3 NFL Player Prop Bets for Thursday Night Football: Week 15
Player props can be useful in a variety of ways, from taking advantage of them straight up within the betting market to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy football.
Here we'll focus on utilizing our projections and a slew of other tools and simulations to help make money betting player props. For this article, we are using the odds provided at FanDuel Sportsbook to pinpoint spots where value can be had this week.
The prop-betting experience on FanDuel Sportsbook is getting even more fun. You can track your player props with real-time updates and place in-game props with ease.
Each and every week I'll be bringing separate prop bets articles for Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, and the Sunday main slate.
Note: Betting lines and our player projections may change after this article is published.
George Kittle Any Time Touchdown (+220)
George Kittle Over 40.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
We have a modest 43.5-point over/under with the Seahawks coming in as 3.0-point home underdogs, setting up for a very close game. The 49ers are dealing with a few injuries and are going to be without Deebo Samuel for several weeks but will have Brock Purdy under center tonight. Purdy has been dealing with an oblique injury, and considering this is a short week, it may limit things in their offense.
With all of that said, I like George Kittle over 40.5 receiving yards (-114) and Kittle to find the endzone (+220).
Deebo Samuel leads the 49ers with a 24.1% target share and with him out of the lineup, there's plenty of opportunity in the passing game for other players to see an increased role. Kittle comes in with a 16.7% target share, 6.3 average depth of target (aDOT), and 18.8% red zone target share.
The Seahawks are one of the worst teams in the league versus tight ends this season, allowing the fifth-most yards (736) and the fifth-most touchdowns (6). This soft matchup should put Kittle in a spot to step up and play a solid role in their offense after being held to under 30 yards in each of the last two games.
I mentioned Purdy's oblique injury above because that is something that could impact their passing game, and that is why Kittle is my favorite option tonight. While Brandon Aiyuk is also in a spot to see more usage in the passing game, Aiyuk has a 9.6 aDOT compared to Kittle with a 6.3 aDOT.
If Purdy isn't at full health, pushing the ball downfield might be an issue for him, thus leading me to Kittle, who has a lower aDOT and can provide easier check-down passes.
All of this has Kittle projected for 52.91 receiving yards, going over his receiving yards prop tonight.
Brock Purdy Under 216.5 Passing Yards (-110)
Next up is Brock Purdy under 216.5 passing yards.
While I like Kittle's receiving yards over, he can hit that while Purdy goes under his passing total of 216.5 yards. As noted, Purdy has been dealing with an oblique injury, and it may limit his ability to pass the ball, putting the 49ers in a spot to rely on the ground game.
Running the ball won't be anything new for the 49ers; they come in with a 46.80% rush play percentage, which is the 10th highest in the league. Last week, we saw that jump up to 61.02% in what was Purdy's first start. This isn't anything new for the 49ers. We've seen them in the top half of the league in rush play percentage in each season since 2018.
This has led Purdy to average just 197.5 passing yards in the last two weeks of action. It also helps that the Seahawks have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards to running backs this season (1,532) , making this one of the softest matchups for Christian McCaffrey.
Between the 49ers' overall offensive tendencies, Purdy's injury, and the soft defensive matchup for the run game, nothing is pointing in the direction of Purdy airing the ball out tonight; it's all about the under.