NFL Prop Shop: Divisional Weekend
The postseason continues in the NFL with Divisional Weekend getting underway Saturday. Why not spice things up with some player prop bets? Covers Expert Sean Murphy opens the doors of the NFL Prop Shop and gives you his favorite player prop picks for this weekend's action:
Most passing yards
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
I'll take a shot with Andrew Luck at a healthy underdog price on Saturday.
Here's my thinking: I fully expect the Colts to be playing from behind for much of this game. That means we should see Luck airing it out early and often. I'm aware that the Colts want to be a run-first team, but this is an awfully tough spot to be hard-headed. Luck rallied the offense last Saturday, and I believe he'll be asked to do the same this week.
Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers)
I have the ultimate respect for the Panthers defense, however, we've seen Colin Kaepernick take his game to another level in the playoffs time and time again, and I expect that to be the case again on Sunday afternoon.
Cam Newton has played on the big stage before (in SEC and BCS Championship Games), but the NFL playoffs are another animal. He'll be up against a 49ers defense that is playing 'angry' right now (credit that quote to former 49er and NFL Network analyst Eric Davis) - a unit that should be able to control a good, but not great receiving corps.
Most rushing yards
Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers) vs. DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers)
I supported Frank Gore last Sunday against Green Bay, but I'm switching gears this week.
I believe we'll see the 49ers take a more pass-heavy approach against an aggressive Panthers defense on Sunday. Gore will get his share of carries, but I'm not sure he'll create a lot of 'splash' plays.
While DeAngelo Williams hasn't been all that consistent, he does boast big play potential and could rip off a couple of big runs if the 49ers come in a little too focused on Cam Newton.
Most pass receptions
Keenan Allen (San Diego Chargers) vs. Julius Thomas (Denver Broncos)
If this were a play on which receiver would have a bigger impact on the final result, I might be inclined to back Julius Thomas, as he likely has greater touchdown potential. However, when it comes to receptions, I'll go with Keenan Allen.
Allen was a virtual non-factor in last week's win over the Bengals, but that only serves to give us better line value here. The Chargers know that he needs to play a bigger role in the offense this Sunday if they're going to pull off another shocker in Denver. If they're playing from behind and Philip Rivers is forced to sling it all over the field, that suits our purposes even better.