The Basics
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betting types

To an NFL player, their playbook is like a bible. A sacred document encompassing team strategies and secrets down to the finest detail which would make absolutely no sense to the average person. The contents within the pages of these diaries of trust define the playing styles and tendencies of NFL teams and can also define the balance of your betting bankroll.


A savvy prop bettor who understands the relationship between the way an NFL team runs its offense and defense and how this impacts betting markets can increase their chances of cashing in with winning wagers.


Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of prop bets and break down how a team’s playbook can influence the outcome of these:



The most obvious way in which a team’s playbook can impact passing props is in the quarterback pass attempts totals market. Offensive coordinators often follow what are known as ‘game scripts’, which is basically a plan for what type of plays you’re going to run during the game. Unless the team has decided to majorly shift their game plan due to injury, opponent or weather conditions, the number of pass plays they run will be consistent across most games.


There is obviously a correlation between the number pass attempts and quarterback has and their passing yardage for the game and this should be factored in when making a passing yardage wager. However, the big factor here is the number of those passes which are completed - this in itself is a prop you can bet on.


A team’s playbook has a major impact on the number of completions a quarterback is likely to make. If you’re betting the over on a completion prop, you want a team that likes to incorporate short, easy throws on plays like bubble screens and comeback and curl routes. Teams that like to throw the deep ball are not great for completion numbers because these passes are harder to complete in general, and they move the team down the field quickly (meaning less plays overall) when successful.


The way a team utilizes their playbook in the red zone is another key factor for the passing touchdown prop. Certain teams prefer to try and run the ball when in scoring positions, rather than put in the hands of their quarterback. Understanding a team’s tendencies in these situations provides a useful clue as to whether to bet the over or under for a quarterbacks passing touchdowns.



Arguably the biggest factor determining the outcome of rushing props is the matchup between the offensive line and opposition defence. While the quality of the running back in question is important, it’s the big boys up front who provide them with the lanes they need to rack up those valuable rushing yards. 

Just like with passing props, a team’s game script can dictate the number of rushing plays they will call over the course of the game and it helps to pick up on any obvious trends here. With that being said, If you’re looking bet over for a running back’s rushing yards total, selecting a running back on a team that is heavily favoured to win is a great strategy. A team that gets out to a big lead (two scores or more) runs the ball 50% more as they try to grind the game to a halt and run out the clock to preserve their lead.


Of course, it’s important not to discount quarterbacks when talking about rushing props, as an increasing number of mobile quarterbacks are making an impact across the NFL. The likes of Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz all have the ability to pick up yards and score touchdowns with their legs. Their team’s respective playbooks are filled with play action calls and run-pass options to maximise this.



More and more teams are featuring three-receiver sets in their playbook, with quarterbacks sharing the ball around to multiple receivers during any given game. This makes it a little trickier to decipher how receiving prop bets might play out, but there are some cues that bettors can look to take advantage of.


One of the keys here is to understand that a team’s primary receiver doesn’t always matchup against opponent’s number one cornerback, as most cornerbacks only line-up on one side of the field. If your research tells you that a primary receiver is likely to matchup against an opponent’s second-choice cornerback, wagering on the over for their receiving yards prop might be a good option. There is plenty of data available online to help bettors handicap these matchups and make informed decisions.



Some NFL teams will use their playbook to maximise the skill set of a multi-dimensional running back who is both adept at running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield, such as Alvin Kamara. Prop bets combining both rushing and receiving yards totals are a great option when these types of players are being utilized by the offense. This is because these prop bets essentially become game script proof due to the player’s ability to contribute in both categories. If their team builds a big lead, they can expect a lot of carries and rushing yards. If their team is trailing, they’re still likely to be used for short passes and screens and can stack up their receiving yards.


Understanding how an NFL team’s playbook can affect the outcome of each of these prop bets is an important step to becoming a wiser and more profitable NFL bettor. The next step is to ensure you’re getting the best odds on offer in order to really make the most of any prop bet gems you come across! Our full list of Bet Basics list of 100% licensed and regulated legal sportsbooks is a great place to get started, with exclusive offers and bonuses at top quality oddsmakers such as BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, PointsBet and Bet365.

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