NFL Best Bets and Player Props for the Divisional Round: CMC Music Factory

The Divisional Round continues Sunday, and our NFL prop picks are taking a look at a couple of big-name running backs, including Christian McCaffrey to tear it up against the Cowboys.

Last Updated: Jan 22, 2023 8:53 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Saquon Barkley New York Giants NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

With two more games left in the Divisional Round , I’ve added another three-pack of props to my card and think you should consider them before rounding out your own set of wagers. 

On Sunday, I’m backing a pair of rushing Overs in the late game while hitting the Under on a Buffalo receiver who will struggle to replicate last week’s performance. 

Check out my NFL prop picks ahead of Sunday's action 

Latest NFL prop picks

  • Gabe Davis Under 57.5 receiving yards
  • Ezekiel Elliott Over 34.5 rushing yards
  • Christian McCaffrey Over 64.5 rushing yards

Check out full analysis of picks below, or click here to view the full betting card.

Best NFL bonuses

Looking to bet on some NFL action? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) Josh Allen and Joe Burrow each record completion Over 39.5 yards on 1/22 BOOSTED to +285 at Caesars! Bet Now

B) New users at DraftKings can bet $5 and get $200 in bonus betsSign Up Now

*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

NFL prop picks for Sunday's games

Recency bias

Gabe Davis had a big Wild Card Round with a 6/113/1 on nine targets. It was the first game that he hit the century mark since Week 5 and the only time he eclipsed 60 yards in his last seven games. Going into last week’s game, Davis was averaging 45.3 yards since the Bills’ bye in Week 8. His receiving yard total has jumped from 49.5 to 57.5 since last week, and there are plenty of things to like about the Under on Sunday.

Fellow wideout Isaiah McKenzie will suit up after missing last week and will cut into the target share. Cole Beasley is also seeing more targets lately, and Khalil Shakir is emerging as a deep threat. There are a lot of mouths to feed in this passing game, and Stefon Diggs takes up nearly 30% of the targets.

This is also a pace-down spot for the Bills, as the Bengals rank 20th in seconds per play and 31st when trailing by seven or more points. A slower pace means fewer plays.

This yardage total seemingly has a lot of recency bias baked in, as this is Davis’ highest receiving total in six games. The last time he saw a total higher than 57.5 was indoors at Detroit back in Week 12, where he had five targets, four catches, and 38 yards.

The Bengals also aren’t the easiest matchup, allowing the 17th-most receiving yards to opposing wide receivers. The game total has also fallen from 50 to 48, indicating the market thinks this game will be less offensive and possibly slower. 

Gabe Davis Prop: Under 57.5 receiving yards (-110)

Rock-bottom prices

It’s time to buy the dip on Ezekiel Elliott. He was outsnapped and outcarried by Tony Pollard last week but still finished with 13 carries. His rushing total has fallen from 50.5 to 34.5 and despite not being the more explosive back, is still almost a lock to see double-digit carries for a team that has one of the lowest pass rates over expected (PROE). Dallas finished eighth in rush play percentage (47%) on the season — a higher run rate than the Browns. 

The 49ers are as stout as a run defense that you’ll find in football and allow just 3.4 yards per carry (T-1st), but with such a low total for Elliott, he would need just 10 carries at that rate to hit the Over. With Dallas rushing the ball 32.9 times on the road — the highest rate in all of football — the probability of Zeke seeing double-digit carries in the game with an expected neutral game script is very high.

There's no debating that Pollard is the better running back, but Zeke will always be part of this offense, and this seems like the lowest point we’ll find his rushing total. A lot of the time in prop betting, the least sexy pick is usually the one with the most value. 

I’m happy with a rushing total that has plenty of outs with its low number. Since Week 12, Elliott’s rushing total has never closed below 50.5 yards, and he was also listed at 65.5 vs. a Tennessee team that possess an elite rush defense. 

Ezekiel Elliott Prop: Over 34.5 rushing yards (-110)

More running in the Bay

Sticking with the running props in the shortest spread of the weekend, Christian McCaffrey’s rushing total of 64.5 is the lowest it’s been since Week 14 (excluding Week 18) and looks like a solid Over bet.

This total closed at 80.5 last week vs. the Seahawks and was certainly warranted in a great matchup with a massive positive game script as a heavy favorite. However, the 15-yard dip seems drastic in a game that has the lowest total and spread, favoring a neutral game script and more running from both sides.

Over the last three games, the 49ers are running the ball at a 52% rate which is the highest rate of all the playoff teams. Excluding Week 18, McCaffrey is averaging 70 rushing yards per game since being dealt to San Francisco. 

Last week, McCaffrey's 68-yard carry against Seattle reached a top speed of 20.8 mph which was the fourth-fast carry of the weekend. He can miss tackles and hit the gas.

Dallas is an average team against the run, allowing 4.4 yards per carry. Mike McCarthy's team will be making a big adjustment vs. the 49ers, considering their last opponents. 

The Cowboys faced the worst rushing offense last week in the Buccaneers, and in Week 18 played a Commanders team that was without lead RB Brian Robinson. In Week 17,  they went up against Derrick Henry, but unproven quarterback Joshua Dobbs started in place of Ryan Tannehill. 

Two weeks prior to that, Jacksonville torched them on the ground for 192 yards on 27 carries for 7.1 ypc. Elijah Mitchell didn’t show much on the ground last week and Brock Purdy could be scaled back against a much more difficult pass defense than the Seahawks.

Christian McCaffrey Prop: Over 64.5 rushing yards (-114)

NFL prop picks for Saturday's games

Sack attack

The last time these two teams saw each other, Trevor Lawrence was getting picked up off the field after taking five sacks. That was a game where Frank Clark (five sacks in 15 games) was inactive and rookie first-rounder George Karlaftis wasn’t creating pressure at will (5.5 sacks over his last seven games).

This is all good news for Chris Jones and his sack market.

Jones is ranked as the No. 2 interior pass rusher, per Pro Football Focus, behind only New York’s Dexter Lawrence. His 15.5 sacks on the season rank fourth in football and in the Week 11 meeting with Jacksonville, he had a season-high two sacks and five tackles — three for a loss. 

His matchup this week is even easier with Walker Little manning the left tackle spot after Cam Robinson’s season-ending injury in the regular season. To make things worse for the Jaguars’ O-line, their starting center and right guard were also limited at practice to begin the week. 

The Chiefs rank fifth in pressure on the year and it will be a big part of their game plan vs. Lawrence, who is 2-5 SU when taking multiple sacks in a game this year. That includes last week’s improbable win, in which he was sacked twice against a Chargers team that ranks in the Bottom 10 in pressure percentage and hurry percentage.

This is one of the best defensive matchups on the board this weekend.

Chris Jones Prop: To record a sack (-130 at bet365)

Salvation Barkley

The Giants go from one of the best passing matchups in the Wild Card Round, against a Vikings team 26th in pass defense DVOA, to the toughest in the Divisional Round, against the Eagles' top-ranked pass defense by DVOA.

For a running back with the third-highest workload in football, it's a good thing the Eagles are much softer on the ground, ranking 21st in DVOA rush defense, per Football Outsiders.

Saquon Barley’s carries total opened at 15.5, which is three carries shorter than it was last week as a 3-point dog. The move from +3 to +7.5 is not worth three full carries, in my opinion — especially in a divisional game with two teams that have already seen each other twice this season.

The Giants’ 4.8 yards per carry was the fourth-best rate in football and with New York being the best team in the league at protecting the football (0.9 giveaways per game), this game could be closer than expected.

The Daniel Jones hype is also a little high going into this game. Jones threw for 300 yards last week but that was just the third time all season he’s accomplished that. The other two games came against the Vikings (again) and the Lions.

Brian Daboll will drastically change the offensive game plan and that should lead to more carries for Barkley, who only trailed Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs in carries per game on the season (18.44 per game). THE BLITZ is projecting 19.53 carries and the projected game script as a 7.5-point dog seems to be an overcorrection. 

Saquon Barkley Prop: Over 15.5 carries (-115)

Walking back on James

I was high on Richie James last week with an elite matchup in the slot vs. the Vikings, but he lost snaps as Brian Daboll ran more two-TE sets. James finished fourth on the team in receiving yards (31) and saw his snap share fall from 83% between Weeks 14-17 to 60% last week.

James now has a matchup with the No. 1-ranked pass defense by DVOA, and his receiving yard total has fallen from 50.5 to 45.5. However, his reception total has not changed from last week, and sits at 4.5.

Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Barkley are all going to take targets and this 7.5-point potential negative game script is not enough to expect a high-volume game from Jones.

Jones threw for 300 yards last week indoors. It was just the third time he’s passed for at least 300 yards this season and he now faces an Eagles pass defense that allows 179 passing yards per game — the lowest in football. Also, if the Giants can keep this close, beating the Eagles on the ground is their best game plan offensively.  

With a tough matchup, a possible lighter role with more two-TE sets, a competition for catches, and a falling yardage total, it's Under 4.5 receptions for me.

Richie James Prop: Under 4.5 receptions (-130)

Season to date: 129-127, +3.19u units (Risking 1 unit per play)

  • Chris Jones to record a sack (-130 at bet365)
  • Saquon Barkley Over 15.5 carries (-115 at Betway)
  • Richie James Under 4.5 receptions (-130 at bet365)

     - - 

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo