NFL Week 6: Spotlight On Player Props As Patrick Mahomes Visits Washington

Posted on October 14, 2021

With the Washington Football Team meeting the Kansas City Chiefs in an NFL Week 6 matchup, let’s focus on player props.

A lot of attention will be centered on Sunday’s game (1 p.m., CBS) between the WFT (2-3) and Chiefs (2-3). Despite their subpar records in 2021, they remain popular teams.

So, with Chiefs quarterback and 2018 NFL Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes arriving at FedExField this weekend, the game should draw plenty of betting interest.

But are you growing tired of usual bets on the point spread, moneyline, and total? If so, this game is ripe for some fun with player props.

What are NFL player props?

As of Thursday afternoon, Caesars Sportsbook, one of nine Virginia sportsbooks, had Kansas City as 6.5-point favorites (-110) and the home team, Washington, as 6.5-point underdogs (-110). On the moneyline, the Chiefs were -290 favorites, and the WFT was +235 underdogs.

The line for the game has bounced between -6.5 and -7 for the Chiefs throughout the week.

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The total, meanwhile, for the game is 54.5 after an initial opener of 50.5. The fairly substantial line movement suggests many bettors are expecting the teams to put some points on the scoreboard.

So, yes, you could bet the “over” on this game, but much of the value may be gone since the total has already moved four full points.

However, if you want to bet on the likelihood of the offenses reigning supreme, there are other ways to do it.

And they come in the form of player props.

Bet on individual player performances

Even if you’ve never placed a prop bet, you’re probably familiar with the most (in)famous ones. They appear at many illegal offshore sportsbooks, as well as some legal domestic ones (depending on each state’s sports betting laws). They’re especially popular during the Super Bowl:

  • Will the coin toss result in heads or tails?
  • How long will the Super Bowl national anthem last?
  • What color will the Gatorade be that’s dumped on the winning coach?

These “fun” prop bets are geared more toward entertainment and giving casual fans something to wager on during major sports events.

But when it comes to player prop bets, things can get a lot more serious. In fact, some of the best sports bettors out there focus heavily, if not exclusively, on props.

For one, with an expansive market and lower wagering volume on those individual bets, you’re more likely to find a mispriced line that you can exploit. And two, many bettors have used tools – stats, software, models, their own handicapping, etc. – to create successful systems to bet on player props.

Types of NFL player props

Player props, especially those for NFL and college football games, come in all forms.

Many of them are geared toward individual player performances. And as you might imagine, they often focus on “skill” positions:

  • Quarterback
  • Running back
  • Receivers
  • Tight end
  • Kickers

For QBs alone, the options are expansive. For Sunday’s Washington vs. Kansas City game, let’s look at the player props for Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, one of the league’s top passers.

For Mahomes against the WFT, you can bet on:

  • Passing yards: Over/under 311.5
  • Passing TDs: Over/under 2.5
  • Rushing yards: Over/under 17.5
  • Passing attempts: Over/under 39.5
  • Longest pass competition: Over/under 38.5
  • Passing completions: Over/under 26.5
  • Interceptions: Over/under 0.5

You also have the same options available for Washington QB Taylor Heinicke. However, because the journeyman isn’t quite as accomplished as Mahomes, his props look a bit different. For example, his totals are lower on passing yards (267.5), passing TDs (1.5), and others.

A note on NFL player props

If you’re new to player props, clicking on the wagering menu may be a bit overwhelming at first. After all, there’s just an absolute abundance of options.

And those options get only more expansive as we get closer to kick-off and the oddsmakers roll out more and more markets.

However, one thing to keep in mind about player props is that they often have lower betting limits. While you could bet thousands, if not tens of thousands, on the main NFL markets, many prop bets are limited to a few hundred bucks each.

Why? Because even the sportsbooks know that skilled bettors are able to find good lines that they can pound and exploit.

Of course, for most recreational bettors, they probably don’t need to worry about those max-bet limits. But like any other bet, it’s wise to shop around since each VA sports betting app is likely to have different lines and odds.

And, as always, if this all new to you, start small and keep it fun. Don’t feel like you need to bet them all. After all, there’s plenty of football games still ahead in the 2021-2022 season, so there’s no reason to sap your betting bankroll in Week 6.

Photo by AP / Matt Slocum
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