The Buccaneers start their season off in Minnesota to take on the Vikings. While there is no side or total bet I am eying in this game, there are a few prop bets catching my eye. Let’s dive into the best prop bets for a Week One NFC matchup between the Vikings and Buccaneers.
Vikings vs Buccaneers – Best Prop Bets
Rachaad White (TB) Over 44.5 Rush Yards -110 (BetMGM)
In eight starts over 17 games last season, White finished with 129 carries for 481 yards – a measly 3.7 yards per attempt on the ground. White began making starts in Week 10, and he flew over this number in his first two games as a starter, but he eclipsed it just one more time over the final five weeks of the season. So, why are we bullish on White to get yards against the Vikings in Week One? Let’s dive in.
For starters, the Bucs were led by Tom Brady last year, who finished first in the NFL in passing attempts with 34 attempts to spare. Now, Baker Mayfield will be QB1 in Tampa, and I can assure you Mayfield will not be averaging a little over 43 passing attempts per game, meaning the Buccaneers will not finish last in the NFL in rushing attempts for the 2nd straight season. Secondly, White is now TB’s unquestioned RB1. He is No. 1 on the depth chart, and the players behind him are rookie Sean Tucker, veteran journeyman Chase Edmonds, and bust Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Tampa Bay not adding any other competition to White shows the faith they have in him. Not to mention, the Buccaneers’ offensive line was decimated by injuries last season, and now that they are healthy, they should be able to make life easier for White.
Last year, the Vikings finished 2nd in PFF’s run defense metric. However, this offseason, they lost Dalvin Tomlinson, who had a 65-run grade at the interior defensive line position last year. They also lost Eric Kendricks, who had their best run defense grade, according to PFF. 44.5 is a modest number to beat, so given the uptick in volume for White, the improvements to Tampa’s offensive line, and the decline of the Vikings’ run defense, White should go over this number in Week One.
Justin Jefferson (MIN) Over 89.5 Rec Yards -115 (DraftKings)
Justin Jefferson needs no introduction, and while this number is high and the Buccaneers have a good defense, this number is not high enough. In last year’s season opener, Jefferson exploded for 184 yards on 11 targets against the Packers at home. Now, on his home turf, Jefferson has the chance to make it two seasons in a row going nuclear on opening night. The Vikings’ added Jordan Addison in the 2023 NFL draft, and his skill set is a great complement to Jefferson’s. The added pressure that Addison brings to the defense should help open up more routes for Jefferson.
With all offseason to prepare for this game, it’s fair to assume Jefferson will be the focal point of the Vikings offense, even if the defense knows it’s coming. Jefferson finished last season with the most yards per touch in the NFL, and he had 14.1 yards per reception. Even with the Buccaneers grading well against the pass last season, Jefferson is too good, and he should get spoon-fed targets.
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