NFL Prop Shop: Divisional playoffs' best player prop picks
Last week we saw some huge numbers for Arian Foster and Drew Brees and this week we welcome the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Ray Rice into the playoff picture.
Looks like another interesting weekend is shaping up for NFL prop bettors. Here’s who we like in the Divisional Playoff round.
Victor Cruz (New York Giants) vs. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers)
Cruz had a tough game last weekend in New York’s win over the Atlanta Falcons. He finished with just two catches for 22 yards after piling up 342 receiving yards and two touchdowns in two games before that. Eli Manning targeted Hakeem Nicks nine times last week compared to only five targets for Cruz.
Nelson seems like a much safer bet. Not only did he lead the Packers with over 1,200 receiving yards, but also paced the club with 68 catches and had a season-high nine grabs in Week 17 against Detroit. Greg Jennings is banged up too, so you can feel comfortable supporting Nelson to have another big game Sunday night.
Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos) vs. Aaron Hernandez (New England Patriots)
Everybody’s anointing Thomas as the next big receiving threat after his 80-yard overtime touchdown last week and you have to respect his numbers. He started only five games and still ended up with 32 catches for 551 yards – second only to Eric Decker for the team lead. Decker’s doubtful for Sunday with a sprained MCL, so that could mean more targets for Thomas. He also had seven catches the last time these two teams hooked up.
With so many receiving options in New England, you never really know who’s in for a big day. However, Hernandez sits third on the team with 79 catches and has at least five catches in five of his last six games.
We’ll still side with the underdog Thomas. He’s all Tebow has to work with.
Most Rushing Yards
Arian Foster (Houston Texans) vs. Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens)
This has all the makings of a major ground war. Foster destroyed the Bengals last week, going for 153 yards and two majors on 24 carries. It was his third consecutive 100-yard game. He’ll be looking for revenge this week after Baltimore held him to 49 rushing yards on 15 carries back in Week 6.
Rice hasn’t been as consistent as Foster lately, but he has also topped 190 yards twice in his last five games. So, he definitely has big game ability and he’s favored slightly here.
Even though Ben Tate will likely vulture a few carries from Foster, you have to think the Texans will lean heavily on the running game with rookie quarterback T.J. Yates guiding the offense in Baltimore.
Most Passing Yards
Eli Manning (New York Giants) vs. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
You just have to eat the chalk on this one and take Rodgers, even though Manning has basically willed his team into the second round of the playoffs.
Rodgers has been held to fewer than 250 passing yards only once over his last seven starts and with Green Bay’s 27th-ranked running game, he’ll be cutting it loose again this weekend.
Manning threw for 277 yards in last week’s win, but look for New York to try to control the clock with the running game more against the Packers.