dropping a full two units (to win 1.34 units) on a bet with a 60 percent implied probability.
PREDICTION: Jared Goff Over 0.5 interceptions (best odds: -149 at BetMGM)
Lumenating the Scoreboard
The Titans’ secondary gave up four passing TDs last week and now has to try and stop Russell Wilson in Seattle — where there will be fans in the stands for the first time since 2019.
To make matters worse, Tennessee will be without safety Amani Hooker, whose absence will make this already weak unit weaker, as well as first-round pick CB Caleb Farley, who has been ruled out for the matchup.
Seattle has one of the best QB-WR-WR trios in Wilson, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett, who combined for three TD receptions last week versus a very good Indianapolis secondary. Tennessee finished in the Bottom-6 in passing TDs allowed per game at 1.8 last season and the addition of Janoris Jenkins — listed as "Jackrabbit" Jenkins at PFF — is not a move that makes the unit any better after losing Malcolm Butler.
Wilson tossed 25 TDs in eight home games last year and managed to throw for four scores last week despite just 23 passes. With the combination of Wilson and new play-caller Shane Waldron, Wilson should finish in the Top 5 in the league in passing TDs and can be had at +1,000 to lead the league in that stat (behind four other signal-callers).
We’re looking at a plus-money play at Lumen Field and taking Wilson’s Over 2.5 passing TDs.
PREDICTION: Russell Wilson Over 2.5 passing TDs (best odds: +144 at FanDuel)
NFL prop picks for Saturday
Dallas Buyers Club
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys went toe-to-toe with the 2020 champs and nearly walked out of Florida with the victory. Prescott threw the ball 58 times for over 400 yards and three touchdowns against a Tampa defense that finished the 2020 season with the No. 5 defense by DVOA. Jerry’s boys scored 29 points and ran 70 plays, which was the fifth-most in Week 1. Dallas still finished with league-average numbers in yards per play (5.9) and yards per pass (6.6), meaning there is room for this potent offense to do more damage.
One of the more important reports that came out after that game was that Prescott was constantly checking out of run plays and audibling to passes. Ezekiel Elliott only had 11 carries and the team ran the ball just 18 times. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore called 28 run plays in Week 1 but Prescott checked out of 12 of them. If Prescott is going to run the offense like that, we’re getting behind the Cowboys’ team total in a non-conference game versus the Chargers, who got to see a backup QB who hadn’t planned on coming in Week 1.
Dallas is missing some key defensive linemen (Demarcus Lawrence is out and Randy Gregory is doubtful) and the offense may have to go point-for-point with Justin Herbert if he has all day in the pocket to make plays. This game has the highest total on the board at 55.5 and getting Dallas below 27 points seems like some value. Some books are sitting at Dallas team total Over 25.5 (-111) but there are some 24.5s out there with -116 being the best available price.
PREDICTION: Dallas Cowboys team total Over 24.5 (-116)
Fading players on short weeks is usually a good idea but it’s especially good if said player balled out under the lights of Monday Night Football. Derek Carr threw for 435 yards versus what can only be described as a horrendous Baltimore defense and hung 33 points in the overtime win. Now, Carr and the Raiders travel to the East Coast to play a 1 p.m. game versus a Pittsburgh defense that just held Josh Allen to 5.3 yards per pass (the third-worst mark among QBs in Week 1).
People may have forgotten just how good this Pittsburgh defense is, as it finished with the No. 1 DVOA pass defense a season ago. Their front five (3-4 defense) are so good that they only blitzed 1.6 percent of the time in Week 1 (the lowest amount) and had the second-highest QB hurry percentage at 12.6 percent. This Pittsburgh team can get after you and still have six guys in coverage.
The Steelers allowed 198.4 passing yards per game a season ago and get to face a QB on a short week, who is possibly coming in too confident after exploiting an advantageous matchup. Carr's passing total can be found as high as 271.5 yards at DraftKings (-115) and we feel that number is just too high considering the spot and the defense.
PREDICTION: Derek Carr Under 271.5 passing yards (best odds: -115 at DraftKings)
Happy Rountree Friends
It wouldn’t be a good prop week without a sprinkle on a longshot touchdown prop. The Chargers come into their Sunday match with the Cowboys as one of a few teams in Week 2 with a team total of 30.5 or higher. Los Angeles is expected to put up a bunch of points against a Dallas team lacking a pass rush and brutal front four.
Los Angeles will likely have an easier time running the ball this Sunday than they did versus Washington in Week 1. Austin Ekeler was healthier than expected and took the majority of carries but it was rookie Larry Rountree that siphoned eight of the team’s 25 RB carries. Rountree was even trusted with two red zone carries, and seems to be ahead of Justin Jackson in the running back pecking order.
The market is definitely aware of the rookie’s presence in the backfield but +240 to score in a projected shootout is still a great price and worth a full-unit play from us. He is also one Ekeler injury away from getting big reps.
PREDICTION: Larry Rountree anytime TD (best odds: +240 at PointsBet)
NFL prop picks for Friday
Taylor Park Boys
Tyrod Taylor carved up the Jaguars last week much to many peoples’ surprise. He threw for nearly 300 yards and two scores, but it was his work on the ground that has us looking up his early prop markets.
The Houston QB rushed the ball four times for 40 yards (a long of 29 yards) in a positive game script. Houston was committed to running the ball with the lead despite a 3.3 YPC mark from Mark Engram. Houston enters Sunday as 12.5-point underdogs against Week 1’s best yards-per-play offense in Cleveland. Houston could be abandoning the run early, which will give Taylor ample opportunities to tuck and run.
Taylor averaged 35 rushing yards per game over his four seasons in Buffalo, which may seem like a long time ago, but the now-32-year-old QB knows when to take off and is coming off last week’s 40-yard confidence builder.
Another great angle to back the Over is the Houston offensive line. The Jaguars led Week 1 in QB pressure at 37.8 percent as they forced Taylor to take his eyes off his receivers. The Cleveland pass rush is a much better unit than Jacksonville and could be disrupting the Houston passing game early and often, which could help Taylor break off big gains if he can step through the pressure.
PREDICTION: Tyrod Taylor Over 23.5 rushing yards (best odds: -110 at William Hill)
In the Kick of Time
Kicking props aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but with the kicker carousel happening in Weeks 1 and 2 it’s hard not to look into the markets and try to find a slight edge in an unpopular market. It worked for us in Week 1 and we’re looking to make it 2-0 SU heading into Week 2.
The Titans released their starting kicker after their Week 1 38-13 loss to the Cardinals where Marvin Badgley missed his only field goal and went 1 for 2 on extra points. Tennessee filled the vacant spot with Randy Bullock, who signed with the team on Tuesday.
Bullock played 12 games last season with Cincinnati and didn’t finish the season on the active roster as the team carried two kickers on the 53-man roster and moved on from Bullock. The new Titans kicker went 21 for 26 a season ago and was bothered with leg injuries during the season.
We never like trusting new legs who were unemployed four days ago, especially on the road in Seattle. The Seahawks also have Jason Myers, who went a perfect 24 for 24 with the Seahawks in 2020. At -120 each way, we are tabbing the Seahawks to hit the longest field goal.
PREDICTION: Seattle to kick the longest field goal (best odds: -120 at Bet365)
A Kelce Diet
Sunday Night Football brings bettors the second-highest total on the board. This game had a total of 51.5 on the lookahead, but after the KC/CLE and LV/BAL shootouts, this total has moved up a full four points. Plenty of offense should be expected between two defenses that finished 31st and 32nd in yards allowed in Week 1.
Looking at player prop matchups, Travis Kelce seems to have one of the best advantages heading into Sunday night. The K.C. tight end already scored two TDs in the opener after tying for the team lead in RZ looks with three and grabbing all three of his passes. Tyreke Hill had 16 targets, but Kelce still managed to wrangle a 22 percent target share and grabbed seven of his eight balls.
PFF predicts that Kelce will see plenty of Baltimore safety Chuck Clark in coverage. Clark was partially responsible for containing Las Vegas’ Darren Waller Monday night and the Raiders’ TE posted a 10/105/1 line on 19 targets.
Kelce’s prop totals are 7.5 receptions, shaded to the Under, and 87.5-88.5 receiving yards. We feel both are mutually exclusive, and entering the season, he had topped both those numbers in 10 of his previous 11 games. With the reception total giving us the best price at +100 at DraftKings, we’re taking the Over 7.5 on the catches.
PREDICTION: Travis Kelce Over 7.5 receptions (best odds: +100 at DraftKings)
NFL prop picks for Thursday
Slow burning Jets
Early in the week is a great time to dig into team total markets. Player props aren’t available until later in the week, giving TTs more attention — which is perfect as these lines move with the totals and spreads, so locking them into the account earlier is usually better than later.
It seemed no QB was under more duress last week than the Jets’ Zach Wilson. He took six total sacks and seemed to be more worried about escaping the pass rush than hitting his receivers, as Carolina generated pressure on over 32.6 percent of Wilson's dropbacks. He finished with more than 250 yards passing but went 20 for 37 and posted the eighth-worst QBR out of any starting QB in Week 1.
And that was versus a Carolina defense that finished with the 24th-ranked DVOA defense a year ago.
Wilson could see even more pressure this Sunday against New England as LT Mekhi Becton will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a knee injury. The New England defense finished inside the Top-10 in sack percentage in Week 1, despite only blitzing on 17.4 percent of its defensive plays.
The Pats will have ample opportunities to disrupt a Jets offense that finished with a dismal 4.2 yards per play and we're expecting Bill Belichick to continue his success against rookie QBs.
Getting this number before it falls under 17 is a big deal in the key numbers scheme. This total will likely be lower come Sunday morning.
PREDICTION: New York Jets team total Under 17.5 (best odds: -110 at PointsBet)
Urban of interest
Denver’s Teddy Bridgewater finished Week 1 with the NFL’s highest QBR rating after dismantling a decent Giants’ defense. This week, Bridgewater and the Broncos will face a Jacksonville defense that just made Tyrod Taylor look like an All-Star and surrendered 37 points to a Houston team that was coming into the season projected by many as the worst team in all of football.
It didn’t take long for all the Urban Meyer hate to percolate as the former college coach is finding it difficult to tell grown men what to do. This situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better — which is great news for Denver backers.
The Houston offense averaged 6.0 yards per play against the Jags and got into the Red Zone with ease, making six total trips and scoring TDs in four of them. Losing a turnover battle 3-0 and taking twice as many penalties is a great recipe for an opponent’s team total Over.
Bridgewater will be without wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 1, but the Denver QB still has plenty of weapons in the passing game and the rushing attack proved impressive, churning out the fourth-most yards in Week 1 (165 yards) and tying for the league-lead in yards per carry at 5.9.
If Denver brings another balanced offensive game plan to Week 2 into the heat of Florida, this Jacksonville defense could be sucking wind by the third quarter.
Denver was -2.5 versus Jacksonville on the look-ahead, but after how poorly the Jags played defensively that line immediately hit -6 at official opening. That’s a ton of movement and shows just which way both teams are going.
PREDICTION: Denver team total Over 26 (best odds: -110 at PointsBet)
Getting psychic with Heinicke
There was a ton of hype in Washington heading into the season as many thought — and possibly still do — that the WFT had the best chance at winning the NFC East but a multi-week injury to starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown Taylor Heinicke back into the grinder.
The undrafted 28-year old out of Old Dominion made one start for Washington last year — and almost upset the Buccaneers in the Wild Card game. Although he is not the long-term answer for Ron Rivera’s team, Heinicke does have a few skill sets that we can exploit in the prop market.
Heinicke rushed for 46 yards against Tampa Bay on six rushes with a TD. He rushed for 22 yards in another relief effort in Week 15 last season and totaled 17 yards on the ground last week, entering halfway through the second quarter.
Heinicke will want to prove he is starting QB material, especially after his showing in the playoffs a year ago. This will mean he has to use all the tools at his disposal, including his legs — which we’re hoping will run us up to 2-0 (+2u) on TNF.
PREDICTION: Taylor Heinicke Over 18.5 rushing yards (best odds: -110 at PointsBet)
Season to date: 5-7, -2.24 units
NFL Week 2 prop betting card
- K.J. Hamler Over 35.5 receiving yards (-110 at FanDuel)
- Jared Goff Over 0.5 interceptions (-149 at BetMGM)
- Russell Wilson Over 2.5. passing TDs (+144 at FanDuel)
- Tyrod Taylor Over 23.5 rushing yards (-110 at William Hill)
- Seattle to kick the longest field goal (-120 at Bet365)
- Travis Kelce Over 7.5 receptions (+100 at DraftKings)
- New York Jets team total Under 17.5 (-110 at PointsBet)
- Denver team total Over 26 (-110 at PointsBet)
- Taylor Heinicke Over 18.5 rushing yards (-110 at PointsBet)
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