As of Saturday afternoon, all reports indicate Antonio Brown has recovered from his calf injury, is fully healthy and will play against the Jaguars.
Also, as of Saturday afternoon, Brown, who racked up 10 receptions for 157 yards against Jacksonville earlier this year, was without any prop bets. Brown backers will most likely have to wait until his “questionable” tag is removed and actives/inactives are announced Sunday.
So, we look elsewhere for divisional playoff prop bet action.
All prop bets courtesy of [custom:bovada-link].
Leonard Fournette Rush Yards O/U 80 ½
The Bet: UNDER (-105)
It’s true Fournette rushed for 181 yards against the Steelers earlier this season. However, if you remove the late-fourth quarter 90-yard run, he rushed 27 times for 91 yards or 3.4 yards per carry. Not great.
Over his past six games, including last week against the Bills, Leo has averaged 59.5 rush yards per game and 3.1 yards per rush.
Since the Jaguars game, the Steelers have allowed 79 or fewer rush yards to opposing rushing units (not just lead backs) in four out of their last five home games. Only Baltimore’s 152 rush yards bucked that trend and you’ll remember that was the game where Ryan Shazier was carted off with a spinal cord injury and the oxygen was sucked out of the stadium.
Le’Veon Bell Rush Yards O/U 92 ½
The Bet: UNDER (-105)
From a subjective point of view, Bell going on the record this week about what he’ll do if the Steelers slap the franchise tag on him again was odd timing ahead of a divisional playoff game. Granted, some would say he’s damned if he does comment, damned if he doesn’t answer reporters’ questions, but despite his best efforts to clarify remarks on Twitter after the fact, Bell’s already looking ahead.
Obviously, this shouldn’t deter one from backing Bell, but it did resonate with me. So, I felt the need to share.
As for Bell’s statistical matchup, he’s got a hell of a challenge against the Jaguars. Jacksonville allowed 86.8 rush yards per game to opposing RB committees the final month of the season, which included holding rush-first Tennessee to 51 yards on 28 carries.
Bell rushed for fewer than 93 yards in 10 of 15 games this season. He’s failed to hit 93 rush yards in six out of his last eight games. In his earlier season meeting with the Jags, he was held to 47 yards on 15 carries.
Reason To Fade: At less than 100 percent, LeSean McCoy did manage 75 yards on 19 carries against the Jaguars last week. If Bell eclipses 20+ rush attempts, there’s a chance he could hit 93. However, the return of Antonio Brown — at what is believed to be near 100 percent — muddies Bell’s 20+ projection a bit.
PROP BETS TO PONDER:
Stefon Diggs Receptions O/U 5
The Bet: OVER (-105) / UNDER (-125)
Adam Thielen Receptions O/U 5
The Vig: OVER (-125) / UNDER (-105)
These two “UNDER” vigs would appear to indicate oddsmakers believe Saints stud rookie and presumed Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore will cover Stefon Diggs most, if not all, of the game. Although, reports indicate Lattimore could move between Diggs and Thielen. So, although nothing is finalized, oddsmakers are the presumed sharp one, right?
Mark Ingram Rush Yards O/U 55 ½
The Bet: UNDER (-105)
This is a bad matchup for Ingram’s style of running in addition to the 50/50 time-share with Alvin Kamara. Including last week’s wild-card game, Ingram has averaged fewer than 12 carries over the past eight games. He’s averaged 48.6 rush yards per game over the past seven.
Minnesota held opposing running back committees under 69 rush yards per game the final month of the regular season.
Alvin Kamara Receiving Yards O/U 45 ½
The Bet: OVER (-125)
Last week was an anomaly in terms of Kamara’s role within the passing game. With Xavier Rhodes making it difficult for Drew Brees to get the ball to Michael Thomas and the Saints run game stifled for the second straight week, expect Kamara to be heavily involved in the passing game.
Before his dud last week, Kamara averaged 64.7 receiving yards per game his previous seven contests. The presumed Offensive Rookie of the Year is a big reason for the Saints turnaround. Brees has to feed him to spread the field and keep the Vikings guessing.
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