Author's note: The following player prop lines and bets listed below are pulled from either BetOnline, DraftKings or FanDuel sports books. You can also view our NFL 2020 regular season record (week by week) at the bottom of this article. Please keep in mind, as has been the case all season, that these player props strongly correlate with my weekly fantasy football rankings, which you can find here, as I've ranked the top 20 players for Super Bowl LV. Questions? As always, hit me any time on Twitter @MaddJournalist.
I haven't published a weekly edition of this column since we wrapped up the divisional weekend, but if you combine our article/Twitter prop plays since the playoffs began we are 14-15 and closing back in on .500 after a slow start to the first two rounds. Since we have limited options in the playoffs - a reduced number of games/teams still playing (and just one game for Super Bowl weekend, of course) - we now have less of an edge with our prop options than we did during the regular season. But with a full two weeks of research, data and fully refined fantasy football projections at our hands for the big game, we can somewhat counteract this liquid market with more information at our fingertips than we've had all year.
So without further adieu, here is my final player props column of the 2020-21 NFL season! It has been a wild, fun ride (to say the least) since we started this back in Week 2, and I can tell you personally that I'm extremely grateful to everyone who has supported, commented, shared, re-Tweeted, etc. this year. We've had some crazy awesome win streaks and some killer bad beats, but most importantly, we built and grew a community of like-minded, passionate individuals who love football and love betting props. It has been my pleasure not just researching and writing for this column, but also interacting with you all, answering your questions on Twitter, and everything in between. And I'm already stoked to do it again with in 2021.
B.I.G. thanks to Mike D'Angelo (@DAngelo7M) for helping with research throughout the season and for Sleepy and the rest of the Betting Predators team for constantly challenging myself and each other to continue grinding and getting better week by week. Make sure to check out our official Betting Predators Super Bowl LV Content Hub, where you can find our Prop-A-Palooza Best Bets breakdowns from every member of the team, as well as our Super Bowl Best Bet Preview podcast and Sleepy and I's weekly Player Props/DFS podcast, in addition to tons of insightful, in depth sports betting content for Sunday.
- Chris' Regular Season 2020 Prop Column Record: 159-111
- Sleepy's Regular Season 2020 Prop Column Record: 8-7
Total Kansas City Chiefs - Under 90.5 rushing yards (FanDuel -160): The Bucs’ brick wall rush defense has put the brakes on nearly every opposing running back this season. In fact, with Vita Vea playing a full set of snaps (six total games), no team has topped 87 rushing yards and are averaging only 2.7 yards per carry in the process. Tampa Bay sports an elite -4.6 “Defense vs. Position” fantasy points allowed per game to opposing RBs, according to Establish The Run, and also earned Football Outsiders’ #1 regular season run-defense DVOA rating despite missing Vea for 3+ months with an ankle fracture. Vea looks to be near full health after playing on a limited snap count in the conference championship round, and frankly the only way we come close to losing this prop is if Mahomes, who has his own turf toe injury to deal with, breaks loose for a few long scrambles. Even against a “run-funnel” defense in the Bills in the AFC Conference Championship round, the Chiefs’ trio of CEH, Darrell Williams and Mahomes combined for just 64 yards on 24 rushing attempts, and the team total rushing was still just 114 yards after factoring in Mecole Hardman’s 50-yard run. Kansas City totaled 87 rushing yards the last time these two teams played in Week 12 despite having a positive game script for nearly the entire contest. Even without Vea for 3+ months in the lineup, the Bucs still allowed a league-best 3.4 yards per carry to RBs while allowing a league-worst 6.4 receptions per game to RBs. I’ll be looking to attack this Tampa Bay defense with Mahomes’ rushing prop over and possibly Fournette’s receptions/receiving yards props over, but anything else on the ground? I’ll either buy an under ticket or pass completely. CEH, Williams and Mahomes’ combined rushing props total around 80 yards here, and unless there’s another fluky wide receiver “rush” play we’re going to more than likely clear this 90.5 under no matter how the game script plays out.
Mike Evans - Under 63.5 receiving yards (DraftKings -134): Since Antonio Brown joined the Bucs in Week 9 we’ve seen opportunities for the Bucs “big three” receivers essentially split evenly with Evans holding a small lead in target share (20.3% > 19.9% > 18.0%) and air yards share (28.6% > 22.9% > 16.6%). So if AB has been with the team since Week 9, then why does his presence matter so much in this game? Well, for starters, Brown completed his first full practice in 20 days this past week and first since he left the divisional round game against the Saints with injury. The Chiefs, on the other hand, aren’t dominant persay, but they are very well above average when it comes to defending the deep pass (#3 in DVOA) and they allow -0.4 points below average to opposing WRs when it comes to Establish The Run’s DVP metric. While Kansas City is very good at defending the deep ball, they can be beat in the short to intermediate areas of the field, specifically with slot WRs and TEs. Tom Brady’s success rate in Week 12 against this same Chiefs secondary saw him have a 64% success rate while targeting WRs in the slot (9.8 YPA, 9.9 aDOT, +0.38 EPA, 14 attempts) and just a 29% success rate targeting WRs out wide (3.0 YPA, 14.4 aDOT, -0.44 EPA, 7 attempts) according to Sharp Football Analysis. Could Evans simply do what he does best and catch 2-3 touchdowns in this game and be a DFS darling? Absolutely he could, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does just that. But I expect the production volume to be suppressed here, just as it was in Week 12 when he caught only 3 of 9 targets for 50 yards, despite a negative game script for 3+ quarters and scoring two touchdowns. Evans now has posted 56 receiving yards or less in six of his last nine games, and with Godwin hogging most of the Bucs’ slot routes (73% slot route rate) and the tight ends/running backs handling the shorter targets, it will be again be a struggle for him to be effective in this matchup. The only three games where Evans topped the aforementioned 56 yard marker? Against the Lions and Falcons - two of the worst secondaries in the league - games in which the team was force-feeding him targets in order to break an NFL record. On the season he has gone below 57 receiving yards in 12 of 17 games and has double digit targets in just four of 19 games. If you’re playing him in DFS, you’re doing it for the TDs.
Chris Godwin - Over 73.5 receiving yards (FanDuel -110): We talked a lot about the Chiefs being strong against WRs lined out wide and strong against the deep ball, both reasons why we’re fading Mike Evans here. But Kansas City ranks just 22nd in DVOA in defending “short passes” this season, and in Week 12 we saw every single Godwin target but one come from the slot. Godwin, on those slot targets, managed an impressive 75% success rate with a 12.1 yards per attempt mark from Brady and +1.02 EPA, according to Sharp Football Analysis. Godwin on the year has run more than 70% of his routes from the slot and only 18% of his routes “out wide,” further cementing him as one of Brady’s most trusted safety valves over the short to intermediate areas of the field. In the second half of Week 12’s game against the Chiefs, with the Bucs trailing throughout, Brady threw just three passes deemed “out wide” compared to a whopping 11 targets to WRs in the slot, with extremely distinct levels of success between the two areas of the field: Targeting WRs in the slot, Brady had a 64% success rate, 11.4 YPA and +0.42 EPA. Target WRs lined out wide, Brady had a 33% success rate, 3.0 YPA and -0.26 EPA. This isn’t on Brady or Evans, either, it’s simply a product of what Steve Spagnuolo and the Chiefs have built on defense over the past two seasons behind stud secondary stars in Tyrann Mathieu, Bashaud Breeland and L’Jarius Sneed. Godwin has nearly twice the amount of slot targets than Evans (36% slot, 63% wide) on the year, and despite each player seeing nine targets in Week 12’s game vs. the Chiefs, it was Godwin (9-8-97) who took advantage of the slot matchup and Evans (9-3-50) who struggled on the outside. Let’s not overcomplicate this one here.
Ronald Jones - Under 4.5 receiving yards AND Under 0.5 receptions (BetOnline -114/FanDuel +124): A lot has been talked about these past two weeks about Ronald Jones’ potentially being an x-factor for this Tampa Bay offense. What isn’t said enough, however, is the fact that “RoJo” saw his snap count actually decrease in the NFC Conference Championship round compared to the prior week in the divisional round, despite having a much better matchup and game script against the Green Bay Packers. This all goes to say that Jones is a glorified backup at this point in the playoffs, one that has struggled mightily to hold onto a starting job for even two weeks at a time during his tenure with head coach Bruce Arians. RoJo has just one target since the start of December (!) and hasn’t caught a pass in three straight games during that span. Don’t get me wrong, the stronger play here is the under 4.5 receiving yard here, because we could easily see Jones catch a botched screen and lose yardage or have the play go for no gain. But I’m willing to bet he doesn’t register a single target either, let alone a single catch, with Leonard Fournette drawing 27 targets to 1 for Jones during this time. Jones’ snap count was a measly 29.1% in the Bucs last two playoff games since he returned from injury, which also each featured a game script where he hypothetically should’ve “smashed,” especially against the Packers. Based on what we’ve seen in fantasy/DFS, it’s apparent to me that Arians simply doesn’t trust RoJo in the passing game whatsoever, and he’s chomped at the bit for any chance to play other guys ahead of him, including the almighty Peyton Barber last season. I believe in RoJo’s talent as an explosive runner in this league and that he still has a future in the NFL, but in this game, with this coach, it’s a hard pass for me, both in the player props and DFS markets.
Mecole Hardman - Over 28.5 receiving yards (FanDuel -110): The mercurial man known as Mecole hasn’t necessarily been a bastion of consistency in his young career, but you can’t deny he’s a pure playmaker with the ball in his hands. Hardman racked up 58 receiving yards and caught all four of his targets against the Browns’ pass-funnel defense in the divisional round and posted seven games with 30+ receiving yards this season (six total games with 40+ receiving yards). While he had just 23 yards against Tampa Bay in Week 12, it’s worth noting that Tyreek Hill stole the show - in addition stealing 15 targets, 269 yards and 13 receptions - in that matchup. Hardman, along with the rest of KC’s pass catchers, have suppressed totals from that game, and understandably so, but Hardman is just the type of talent to take advantage of the Bucs’ 25th overall ranking in passing NEP (“Net Expected Points”) per attempt on downfield throws, according to Number Fire. Most reputable fantasy football websites have Hardman projected for around 35 receiving yards in this rematch, and despite the return of Sammy Watkins to the lineup this week, I don’t expect Hardman’s role to change, if at all, in this Chiefs offense. In Watkins’ five games following his first injury earlier this season, he and Hardman actually posted equal target shares. It has been Byron Pringle (14 of 31 routes from the slot) who is likely to see a major role reduction with Watkins back in the fold with Demarcus Robinson still running mostly wind sprints on the outside. This is a thin play when considering most of our other props on this column here, but it’s one we can crush on just one creative play call, as long as it’s not a wide receiving “rush” like we saw in the conference championship round. With the Bucs intent on limiting the deep ball to Hill, I expect to see all of the other pass catchers see a bump up in this offense across the board in Watkins, Hardman and Kelce, who all run a decent amount of routes out of the slot and are candidates for wide receiver screen plays as well. It was Hardman who was actually second to only Tyreek in deep pass/target % from Weeks 12-16 (22.2%) while seeing a modest 12.6% target share. With a target projection of roughly 4-5 in this game and against a pass-funnel Bucs defense hell-bent on stopping Hill, I believe Hardman - who has at least six catches of 30+ yards this year - will benefit/capitalize on this low total against this pass-funnel defensive scheme.
Sammy Watkins - Over 36.5 receiving yards (DraftKings -106): Watkins put up 38 receiving yards on four catches and a more-than-healthy seven targets in Week 12 against Tampa Bay and was another victim of suppressed statistics due to the aforementioned Tyreek Hill eruption game. In the nine games he has both started and finished this season, however, he has played a strong 78% of snaps and ran a route on 79% of dropbacks to go along with a 15.6% target share and 16.5% air yards share. When you look at Watkins’ playoff career with the Chiefs, however, you’ll see a clear #3 option in the passing game for Mahomes & Co. Watkins has posted at least 62 receiving yards in all five career postseason games with the Chiefs, tallying receiving lines of 6-62, 4-114, 2-76, 7-114 and 5-98. The former Clemson star is averaging a career-low 11.4 yards per reception this season, but I believe that feeds into our over play here, as he will provide easy short routes out of the slot for Mahomes if the Chiefs start to struggle at all with their new makeshift offensive line. Todd Boles and Carlton Davis might simply just try to take away Tyreek over the top, leaving Sammy to make his mark in the slot and on most of his underneath routes in addition to Kelce/Hardman as we mentioned earlier with Mecole’s prop. Both Kansas City and Tampa Bay also generated between 7.5-7.6 yards per play in that Week 12 contest, one of just two matchups all year long where each posted at least 7.5 ypp. And the passing volume will be at near all-time highs yet again.
Tyreek Hill - Over 6.5 receptions (FanDuel -164): The receiving usage for both Tyreek and Travis Kelce has risen to absolutely absurd levels in 2020, with the star-studded KC duo accounting for 47.6% of the team’s targets, 48.4% of receptions, 56.8% of receiving yards and 65.9% of receiving touchdowns. That target share has since catapulted to a ridiculous 62.7% rate during the postseason, with Hill (27.6% target share in the playoffs) seeing 66.7% of the team’s deep targets to go along with 100 air yards and 141 receiving yards per game. Hill, over the course of the season, tallied the NFL’s third-most yards (642) on down field throws, and from Weeks 12-16 he also led KC with 41.7% of the Mahomes’ deep targets and since Week 9 he has seen at least 10 targets in seven of nine games to go along with a 27.3% target share and 37.3% air yards share. In two playoff games so far he has lines of 11-9-172 and 10-8-110. While I prefer to play the over 6.5 with extra juice, you can also find the over 7.5 receptions at plus money in most shops. People still consider Hill as a “deep threat,” when that’s the farthest thing from the truth. From Week 9 on he has actually seen his aDOT drop down from 14.6 to 11.6 per game while simultaneously seeing his targets increase to 11.3 per game. The freak speedster is running roughly one-third of his routes from the slot and is being schemed up to make plays all over the field by Mahomes, Reid and Bieniemy. Shorter targets means more yards after the catch as well (from 4.5 to 6.0 after Week 9) and despite the Bucs wanting to “contain” Hill over the top, that could wind up being a big mistake, because there’s a strong chance this guy is even more dangerous underneath. Not a single player has been considered “wide open” more than Tyreek over the past three years (including the playoffs) on 31 targets thrown 20+ yards down the field. No one has even seen 25 targets of that distance, either. We know where the volume is going, where the targets are being thrown and what type of defense we are facing here. Don’t over think this one. Both Hill and Kelce are going to SMASH against a pass-funnel defense that is intent on stopping the run at an elite level despite the year actually being 2020-21 Todd Bowles is going to be exposed badly in this game here, mark my words, and he'll probably still get a HC job anyways.
Travis Kelce - Over 7.5 receptions (FanDuel -158): Kelce’s absurd target rate (34.2% share, 10.1 per game) somehow exceeds that of Tyreek while lining up often both in the slot (26%) and out wide (36%) regularly in this explosive offense. Kelce has seen 110 targets when lined up in the slot overall, easily outpacing the likes of fellow TEs Logan Thomas (82) and Mark Andrews (74), and insanely enough, his yards after the catch alone (394) would rank eighth in total yards in that position group. Against the Bills two weeks ago we saw Hill/Kelce combine for a silly 72% of Mahomes’ targets and 89% of his receiving yards, and with Hill such a threat over the top, Kelce is able to roam freely and dominate both opposing linebackers and DBs in the process while facing single coverage. Kelce posted 8-8-82 in these teams’ last meeting despite Hill hogging all the attention, and in two playoff games he now has 26 targets, 21 catches and 127 yards. If your book only has the over 8.5 but at plus or even money, I also believe that’s a solid bet here. The Bucs are actually #bad against tight ends too, ranking in the bottom 10 in fantasy TE points per game allowed and giving up 7-50-1 to Mercedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan in their NFL conference title victory. Tampa Bay is even worse in allowing a 71.7% catch rate on targets to TEs (27th of 32 NFL teams), setting up Kelce to earn yet another serving of double digit targets, something he has now done in 9 of his past 10 games. These prop numbers simply can’t be set high enough, and with the offensive line injuries to KC, in addition to TB trying to stop Hill from going deep, everything sets up for Kelce to see even more usage in this game. To put the cherry on top of this prop, I’ll throw in that the Chiefs also threw the ball 50 times out of 70 offensive plays in Week 12 at a rate of 71.4% (and 78% through three quarters), despite the fact they led from start to finish and held a commanding double-digit lead until late in the fourth quarter.
Rob Gronkowski - Over 2.5 receptions AND Over 29.5 receiving yards (FanDuel -108/DraftKings -137): The Gronkowski/Brate debate is an increasingly interesting one, to say the least, for those that are into both player props and DFS. I’ve brought it up numerous times on our Betting Predators podcast, which is the fact that if you switched names on these two players jerseys, there’d be a huge difference in their player prop lines. But why are we betting the overs then here? We’re simply attacking low totals in a prime matchup against a Chiefs defense that ranks bottom 10 in defending the tight end position. Although Gronk’s targets and overall production has been absolutely dwarfed by Brate during these playoffs, he’s still seen his routes increase in each of the past three games and back in Week 12 totaled a “prime Gronk-esque” 106 yards on six catches and seven targets. If you combine the tight end usage in that game alone, Gronk/Brate totaled 13 targets for 10 catches and 140 yards, good for a 31% target share. Let’s also not forget that Gronk saw five targets in the divisional round, although he only hauled in one grab. And in the wild card round? He was understandably used as a blocker against a scary WFT front seven. Despite all that, he’s still tied for the team lead in end zone targets (16) and the Chiefs again are #bad against tight ends, allowing +1.7 fantasy points per game over expectation, according to Establish The Run’s DVP (Defense vs. Position) rankings. But let’s get to the other reason why we’re risking a double dip prop with the wiley vet. It comes down to not just the matchup - Kansas City has allowed the 5th most yards to TE’s while holding WR’s to the 2nd fewest yards - but the usage trend that shows Gronk has now out-snapped Brate 113 to 52 over the past two games and run 42 routes to 28 for Brate as well. With Brate’s new back injury downgrading him from limited practice on Thursday to DNP on Friday (currently listed as questionable, but reports saying he is “good to go”) we can expect, at the very least, for Gronk to claw his way back to a near even 50/50 split in targets and production with Brate. One last cherry on top for the Gronk man? Mr. Rob has six catches of 29 or more yards this season and can pay this off with just one long grab, just like he did in Week 12 against these same Chiefs with a 48-yard reception. I expect Gronk to land somewhere in between that game (7-6-106) and his last regular season game (4-2-29), which will put him at 5.5 targets for 4 catches and 67.5 yards. In that case, we’re cashing these overs with ease.
Cameron Brate - Over 2.5 receptions AND Over 28.5 receiving yards (FanDuel -154/FanDuel -110):
Update - I gave this out as my best bet Super Bowl LV prop on our Betting Predators NFL preview podcast this past week, and since then we’ve seen Brate pop up on the injury report with a “back injury” that caused him to be downgraded from a limited practice on Thursday to a DNP on Friday. All reports out of Bucs camp say Brate is good to go, so I don’t want to overreact here and hedge back on this extremely juicy TE matchup with the Chiefs. This does make me like Gronk more as well, as we saw both of these guys easily clear their overs the last time these two teams met. These numbers are quite frankly way too low for both Tampa Bay tight ends when you consider that only six defenses surrendered more fantasy points to TEs than the Chiefs did this season. Kansas City is also a lowly 20th in catch rate allowed to TEs (69.6%), in addition to 22nd in yards per target allowed (7.7) and 21st in TD rate allowed (7.1%). The Chiefs also allowed a league-worst 6.1 yards per target on end zone targets to TEs, so I expect not only for both Brate/Gronk to be used in the red zone, but also between the 20s, allowing for easy, confidence-building completions from TB12 to help move the chains. Over the last six weeks we've also seen Brate either usurp or match the veteran Gronkowski in nearly every statistically relevant category. The 29-year old tight end and seven-year veteran out of Harvard has posted 18 catches for 241 yards on 24 targets and 113 routes run during that span. Gronk, on the other hand, has just nine catches for 159 yards on 20 targets and 135 routes. Brate is simply out-performing his future hall-of-fame teammate, and he has subsequently earned the all-important trust of TB12 in the process. Shorten the sample size to three games and only the playoffs, and we see an even larger story being told here: Brate (16 targets, 11 catches, 149 yards) and Gronk (7 targets, 2 catches, 43 yards) aren't even close. Brate has more than double the targets, more than five times the receptions and more than three times the yardage on a similar amount of routes run. The Kansas City Chiefs have ranked near the bottom of the league in defending tight ends all year, and most recently they've given up gobs of receiving production to the likes of Dawson Knox (8-6-42-1), David Njoku (5-4-49), Donald Parham (4-3-37-1), Stephen Anderson (3-3-52) and Hayden Hurst (6-5-47-1). The Chiefs have had just one game since Week 12 in which they've allowed less than three catches to an opposing tight end. Even back in Week 12 they gave up a ridiculous 7-6-106 to Gronk and another 6-4-34 to Brate before Brate had even begun to establish a starting role.
Patrick Mahomes - Over 22.5 rushing yards, Over 2.5 passing touchdowns AND Over 28.5 completions (BetOnline -143/FanDuel -136/DraftKings +100): Many will have flashbacks of the the Mahomes/Hill connection in Week 12 that torched the Bucs secondary and sent Carlton Davis’ career into oblivion, but what will be overlooked heading into this rematch is the fact that Mahomes’ aDOT (7.7) was actually below the league average (7.8) this season and his downfield attempt rate (15.1%) was also lower than the league average (16.9%). Hitting his receivers for quick, easy, confidence-building throws is what Mahomes has made his bread and butter on this season, and something he will be more than comfortable in doing while working with a makeshift OL and potentially blitz-happy Bucs defense. No other QB has more pass attempts than Mahomes out of the pocket either (146). And what exactly has Mahomes done on those throws out of the pocket? 16 TD’s and 0 INT’s. I could be wrong, but I honestly don’t believe the loss of Fisher will be as dramatic as many are making it out to be. Even if the Bucs do decide to blitz more and take advantage of the OL backups for KC, Mahomes has 18 TD’s to 1 INT’s with a 71% completion rate and 9.1 YPA against the blitz this season. Tampa’s blitz rate all year was 42%, although they chose to blitz a season-low 17% of the time in Week 12. I will say it once more again here: the year is 2021, and in this decade you do not need defenses that stop the run, you need defenses that stop the pass. The Bucs D stops the run and doesn’t stop the pass. The Chiefs D stops the pass and doesn’t stop the run. One team is built for this decade and the other isn’t. Tom Brady has done wonders in taking this Bucs team this far, but the scheme of Tampa’s “dominant” defense simply does not match up with where the game is today. The Bucs allowed 35 passing TD’s this year to just 9 rushing TD’s and we saw Mahomes carve them up to the tune of 37-49 for 462 yards, 9.4 YPA and 3 TD’s in Week 12. More blitzing and more OL issues will lead to more of those quick, short throws, and even against Buffalo two weeks ago we saw Mahomes complete 29 passes despite his team leading by multiple scores throughout the second half. I also like Mahomes’ rushing prop of over 22.5 rushing yards because of many of the reasons noted above, making history as our first ever triple dip! My least favorite is the rushing prop however, due to Mahomes' toe.
Scotty Miller - Longest reception over 12.5 yards (FanDuel -118): The little engine that could. Miller is still running a route on 23% of dropbacks even with the Bucs’ “big three” of Godwin, Evans and Brown all healthy, and 34.6% of his targets has also been of the 20+ yard variety. All we need is one connection to beat both of these props here, and with Brown seeing just 45.2% of snaps and three targets against the WFT in the wild card round and 8.5% of targets in the playoffs overall, I believe there’s plenty of opportunity for the diminutive Miller to make a play (or two) in the biggest of all big games. It’s easy to get scared here and back off of Miller due to his goose egg in Week 12 against this same Chiefs defense, I get it, but he has now seen his receiving yardage increase in five straight games (7, 12, 15, 29, 36) and still cleared this total in 9 of 17 total games this year (regular season + playoffs) with a long reception of at least 14 yards in 10 of 17 contests. The Chiefs have been vulnerable to allowing deep plays at times this season despite being formidable against WRs who line up out wide, and it’s possible that little Scotty Miller could sneak up on this secondary while Spagnuolo & Co focus their efforts on stopping Godwin, Evans and the TB tight ends. The Bucs are calling pass plays at the NFL’s fourth-highest rate when games are within one score this year (62%) and a league-high 72% when the margin grows larger. Brady’s 21% deep rate ranked second overall behind only Drew Lock this year as well, and the Chiefs have allowed explosive pass plays at the league’s ninth-highest rate. Both of these offenses were explosive in Week 12 too, as we saw a combined 12 explosive pass plays on 94 attempts (12.7%), much higher than the league average rate in 2020-21 (8%). Check to see if your book offers a contingency for this prop, as some places require the player to actually have at least one catch in order for the wager to be graded. I don't mind the over 18.5 receiving yards either, but the longest reception prop we can almost certainly beat on one grab.
Patrick Mahomes Completion Percentage > Tom Brady (DraftKings -150): In three playoff starts Brady has completed 55%, 54.5% and 55.6% of his passes, respectively, and Brady in five career games against a Steve Spagnuolo led defense is averaging a lowly 7.0 YPA with 9 TDs and 4 INTs. We all know it’s easier to run on the Chiefs than it is to throw on them, similar to the Packers defense in the NFC conference championship round in which Brady threw three INT’s and struggled mightily in the second half. You can find slightly better juice on this angle if you choose to wager on Brady Under 62.5 completion % instead, although I’d rather take the chance at Mahomes out-doing Brady especially with the former’s propensity to throw short passes to Kelce & Co while Brady has opted to throw deep more often than not this year. Brady posted a 65.8% completion rate when these two teams last played in Week 12 while Mahomes’ completion rate was almost 10 full percentage points higher at 75.5%. The overall defensive metrics will be skewed when comparing the Bucs and Chiefs and there’s a misconception that the Bucs in fact have a far better overall defense. But when you compare these two secondaries, then over the past two year it’s crystal clear that the Chiefs have the better DC, the better talent and the better production when you move beyond the front seven. This is simply not being talked about enough, and even with Chris Jones/Frank Clark on the DL for KC they can still blitz and get pressure on Brady, who is practically incapable of throwing outside of the pocket at this point in his career, while throwing bombs on the run is Mr. Mahomes’ speciality. The Bucs defense was thrown on at the highest rate in the league all year (65%). The Chiefs defense, on the other hand, ranked eighth in blitz rate during the regular season and finished fifth in pressure rate. Now you tell me which QB will be most phased by the defensive pressure here.
Leonard Fournette - Over 25.5 receiving yards AND Player to have most rushing yards (DraftKings +105/+175): Over the past two games Sir Leonard is averaging 6.5 targets per game compared to just 0.5 targets per game for Ronald Jones and now gets to face a Chiefs defense that ranked dead last in allowing 846 receiving yards to running backs this season. In Week 12 it was actually RoJo who caught a 37-yard touchdown pass, but Fournette - who at the time was playing in strictly a reserve/backup role - also caught all three of his targets for 10 yards. Now that we’re getting an almost exclusive starting role for Fournette we could be seeing 100% of the RB passing game work go his way and in Week 12 that type of workload would’ve indeed resulted in four catches on five targets for 47 receiving yards. Fournette’s touch counts through the playoffs (23, 22, 17) are clearly above any of the other running backs in this game, and even with KC failing to stop RBs through the air, the Chiefs also rank bottom 10 in the league in rushing yards allowed to opposing backs. The Fournette/Rojo backfield in Week 12 totaled 12 carries for 76 yards. Rojo, the starter at the time as we mentioned, gained 66 rushing yards himself on just nine carries while the leading rusher on the KC side was CEH with 11 carries for 37 yards, followed by Le’Veon Bell’s 22 yard on five carries and Mahomes’ 28 yards on four carries. Kansas City ranked 20th in yards per carry allowed to RBs this season (4.5), 28th in total yards allowed per game to RBs (141.8) and allowed a total of eight different RBs to top 100 yards from scrimmage. While Fournette himself has topped 11.5 carries just five times all year, he has done it now in three straight playoff games and in four of his last six.
Regular Season 2020 Prop Column Record (Chris + Sleepy):
- Week 1: 0-0
- Week 2: 10-4
- Week 3: 12-4
- Week 4: 9-8
- Week 5: 10-7
- Week 6: 9-11
- Week 7: 10-12
- Week 8: 6-7
- Week 9: 9-8
- Week 10: 12-6
- Week 11: 9-7
- Week 12: 11-5
- Week 13: 16-5
- Week 14: 11-8
- Week 15: 10-10
- Week 16: 11-2
- Week 17: 12-14
- Total: 167-118 (58.6%)
Regular Season 2020 Prop Podcast Record (Chris' Record Only):
- Week 1: 1-2
- Week 2: 2-1
- Week 3: 0-0
- Week 4: 3-0
- Week 5: 2-1
- Week 6: 0-0
- Week 7: 2-0
- Week 8: 0-1
- Week 9: 0-1
- Week 10: 1-1
- Week 11: 0-1
- Week 12: 0-0
- Week 13: 0-0
- Week 14: 1-1
- Week 15: 1-1
- Week 16: 0-0
- Week 17: 1-0
- Total = 14-10 (58.3%)
Regular Season 2020 Podcast + Article Picks (Chris' Record Only):
- 173-121 (58.8%)