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NFL divisional weekend: Best prop bets, picks and tips


Need some last-minute advice while putting together your parlays for the weekend?

Our ESPN Fantasy Football experts have got you covered. They have studied and analyzed all of the players across the league from a fantasy perspective all season and are ready to offer insight on which player props are the most profitable for games on Saturday and Sunday.


Quarterback props

Which QBs do you think will go over or under their passing total this week?

Matt Bowen: Trevor Lawrence over 249.5 yards passing. In the nine games this season when attempting 35 or more passes, including the Week 10 matchup versus the Chiefs, Lawrence has topped 250 yards in the air. And we should expect the throwing volume for Lawrence to climb in this one to keep pace with Kansas City. Remember, the Chiefs are very defined from a coverage perspective. Late rotation to Cover 2 here, plus variations of man-coverage and man-pressure. Expect Doug Pederson to have pass game answers, which will set up Lawrence to target one-on-one matchups or throw to schemed voids.

Eric Karabell: When in doubt, go with Josh Allen (o265.5). Yes, the turnovers are a problem, but he threw for 352 passing yards against the Dolphins anyway. The Bengals permitted the 10th-most passing yards this season, and this game should be a shootout. The Bengals have offensive line injury issues, but we should trust Joe Burrow to keep the game close, if not win it. Allen will be throwing and accumulating the passing yards, scoring plenty of points.

Mike Clay: Jalen Hurts under 246.5 pass yards. Hurts has cleared 246 pass yards in five of his 15 games (33%) this season. Two of the games in which he failed to reach 247 were against these same Giants, as he threw for 217 yards in Week 14 and 229 yards against New York’s backups in Week 18. New York is midpack in yardage allowed to opposing passing games and surrendered at least 247 pass yards in only eight of 18 games this season (44%). The Eagles are 7.5-point favorites, so a pass heavy game script is unlikely and makes the under an even stronger play.

Field Yates: Dak Prescott over 250.5 passing yards. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. For one reason or another, teams continued to try and test the 49ers’ run defense and were turned away consistently. The Cowboys are certainly a team that loves to run the ball, but Sunday is a day to consider avoiding insanity. Along those lines I think Dak Prescott — coming off one of the best games he’s ever played — surpasses 250.5 passing yards against a defense that if it has a weakness, is cornerback depth.

Eric Moody: I agree with Mr. Karabell and like Josh Allen to surpass 266.5 passing yards. The Bengals and Bills are expected to have a high scoring matchup. This season, Allen has attempted 35 or more passes in eight games. In six of them, he has exceeded 266.5 passing yards. Daniel Jones could fall short of his passing yard total. In his playoff debut, he threw for 301 passing yards against the Vikings. It’s now Jones’ turn to face the Eagles’ outstanding pass defense. Only one quarterback has thrown for more than 221.5 yards in Philadelphia’s past 11 games. Against the Eagles, the Giants may rely more on their running game.

play

0:42

Why Joe Fortenbaugh is betting the Eagles giving the points

Joe Fortenbaugh explains why he is taking the Eagles over the Giants.

Running back props

Which player do you think will go over or under their rushing total this week?

Bowen: Patrick Mahomes over 23.5 yards rushing. In the Week 10 head-to-head matchup, Jacksonville played split-safety coverage on 55% of Mahomes’ dropbacks. Get to depth here — and work to limit vertical throws — with seven defenders dropping into coverage. But that also leaves a lot of open grass for Mahomes when he uses his high-end second reaction ability to escape the pocket. Mahomes rushed for 39 yards seven carries. And I would expect a similar coverage script from Jacksonville on Saturday, which will create opportunities for Mahomes on scramble attempts.

Karabell: Isiah Pacheco over 55.5 yards. Pacheco topped 56 rushing yards in eight of the final nine regular season games, forming an excellent tandem with Jerick McKinnon, who catches passes out of the backfield. The surprising Pacheco also ran for 82 yards on 16 carries against these Jaguars in Week 10, when the rookie started establishing himself as reliable. The Chiefs know. They figure to jump to an early lead and give Pacheco ample opportunity to grind out rushing yards and hold that lead in the second half.

Clay: Jerick McKinnon under 19.5 rush yards. McKinnon has reached 20 rush yards in just seven of 17 games (41%) this season. Three of those games were during the first five weeks of the season and the other four required six-plus carries during Weeks 11-15 — all weeks in which Clyde Edwards-Helaire was out or left early. McKinnon has a grand total of nine carries in his past three games and failed to clear 7 yards in those outings. He’ll continue to defer most rushing work to Isiah Pacheco, and old friend Edwards-Helaire is also expected back in the rotation this week. Jacksonville is allowing 3.9 yards per carry to RBs this season, which is sixth lowest in the league. McKinnon’s projection checks in at 14.7.

Clay: Joe Mixon under 47.5 rush yards. Mixon has reached 48 yards in eight of 15 games (53%) this season, but has done so in only one of his past four outings. The primary culprit has been a reduced role since his return from injury in Week 14.

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0:30

How Doug Kezirian is betting the Jaguars-Chiefs game

Doug Kezirian breaks down why he would tease the Chiefs’ spread down to under three points.

Wide Receiver/Tight End Props

Which WR/TE do you think will go over or under their receiving total this week?

Bowen: Kyle Juszczyk over 5.5 yards receiving. Let’s look at something different here. Juszczyk has topped 6 yards receiving in nine of his past 12 games, and we have to focus on how he can be utilized in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. When the 49ers have 21 personnel in the game (2RB, 1TE, 2WR), Juszczyk has the formation flex to align in multiple spots. Grab a screen here, or a throw to the flat, and this over will hit. I like it.

Karabell: DeVonta Smith (o63.5) reached 64 receiving yards in each of the final six regular season games, topping 100 yards in four of those games. He may not be recognized as Philadelphia’s No. 1 wide receiver next to A.J. Brown, but his 95 catches led the team and set the franchise mark for a wide receiver. Some may avoid relying on the Eagles passing game because Jalen Hurts and Lane Johnson aren’t 100 percent healthy, but they should be ready to go. The Giants can’t stop both Brown and Smith.

Moody: DeVonta Smith is well positioned to surpassed 63.5 receiving, but bettors could also consider the sophomore receiver to finish with the most receiving yards this week at +1000. In four of his past six games, Smith recorded 100 or more receiving yards. This season, he had at least eight targets and surpassed 63.5 yards receiving in both games against the Giants. Defensively, New York might decide to take A.J. Brown away, which would be beneficial for Smith. Smith is the type of player who could exceed expectations against a Giants defense that is susceptible to the passing game.

Christian Kirk is another player who is in a great spot to surpass 63.5 receiving yards. Among Jacksonville receivers, he leads the team in receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns. This matchup between the Jaguars and Chiefs is expected to be high scoring. This also bodes well for Travis Kelce to go over 79.5 receiving yards. The Jaguars have had trouble defending tight ends all season. Kelce has averaged 78.7 receiving yards per game this season.


Is there any other prop on the board you are looking at playing?

Bowen: Stefon Diggs over 6.5 receptions. This is a matchup play for me with Diggs on the perimeter versus Bengals cornerbacks Eli Apple and rookie Cam Taylor-Britt. Given the amount of single-high coverage the Bengals play (Cover 1, Cover 3), the Bills can isolate Diggs on second and third-level throws.

Next up, I like Deebo Samuel over 16.5 yards rushing. Samuel has logged 20 or more yards rushing in two of his past three games, and we know how he will be deployed as a runner from backfield alignments or on manufactured touches (fly sweeps). And Deebo has an extra gear when he gets to the edge.

Lastly, Tyler Boyd over 3.5 receptions. Think of Boyd here as an underneath target who can make himself available to Joe Burrow versus zone coverage. Find the creases or work away from the leverage of the second-level defenders. This total on Boyd has gone over in two of his past four games, and Burrow will have to throw some unders when Buffalo plays 2-deep coverage.

Moody: Saquon Barkley over 15.5 rushing attempts is a prop I’m drawn to like a moth to the flame. This season, Barkley has averaged 18.4 rushing attempts per game, including last week’s wild-card game against the Vikings. I’d be surprised if Giants coach Brian Daboll does not prioritize running against the Eagles, whose strong suit is their pass defense. Josh Jacobs and Derrick Henry were the only players to average more rushing attempts per game than Barkley during the regular season.

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