Best Patriots-Chiefs Player Props: Should You Trust James White as a Rusher in AFC Championship?
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New England Patriots running back James White (28).
- There are two player props offering betting value in Sunday's AFC Championship game.
- This piece will focus on Patriots RB James White and Patriots WR Julian Edelman.
Sunday’s AFC Championship game features a rematch of 43-40 white knuckler, and considering the fireworks in that game, it’s no surprise that many of the best Patriots Chiefs prop bets in the Fantasy Labs Player Props Tool are leaning under.
It’s a game loaded with current and future legends who the public likes to bet on, so lines are going to be a little inflated.
That makes things tricky. Take James White, who’s receiving yards prop is set at 54.5 this week. Despite his monster receiving load (17 targets) last week, betting the over on these kinds of numbers rarely works out well:
There have been 17 instances where a running back has been given a receiving line of at least 54.5 yards this season. The under has gone 12-5 in those bets, including the under on James White’s 57.5 line in their first game.
And yet, you can’t really bet the under on White, either, because it he could also hit the over on the first drive… again.
Instead, we start with a more beatable line — White’s rushing yards.
Patriots RB James White
Under 18.5 Rushing Yards (-125 @ Sportsbook.ag)
White’s role was even more polarized than usual against the Chargers in the divisional round, as he tallied 17 targets and zero rushing attempts.
That usage made sense against a team giving up the fourth-most running back receptions, and I don’t expect much deviation now that the Patriots facing a Chiefs defense allowing the 10th-most receptions to the position.
Putting up another egg in the carry category is unlikely, but five rushes is probably his absolute ceiling:
- White is averaging four carries per game over his past eight games
- In 13 games with Sony Michel in the lineup, White puts up 5.3 attempts per game
- In games without Michel, he sees a rushing volume spike (8.3/game)
If the Patriots do opt for a run-heavy attack to keep Patrick Mahomes and company on the sideline, it’ll be Michel, whose averaging 18 carries per game over his last seven, doing the majority of the work.
At least, that was the plan of attack when the Patriots scored 40 against the Chiefs earlier this season — 24 carries for Michel and six for White.
With a projection of 15.2 yards, this is one of the best bets on the Player Props Tool. That said, it’s a low number already, and I wouldn’t want to play it any lower than 18.5.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman
Over 6.5 Receptions (-114 @ Betonline)
The Edelman over six receptions prop was one of our favorite plays last week, and it cashed in the first half. This line is a bit weird, which is why we must attack it again this week.
Edelman’s yardage prop was set at 70.5 last week, yet despite seeing a 14% jump to 80.5 yards this week, his receptions line remains exactly the same (it was set set at 6.5 at most books). If volume is everything, something doesn’t quite add up here.
The matchup is better this week, too. He’s not facing a slow-paced Chargers team; instead, it’s the third-highest scoring offense of all time. Another week with 13 targets would be a stretch, but not out of the question. With the Chiefs bringing a strong pass rush, peppering Edelman with a ton of quick slant routes would make a ton of sense.
His usage is trending next-level, and the Chiefs make for a fine matchup:
- Edelman is averaging 8.1 receptions over his last 11 playoffs games
- He’s put up 7.2/game over his five most-recent outings
- The Chiefs give up the fifth-most receptions to wide receivers
Like last week, we’re once again over-leveraged on Edelman this week, but the value is hard to ignore. I would not play this receptions line any higher, but I would pay the vig up to -122 at this number.