Injuries are a big part of the picture in the NFL when it comes to handicapping the games, especially at the quarterback position. This Sunday the Denver Broncos will go on the road against the Chicago Bears, and backup quarterback Brock Osweiler will be getting the start for an injured Peyton Manning.
Bovada has listed Denver as a 1.5-point underdog, and it has also released a few special player props around Osweiler's performance in this game. After going through the list of props, here are my "best-bet" picks for a few of these unique betting opportunities.
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Brock Osweiler- Total Passing Yards
This will be Osweiler's first NFL start in his four-year NFL career, but he did see quite a bit of action in relief of Manning in last Sunday's 29-13 loss to Kansas City. He came into the game late in the third quarter with his team trailing 22-0 and ended the game with 146 yards passing after completing 14 of his 24 attempts.
Bovada has set the "over/under" for his total passing yards this Sunday against the Bears at 240.5. The betting odds for this player prop are set at -120 for either option.
The Broncos with a banged up Manning at the helm are still ranked 17th in the NFL in passing with an average of 245.7 yards a game. They also have a potent group of receivers led by Demaryius Thomas (68 receptions for 816 yards) and Emmanuel Sanders (46 receptions for 639 yards).
Chicago has been one of the better teams against the pass this season; allowing an average of 217 yards a game, but I still think the stage is set for a big day from one of the biggest quarterbacks in the league at 6-foot-8, 240 lbs. Go with the "over" in this player prop.
Brock Osweiler- Total Touchdown Passes
As part of last week's performance against the Chiefs, Osweiler did throw a seven-yard touchdown to Andre Caldwell late in the game to cap off a five-play, 62-yard drive when the game was well out of reach.
Bovada's prop bet odds for over 1.5 touchdown throws this Sunday have been set at +120, and the moneyline for the under is set at -160.
I actually love the value in the +120 betting odds for the over for this player prop. Denver has had a hard time running the ball all season long to the point where its rushing game is ranked 29th in the NFL with an average of 86 yards a game. Given these struggles, I expect head coach Gary Kubiak to still rely heavily on his passing game to move the ball down field no matter who is under center. I also like the element of surprise that Osweiler brings to the table in this game with very little tape for the Bears' defense to study.
Bonus Pick- Case Keenum Total Interceptions
There are quite a few new faces getting the start at quarterback this Sunday in the NFL. In St. Louis, head coach Jeff Fisher has decided to hand the keys to the Rams' offense over to Case Keenum for a struggling Nick Foles in his team's road matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.
Bovada has released a special player prop for the over/under on Keenum's total interceptions in this game. The moneyline odds for over 0.5 have been set at -200, and the odds for the under .05 are set at +150.
Keenum is in his fourth year in the NFL after getting signed as an undrafted free agent by Houston in 2012. In 10 starts for the Texans in 2013 and 2014, he threw 11 touchdowns against eight interceptions while completing just 55.2 percent of his 253 attempts. He has yet to throw a pass this season, so it is hard to know what to expect this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
I am going to roll the dice with the under in this prop given the value in the odds on the simple fact that Baltimore's defense is tied for last in the NFL in interceptions this season with four through its first nine games.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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