The player prop market is a hot one for bettors. While standard spread and total bets account for an entire game, individual props focus on specific matchups. With a full slate of games Sunday, here are five bets to consider for Week 3.
Ekeler's been a great fill-in during Melvin Gordon's holdout, eating up yards both on the ground and through the air at a torrid pace for the Chargers. The small-school product nearly passed the century mark in receiving yards in the opener against Indianapolis and has already registered close to 300 yards from scrimmage through the first two weeks. As ESPN's Matthew Berry noted, the Texans are allowing an NFL-worst 4.52 yards per rush before first contact this season; Ekeler has a ton of upside in Week 3.
It's a bit bold to start taking props on fairly unknown backup quarterbacks, but I'll take a flier on Allen in this spot. Though last season's one-game sample came during a meaningless Week 17 contest, Carolina's second-stringer sure looked comfortable on the road at New Orleans: He threw for 228 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 19-point rout.
This is as much a fade on Arizona's secondary as it is a play on Allen. The Cardinals are allowing 12.1 yards per completion so far this season, good for 25th in the league. Don't be surprised if the Panthers' passing game sees an uptick in production after Cam Newton completed just 56.2% of his passes without a touchdown through the air in Carolina's two losses this season.
Hello, it's me, the person who loves the over in the Panthers-Cardinals game. I'll continue grabbing players from this matchup to put up numbers, specifically Kirk, the second-year wide receiver who's developed an immediate rapport with quarterback Kyler Murray. As our own Justin Boone pointed out in his latest Week 3 fantasy piece, Kirk is tied for 11th in the league in targets this season. He also went off for six catches and 114 yards last weekend despite a formidable defensive opponent in Baltimore. As Boone notes, Kirk's been lining up primarily in the slot, so he should avoid most of the tough outside matchups against Carolina's cornerbacks.
I expect the 49ers to take advantage of a Pittsburgh run defense that ranks 23rd in the league in rushing yards allowed per game this season. Garoppolo doesn't mind slinging it around when he needs to, but that hasn't been the approach so far this season. He's averaging 4.0 yards per completed attempt and his 9% aggressiveness rating is third-lowest among qualified quarterbacks, according to Next Gen Stats. Considering Pittsburgh's playing a backup in Mason Rudolph and the total's in the low 40s, this one doesn't exactly have "shootout" written all over it.
There probably aren't many who want anything to do with Cousins. I actually think he's a good buy-low candidate against the Raiders in Week 3. It turns out Oakland's season-opening defensive performance against the Broncos was a fluke, as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs torched the Raiders last weekend. Week 3 could be a breakout for the Vikings' offense, which faces an Oakland defense allowing the most yards and touchdowns on deep balls so far this season.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.