Each week of the NFL regular season you can usually count on Bovada to release a few special prop bets centering around the action in Sunday's games as well as for anything else that might be trending with bettors right now. I will take a closer look at what is on the board for Week 4 and give you my "best bet" pick for my top props.
More Rushing Carries: Jeremy Hill (-140) vs. Giovanni Bernard (+100)
The Cincinnati Bengals are off to a strong 3-0 start, and a big part of that early success has been a running game that is ranked eighth in the NFL with an average of 129.3 yards a game. Last week in a big 28-24 victory against AFC North rival Baltimore, the Bengals rushed for only 86 yards, with Bernard getting 13 carries and Hill running the ball 12 times. You know that head coach Marvin Lewis will be looking for more from his ground game in this Sunday's matchup against Kansas City.
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The odds favor Hill, but I see a ton of value in going with Bernard to get more carries this Sunday against the Chiefs. Each back has the exact same amount of rushing attempts through the first three games (41). And while Hill has gained 123 yards, Bernard has almost doubled that up with 235 yards rushing. My other concern with Hill is fumbles. He has already been benched by Lewis once this season after fumbling twice in Week 2 against San Diego.
I can see why Hill is favored since he is considered the workhorse in this offense, but he is also on a short leash given his tendencies to fumble the ball.
More Rushing Carries: Matt Jones (-150) vs. Alfred Morris (+110)
Through the first two weeks of the regular season, no NFL team ran for more yards than the Washington Redskins, but that powerful rushing attack was pretty much grounded last Thursday against the New York Giants with a total of 88 yards in a 32-21 loss. The two-headed duo of Jones and Morris still has the Redskins ranked fourth in the NFL with an average of 143.7 rushing yards a game, and you can expect a heavy dose of both runners in this Sunday's NFC East tilt against Philadelphia.
Against the Giants, Jones ran the ball 11 times for 38 yards, while Morris gained only 19 yards on six carries. On the year, Jones has a total of 36 rushing attempts for 189 yards verses Morris's 49 carries for 199 yards. The Eagles have been pretty good at stopping the run so far (allowing an average of 87 yards a game), so whichever back has some early success should get the bulk of the carries over the course of the game.
It is going to be tough to attack the middle of Philadelphia's defense, but Washington could have some success going outside the tackles. This would give the edge to Morris in this prop with his ability to attack the edges with his speed.
Julio Jones set the Single-Season Receiving Yards Record: Yes (+500) No (-1000)
Through the first three games of the season, nobody has been able to contain Atlanta Falcon's wide receiver Julio Jones in the team's surprising 3-0 start. He has torched Philadelphia, New York and Dallas in successive weeks for 440 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 34 catches. Jones has been targeted 46 times for an average of 15.3 chances a game, and his average yards per catch is 12.9.
Given this pace, his projected total receiving yards for the entire season would be 2,347. That would easily surpass Calvin Johnson's single-season record of 1,964 receiving yards set in 2012.
The odds are obviously stacked against him staying on this incredible pace to break this record, but I am not so sure I would bet against it. My lingering concern is a troubling hamstring that has limited him in practice, but Jones himself has publically stated in the Houston Chronicle "I feel like I can do better" when asked about his historic start in preparation for Sunday's game against the Texans. Given the +500 odds he does break the record, I would take him at his word with a small play on this prop.
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