NFL Playoff Picks: Predictions for Offensive Props
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 1/7/2011
After the 17-week NFL regular season, 20 teams have been sent home and 12 move forward to the NFL playoffs. The playoffs begin with the Wild Card round this Saturday at 4:15 p.m. EST when the New Orleans Saints visit the Seattle Seahawks. Eight teams will be action this weekend: four division winners and four teams who earned Wild Card berths. Sportsbook.com has released a number of props that involve all eight teams competing on Saturday and Sunday. Here are some NFL Playoff picks for these props.
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Most Passing Yards Wild Card Weekend
The three favorites for this prop are Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, who are all listed at +300. Michael Vick is not far behind at +400. A potential dark horse is Matt Hasselbeck at +700. As 10.5-point underdogs you would figure Seattle would be airing the ball out plenty although the Saints do have the fourth-best pass defense. The long shot here is Mark Sanchez at +1200.
This prop bet will come down to either Brees or Manning. Brees has thrown for more than 300 yards seven times this season and had a season-high 382 yards against Seattle earlier this season. He will be involved in a blowout in all likelihood, but without his two leading rushers, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas, Brees will be forced to drop back more than usual. Brees also has the easiest secondary to go against this weekend as they face Seattle and their 27th ranked pass defense. Manning is another viable option thanks to his dominance against Rex Ryan defenses. He passed for 377 yards last season in the playoffs against the Jets, but New York does have the sixth-best pass defense in the league and third-best overall. The best play here is Brees.
Highest Scoring Team Wildcard Weekend
The same thinking that goes into betting on Brees to pass for the most yards this weekend applies for this prop, too, and that is why the Saints are heavy favorites at +175 to be the highest scoring of the eight teams. Not only are the Saints the biggest favorite this weekend at -10.5, but they also face the worst defense (27th overall). But +175 is far from a decent price when eight other teams are involved.
It takes two to offenses to tango, and Seattle may not allow New Orleans score a ton of points if the game were to become a blowout and New Orleans were to take the foot of the gas pedal. The other favorites are Philadelphia (+225) and Indianapolis (+300). The highest total is in the game between Green Bay and Philadelphia, where it is set at 46. The first game between the two teams was a 27-20 Green Bay win, but Michael Vick only entered the game late after an injury to Kevin Kolb. Vick is a different player now. Both Green Bay and Philadelphia have Top 10 offenses and a shootout could be in store in Philadelphia. Considering that possibility and the fact that Green Bay won the regular-season meeting and Philadelphia’s recent struggles at home, the play here is Green Bay at +500.
Most Rushing Yards Wild Card Weekend
This is one prop where you will want to avoid the favorites. The favorites are Ray Rice (+250), LeSean McCoy (+300) and LaDainian Tomlinson (+400). Rice has only two 100-yard games this season and both were at home. This week he travels to Kansas City. McCoy has only three 100-yard games this season and most of his yards will come in the passing game against Philadelphia. Even though the Jets’ opponent, Indianapolis, has the worst rush-defense in the playoffs, Tomlinson has not topped 60 yards since Week 5. Reggie Bush is a long shot at +1200, even though he is now the primary back without Thomas and Ivory, but New Orleans does not run the ball enough. The smart play here is going with a Kansas City running back. They have a very good chance to win the game at home against Baltimore and they pass the ball less than any team in the postseason. The only problem is figuring out who take, Jamaal Charles (+500) or Thomas Jones (+700). The Chiefs are the only team with two running backs listed in this prop. Go with Charles here and it is easy to see why. He has led the Chiefs in rushing every week since Week 8 and topped 100 yards four times in that span, more than another other rusher in the postseason.
Most Receiving Yards Wild Card Weekend
There are plenty of options with this prop bet, but that also means better prices. The favorites are the usual suspects, Greg Jennings and Reggie Wayne both at +300, DeSean Jackson at +400, Marques Colston at +500 and Mike Williams and Anquan Boldin both at +600. Look beyond the favorites here once again and look at their teammates instead. Pierre Garcon (+1000) is a better option than Wayne because Wayne will draw all the attention. Last year in the playoffs Garcon torched the Jets secondary for 151 yards. Philadelphia’s Jeremy Maclin (+1000) is a better option than a banged-up Jackson and Lance Moore of New Orleans (+1000) has proven to be a better option than Colston over the past month.
Allen Eastman is known as one of the premier NFL handicappers in the nation and his clients have earned $4,000 in the last seven weeks. He has a hot card of NFL picks for the Wild Card round, and that includes a 6-Unit Game of the Month for the Baltimore/Kansas City game on Sunday.
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