3 NFL Player Prop Bets for Wild Card Saturday
Player props can be useful in a variety of ways, from taking advantage of them straight up within the betting market to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy football.
Here we'll focus on utilizing our projections and a slew of other tools and simulations to help make money betting player props. For this article, we are using the odds provided at FanDuel Sportsbook to pinpoint spots where value can be had this week.
The prop-betting experience on FanDuel Sportsbook is getting even more fun. You can track your player props with real-time updates and place in-game props with ease.
Note: Betting lines and our player projections may change after this article is published.
Keenan Allen Any Time Touchdown (+135)
This game features a solid 47.5-point over/under where the road Chargers are slight 2.5-point favorites, which should set us up for a higher-scoring, back-and-forth game. The Chargers are rocking a 25.00 implied team total, and we want to capture some of that production via the touchdown market.
With Mike Williams being ruled out for this game, we are turning directly to Keenan Allen (+130) for a touchdown in a solid matchup. Allen comes in with a team-high 22.5% target share and 27.1% red zone target share, and that comes along with a 28.1% air yards market share, which is now the highest on the team with Williams out.
All of this should put Allen in a spot to be the focal point of the Chargers' passing offense, something that has been the standard in recent weeks. Allen comes in with at least 9 targets in five of the last six weeks, including four games where he had at least 11 targets.
When it comes to the Jaguars' defense, they were somewhat solid against the pass this year, allowing the 10th-fewest (2,377) receiving yards to wide receivers. However, that doesn't tell the entire story because they also allowed the third-most (18) touchdowns to wide receivers this season.
Allen is the clear top option for the Chargers' passing game, and with higher over/under, the scoring should happen early and often.
Christian McCaffrey Over 16.5 Rushing Attempts (-102)
As 9.5-point home favorites, the San Francisco 49ers have plenty of props worth targeting this week.
An NFC West matchup between the 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks adds a third chapter this season, and we are here to attack it via the prop market. It should be noted that there is the potential for significant weather issues in this game and leading up to it. While we don't know the exact game conditions, they could be far from ideal when it comes to the passing game.
This should lead to plenty of work for Christian McCaffrey, and that means I'm going to over 16.5 rushing attempts (-102) for him this week. Will it be a surprise to see the 49ers rush the ball a lot? No. It's a Kyle Shannan-led offense, and that has been his calling card for years -- this season being no different.
The 49ers come in with a 48.14% rushing play percentage, which was the seventh-highest in the league during the regular season. Add in a dash of rain/wind, and we should see the 49ers leaning on the rushing game, which will be a shock to no one.
When it comes to the matchup against the Seahawks' rush defense, it's a great one. They allowed the second-most (419) rushing attempts and the sixth-most (1,952) rushing yards to running backs this season. All of this should put McCaffrey in a great spot to replicate what he did against the Seahawks a few weeks ago, going for 26 rushing attempts and 108 yards.
Justin Herbert Over 37.5 Passing Attempts (-114)
We have another prop from the Chargers, but this time from Justin Herbert.
Everything noted above in the Allen section remains true here: a higher over/under (47.5), a close spread (2.5), and two solid offenses. That is the baseline we are using to build our props around, combined with the fact the Jaguars were strong against the rush this year, allowing the 10th-fewest (1,412) rushing yards to running backs.
If the Chargers aren't able to run the ball, they are going to turn to the passing game, but that won't be anything new for them. The Chargers ended the regular season with a 64.99% pass play percentage, which was the second-highest in the league.
Herbert went over this 37.5 mark in 10 of his 17 games this season while averaging 41.1 passing attempts per game. The Jaguars allowed the sixth-most (601) passing attempts and the sixth-most (4,258) yards to quarterbacks this season.
We have a team that loves to pass the ball and is now up against a defense that is solid against the rushing game. This should only lead to more drop backs for Herbert, putting him on a clear path to hit the over this week.