Each week of the NFL regular season Bovada releases its betting odds for a number of team and player props in conjunction with the games themselves. Every so often it will add a few NFL Specials to the mix that concentrate of some of the pressing issues that particular week.
A perfect example is this week's special player prop odds on the "over/under" on Peyton Manning's fantasy football points in Thursday night's game against Kansas City according to Yahoo Sports. The moneyline is set at an even +100 that they are "over" 19, while the betting moneyline on the "under" is set at -140. Manning got off to a bad start last week against Baltimore, and he is reportedly suffering from a sore back. However, just off the top of my head I would think there is some value in a play on the over for this prop given Manning's competitive nature. Especially in a prime time game against a division opponent.
I dug a bit deeper into the stats and facts for next three prop specials on the list to come up with my "best bet" picks.
Missed Extra Points:
OVER 1.5 (-200)
UNDER 1.5 (+150)
One of the biggest rule changes for special teams play since the NFL moved the kickoffs up to the 35-yard line from the 30 a few years back was the decision to move the extra point after a touchdown from the two-yard line back to the 15. In essence an extra point that used to be a chip shot in now the equivalent of a 33-yard field goal try.
The new extra point distance is still basically a chip shot for the top place kickers in the league, but all 32 teams do not have a quality kicker, so the likelihood that a few extra points are missed each week remain pretty high. Case in point is Week 1 of the new regular season. A total of four extra points were missed in 16 games. This is almost half of the extra points that were missed in the entire 2014 NFL regular season. One was blocked and the other three were wide of the uprights.
Over the last 10 years, according to STATS, NFL kickers connected on a 33-yard field goal 92.7 percent of the time, so there is some margin for error. Simply because it is just the second week of the season with weather usually not a factor, I am going to take the added value in the betting odds for the UNDER 1.5 in this prop. I have a sneaky suspicion that NFL special team coaches all over the league have their kickers practicing 33-yard field goals until their shoes wear out.
Jameis Winston Total Turnovers:
OVER 1.5 (-200)
UNDER 1.5 (+150)
This season's No.1 draft pick, Jameis Winston, made his NFL debut last Sunday as Tampa Bay's starting quarterback, and it was a dubious start to say the least. He completed 16-of-33 attempts for 210 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also sacked four times and intercepted twice in the Buccaneers' ugly 42-14 loss to Tennessee. He also fumbled the ball twice with one lost and one recovered. He became the first quarterback to have his first NFL pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown since Brett Favre back in 1991.
You would think that this would set the stage for a few more turnovers this week in Sunday's game on the road against New Orleans. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a tough place for any NFL quarterback to play let alone one that is making his second NFL start after a very shaky season opener. Nonetheless, I have faith that Bucs' head coach Lovie Smith is going to tweak the gameplan to protect his franchise quarterback's bruised psyche with some dink-and-dunk passing plays and a heavier emphasis on the running game in an effort to rebuild his confidence. This sets the stage for a play on the UNDER 1.5 in this prop as well.
Jameis Winston First Pass Play:
Along the same lines as my pick in the previous prop, I am going with the risk/reward on the -160 moneyline that the pass is complete. It will most likely be a very high-percentage play that either tosses the ball to a back on a short screen or to a wide receiver at the line of scrimmage. Either way, Smith is going to want to ensure that the ball is caught to get Winston started on the right track this time around.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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