Top NFL Receiving Props To Bet: Week 1
In 2020, teams were throwing the ball more than ever in the NFL. Across the league, teams threw the ball 18,018 times for an average of 35.2 attempts per game, up from 34.9 attempts per game and 17,853 total attempts in 2019.
Don’t expect that trend to go away, and now with an added 17th game, passing and receiving numbers will once again increase.
When looking at the slate, it’s sometimes easy to fall in love with the spread or sometimes even the over or under. Instead, I wanted to look at four key matchups and try to make you some money with some receiving props here in week 1.
Russell Gage - Over 52.5 receiving yards (-115)
Last year, the Atlanta Falcons saw Russell Gage breakout. The former sixth-round pick from 2018 started eight games for the team with the absence of Julio Jones and put up 786 yards and 4 TD.
With Jones traded to the Tennessee Titans, Gage’s role is expected to increase as he will be the second Wide Receiver option behind Calvin Ridley in this offense.
In 2020, the Eagles were middle of the pack allowing 3,789 passing yards against them. With Darius Slay and Steven Nelson projected to be the two starting Corner Backs for Philadelphia, the team is relying on two veterans who appear to be beyond their prime.
With Calvin Ridley drawing more attention, there’s a chance Gage has more of an opportunity against the Eagles. Plus, in the final four games of the season last year for Atlanta, with Julio Jones out, Gage had 23 receptions for 264 yards and two TD’s averaging 66 yards per game over that span.
In an offense that loves to throw the ball against a potentially weaker secondary in Philly, a play on the over is enticing here.
Tee Higgins - Over 59.5 receiving yards (-115)
2020 saw the Minnesota Vikings give up the eighth-most passing yards in the NFL. When looking at receiving yards per game against Wide Receivers, they allowed 179.8 yards per game on average to the position, which was sixth-worst in the NFL.
To attempt to stop the bleeding on defense, they just brought in Breshaud Breeland and Patrick Peterson at Cornerback. While both are recognizable names, neither player is coming off an outstanding 2020 campaign.
Enter, Tee Higgins. In seven games last year, Higgins eclipsed 60 yards, and with the natural progression of a young WR and the return of Joe Burrow, I’d expect that frequency only to go up.
It also helps that he was throwing the ball at a high clip when Burrow was in last season. He averaged 40.4 passing attempts per game in the 10 starts he had as a rookie, which only bodes well for the WR’s.
Noah Fant - Over 4.5 receptions (+125)
Six times last season, Noah Fant had five receptions or more in a game which was up from just one game in his rookie season. In addition, the former first-rounder from 2019 saw his yards per game and targets per game go up in 2020.
When Tight Ends went against the Giants last year, they averaged 7.1 targets per game and five receptions per game for 54.1 yards.
The intermediate passing game will probably come into play with a new Quarterback under center in Teddy Bridgewater, who doesn’t get the ball downfield as much as Drew Lock. Translation, this is good news for tight ends.
Allen Robinson - Under 64.5 receiving yards (-115)
Despite getting some shotty Quarterback play over the last couple of years, Allen Robinson has remained productive. Last season, he averaged 78.1 yards per game, while the year prior, he averaged 71.7.
That 64.5 receiving yards number may seem enticing but, it’s a trap. The Rams let up by far the fewest yards to Wide Receivers in the league last year, letting up on average 129.7 yards per game -- the next closest was Kansas City at 140.3.
The main reason for that, of course, is Jalen Ramsey. With the Rams returning one of the league’s best defenses, it would be hard for Robinson to get close to that 64.5 number. For context, Jalen Ramsey allowed more than 64.5 yards just once last year.