Buccaneers vs. Rams: The best player prop bets for Week 3
The game of the week in the NFL takes place Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles when the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel cross-country to take on the Rams. Both teams have begun the season 2-0 and could meet again in the postseason with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Sun, September 26 2021, 8:25 PM
We've examined the matchup closely and have the three best player prop bets to wager on below.
Robert Woods: Over/Under 64.5 Receiving Yards
Robert Woods has been one of the Rams’ most dependable receiving threats since he joined the team in 2017 from the Buffalo Bills. Woods is a good athlete, and while he doesn’t provide elite skills in any one area, he has a knack for finding open space.
2020 was the first season out of four that he didn’t average at least 65 yards per game, and with an upgrade at quarterback it's reasonable to assume he gets back on track.
Woods had just four targets in Week 1 for 27 yards, but saw increased activity in Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts when he received nine targets and recorded 64 yards.
Against this Bucs defense, which is third in the league in rushing yards allowed per attempt but 11th in the league in passing yards allowed per attempt, Sean McVoy should be looking to put the ball in the air. The Rams have injury issues at running back, and running out their third and fourth options against a stout rush defense doesn’t make much sense.
Look for Woods to see plenty of targets and maybe find one over the top to surpass 65 yards quickly and easily.
Matthew Stafford: Over/Under 308.5 Passing Yards
Parlaying the thesis on Woods’ success with a correlated play, let’s take the Rams’ starting quarterback Matthew Stafford at Over 308.5 passing yards. The market hasn’t fully accounted for just how much better Stafford’s new weapons in LA are compared to what he had in Detroit, making this number seem about 20 yards too low.
Stafford have averaged 274 passing yards per game over the course of his career, but is averaging 299.5 through his first two games with the Rams, and his yards gained per completion average has rocketed up to 15.4. His previous career high was 13.4 in 2019, and his career average is 11.6. Increasing each completed pass by nearly four yards will add up quickly for a quarterback that averages 23.5 completions per game.
With a close game projected based on this spread, the Rams will presumably need to continue passing through all four quarters and not play conservatively like they did against the Chicago Bears. Expect a big day for Stafford.
Tom Brady: Longest Completion Over/Under 39.5 Yards
The Rams are fourth in the NFL in 2021 in passing yards allowed per completion. They were first in that metric in 2020.
The reason for their success at slowing down big passing plays is twofold. First is the role that the defensive line plays in applying pressure to quarterbacks, keeping them from doing extended drop backs or allowing them to wait on a receiver to run a prolonged route.
Second is the quality of their defensive backfield, led by the most highly ranked defensive back in the league in Jalen Ramsey. His ability to play on an island allows the safeties to focus on other threats and defend the deep ball.
Tom Brady still has a strong arm, but he doesn’t have the power he had in earlier in his career and he understands that tossing it deep against this defense is not going to be a highly effective strategy. Look for Brady to play within himself and take what the defense gives him. That will likely mean lots of shorter passing routes.