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Betting NFL Props Using Math: Week 5

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The goal of this article is, of course, to provide winning picks. However, it’s also to provide a blueprint on how to cleverly bet props with math.

After a lackluster performance in Week 1, I switched things up by targeting small same-game parlays that under-estimate the correlation involved. Week 4 was a disappointment, dropping my season-long success rate on these same-game parlays to 25%, at 3-9 (+1.75 units). 

 

 

Here’s to a bounceback week in Week 5:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7.5, Ronald Jones anytime TD

(+340, DraftKings Sportsbook, 1 unit)

From my correlated leverage article

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Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Over the last year and change, Ronald Jones has been about six times more likely to score when winning by a TD or more. He’s +150 to score a TD, so more than doubling the odds with TB -7.5 is a major underestimate of the correlation that exists here.

Joe Burrow over 305 passing yards, Tyler Boyd over 55 receiving yards

(+280, DraftKings Sportsbook, 1 unit)

The Bengals were finally forced to throw the ball last game after a heavy dose of the running game in Weeks 1-3. Joe Burrow easily cleared 300 yards in that one, and now he has a matchup that screams elevated pass rate. First, the Packers are favored and second, Joe Mixon is either out or slowed by an ankle injury that kept him from practicing all week.

I would like this bet with any of the Cincy receivers, but I chose Tyler Boyd because:

  • He’s a volume receiver, potentially making his output more correlated with Burrow than Tee Higgins or Ja’Marr Chase.
  • Higgins and Chase are more likely to compete for targets with one another, making it a bit of a guessing game as to which one will see the most volume in any singular game.

Ezekiel Elliott anytime TD, Ezekiel Elliott over 80 rushing yards, Tony Pollard over 35 rushing yards

(+350, DraftKings Sportsbook, 1 unit)

This Giants defense is:

  • 29th in adjusted line yards allowed
  • 23rd in open field yards
  • 17th in second-level yards
  • 31st in stuff rate

This Cowboys offense is:

  • 1st in adjusted line yards
  • 1st in open-field yards
  • 1st in second-level yards
  • 6th in stuff rate

This is as severe a mismatch as we’ll ever find in the NFL. The Cowboys are home favorites with two highly effective backs, both of whom should run wild.

Ezekiel Elliott over 74 rushing yards, Tony Pollard anytime TD

(+421, FanDuel Sportsbook, 1 unit)

I’m extremely confident in these two running backs, but rather than make the above bet a 2-unit bet, I realized I could shop TD odds between books. Tony Pollard is +200 to score on FD vs. +160 to score on DK. Consequently, we got crazy good odds with this parlay.

Again, the correlation here is strongly positive despite the fact that Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott compete for touches because the rushing matchup and game environment (home favorites) is incredible for these guys. The matchup shouldn’t just mean Dallas is effective when running, but it should also invite them to run more.

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