I ran hotter than the sun last weekend and turned a 30% ROI on all of my bets with big wagers on Bills -4, Rams -3, and Bucs-Eagles over 45.5. There were a few wagers I wish I had back – like that Cam Akers under 32.5 yards, whew – but all in all, the Wild Card round was a success.
Let’s keep it rolling into the best weekend of football of the year…
49ers at Packers
Bet – Packers -4.5 (-118, FanDuel)
Why? – Grabbed this Monday. Packers have already moved to -5.5 and -6 in most books. Green Bay is getting healthy at the right time with LT Bakhtiari, LB Smith, and CB Alexander likely back. Aaron Rodgers can beat anyone, but this matchup in particular is enticing with a sliding 49ers secondary that Dak Prescott couldn’t take advantage of last week. Rodgers will. The 49ers are way tougher against the run (second-best in YPC allowed; second-best in Run Defense DVOA) than the pass (21st in YPA allowed; 25th in passer rating; 16th in FootballOutsiders Pass Defense DVOA).
Rams at Buccaneers
Bet – Over 48 (-118, FOXBet)
Why? – Just like the Packers and 49ers, the other side to the NFC’s Final Four also met earlier this season in Week 3. Bucs-Rams was actually the fourth-highest totaled game of the regular season (55.5 O/U) and ended up going over by two points. Between the Rams running into a tough draw on the ground and the Bucs’ playing fast, throwing a ton, and generating a ton of play volume as a result – this game has the makings of a pass-heavy shootout. This is also the second-fastest game of the Divisional Round from a pace perspective and I’m a little surprised this total is relatively conservative at just 48.5 points in some shops (as of Thursday morning).
I bought half a point here (over 48) to make the juice -118, but I think this game should be up near the 50.5 to 51.5 range. I grabbed a smaller piece of over 48.5 (-105) at PointsBet, too.
Bills at Chiefs
Bet – Bills +2.5 (-120, BetMGM) – Alternate spread (bought 0.5 point)
Why? – Have liked the Bills to win this game all week and finally bet on it. Josh Allen has the highest ceiling of any QB in the NFL and this Chiefs defense has certainly been burnable at times. Obviously, the Chiefs deserve a ton of respect but this Bills pass defense is still very, very good. I just think the Bills are the more complete team overall (10th in Offensive DVOA, 1st in Defense) over the Chiefs (3rd Offense, 24th Defense).
Bet – Under 61.5 rushing yards (-115, BetRivers)
Why? – Has been held at or under 3.8 YPC in six-straight games. Under 59 rushing yards in five of his last 6. Opposing RBs have averaged just 3.9 YPC (seventh-fewest) against the Titans and this front-seven hasn’t allowed a single RB to go for over 60 yards against them since Week 8 (Jonathan Taylor, 71 yards). We have Mixon projected for 51 yards rushing.
Bet – Over 75.5 yards (-115, PointsBet)
Why? – Impossible to not love this spot. Titans gave up the second-most receptions and yards to opposing WRs and now CB Janoris Jenkins is banged up. Chase has gone over this total in three of his last 4 games and we have him projected for 95 yards.
Bet – Over 78.5 rushing yards (-115, BetMGM)
Why? – All signs point to the King being close to full-go. The Titans will monitor him in-game and if he’s responding well, you know what the upside is. I thought Henry’s props would open in the 84.5 to 85.5 range. Tennessee has even more incentive to run this week after watching Josh Jacobs carve out multiple chunk gains against the Bengals last week en route to posting a season-high 6.4 YPC. Cincinnati’s struggles on the ground aren’t just a one game anomaly, either. Chiefs backs hit them for 17/125/2 (7.4 YPC) back in Week 17.
Bet – Over 38.5 yards (-110, FanDuel)
Why? – Averaging 5.6 targets, 4.2 receptions, and 58 yards per game over his last five games since overcoming a midseason shoulder injury. MVS (back) doubtful. The 49ers have allowed a whopping 14 different WRs to go for at least 50 yards against them over their last 8 games. We have Lazard projected for 46 yards.
Bet – Anytime TD (+230, BetMGM)
Why? – Lazard tied for the team lead in end-zone targets (11) with Davante Adams despite missing two games and barely being involved early in the year. Has 5 TDs in his last 5 games. MVS out. Lazard’s anytime TD juice is in the +160 to +180 range on most books – so I love this value.
Bet – Over 2.5 Pass TDs (+172, SuperBook)
Why? – Has at least 2 TD in 14-of-16 games and has thrown at least 3 TD four times in his last 7 games. Ridiculous 8.5% TD rate over his last seven games. Betting heavy on the Packers here and the way they win is if Rodgers keeps crushing.
Bet – Over 46.5 yards (-117, BetRivers)
Why? – Know it’s been a rough stretch for Kittle, but this is way too low of a total. Packers have been low-key bad against TEs all year, especially in some key efficiency areas as they’ve allowed the fourth-highest catch rate (73%) and the fifth-most EPA per target (0.30) to the position. Elite TEs like Hockenson (8/66/1), Kelce (5/68/1), Andrews (10/136/2) and even Kittle (7/92) back in Week 3 have gone off in this matchup. This is my favorite prop of the week. We have Kittle projected for 74 yards.
Bet – Over 9.5 receiving yards (-115, BetMGM)
Why? – This is a clear over bet. I think the 49ers trail throughout this game and have to throw to catch up. Juszczyk averages 27.6 receiving yards per game in 49ers losses this season and has 10 or more yards in 6-of-7 defeats.
Bet – Over 3.5 receptions (-124, BetRivers)
Why? – Has four or more receptions in 5 of the 7 full games where he’s played over 70% of the snaps with the Rams. Tampa Bay allowed the fourth-most receptions per game to WRs.
Bet – Over 277.5 passing yards (-114, FanDuel)
Why? – Over this total in 12-of-18 games this season (66.7%). The Bucs run defense looked amazing last week with Barrett, David, and JPP all back -– so I think we’ll see a pass-heavy plan from Stafford and the Rams. Bucs’ opponents are throwing 69.3% of the time against them in one-score games (league-high). I also bet Stafford for most passing yards of the Divisional Round at +550 at BetMGM and +500 on DraftKings.
Bet – Over 0.5 Rush TD (+184, SuperBook)
Why? – Way too much juice considering Fournette has the best layup TD potential of any RB on Sunday. Again, these are arbitrage wagers on the juice SuperBook gives because Fournette’s anytime TD at DK is -110.
Bet – Under 30.5 yards (-120, PointsBet)
Why? – Was on Beasley unders last week and am hammering this one. His role was cut even further last week as he slipped to fifth in the Bills WR rotation behind Davis, Sanders, and McKenzie. Coming off a season-low 30% snap rate after running just 9 routes vs. Patriots.
Bet – Over 30.5 receiving yards (-115, PointsBet)
Why? – Has 35 or more yards in four-straight. Dominates Cover-4 according to Wes Huber, which is the coverage the Bills predominantly ran against the Chiefs earlier this year. We have Pringle projected for 43 yards.
Bet – Over 0.5 receiving TD (+210, SuperBook)
Why? – Catching arbitrage again. Knox’s anytime TD juice in most books is down in the +150 range. Second on the team in end zone targets since Week 10.
ROI THIS SEASON
– Game Picks ROI +25.5% (Overall: 52.8% win rate)
– Player Props ROI +9.5% (Overall: 56.4% win rate)
– Total ROI +10.5%