Koerner’s Ultimate NFL Wild-Card Props Breakdown: What to Expect from Jordan Matthews, More
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jordan Matthews
- Sean Koerner runs through his seven favorite player prop bets for the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.
- Some of the players he touches on below includes Keenan Allen, Philip Rivers and more.
The playoffs are here, and while we’re still providing our Action Network positional rankings and plenty of DFS content and projections over at FantasyLabs, I’ll be digging into more props analysis, too.
If you’re intimidated by betting props, don’t be. We’ve got a great prop tool over at FantasyLabs that leverages our industry-leading projections. The props with a Bet Quality of 10 have hit at a 66% clip this season.
I’ll use those same projections to highlight where there’s betting value on various props posted ahead of wild-card weekend.
Let’s cover each of the four games below, picking out the my favorite player props of the bunch.
All odds as of Saturday morning.
Player Props: Chargers vs. Ravens
Phillip Rivers Under 256.5 passing yards (-118)
Let’s just put the brutal matchup aside for one second and highlight the fact that Rivers has only gone over this total in seven games this season and under nine times.
His 269-yard per-game average is largely due to a couple massive games where he threw for 400+ yards.
Given the way the Ravens run the ball at-will and play shutdown defense, this number (via FanDuel) poses a bit of value.
Rivers only threw for 181 yards against them in their Week 16 meeting. I would bet the under here down to around 248.5 yards.
Keenan Allen Under 83.5 receiving yards (-118)
This prop (via FanDuel) makes for a great correlation play with Rivers’ under and offers a bit more value.
Allen may have the least imposing matchup of all the Chargers WRs this week, but this number presents a good 6-8 yards of value assuming he is 100% recovered from his hip injury suffered back in Week 15.
And then when you add in the slight chance Allen has any sort of in-game setback or is less effective due to the injury, the under gets even more appealing at this number.
Player Props: Eagles vs. Bears
Jordan Matthews Under 18.5 receiving yards (-118)
Not much to say here other than this is an incredibly soft number over at FanDuel.
Matthews has only gone over this total once out of the eight games since the Eagles acquired Golden Tate. When Mike Wallace was tentatively expected to return this week, I was ready to blank out Jordan Matthews completely from my projections.
Now that Mike Wallace has been ruled out, I have Matthews with his usual projection: 0.7 receptions for eight yards.
It’s almost a good thing that Wallace was ruled out for this prop since any rules of “must play for action” should make this a valid bet.
Player Props: Colts vs. Texans
Deshaun Watson Under 42.5 rushing yards (+100)
The Colts play a zone defense that can help contain a scrambling QB like Watson. They also seem unlikely to attack the Texans’ main weakness, which is their pass blocking.
Watson should have more time to throw than he is used to, and with a clean(er) pocket, he won’t need to pull it down and run as much.
I have this line being much closer to 36.5, with a better than 55% chance of hitting. The fact that you can get even odds on this line over at Sportsbook.ag is a steal right now.
I don’t think it’ll be this good of a price much longer.
Eric Ebron Under 4.5 receptions (-114)
Ebron has stepped up big for the Colts this season, especially after Jack Doyle missed 10 games this season and was eventually placed on the IR. He has the second-most TD receptions on the season with 13, but his body is starting to break down.
There was one week where he had four body parts listed on the injury report — four!
The Colts have figured out the solution is to limit his snaps and save him for the red zone.
As a result, Ebron has only put up five-plus catches twice since Week 5. I see value on this prop at BetOnline until the juice on the under gets to around -140.
Player Props: Seahawks vs. Cowboys
Blake Jarwin Over 28.5 receiving yards (-115)
This prop on 5dimes is a bit of a head scratcher. I offered this up on our Wild Card Fantasy Flex Podcast this week and set the number at 36.5.
All three experts picked the over, and Peter Jennings and I figured his prop would be around 40-42 at most books, considering Jarwin is coming off a massive 7/119/3 game.
Granted, some of it could be due to Ezekiel Elliott getting the week off to rest up for the playoffs, but if you look closely, Jarwin has been breaking out since Week 14. He has now seen seven-plus targets in three of his past four games and offers quite a bit of value at this number.
I’d bet it up to 34.5 before it loses all value with a -112 line.
Dak Prescott Under 1.5 passing TDs (-110 Bovada)
Passing TD props are a nice way to find some value moneyline odds offered. This one poses a 15-20 cents of value at the current price.
It’s important to realize that passing TDs do not follow a normal distribution.
After factoring in how many TDs the Cowboys are projected for (right around 2.5), we have to remove projected special teams/defensive TDs, as well as any rushing TDs.
Not only does Dak have Ezekiel Elliott to compete with for TDs, he vultures his own passing TDs with his ability to run it in himself. This was Prescott’s third straight season of six rushing TDs.
Below are the projected odds of what Dak’s exact passing TD tally will be this week.
As you can see, I’d set the under closer to -125. You probably won’t be able to buy a home in the Hamptons with this bet, but just remember that as long as we are taking +EV bets whenever we can, it all adds up.