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Expert NFL Picks: Cardinals vs Broncos, Bengals vs Bucs Among Best Sunday Bets

Expert NFL Picks: Cardinals vs Broncos, Bengals vs Bucs Among Best Sunday Bets article feature image
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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: A.J. Green.

Our expert Chris Raybon breaks down his top NFL picks for Sunday’s late-afternoon games, featuring three player props.

You can find all of Raybon’s expert NFL picks in the Action App, where he has an all-time profitable win rate of 57%.


Expert NFL Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead
A.J. Green Receiving Yards
4:05 p.m. ET
Brett Rypien Rushing Yards
4:05 p.m. ET
Mitchell Wilcox Receptions
4:25 p.m. ET

Pick
A.J. Green Under 17.5 Receiving Yards (-117)
Best Book
Time
4:05 p.m. ET

Chris Raybon: Green has gone over this number just twice in 11 games despite playing at least two-thirds of pass snaps in seven of them.

Now 34, Green struggles in pretty much every aspect of the game, averaging career lows in average depth of target (11.2), yards per reception (6.7) and yards after the catch per reception (0.8).

Green’s playing time has been up-and-down as well, and he could see a reduction in snaps after Robbie Anderson broke out for four catches and 50 yards against the Patriots last week. This is also Greg Dortch’s second game back, and it’s possible he sees an uptick in playing time after running only three routes last week.

Green’s median receiving yards in a game is comically low at seven yards, which is essentially his yards per catch average. Applying some regression, I’m giving him 10.0 yards per catch, but I would not bet on him getting more than one catch against Denver, so I would bet this all the way down to 10.5.


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Pick
Brett Rypien Under 10.5 Rushing Yards (-135)
Best Book
Time
4:05 p.m. ET

Chris Raybon: Rypien has nine career rush attempts and has totaled just four yards; he has scrambled only once on 99 dropbacks.

Even when factoring in preseason numbers to increase the sample size, he’s rushed 15 times for 17 yards across stints in 2019, ’21 and ’22.

I project him for five rushing yards against Arizona.


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Pick
Mitchell Wilcox Under 2.5 Receptions (-170)
Best Book
Time
4:25 p.m. ET

Chris Raybon: Here are Wilcox’s stat lines in his first two games filling in for starting tight end Hayden Hurst:

  • Week 13 vs KC: 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards, 0 TD
  • Week 14 vs. CLE: 2 targets, 1 reception, 10 yards, 0 TD

The quiet line last week is notable because Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd played a combined three snaps due to injury, and both will be back in action against the Bucs. Wilcox has been targeted on just 6.9% of his routes this season, and that number could conceivably go down alongside a healthy trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Higgins and Boyd.

With Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine playing well and Hurst out, the Bengals have been using Wilcox more as a pass blocker than they did with Hurst – Wilcox is averaging a 66% route participation rate in his starts compared to 83% for Hurst (when healthy).

I don’t expect much to change against a Bucs defense that’s allowed 6.0 schedule-adjusted targets per game to tight ends (ninth fewest).

Even after applying some regression to the mean for Wilcox’s target rate in my model, I still project him to catch two or fewer passes 70% of the time.


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