Best College Football Player Prop Bets for Saturday, September 4

College Football Saturdays are officially here, and that means we have player props to unravel. In this new weekly column, I’ll be providing a few player props during the day that I believe hold value. Player props are a developing market that is heavily underutilized by the betting community at large. I believe that there is money to be made if you dive in deep on some of these numbers, so that’s exactly what I’ll be doing!

Let’s get started…

Best College Football Player Prop Bets for Saturday, September 4

Graham Mertz, Wisconsin

The Bet: Under 228.5 passing yards 

We’re kicking off in this column with an under play on Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz’s passing yards. As a freshman last year, Mertz only surpassed 228 yards twice in seven games. One of those came in the opener against a hapless Illinois team. Despite throwing for an eye-popping 5 touchdowns in that game, Mertz still only threw for 248 yards in that game. Think about it, in his best performance of the season — when everything went perfectly — he still didn’t clear the marker by the type of margin you’d like to see.

The other time he passed that mark, he squeaked by with 230 yards on 41 passing attempts against Northwestern — his highest attempt total of the season. 

The main reason that the under is so appealing here is that Wisconsin is simply not a volume passing offense. Mertz threw the ball only 27.6 times per game last year. Here’s the kicker: he averaged 176.9 passing yards per game in 2020. That’s a full 50 yards below where he’s being lined in this game.

This is an offense under Paul Chryst that is looking to keep the ball on the ground at all costs and not take any unnecessary risks. Why would we expect it to be any different this year? It won’t be.

The strength of Penn State’s defense lies in their secondary, but questions remain upfront as they return only one starting defensive lineman. Wisconsin is a -5.5 home favorite and will stick to the same game plan they’ve been using for years — run the ball and win in the trenches.

We’re taking Graham Mertz under 228.5 passing yards at FanDuel’s Sportsbook 

Zamir White, Georgia

The Bet: Under 76.5 rushing yards

Starting with back-to-back unders? Wow, I just hate fun. 

Rather, I like making money more than I do having fun, and I believe there’s a chance to make some here on the Georgia running back’s under. 

This one is mainly about the matchup. In the marquee game of the day, White’s Bulldogs will be taking on the Clemson Tigers, who feature a stingy defense. The Tigers allowed only 112 rushing yards per game on a measly 3.1 yards per carry a season ago. The strength of this unit lies upfront with the line, where many believe that this has a chance to be as good of a defensive line as they’ve had at Clemson under Dabo Swinney.

White’s a good back, but he’ll likely lose some workload to teammates James Cook (brother of Dalvin) and Kendall Milton. Going back to last season, White averaged 77.9 rushing yards per game. That means that we’d have to expect him to have his average game just to barely squeak over his 76.5 rushing yards prop listed at FanDuel Sportsbook. I see no reason to expect an average or above-average game here — this is not your average defense over at Clemson. 

We’re taking Zamir White under 76.5 rushing yards.

Cam’Ron Harris, Miami

The Bet: Under 52.5 rushing yards

One more under for the road? Sure, why not. Harris will be facing off against a stingy Alabama defense and will be running behind an offensive line that will be overwhelmed in this matchup. The offensive line play has been hurting Miami in recent years, and they have to face off in Week 1 against a fearsome Alabama front that includes destroyer-of-worlds Will Anderson.

This Crimson Tide defense allowed only 3.3 yards per rush last year and is expected to improve after returning eight  starters. Miami is expected to be playing from behind in this game, entering as a three-score underdog. That’ll mean more passing and less rushing usage for Harris, who already sees an underwhelming amount of carries. He received single-digit carries four times in eleven contests last year and will have to face competition in the backfield from Donald Chaney Jr. and company. 

After a blistering start in 2020 (back-to-back games with 134 rushing yards), Cam’Ron averaged only 38.3 rushing yards in his final nine games of the season. We’re expecting that downward trend to continue here and will take his rushing total of under 52.5 yards at FanDuel Sportsbook.