WEEK 9 PROP BETS (SUNDAY AFTERNOON)
There are 11 games in the early window on Sunday and plenty of individual match-ups that stick out, but I've narrowed it down to my four favourite prop bets.
JuJu Smith-Schuster -- OVER 52.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
Smith-Schuster has been overshadowed by Canadian rookie Chase Claypool this season, but has quietly put together a couple good weeks in a row. Smith-Schuster racked up 16 receptions and 152 receiving yards in Weeks 7 and 8 and is a great spot in Week 9. The 23-year-old is averaging 7.1 targets per game and has a great matchup against Jourdan Lewis. The Cowboys slot corner grades out as the 30th worst CB in the NFL this season per Pro Football Focus. Expect Ben Roethlisberger to get the ball to Juju early and often and he should carve through the susceptible Dallas' secondary.
Brandin Cooks -- OVER 59.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Cooks has settled in in Houston and has exploded since Bill O'Brien was fired. Cooks has seen 30 targets while hauling in 24 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns over the lat three weeks. Coming out of the bye week, Cooks and the Texans' passing attack should be poised to destroy the Jaguars defence. Jacksonville has the worst-ranked Pass Defence in the NFL (per Football Outsiders) so there will be plenty of room out there for Cooks to remain hot.
Kyler Murray -- OVER 39.5 Rushing Yards (-120)
With Kenyan Drake out with an ankle injury, the Cardinals will lean on Chase Edmonds and Kyler Murray to handle the rushing duties. Even when Drake was healthy, Murray has been running the ball almost twice as much as he did in his rookie season. The sophomore is averaging 9.3 carries and 62.4 rushing yards per game through seven games and should feast on the Dolphins worst-ranked Rush Defence.
Patrick Mahomes -- OVER 296.5 Passing Yards (-115)
Expectedly, Mahomes exploded for 416 yards and five touchdowns against the Jets in Week 8 and has another great matchup on Sunday. The Panthers come to town with the No.20 ranked pass defence, and both Donte Jackson and Jeremy Chinn are banged up in the secondary. Mahomes has been overshadowed by Russell Wilson this season, but he's quietly averaged 289 passing yards per game while posting a sparking 21-to-1 TD/INT ratio. With Christian McCaffrey returning for the Panthers, Carolina should be able to move the ball and keep up enough to force Mahomes to air it out. Expect another 300-plus yard performance.
BONUS: MORE PROPS!
Week 9 Sunday Night Football Prop Bets
Sunday Night Football features a battle of NFC South foes with the New Orleans Saints heading to Raymond James Stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Saints come in at 5-2, right behind the 6-2 Buccaneers for first in the division. New Orleans is finally getting healthy, as they're expected to get Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19) back. Chris Godwin (finger) is expected to return for Tampa Bay, who will also have Antonio Brown making his debut.
This game has fire-power abound, so let's take a look at my favourite prop bets for the SNF clash.
Mike Evans -- OVER 4.5 Receptions (+110)
On the surface, this seems like a bad bet. When Godwin has played, Evans has averaged 3.0 targets, 1.5 receptions, and 12.8 yards. Not great. Add in the addition of Brown, and things get even more crowded. However, at +110, this OVER presents tremendous value. Evans will go head-to-head with Marshon Lattimore, who has been terrible this year. He grades out as the 91st/117 CB per Pro Football Focus. Evans and Lattimore are very familiar with each other, getting physical in recent meetings. If the Bucs are going to have success in this matchup, they need to target Lattimore and get Evans going. Janoris Jenkins is by far their best CB, and he will see a lot of Godwin. Brady is on record saying he needs to get Evans more involved, so expect him to go after the Saints' weaker CB.
Alvin Kamara -- OVER 5.5 Receptions (-105)
It's going to be interesting to see how the Saints' offence operates with Thomas back. In six games without him, New Orleans relied heavily on Kamara, who has averaged 20.8 touches per game. He's averaging 8.3 receptions per game from Weeks 2-to-8 but still had five catches in the one game Thomas appeared in. Drew Brees is not pushing the ball downfield at all, so even with Thomas back, I expect him to dump it off to Kamara a lot. Against a stout run defence, the Saints will need to get the ball to Kamara in different ways. He had just 16 yards on 12 carries in their Week 1 match-up, so look for him to be more of a receiver in Week 9.
Michael Thomas -- OVER 5.5 Receptions (+100)
Speaking of Thomas, you can't forget that he holds the NFL's single-season receptions record (149). It's been a bizarre season for the fifth-year wide receiver, who got hurt, then was reportedly benched for disciplinary reasons and even heard his name on the trade market. Ultimately, the Saints never intended on dealing the star wideout and he's expected to be back in on Sunday night. Expect Brees to get him involved early and often. He was held under six receptions just twice last season, so this seems like a great bet at even money.
Headline Photo Credit: Pro Football Weekly