NFL Player Prop Bets for Week 5: Big Ben Needs His Safety Blanket

Steelers rookie RB Najee Harris has posted some comical receiving numbers already, with Ben Roethlisberger relying more and more on him. Against a fearsome Broncos D, we'll continue to cash that. Check out all of our prop picks and predictions for Week 5.

Last Updated: Oct 9, 2021 11:41 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
Najee Harris Pittsburgh Steelers NFL
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The NFL season is in full swing and so are all the glorious prop markets that come with it. We’re looking into every market to uncover some of the week’s best side, team, player, and derivative prop bets. We do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to. 

The prop train got back on the right track in Week 4 as we went 10-5 SU for +4.45u. We’re looking to keep cashing with another four-pack of plays for Sunday. We’re hitting a backup RB’s rushing total, taking the Over on a player coming back from injury, investing in the Pittsburgh passing game, and hoping for some sacks in Las Vegas.

We bring you our favorite free prop picks and predictions for Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season.

Latest NFL prop picks

  • Kareem Hunt Over 45.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)
  • Najee Harris Over 4.5 receptions (-125 at DraftKings)
  • Elijah Mitchell Over 49.5 rushing yards (-115 at FanDuel)
  • Chicago vs. Las Vegas — Over 5.5 sacks (-115 at BET365)

Check out full analysis of picks below, or click here to view the full betting card.

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NFL prop picks for Saturday

Hunting for Yards

The Chargers have been getting gashed on the ground this year and are allowing 5.3 yards per carry, which is the third-highest mark in football. That number includes holding the Raiders to 2.7 yards per carry last week, meaning decent running teams (Washington, Dallas, and Kansas City) had their way with the Chargers’ run defense.

Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield has a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder and is expected to play through the injury. Kevin Stefanski will want to keep Mayfield out of danger and will likely lean on the run even more than their league-leading 35 rush attempts per game. 

Cleveland is arguably the best rushing team in football and has two solid backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt who can pound the rock. Hunt actually had the bigger share of snaps last week but had 14 rushes compared to Chubb’s 21. 

Chubb’s rushing total stands at 85.5 yards, which is eight yards higher than his total last week and a number he’s topped just twice this year. Hunt’s rushing total, on the other hand, can be had at 45.5 yards, which is a number he’s topped in three straight weeks.

Tony Pollard ran for 109 yards on 13 attempts in a shared rushing attack with Ezekiel Elliott in Week 2 and we see this game possibly shaping up the same way.

PICK: Kareem Hunt Over 45.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)

Najee Catch Index

Pittsburgh’s Najee Harris followed up Week 3’s 14-catch performance with another six grabs last week on seven targets. He has 31 targets compared to 39 rushes since Week 2. Big Ben is getting the start again in Week 5 versus the Broncos and their stingy secondary, meaning Harris will likely be a big factor in the passing game yet again.

Harris sits second in the NFL in catches over the last two weeks and tied for third in targets. The Pittsburgh offense can’t get the ball downfield and the return of Juju Smith-Schuster has done nothing to elevate this offense. 

No team has tried to get the running back involved in the passing game against the Broncos, as Saquon Barkley was not 100 percent in Week 1 and James Robinson was underutilized in Week 2. Honestly, Pittsburgh has no choice to get Harris involved, as its No. 30 rush offense won’t be able to move the sticks against Denver’s No. 6 rush defense. 

Yards may be at a premium, but Harris should still get plenty of targets making his Over 4.5 receptions a play for us. He’s topped this prop in three straight weeks and Pittsburgh will have to get rid of the ball quickly versus a Denver defense that has a Top-7 pressure rate.

PICK: Najee Harris Over 4.5 receptions (-125 at DraftKings)

The Elijah Monologues

The 49ers will have the services of RB Elijah Mitchell Sunday, after the back missed Weeks 3 and 4 with a shoulder injury. The timing couldn’t be better for San Francisco ahead of Sunday’s divisional match versus the Cardinals.

Mitchell rushed the ball 36 times in the season’s first two games before the injury and was gaining over four yards per carry. Many beat reporters are saying that Mitchell will hit the top of the depth chart on Sunday ahead of Trey Sermon, who has been taking the bulk of the workload with Mitchell out. Sermon had 89 yards on 16 carries last week, so he will likely be involved in Week 5 versus a bad Arizona rush defense, but a timeshare isn’t the worst scenario in this case.

The Cards may be 4-0 SU but they are giving up 5.4 yards per rush, which is tied with the Chiefs for the worst mark in the league. Arizona has allowed an 85-yard rusher in three straight weeks and gave up 225 rushing yards to the 49ers late last season. 

Mitchell’s rushing prop is trending up, with the news of his practice attendance, but some books are still hanging 49.5 totals while others are at 53.5. Even with 11-14 rush attempts, Mitchell can top this prop total.

PICK: Elijah Mitchell Over 49.5 rushing yards (-115 at FanDuel)

Hacky Sack

We hit our Over 5.5 sack prop last week as Ryan Tannehill basically got it done by himself. This week, we turn to a matchup between the Bears and Raiders that has us hitting the Over 5.5 once again.

No team has accumulated more sacks this year than the Bears. The Chicago defense is averaging a robust 3.8 QB takedowns per game and has recorded at least four in three straight games. This week, they get Derek Carr, who struggles to avoid pressure and took four sacks of his own against the Chargers in Week 4. Carr has taken the fourth-most sacks this season.

On the other side of the ball is Justin Fields. Fields is just two games removed from taking a whopping nine sacks and although he only got taken down once last week versus the Lions, the Raiders pass rush is better than Detroit’s and averages 2.2 sacks per game and has recorded at least two in each game this season. 

We’re hitting the Over 5.5 on one of our favorite and exciting props.

PICK: Chicago vs. Las Vegas — Over 5.5 sacks (-115 at BET365)

NFL prop picks for Friday

The Tortoise and the Lawrence

We have one note after last Thursday’s Jacksonville game: Trevor Lawrence run-pass option. The Jags used a ton of RPO with the rookie QB versus the Bengals and Lawrence finished with eight rushes for 36 yards and a rushing TD. The first overall pick came into that game with a rushing total of 16.5 yards which he topped halfway through the second quarter.

Already without his best receiver in D.J. Chark, Lawrence and the Jaguars will have to use every tool in the offensive game plan if they want to get their first win versus the Titans. Lawrence has reached 20 yards rushing in three straight weeks and has 14 total rushes since Week 3. 

This rushing total opened at 20.5 before moving up to 22.5 shortly after. This number is very consistent across the board and there are no discounts being offered as of Friday morning. This should be a popular prop pick this week with many people watching Lawrence scramble on TNF last week, meaning the total could likely still go north. More RPO, please.

PICK: Trevor Lawrence Over 22.5 rush yards (-115 at DraftKings)

Think Outside the Knox

With 2021’s highest total currently sitting at 56.5, we have to take advantage of Sunday night’s probable shootout between the Chiefs and Bills.

It’s no secret that the Kansas City secondary is a flaming pile of refuse that heavily relies on takeaways to get off the field. It allows the third-highest yards per pass at 8.3, as well as 292 passing yards per game. Opposing wide receivers are averaging 12 catches for 163 yards while tight ends have been catching 6.8 balls for 87 yards. 

Kansas City safety Daniel Sorensen has been atrocious in coverage and is ranked as PFF’s sixth-worst safety in coverage. It will likely be his task to contain Buffalo TE Dawson Knox, who has become a steady target for Josh Allen and an offense that is averaging over 400 yards per game. 

Knox has played over 80 percent of the snaps since Week 2 and has run routes on 102 of the team’s last 110 passing plays. His usage is great he's still targeted often despite all of Buffalo's weapons. Knox finished second last week with eight targets, and he also leads all Buffalo pass-catchers with four TDs.

His TD price can be had for +250 which is a steal for a player who has scored in three straight weeks. We’re going to make that an official play on our weekly TD prop predictions and focus on another market here.

Knox has topped 40 yards receiving in three of his four games this year and that includes two blowouts. Sunday will be a closer game and we expect him to be heavily involved, especially in the red zone (11 RZ targets to date). His reception total market is unavailable but we would hammer any number up to 3.5. Instead, we’re grabbing the Over on his receiving yard total that is 34.5 yards across the board. He finished with a 6/48/1 on eight targets versus KC last year in the AFC Championship. 

PICK: Dawson Knox Over 34.5 receiving yards (-110 at DraftKings)

All About the Jeffersons

Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson has 202 yards receiving on 15 grabs (18 targets) over the last two weeks, including two scores. Last week versus a Top-10 Cleveland pass defense, the second-year receiver topped his receiving yard total of 81.5 yards in a low-scoring 14-7 defeat. The loss pushed the Vikings to 1-3 SU on the year and Week 5 stinks of desperation ahead of their matchup with the Detroit Lions.

Detroit has the No. 30 DVOA pass defense, per Football Outsiders, and gave up 125 yards on five catches to Chicago’s Darnell Mooney in Week 4. Jefferson should roast the Detroit outside corners who both rank outside the 80 at their position.

Jefferson went to Detroit in Week 17 last year and grabbed nine balls for 133 yards. Running back Dalvin Cook is still very questionable and Jefferson should be the face of the offense in a must-win, divisional matchup. 

The 83.5 total is a big number but is just a two-yard increase from last week. We don’t usually play these lofty receiving yard totals, but this is a great spot for a receiver who is quickly becoming one of the best in football. 

PICK: Justin Jefferson Over 83.5 receiving yards (-115 at FanDuel)

The Brown Note

A.J. Brown has gotten in a pair of limited practices and is looking like a go for Sunday’s matchup against the awful Jags secondary. The Jaguars have spent more time talking about internal problems than game-planning against the Titans this week, meaning things could get ugly in Jacksonville. 

Adding to our crush on Brown this week is the absence of Julio Jones at practice which would make Brown the centerpiece of the Titans’ passing game. Jones spends more time on the sideline than a beat reporter.

Brown wasn’t stuffing the boxscore before going down with a hamstring injury but averaged 77 yards per game last season without Jones eating up that target share. Browns saw the Jaguars in Week 14 last year and posted a 7/112/1 in a lopsided 31-10 victory. 

Jacksonville gives up the third-most yards to opposing wide receivers at 223 yards per game and 15 receptions. Tyler Boyd went 9/118/0 last week against the Jags while the Cardinals had a pair of 100-yard receivers vs. Jacksonville in Week 3.

We’re gambling a little bit with the injury but like the idea of Tennessee getting him involved early and getting some short touches to get him acclimated. His reception total is heavy on the juice but we're buying the Over 4.5 catches at -135 and think this is a better bet vs. the receiving yards total at 63.5 yards. 

PICK: A.J. Brown Over 4.5 receptions (-135 at DraftKings)

Season to date: 24-29 -4.8 units (risking 1 unit per prop)

  • Kareem Hunt Over 45.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)
  • Najee Harris Over 4.5 receptions (-125 at DraftKings)
  • Elijah Mitchell Over 49.5 rushing yards (-115 at FanDuel)
  • Chicago vs. Las Vegas — Over 5.5 sacks (-115 at BET365)
  • Trevor Lawrence Over 22.5 rush yards (-115 at DraftKings)
  • Dawson Knox Over 34.5 receiving yards (-110 at DraftKings)
  • Justin Jefferson Over 83.5 receiving yards (-115 at FanDuel)
  • A.J. Brown Over 4.5 receptions (-135 at DraftKings)

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