Freedman’s Favorite Prop Bet (Jan. 12): Will Colts, Chiefs Combine for 5 Sacks?
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Justin Houston
- Matthew Freedman is kicking off 2019 with a new series featuring his favorite prop bet of each day.
- On Saturday, he looks at the Colts-Chiefs playoff game and the combined sack total prop for both teams.
I had a great 2018 betting on props, thanks primarily to our FantasyLabs Tools, so for 2019 I am publishing a quick-n’-dirty daily piece in which I highlight one of my favorite props for the day.
A quick note on props: When a line is terribly wrong, I usually don’t even get the chance to write about it, because the line will have corrected by the time most people read the piece.
So the props I’ve written about this year haven’t truly been my favorites or the ones in which I’ve most heavily invested. Rather, they’ve been ones that offer an edge but not one that’s obvious or large enough to be immediately exploited by the market.
That distinction might not matter to readers, but I want to be transparent. For more information on my research process and the resources I use, see the master list of my 2019 prop bets.
2019 Year-to-Date Record
5-6-1, -0.65 Units
- Golf: 1-1-0, +0.25 Units
- NFL: 1-2-0, -0.85 Units
- NBA: 0-2-0, -2.0 Units
- NHL: 3-0-1, +1.7 Units
- NCAAF: 0-1-0. -1.0 Units
Freedman’s Favorite Prop Bet for Saturday, Jan. 12: Chiefs-Colts Over/Under 4.5 Sacks
The Pick: Over 4.5 (+120), Under 4.5 (+105)
Take the free money where you can get it. That’s my official pick. It’s the smart play.
But if I were opposed to risk-free money, I’d be entirely fine taking as big of a position as I can get on the under.
It’s true that the Chiefs are tied for first in the league with 52 sacks, but they are “just” seventh with an 8.0% adjusted sack rate, and the Colts are a mere 29th with their 5.3% rate.
Meanwhile, both teams have fantastic offensive lines that have kept quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Patrick Mahomes clean this season. The Colts have allowed the second-lowest adjusted sack rate in the league at 4.0%, and the Chiefs are quickly behind them with a top-six rate at 5.4%.
With just 18 and 26 sacks forfeited on the season, the Colts and Chiefs have combined to allow a mere 2.75 sacks per game.
In our FantasyLabs NFL Models, we’re projecting the two teams to combine for 4.3 sacks, which makes the under attractive at plus odds. But that number feels high to me: With the snowy and windy conditions in Kansas City, I expect both teams to rely on the running game more than usual, which will limit the number of sack opportunities for both defenses.
Just to be clear: I’m taking the free money, but if you’re looking to take a side, I very much like the under.
As long as both sides of the arbitrage opportunity offer odds greater than +100, this two-pronged bet is viable.
For the under on its own, I’d bet it at 4.5 all the way down to -150. At +105, I’d bet it down to 4.0.