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Odds and Ends

NFL Week 1 Player Props: Chubb, Allen, Gibson and Pitts O/U Props

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: September 10, 2021, 9:43 am ET

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Nick Chubb O/U 13.5 Rushing Attempts vs. Chiefs

I am surprised we got this line for Nick Chubb.

Chubb has two career games versus the Chiefs and he posted 13 and 22 rushing attempts. His 13-rushing attempt performance against Kansas City came in the postseason and Chubb has expressed how disappointed he was in his effort.

Coaches and teammates, including Baker Mayfield, have mentioned how Chubb is more vocal entering this season and hungrier than ever. I like to hear that.

Most models have Chubb around 16-18 carries, while NBC's model predicts a big rushing day of 94.6 yards, easily hitting the Over 71.5 prop line.

If Chubb rips off a few successful gains on the ground, you better believe he will continue to be fed against this Chiefs rushing defense.

NBC RB Model

 

Against the Chiefs, opposing running backs hit the Over 13.5 carries in five out of six games before we saw a ton of 10-13s down the stretch.

Chubb hit the Over 13.5 rushing attempts in 9-of-12 (75%) games during the regular season and 10-of-13 (76.9%), including the postseason. 

The game script plays a huge role in this bet as well. The previous Super Bowl loser is 3-13-2 ATS in Week 1 since 2003, so a competitive game bodes well for Chubb. 

Cleveland was destroyed in the previous two Week 1's, losing 38-6 and 43-13, but this oddly could be the year they keep it close.

I expect Chubb to get 15-plus carries and would play this out to 14.5 rushing attempts for 1u.

Pick: Nick Chubb Over 13.5 Rushing Attempts (1.5u)

 

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Keenan Allen O/U 5.5 Receptions vs. Washington

One of the most exciting quarterbacks and receivers duos in the NFL is Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen.

Last season, Allen finished with 100 receptions in 14 games (7.1) and caught six or more passes in 8-of-14 (57.1%) contests. NBC's model predicts Allen to record 5.6 receptions on 8.3 targets and 58.5 receiving yards. 

Keenan Allen

 

Washington's corner duo will be Kendall Fuller and William Jackson, which is not terrible, but will not lock Allen up for four quarters with Herbert under center.

Last season with Herbert, Allen received double-digit targets in 10 out of 12 games. He caught six or more passes in five of the first six games with Herbert and six out of the first eight before hamstring issues caught up to him.

Now healthy, Allen should be the primary focus in an offense that lost Hunter Henry and brought in Jared Cook alongside Mike Williams and Allen. 

Allen should be the alpha in that offense and if he does not see double-digit targets, the Chargers must not want to win. It is also worth noting Chargers' running back Austin Ekeler is banged up and skipped practice with a hamstring issue, something that lingered in 2020.

In two career games versus Washington, Allen has 14 receptions on 19 targets, owning a 73.7% catch percentage.

Bet on Allen to go Over 5.5 receptions. He remains one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL, with 100 catches in three of the past four seasons and 97 or more in four straight. 

Pick: Keenan Allen Over 5.5 Receptions (1u)

 

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Antonio Gibson O/U 13.5 Rushing Attempts vs. Chargers

Antonio Gibson was a breakout player in 2020 and as hard as I tried to draft him in fantasy this year, he was gone at every turn.

While I cannot root for him in fantasy, I can make some money on him.

Washington improved its offense in the offseason and became more dynamic with signings like Curtis Samuel. However, Samuel is likely to miss Week 1 after suffering a setback with a groin injury that has flared up during preseason and training camp.

With Samuel being a receiving and jet sweep type of threat, that leaves Gibson for more opportunities as Washington has to adjust days before the game. 

Gibson had 13 or more carries in five of the final eight games last season as Washington began to trust the rookie running back, leaning on him more and more -- not to mention seven touchdowns in that stretch.

NBC's player prop model projects Gibson to hit the Over 57.5 rushing yards with 69.6. His receiving yards prop of 14.5 is also showing value with 26.0 yards predicted.

If Gibson is to hit that rushing total, he will need around 13-14 need carries to do so. I have Gibson closer to 16 carries for Week 1.

WSH LAC MODEL

 

Gibson only hit the Over on this prop 5-of-15 (33.3%) times last season, but that was due to a lot of factors. 

Quarterback play changed a ton, negative game scripts did not help and the craziest stat of them all -- only a 43.0% snap share. Well, that will change.

Gibson had eight games of between nine and 13 carries last season. With that low total, Gibson ranked 40th last season in snap share and 33rd in opportunity share (47.3%) for all running backs despite posting 795 rushing yards on 170 carries (4.67 ypc), plus 11 touchdowns.

With Washington as a -1 point favorite, the game should be competitive to allow both teams to run the offense and present a fair game script for Gibson. 

At 38-years-old, Ryan Fitzpatrick will run the offense and as great as he can be, Gibson is the featured player alongside Terry McLaurin outside.

Los Angeles allowed 10-of-16 (62.5%) running backs to hit 14 or more carries last season. Five of the six Unders finished between 10 and 13 carries.

As long as this contest does not get out of hand, I see Gibson going for 15-plus carries against the Chargers.

Pick: Antonio Gibson Over 13.5 Rushing Attempts (1u)

 

Kyle Pitts O/U 3.5 Receptions vs. Eagles

Kyle Pitts is the most hyped tight end in years and on one preseason catch and run -- we all lost it.

While I will not buy into his hype too much, 3.5 receptions here is a good deal.

The Falcons still have Hayden Hurst, but Pitts will be the primary option at tight end.

Last season, Hurst caught four or more passes in 10 out of 16 (62.5%) games, and you better believe Pitts should be involved. 

Hurst played in nine games with Julio Jones, and caught four or more in six games (66.7%). With Jones gone, Calvin Ridley and Pitts become the No. 1 and 2 options. 

With Ridley, Hurst had four or more catches in 10-of-15 games (66.7%), and with both receivers, he was 5-3 (62.5%) to the Over. Obviously, Pitts is a different player, but the position has had success alongside other priority options.

Atlanta returns Russel Gage as a primary pass-catcher, but NBC's player prop model has Pitts' projections above his. 

Pitts is projected to record 3.8 receptions on 6.0 targets and 46.1 yards, hitting the Over on both his receptions and receiving yards prop.

ATL PHI TE PROJECTIONS

 

From 2017 on, Matt Ryan has targeted his tight end as a top-four option in targets, receptions and targets per game -- top three in three of four years. Here is how Hurst and Austin Hooper have fared the previous four seasons as the tight end for the Falcons.

 

2020: Hurst - 3rd in targets - 5.5 targets per game - 56 receptions - 3.5 receptions per game

2019: Hooper - 2nd in targets - 7.4 targets per game - 97 receptions - 7.4 receptions per game

2018: Hooper - 4th in targets - 5.5 targets per game - 71 reception - 4.4 receptions per game

2017: Hooper - 3rd in targets - 4.0 targets per game - 49 receptions - 3.0 receptions per game

 

Pitts recorded four or more catches in seven out of eight games in his final season at Florida. He totaled 43 receptions, 770 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.

At 6-foot-6 and 246-lbs, Pitts is a major weapon with speed that allows him to perform catch and runs like the one we saw in the preseason.

I like the chances Pitts sees six or more targets versus the Eagles. Last season, only 5-of-16 (31.2%) tight ends hit the Over, but 11 had three or more catches (68.7%).

If we are talking about Dan Arnold, Dalton Schultz or Austin Hooper as guys who got three receptions compared to Robert Tonyan or Logan Thomas who got four, well, I know which side Pitts belongs on.

Back the rookie tight end to grab four or more receptions. I would not play the Over 4.5 when the line moves there unless you are playing half a unit for +100 or better.

Pick: Kyle Pitts Over 3.5 Receptions (1u)

 

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