Even though our selection is somewhat limited the night before games start o Sunday, Bovada sportsbook has a handful of player prop picks for Week 1 of the NFL season and I am diving in with my best two plays for Sunday. We split a pair of player props on Thursday, so let's right the ship with a couple wins on Sunday.
NFL Odds listed below are courtesy of Bovada, where you can get a 100% Cash Sign Up Bonus!
Alex Smith O/U 229.5 Passing Yards
Alex Smith will be without Jamaal Charles against the Chargers according to the Kansas City Star, which means that Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West will be handling backfield duties for the Chiefs. While both bring their excellent skillsets, Charles' ability to stay on the field on third down is going to be a weapon missed in this game.
The Chargers' defense is better than people give them credit for too, so don't count them out in their ability to slow down Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce. Their secondary is a nice mix with veteran Dwight Lowery and young high draft picks in Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers at corner. This unit is much improved overall and they could very easily give Smith and this passing game some trouble, especially if the running game isn't working.
The beauty of this play is that even if I'm wrong and the Chiefs are playing with a lead, Smith isn't going to be throwing the ball 40 times in this game. I'm not sure he is even going to get to 30 pass attempts in this one. Assuming he only puts the ball in the air 30 times, the Chargers' defense is good enough to limit Smith to around 200 passing yards with that kind of volume. Take the under on this one.
NFL Pick: UNDER 229.5 (-115)
Must Read: Vikings & Colts Offer Best Team Props Value
Ryan Mathews O/U 67.5 Rushing Yards
When healthy, Ryan Mathews has proved he is a force on first and second down. Even though he has only rushed for 200 carries in two of his six seasons in the NFL, Mathews is going to get the ball for the Eagles this season and especially in this game.
The Browns were not a great rushing team last season and they are not going to be that great either this season. Plus, the Eagles are starting Carson Wentz under center in Week 1, which means they are going to need to run the ball. Anywhere between 15 and 20 carries is not out of the question for Mathews, who has the skills to get the job done here.
He averaged better than five yards per carry last season and with the departure of DeMarco Murray his touched are poised to go way up. It's the first game of the season too, so he is obviously fresh for the workload he is about to get. At only 68 yards, needed for the over, Mathews could average just four yards per carry and as long as he gets 18 carries the over is a good play here. As long as the Eagles don't fall behind too early in this one, I expect Mathews to see a heavy workload here.
NFL Pick: OVER 67.5 (-115)
Season Player Props Record – 1-1