Top Props of the Week: 2013 NFL Player Head-to-Head Matchups
by Dave Schwab - 8/20/2013
To get you ready for the 2013 NFL season, BetOnline has released an extended number of prop bet odds for individual player performances. Some are based on their stand-alone achievements while others pit them in a head-to-head matchup against a player of equal caliber. These are often some of the most interesting and opportunistic prop bets on the board.
For this week’s Top Props we have decided to dig a bit deeper into the numbers for these head-to-head matchup odds to uncover a few that offer the best value when it comes to producing a solid return on your investment.
Most Pass Receiving Touchdowns
Last season there were 10 different players in the league with 10 or more touchdown catches. One of the names near the top of last year’s list was Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant with 12, followed by Chicago’s Brandon Marshall, who was one of three players to catch 11 balls for scores.
In a head-to-head matchup between the two, Bryant is getting plus one TD at -115 while Marshall has to give one TD at -115. The value in this prop is with Marshall, who begins his second season in Chicago with his old teammate in Denver, Jay Cutler, throwing him the ball. Marc Trestman is now calling the shots as the Bears’ new head coach, so you can expect a much more vertical passing attack that is predicated on making big plays downfield. Seeing how Marshall is clearly the team’s biggest threat, the upside on the potential number of touchdowns he should grab this season outweighs Bryant’s forecast in Dallas by more than one.
Most Rushing Touchdowns
Houston’s Arian Foster had the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL last season with 1,424. However, when it came to running the ball into the end zone for a score, he was at the top of the list with 15. The looming problem for 2013 is that there is already some concern with Foster’s health after being hampered by a bad back for most of the preseason.
There are a couple of quality running backs with favorable odds against Foster when it comes to total rushing touchdowns this year, but the top play in terms of value is a head-to-head matchup against Atlanta’s Steven Jackson. This past offseason, Jackson signed with the Falcons as a free agent after they decided to part ways with Michael Turner, so you know the plan is to make the 10-year vet a big part of the offensive scheme.
The current odds have Foster minus 3.5 touchdowns at -120 and Jackson listed at plus 3.5 rushing scores at -110. The former Ram did rush for 13 touchdowns in 2006. And while he probably will not run for that many this season, his numbers should come up dramatically from last year’s total of just four. On the other side of the equation, Foster could see a substantial drop in his number of rushing TDs if his back injury lingers on.
Most Touchdown Passes Thrown
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees not only led the NFL in total passing yards last season (5,177), but he led the way in scoring strikes with 43. A close second on the list with 39 touchdown throws was Green Bay’s signal caller Aaron Rodgers. The season before, Brees had 46 TD passes while Rodgers posted 45, and in 2010, Brees came in with 33 and Rodgers threw 28. The takeaway here is that even though these two gunslingers have remained neck-and-neck with one another in this category over the past three seasons, Brees has come out on top all three times.The odds in a head-to-head matchup for this season have the edge going to Rodgers at plus one TD at -115 with Brees getting one TD at -115.
The play in this matchup is clearly with Brees to win again outright. The main reason being that the Packers finally appear to be committed to developing a legitimate rushing attack after using a second-round (Eddie Lacy) and fourth-round (Johnathan Franklin) draft pick this spring on running backs, while the Saints appear to be content to let their quarterback once again throw the ball all over the field.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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