NFL Player Props To Bet: This Odell Beckham Over Is Expert’s Top Pick For 49ers-Rams In NFC Championship
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Rams WR Odell Beckham Jr.
NFL Props To Bet
|Odell Beckham Over 52.5 Rec Yards||54.5|
|Tyler Boyd Over 39.5 Rec Yards||43.5|
|Tee Higgins Under 5.5 Rec||-130|
Sean Koerner — our Director of Predictive Analytics — reveals his favorite NFL props for Bengals-Chiefs and 49ers-Rams on Championship Sunday of the 2022 NFL playoffs.
Note that his picks are based on his projections, which can be found in our Action Labs Props Tool. He also has a 538-425-9 (55%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action app, where you can follow all of his picks.
Odell Beckham Over 52.5 Rec Yards
6:40 p.m. ET kickoff | More on 49ers-Rams
Beckham’s production has been sporadic in his first 10 games as a Ram, however, he’s only going to get better as he learns the playbook and gains chemistry with Matthew Stafford. That’s why it should be no surprise that he’s cleared this number in both playoff games.
There are a few more reasons I’m bullish on OBJ this week.
First, the 49ers are a pass funnel defense — they rank 16th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA vs. the pass compared to second vs. the run — I expect the Rams to lean on their passing attack. Second, the 49ers are unlikely to blitz much against the Rams considering Stafford has torched opposing defenses when they blitz this season, ranking first in Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (ANY/A), QB Rating and Expected Points Added (EPA) among 40 qualified.
When teams rush four or fewer, it has led to Beckham’s target share seeing a small boost (data from Week 12 on):
|Darrell Henderson Jr||2.6%||0.0%||2.6%|
|Data from Week 12 through Divisional Round|
Finally, Van Jefferson is questionable with a knee injury. If he’s limited or even ruled out, it would only raise Beckham’s chances of clearing this number. That’s why it’s critical to lock this number in ASAP in case Jefferson is ruled out.
Tyler Higbee also has a tough matchup against a 49ers defense that has been stingy against opposing TEs (fifth in DVOA). Cooper Kupp is essentially maxed out in target share, so if Jefferson and/or Higbee see a dip in target share this week, it will benefit Beckham even more.
I’m projecting OBJ for closer to 59.5 yards (find more of Koerner’s projections here).
Bet to: 54.5
Tyler Boyd Over 39.5 Rec Yards
3 p.m. ET kickoff | More on Bengals-Chiefs
I already locked in Tee Higgins under 5.5 receptions and the price has dropped beyond my threshold at many books, but I’m adding another receiving prop that correlates nicely with the Higgins under.
As I mentioned in my Higgins writeup below, his target share drops quite a bit when Joe Burrow is facing pressure. Coming off a game in which he was sacked nine times and is now facing a Chiefs defense that ranks fifth in QB pressure rate, it’s fair to assume Burrow will be under duress for much of the game.
Tyler Boyd stands to be the player who will benefit when Burrow is facing pressure. His target share jumps up to 18.6% when Burrow is facing pressure, which ranks second on the team.
Getting a bit deeper into the weeds, Boyd has sneaky upside in this matchup based on a specific play the Bengals called for two of Ja’Marr Chase’s touchdowns in their Week 17 meeting with the Chiefs.
This was Chase’s first touchdown catch in the first quarter. The Chiefs over-committed to Boyd on a go route, while allowing Chase to be wide open on a deep out. Chase was able to bounce out right for the 72-yard catch and run.
The Bengals ran the same play in the third quarter, only with Chase running the go route and Boyd running the deep out. Once again, the Chiefs overcommitted to Boyd’s route and left Chase open for a 69-yard TD grab.
I would imagine both teams are preparing for the Bengals to run this very same play in the rematch. The Chiefs would be foolish if they let Chase beat them for a third time on this very play, so I would imagine Boyd could be the one left open next time.
My projection for Boyd is closer to 49.5 yards – here are his chances of going over or under various numbers:
Bet to: 43.5
Tee Higgins Under 5.5 Rec
3 p.m. ET kickoff | More on Bengals-Chiefs
Higgins is one of the best up-and-coming wide receivers in the NFL and can go off in any matchup. However, there’s some sneaky value in betting the under on his receptions prop this week.
Since Week 13, Joe Burrow has been torching opposing defenses to the tune of a median 348 passing yards over the seven-game stretch. However, Higgins has hauled in six or more catches in only three of those games. With Burrow’s passing yard prop around 286.5 as of writing, Higgins will need to see a fairly significant rise in target share to clear 5.5 receptions.
Higgins’ target share also seems more likely to take a hit against the Chiefs.
Burrow was sacked nine times and was under constant pressure from the Titans last week. It seems unlikely the Bengals’ leaky offensive line will rebound against a Chiefs defense that ranks fifth in QB pressure rate. As a result, Burrow could be forced to throw underneath more, as evidenced by his 4.5 aDot last week — the lowest of the eight QBs in the Divisional Round. That wouldn’t bode well for Higgins, who has posted the highest aDot for the Bengals in three straight games.
When Burrow has faced pressure, it has resulted in Higgins seeing a 5.6% drop in target share (the highest drop on the team). Therefore, in a matchup that Burrow will likely face a ton of pressure in, it will only lower Higgins’ expected target share. Players like Tyler Boyd, C.J. Uzomah, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine are more likely to benefit from the added pressure rate.
After factoring everything in, I’m projecting Higgins for 4.9 receptions and a median of 62.5 receiving yards. Considering he profiles as a downfield threat, I am much more comfortable attacking his reception prop than I am his yardage prop (due to the potential for a couple of downfield targets, capable of a massive gain, but lower odds of completion).
I’m projecting Higgins to be held under 5.5 receptions about 60% of the time.
Bet to: -130
What Are NFL Player Prop Bets?
Bets on a player’s statistics or various outcomes can be considered a player prop. Betting on the over or under on a quarterback’s passing yards, over or under on a wide receiver’s number of receptions, and whether a running back will score a touchdown are all considered player props.
To learn more about the various types of props you can bet on, check out our Betting 101 series.
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