There are many, many ways to bet the NFL playoffs, but few are more intriguing than the prop market where bettors can sometimes expose the soft underbelly of the sportsbook.
And even if you aren’t looking to get money down on the NFL divisional round games this weekend, exploring the prop selections can give you a better idea of what to expect from the teams on the field.
That said, here are four prop bets we’re monitoring for Saturday’s games with odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT TENNESSEE TITANS
Julio Jones OVER 44.5 receiving yards
In Weeks 1-8, when Titans running back Derrick Henry was on the field, Ryan Tannehill completed 22 passes of 20 yards or more. Once Henry went down, that number plummeted to just nine such plays. Granted, the weather got worse and the competition might have gotten stiffer, but it speaks to how having the threat of Henry helped the Titans’ passing attack. We can’t say for sure how healthy Henry is, so expecting a massive workload is probably foolish, but it’s obviously one more thing to which the Bengals have to devote resources. Speaking of that, we’ll assume the plan is to put lockdown corner Chidobe Awuzie on AJ Brown. That should present opportunities for Jones, who seems healthy and is ready to “go out there and put on a show.” He’s finally healthy and has an impressive playoff resume. He, too, was really good when Henry was healthy, averaging more than 17 yards per catch in the five games he played. Both teams can score and the weather doesn’t look like a factor, so there could be plenty of touches to go around, and Jones makes the most of those opportunities.
First quarter UNDER 9.5 points
For as explosive as these two offenses can be, they’re both prone to slow starts. The Titans ranked 30th in first-quarter yards per play, while the Bengals ranked 27th. Both teams also finished in the bottom third of the league in first-quarter touchdown drive percentage. Not only that, only two teams punted more in the first quarter than Cincinnati (25), with the Titans not far behind (21). There’s also the possibility the Titans are a little rusty coming off the bye, and if they’re also committed to feeding Henry early, that should keep the clock moving, while also featuring a top-five yards-per-play defense in the first quarter.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers AT GREEN BAY PACKERS
Davante Adams OVER 7.5 receptions (-145)
Adams might be the best receiver in the NFL, and Aaron Rodgers treats him as such. Only Cooper Kupp was targeted more this season than Adams, who had passes coming his way 10.6 times per game, which includes a Week 18 game when he got plenty of rest and the Packers’ lone game this season without Rodgers. Of the receivers with at least 130 targets this season, only two converted a higher amount to receptions. Long story short, Rodgers is gonna be looking for him. Admittedly, the 49ers will be, too, making it a focal point of their defensive strategy, but they have struggled to stop top wideouts. When these two teams met in Week 3, Adams caught a season-high 12 passes on 18 targets. And if you think the 49ers are going to give the Packers a game, Green Bay could find itself playing catch-up late, which could lead to bulk opportunities.
First touchdown UNDER 7.5 yards (-120)
Admittedly, there might be some recency bias to this selection, given what we saw from San Francisco last week. The Niners marched right down the field and scored early in the first quarter on Dallas on a 4-yard touchdown run. It was just chunk play after chunk play until the red zone, where they easily cashed in down by the goal line. Both of these teams have the ability to string together drives, and both are very good in the red zone. No team was better than San Francisco, while the Packers improved as the season progressed. Also, consider this: Of Green Bay’s 52 offensive touchdowns, 27 were of 8 yards or less, while 25 of the Niners’ 48 offensive scores were from 8 yards and in.