NFL Wild Card Saturday Player Prop Bet Picks

Home is where the heart and, for our purposes, the edge are this weekend. The Chiefs are 9-point home favorites over the Titans and the Rams are 6-point home favorites over the visiting Falcons. The KC-Tennessee game boasts a modest 44 ½ O/U, while the LA-Atlanta matchup was at 48 ½ as of mid-Friday afternoon.

All four teams finished the regular season ranked among the top 15 rushing offenses. Backfield prop bets set the tone for Saturday’s action.

Devonta Freeman Rush Yards O/U 62 ½
The Bet: OVER (-125)

Granted, he missed a couple of games, but Freeman failed to rush for 1,000 yards for the first time in three seasons. He also struggled to run the ball the final two weeks, finishing with 36 rush yards against the Saints and 23 against the Panthers.

However, Saturday’s wild-card matchup against the Rams favors Freeman. Los Angeles allowed opposing running backs to average 4.7 yards per rush this season, the second-highest YAPR in the league. Over the final seven games of the season, the Rams allowed 108.7 rushing yards per game.

In the three games prior to his two-game skid to end the season, Freeman averaged 97 rush yards per game.

Kareem Hunt Rush Yards O/U 82 ½
The Bet: OVER (-125)

Unlike the Rams, Tennessee’s rush defense is among the best in the NFL. The Titans allowed only 3.6 yards per rush (4th), 88.8 rush yards per game (4th) and five rushing touchdowns (1st) this season. So, why promote Hunt’s OVER?

Well, as great as it’s been on the season, Tennessee’s rush D has shown signs of regression over the past month. While Todd Gurley’s 118 rush yards a few weeks ago can be viewed as an outlier, when combined with 91 rush yards by a Kerwynn Williams-led Cardinals backfield and 69 by Leonard Fournette on one healthy wheel, Hunt can erupt as the lead back. It’ll come down to the number of touches he receives.

Before earning a rest for most of Week 17’s matchup with the Broncos, Hunt averaged 26 carries per game at 4.6 yards per rush the previous three. The Chiefs suffered when they handcuffed Hunt during the middle part of the season. They’ll let him run free against the Titans.

Marcus Mariota Rush Yards O/U 19 ½
The Bet: OVER (-120)

DeMarco Murray will miss his second straight game (MCL tear). In a must-win Week 17 game against the Jaguars, Mariota rushed a season-high 10 times for 60 yards. Earlier in the season, when he was 100 percent, he rushed for 24+ yards in each of the first four games. In an effort to supplement a Derrick Henry-led rushing game in another win-or-go-home matchup, look for Mariota to cruise to 20+ rush yards.

Travis Kelce

Oddsmakers believe Mr. Kelce will be very busy against the Titans.

His total receptions O/U sits at 5 ½ (O -150 / U +120) as of Friday afternoon. Kelce’s receiving yards O/U is 69 ½ (O -125 / U -105).

The tight end units of the Ravens, Colts, Texans and 49ers all finished with seven or more receptions for 70 or more receiving yards against the Titans the final nine games of the season. Tennessee’s secondary can get chewed up by opposing tight ends.

Kelce caught six or more passes eight times and finished with 70 or more receiving yards eight times this season. On the coin flip, with Hunt expected to eat well, I’ll take the UNDER 69 ½ yards at -105.

Julio Jones Receiving Yards O/U 90 ½
The Bet: OVER (-125)

In what was a “disappointing” season by his lofty standards, Jones still finished with more receptions (88), targets (149) and yards (1,444) than last year. The per game average shakes out to 90.25, which is just shy of this O/U threshold. Jones hit 91+ receiving yards seven times in 16 games, with two of those coming in the last month.

Opposing receiving corps have averaged 147.5 yards per game against the Rams secondary over the past month, which included 275 yards by the Titans, yes Titans, just a few weeks ago. Jones will eat well.