* NBC Sports Washington editor Prince J. Grimes picks his favorite prop bet from Sunday's action.
Spread: Los Angeles +1 (-105) | Washington -1 (-115)
Total: 44.5 Over (-121) | Under (+100)
Moneyline: Los Angeles (+100) | Washington (-121)
Prince’s Prop: Antonio Gibson Over 62.5 Rush Yards (-115)
Welcome to the first NFL edition of Prince's Props, where I pick my favorite single prop bet from an upcoming game, usually involving a Washington-area team, and sometimes even throw in a bonus pick. For today's column, I'm focused on Sunday's Week 1 tilt at FedExField between the Washington Football Team and Los Angeles Chargers.
A lot of attention has been placed on the quarterbacks in the week leading up this matchup, and rightfully so. Justin Herbert is one of the NFL’s brightest young talents on the rise and Ryan Fitzpatrick is the well-traveled veteran expected to lift Washington’s offense to new heights in 2021. But my favorite prop pick from this game involves one of the running backs, with Antonio Gibson having -115 odds on PointsBet Sportsbook to crack 62.5 rushing yards.
This game features two top-10 defenses from a year ago in terms of yards allowed per game, but much of that was accomplished through outstanding pass defense. The run defenses on the other hand, while not particularly bad, left a little to be desired, especially the Chargers. They performed at a middle-of-the-pack level in that area, allowing about 120 yards per game on 4.5 yards per carry.
If Washington’s vaunted pass rush fails to put pressure on Herbert, leaving him time to pick apart its secondary, then maybe this turns into a shootout. But I think it’s more likely the game stays close and Washington leans on a balanced attack, allowing ample opportunities for Gibson to hit his mark. Especially with prized free-agent wide receiver Curtis Samuel having been placed on short-term IR, meaning more attention placed on Terry McLaurin, I don't suspect offensive coordinator Scott Turner will be wanting to air it out much if he doesn't have to.
Mostly a wide receiver in college, Gibson averaged 56.8 rushing yards per game on a respectable 4.7 ypc as a rookie last year, and that was with one of the league’s worst passing attacks. Fitzpatrick is enough of an upgrade at quarterback that teams shouldn’t be able to stack the box in the same way against Washington, leaving Gibson more room to operate. Many people expect him to have a breakout second season in 2021, and I think he has a good chance to get off on a good foot in Week 1.
Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet