NFL Props For Cowboys vs. 49ers: Deebo Samuel, Elijah Mitchell Are Top Picks For Wild Card Sunday

NFL Props For Cowboys vs. 49ers: Deebo Samuel, Elijah Mitchell Are Top Picks For Wild Card Sunday article feature image

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell

One of the best in the business when it comes to player prop bets, our very own Sean Koerner’s projections in our Player Props Tool on Action Labs should be your top resource for everything prop-related for this year’s NFL playoffs.

There are a couple of props that stand out this week for this Super Wild Card Weekend matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.

Let’s jump right in.

What are player props? They're bets on a player's statistical outcome. Learn more here.

NFL Props: Cowboys-49ers

Deebo Samuel Under 64.5 Receiving Yards

Deebo Samuel has been one of the most electric players in the NFL this season. Not only has he amassed 77 receptions for 1,405 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns, he’s rushed for an additional 365 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s also one of the biggest reasons the 49ers earned themselves a playoff berth.

That said, his season has been one of boom-and-bust performances. He’s had six games with 95+ receiving yards this year (including four games with 150+ receiving yards), but he also has three games with less than 25 receiving yards. Those three games have also all come in the second half of the season during a period where the 49ers have focused on including him more in the running game. Since Week 10, he actually has almost twice as many rush attempts as he does receptions (45 vs. 24, respectively).

While Samuel is always a big play waiting to happen, the 49ers have made a concerted effort to get him the ball on the ground more often than through the air lately. Against a Cowboys defense that currently ranks 16th against the run and second against the pass, per Football Outsiders, it’s likely we see them utilize this same strategy on Sunday. It’s also worth noting that Samuel has finished below this total eight times this season, including five of his last seven games.

Koerner’s model projects him finishing with just 53 receiving yards, a gap of nearly 12 yards below the current player prop total.

Deebo Samuel Over 29.5 Rushing Yards

If you read the first breakdown, you may have seen this one coming. As noted above, the 49ers made Samuel an integral part of their rushing offense during the second half of the season.

Since Week 10, Samuel has averaged 43 rushing yards on an average of seven attempts per game. He’s also met or exceeded the current rushing prop of 29.5 rushing yards in seven of eight games.

It’s no secret that the 49ers are a rush-first team. In a game against a Dallas defense that ranks second against the pass and just 16th against the run, expect that to be the main strategy again this week. In a game with a close 3-point spread (find real-time NFL odds here), there should be no negative game script elements here that would reduce his involvement in the rushing game.

While Elijah Mitchell did return to the lineup two weeks ago, his presence had no effect on Samuel’s rushing involvement. In those two games, we saw an average of 7.5 rush attempts per game from Samuel.

At the current total of 29.5 yards, there’s solid value on the over here. I’m taking this at the current number and would be comfortable playing it up to 34.5 yards if the line were to shift prior to kickoff.

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Elijah Mitchell Over 79.5 Rushing Yards

In Week 17, Elijah Mitchell returned from a three-week absence following a knee injury and did not miss a beat. In the final two games of the season, Mitchell rushed for an average of 102 yards per game, including a 119-yard performance two weeks ago against the Houston Texans.

The offense will once against operate with a run-first approach this week against this Cowboys 16th-ranked run defense, with Mitchell undoubtedly as the main beneficiary. He’s fully healed from his ankle injury and has been seeing a full workload, rushing 21 times in each of the last two games. If the 49ers execute on the ground, Mitchell should almost certainly meet or exceed his average rush attempts from the last two weeks in this one.

On the season, Mitchell averaged 4.7 yards per attempt on the ground. He’s also averaging 4.9 yards per carry over his last two outings. Against a neutral or below-average opponent, his recent workload would yield an average of 103 yards per game. This Cowboys rush defense has done little to suggest that they are anything other than that.

As such, the current rushing prop of 79.5 is too low given the matchup and anticipated game script. It’s also worth noting that Mitchell has exceeded this total in seven of 11 contests this season. There’s no reason he shouldn’t surpass this mark again on Sunday.

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