It’s time to continue our Lindy’s Best NFL Locks Today series. For Monday’s expert NFL picks, we are looking at the first of the two-game slate, specifically targeting some wide receiver props as our Rams-Bengals locks. Let’s get into some Monday Night Football bets.
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Expert NFL Picks Today: Rams-Bengals | September 25
Los Angeles Rams–Cincinnati Bengals (43.5 Game Total)
We’ve got a pair of NFL matchups this Monday Night, with two undefeated squads in the Eagles and Buccaneers kicking off first, followed by the Rams visiting the Bengals. There’s a handful of plays I’m leaning towards firing in the opener — A.J. Brown over 66.5 receiving yards, Rachaad White under 18.5 receiving yards among them. But it’s actually a different pair of receiving props from the same team in the second game of the evening that are my betting priorities of the evening.
Let’s start with the lock revolving around Rams rookie sensation Puka Nacua. I was heavily on his receiving overs the first two weeks of the season, and all he did was lead the entire NFL in targets (35) and receptions (25) through two weeks of play. Did I expect this type of volume? Of course not, but if there was someone who could facilitate something close to the Cooper Kupp role when he was put on the IR to begin the season, Nacua was the only player who fit the build. He also saw just one preseason game, a strange phenomenon for any fifth-round rookie that wasn’t plagued by injury. This indicated a monster (and surprising) role could be in store for him in this offense if they were that concerned with his health, and that’s exactly what has transpired.
So I’m obviously bullish on Nacua and extremely confident this insane volume continues in some capacity, barring injury. And another reason for that is Van Jefferson has failed to make any noticeable impact as the presumed WR1 in Sean McVay’s scheme dating back to 2022. In 11 games last season, he recorded a mere 24 catches on 44 targets, an extremely inefficient 54.5% catch rate. So the nine targets and five catches this season are sadly right on pace even with a healthy Matthew Stafford back at the helm.
Now to the bets: Even if Nacua regresses to 75% of his current target share, that still makes his 65.5 receiving yards prop look minuscule. And although the Bengals defense that has struggled mightily against the run, allowing the most rushing yards of any team through the first two weeks, Nacua’s size and versatility make the 23-year-old an awesome bet to exceed 65.5 receiving yards. While I also like shorting Jefferson’s 36.5-yard receiving prop for all the reasons listed above, I’m heavier on the Nacua side.
Expert NFL Picks Today: Puka Nacua OVER 65.5 Receiving Yards (LOCK), Van Jefferson UNDER 36.5 Receiving Yards (LIKE)