Before you bet a prop, you should handicap the game. Looking at individual matchups like wide receiver versus defensive back and running back versus linebacker is fine, but the game state is really important.
Will a team need to play with more urgency and throw more passes in the second half? Will it be looking to slow down the pace and run out the clock?
Another thing you may want to look at is the trend line for snap counts. How often a player is expected to be on the field may be the deciding factor in how you play a prop, or if you play it all.
Don’t make the handicap overly simple and get tunnel vision. Think about all of the factors in play.
Here are a few NFL props to consider for Week 6 (odds are from DraftKings as of Thursday):
Caleb Huntley (ATL) Over 26.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
The Falcons were trailing for the final three quarters against the Buccaneers, so the snap distribution wound up a little bit skewed between Caleb Huntley and Tyler Allgeier (with Cordarrelle Patterson out). Allgeier played 39 snaps, while Huntley played just 16. However, Huntley had his number called eight times in his 16 snaps, while Allgeier ran 13 times in his 39. Huntley had 10 carries in 12 snaps against Cleveland. When he’s on the field, Arthur Smith wants to use him.
Despite trailing a lot, the Falcons have 162 rushing attempts against 123 pass attempts, and the ground game is clearly the better part of their offense. The 49ers lead the NFL in yards per carry allowed, but Atlanta has no choice but to try to run on this defense. San Francisco has several banged-up players, so maybe that will help, but Huntley should get his touches and his chances.
Marquise Brown (ARI) Over 69.5 Receiving Yards (-130)
Kyler Murray clearly has a favorite target and he goes by the name “Hollywood.” Marquise Brown has a team-high 55 targets this season and has had at least 10 targets each of the last four games. The Cardinals draw a Seattle defense that is the worst or in the bottom five in nearly every category, so this game projects to be a bit of a shootout and one where Brown could thrive.
After catching four passes in Week 1, he’s caught at least six each week since. He’s averaged 11 yards per reception, but he’s going to be in a better scenario this week than he has been in previous weeks against some better defenses. The Seahawks have allowed 13.3 yards per reception and get very little pressure on the quarterback, so Brown will be able to run his routes, create separation and get his share of targets.
Michael Carter (NYJ) Under 43.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards
The Jets have had a changing of the guard at running back. After having 50 snaps in Week 1 and 43 snaps in Week 2 (a snap count share over 60% in each of those weeks), Michael Carter has played less than 50% of the snaps each of the last three weeks. He’s also been ineffective when he has been out there, averaging just 2.65 yards per carry over his last 37 attempts and just six yards per reception on 10 catches.
After having 14 targets over the first two weeks, Carter has had seven targets over the last three weeks. His role diminished when OC Mike LaFleur realized how much more upside Breece Hall has. Carter averaged 50% of the snaps in a timeshare last season and it looked like he was going to be the primary guy this season, with Hall being brought along slowly, but Hall is moving closer to being used as a three-down back for the Jets. That comes at the expense of Carter, whose playing time should continue to dwindle.