If you’re planning to make prop bets or any other wagers on season-long NFL player production, here are our suggested bets for some of the Los Angeles Chargers’ top playmakers. All prop bets are based on FanDuel over/unders, featuring Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams.
Top Chargers prop bets for 2022
The following NFL betting recommendations are based on 10 years of NFL research analyzing the correlation between preseason expectations and outcomes. Age, durability, shifting personnel, schedule, and other factors help shape these assessments.
Let’s keep this simple. A few years ago, Patrick Mahomes was viewed almost universally as the No. 1 QB. Then Lamar Jackson gave him a run for his money. Then Josh Allen ascended to the consensus top spot. So would anyone be surprised if Justin Herbert is next? The 24-year-old has thrown for 9,350 yards and 69 TDs in his first two NFL seasons. And there are good reasons to believe we haven’t seen him at his best.
Entering Year 3, he has an elite pass-catching RB and two top-20-caliber receivers — possibly top-12-caliber if Mike Williams proves last year wasn’t a fluke. Are 5,500 yards and 45 touchdowns doable? Absolutely. Is he a serious risk of regressing into the 4,500/35 range? Not as likely, thanks in part to an ascending Joshua Palmer, who should at least partially offset any extended absence from Allen or Williams if one of them gets hurt.
I like betting on guys like Herbert in season-long props because he’s a weekly breakout threat. He had 300+ yards or three TDs 11 times last year — and four times, he achieved both. A couple of big outings would put him on track to comfortably surpass expectations. And more than most QBs, Herbert is capable of big outings.
Passing yards: Over 4,600.5
Passing TDs: Over 35.5
Interceptions: Under 12.5
The Chargers organization has made some noise this offseason about managing Austin Ekeler’s workload. Drafting Isaiah Spiller was a step in this direction, and the improved preseason play of Joshua Kelley might make the decision even easier. Ekeler had a career-high 206 carries last year (his previous high was only 132), and he was No. 4 in RB offensive snaps. Snap count is important, as my research shows the probability of regression rates based on snap volume.
Ekeler remains a top-four pass-catching RB, and his role in that area won’t likely change. But in props focused on rushing, be wary. The 27-year-old is almost certain to remain under 140 attempts on the ground, and his touchdown total should dip in a more crowded backfield.
Rushing yards: Under 750.5
Rushing TDs: Under 7.5
How many more “great” seasons does Keenan Allen have left? Based on regression rates for WRs at least 30 years old, not many. But the 2020 arrival of Herbert certainly extended Allen’s relevance because it’s hard to envision him exceeding even 900 yards if a bottom-10 QB threw to him.
The two biggest questions heading into this season are A) can Williams overtake Allen as the No. 1 WR, and B) can the undervalued Palmer cap Allen’s ceiling? If Allen’s prop were 100 yards and one touchdown higher, I’d be a bit more wary. As it stands, I feel comfortable betting on this future Hall of Famer for at least one more season.
Receiving yards: Over 1,000.5
Receiving TDs: Over 6.5
Yes, in his age-27 season — a contract year — Williams finally busted out. A 76-1,146-9 receiving line while playing with Ekeler and Allen is no joke. It doesn’t matter how good your QB is. At the same time, Williams remains a weekly boom/bust option. He can take over a game and sometimes looks a bit invisible.
But across a full season, Williams has come through more often than not. Three years ago, he racked up 1,001 yards on only 49 catches. The year before, he hit 10 receiving touchdowns (as well as one on the ground). So it’s not as if 2021 came as a shock. The talent has always been there, but the execution has been a bit sporadic. And yet, as long as the targets are there, a 1,000+ yard and 8+ touchdown season seems very doable.
Receiving yards: Over 950.5
Receiving TDs: Over 7.5