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Isiah Pacheco Player Props: Receptions Prop Pick for Chiefs RB

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Action Network/Getty Images. Pictured: Isiah Pacheco.

Isiah Pacheco Player Props: Receptions Prop Pick for Chiefs RB

Sunday, Feb. 11
6:30 p.m. ET
CBS
Pick: Isiah Pacheco Over 2.5 Receptions

Running back Isiah Pacheco is set to take the field for his second Super Bowl appearance in the second season of his young career.

Known for his bruising style of running between the tackles, Pacheco generally isn’t considered to be a pass-catching back. However, this skill has been added to Pacheco’s arsenal toward the back half of this season.

This uptick in Pacheco’s receiving volume has coincided with the absence of Jerick McKinnon. Pass-catching is typically McKinnon’s primary role, but he has missed a chunk of this season with injury. He was designated to return from IR for this game, but according to Andy Reid on Tuesday, it seems unlikely we'll see McKinnon on the field on Sunday.

This means that there is a higher likelihood of Pacheco filling this role again. In seven games Pacheco has played without McKinnon, he's averaged 3.6 receptions per game with a median of four receptions, compared to just 2.5 with McKinnon in the lineup.


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San Francisco’s defensive front has been solid, but not nearly as disruptive as it has been in the past. The 49ers rank 12th in ESPN’s pass rush win rate metric, and 17th in pressure rate, according to Pro Football Reference.

On the flip side, the Chiefs rank seventh in PFF pass blocking grade and first in ESPN’s pass block win rate. This matchup looks like it may favor Kansas City up front, even without Joe Thuney at left guard.

You may be wondering why I'm bringing up pass rushing stats while handicapping a running back’s receiving props — trust me, I’m getting there.


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The reason this matters: Patrick Mahomes is more likely to check down when kept clean. Mahomes is a master at making his way through all of his reads before getting to the check down. If he’s in a situation where he has time in the pocket, he is able to go through all his progressions.

Pair this with the inability of Kansas City’s receivers to get open, and we could see Mahomes dump the ball off more. Among 24 quarterbacks who played 50% of dropbacks this season, Mahomes is seventh in average depth of target (ADot) when under pressure. When kept clean, Mahomes drops to last in the league in ADot.

Additionally, Pacheco may have plenty of opportunities to catch passes by design. Reid is known for his proficiency in designing the screen game. Not only are they effective, but Kansas City has been utilizing them heavily.

Mahomes has the most passes thrown behind the line of scrimmage and the most screen passes thrown this season.

Via Pro Football Focus

In the AFC Championship Game, Pacheco ran 27 routes, which was tied for the highest mark of his career, along with KC’s Week 17 matchup against the Bengals. Looking at Pacheco’s route participation data, it’s obvious that he has been more involved in the Chiefs’ passing game down the stretch.

San Francisco, with its heavy usage of zone on defense, causes teams to funnel a lot of targets to running backs. The 49ers tied for the fifth-most receptions allowed to running backs during the regular season with 90, which is an average of 5.29 per game.

Isiah Pacheco Player Props

Betting Picks & Predictions

I believe that this game lines up well for Pacheco to go over his modest receiving props. He should be on the field plenty and will be running routes while out there in place of McKinnon.

If Mahomes is kept clean on standard dropbacks and Kansas City uses its screen game as much as it typically does, Pacheco will have ample opportunities to catch passes.

Depending on the book you are using and your level of risk tolerance, you can find Pacheco over 2.5 receptions at -167 or over 3.5 receptions at +155. I think that he has a chance to go over either of these numbers and have a strong day catching the ball out of the backfield.

Pick: Isiah Pacheco Over 2.5 Receptions (-167; BetRivers)

Before wagering on Isiah Pacheco, unlock bonus bets using Action’s BetRivers promo code.

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