NFL Free Prop Predictions - Wildcard Weekend Playoffs Edition
by Jay Horne - 1/8/2010
A week after the regular season concluded, the postseason will get started with NFL Wild Card Weekend this Saturday. One of the interesting facts about the opening round of the playoffs is that three of the four games will feature Week 17 rematches. With so many interesting games on the table, we look to narrow in on a couple of profitable NFL betting lines and cash in big. Our side selections finished 7-2 for the month of December despite taking two weeks off. With just a few weeks left until the Super Bowl, time is running out to take advantage of our free prop predictions. Take a look at a few of our expectations heading towards the weekend. All of these betting lines can be found at Bodog Sportsbook.
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Prop Bet No. 1 – Philadelphia Eagles total team points vs. Dallas Cowboys
Over 20 ½ (-135)
Under 20 ½ (+105)
The Philadelphia Eagles were shut out at home by the Cowboys last week, 24-0, and seek some redemption this week in Dallas. Many expect the Eagles to give a better performance this week, but I’m not so sure that will be the case. The Eagles offensive line was dominated by the Dallas defensive front all game last week. Donovan McNabb was sacked four times and stayed under pressure the entire game. Without time to throw the football the Eagles are doomed, considering their running game has been non-existent this season. WR DeSean Jackson is perhaps the biggest key to the Eagles success. Jackson’s speed would expectedly give the Cowboys vulnerable secondary tons of problems. However, the Cowboys did a good job of giving some help over the top last week, minimizing Jackson’s opportunities to get behind the defense. Of course, that opened up some passes for tight end Brent Celek, but the Cowboys defense stepped up every time the Eagles crossed the 50-yard line. The Eagles will move the football, but if Dallas plays well like they did last week it will be very tough for the Eagles to hit the ‘over’. Remember Dallas has pitched two straight shutouts and they are playing as well as they have in recent memory on the defensive side of the ball. Also, the Cowboys have held the Eagles to just 16 points combined in their last four trips to Dallas from the month of December or later.
Pick – Under 20 ½
Prop Bet No. 2 – Mark Sanchez total passing yards vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Over 162 ½ (-125)
Under 162 ½ (-105)
The New York Jets rallied to end the year winning five of their last six games to earn a playoff position. However, their success was not due to their offensive performance. The Jets defense has been outstanding, holding teams to just 7.8 points over the last six games. The offense’s main objectives have been to feed running back Thomas Jones the ball and prevent any turnovers. QB Mark Sanchez’ passing attempts dropped significantly during the latter part of the year. The reason for the decrease in passes may be because the defense is playing so well, but more than likely due to the fact that Sanchez had thrown seven interceptions in the Jets last two losses. The Jets understand they must protect the ball, control the clock, and rely on their defense to win games. Sanchez has only passed for more than 162 yards once in the last seven games. The Jets just do not rely on the pass and that will be the case again unless they get far behind early against Cincinnati. However, with Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco perhaps not up to full strength, there is a higher likelihood that neither offense will be firing on all cylinders. Expect a defensive battle here and Sanchez passing attempts to stay down.
Pick – Under 162 ½
Prop Bet No. 3 – Larry Fitzgerald total receptions vs. Green Bay Packers
Over 6 (-130)
Under 6 (Even)
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It was just this time last year when the Arizona offense exploded and WR Larry Fitzgerald became an unstoppable force in the passing game. Fitzgerald posted an NFL record 546 yards during the postseason last year and perhaps it’s time for “Mr. Playoffs” to shine again. One reason that is a likely scenario is because Arizona may be without their second big target in the passing game in WR Anquan Boldin. Boldin reached the 1,000 yards receiving mark this season, but suffered a high ankle sprain in last week’s loss to the Packers and his status for this weekend is listed as a game-time decision. Even if Boldin gets on the field, he is not expected to be anywhere near 100 percent. It’s no secret that Arizona does not have much of a running game, so the receiving corps will have to step up. Fitzgerald has been the go-to guy all season, leading the team with 1,092 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. If anyone is going to step up and give the Cardinals a boost it will be Fitzgerald, who has a knack for making his presence felt in the big games.
Pick – Over 6