Givin’ Props: NFL Conference Championship

Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver Cooper Kupp (10) on his way to a touchdown during the NFL game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams on December 5, 2021, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.
Image Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Each week, BetPrep’s Player Prop Guru and NBC Sports Betting Analyst Brad Feinberg discusses how the site’s historical data shaped his picks with Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. Here are some highlights from the latest episode of the Givin’ Props Podcast.

So 5-2 last week and 96-53 now for the year (64.4%). We start with the late game and Deebo Samuel Over 53.5 receiving yards. You bet it at 50.5 but still like it at this higher number. 

Brad: We put this through the BetPrep grinder at 53.5 and he’s 15-6 to the Over his last 21. He averaged about 88 yards a game in the regular season, receiving, and they’re making it 53.5. So he had the Dallas game where he got only 44; we know what happened there – he had a ton of rushing yards and the team ran the ball great. The Green Bay game was played in brutal conditions where even Aaron Rodgers couldn’t generate passing yards, especially in the second half. Samuel is going to go over this number in normal conditions (and the conditions will obviously be excellent in Los Angeles) about 70% of the time. He’s their best player. It could be more in the running game. I understand that. But I think the Rams win this game; so I expect more passing by the Niners. The receiving is just the way I’m doing it.

Next we have C.J. Uzomah Under 36.5 receiving yards. 

Brad: You know, it’s interesting that I was able to get this at a much higher number, but I still like this. It opened at 39.5, which I thought was baffling. I made it 31.5. He’s gone under 36.5 in 13 of 18 games. This is the recency bias we talk about all the time. His last two games he had 64 yards and 70 yards. But you know why he had 70 yards last week? They threw him a meaningless 34-yard pass in a Hail Mary situation with the clock expiring in the first half of the Tennessee game. Otherwise, he would have been under in that game, too. So that’s not really a 70-yard game, in my opinion. He’s been an up-and-down player, though mostly down. I understand he’s going to get some wins here. And I understand that the Bengals have more expected passes than in their usual game given their underdog status and need to score so many points. But I don’t think this passing is going to be to Uzomah.

Cooper Kupp most receiving yards in the NFC Championship, minus-125.

Brad: We know Kupp is going to have the most for the Rams. That’s almost 100%. So now you look at the other side. The Niners have some explosive receivers. Samuel and George Kittle could beat Kupp. But I still think Kupp is 55% to have the most yards where his over/under is literally double the next highest player. I’d price this at minus-150. So it’s a value.

Joe Mixon most rushing yards in AFC Championship +175.

Brad: I don’t understand this one. We know he’s going to lead the Bengals in rushing. So now you look at the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes is 29.5. McKinnon there is no prop but it’s probably 31.5. Clyde Edward-Helaire is 37. So two guys around 30 and another at 37. Mixon is almost double that. I’ll be honest, I see this very similar to the Kupp one, the difference being I’m getting +175 versus laying minus-125. Now could I see seven rushing attempts for Mixon? Yes. I can see going to make a sandwich and coming back to the TV seven minutes in and it’s 14-0 Chiefs. I absolutely can see that road happening. But if you’re gonna give me +175, I’ve got to do it.

Cam Akers +450 most rush yards in playoffs.

Brad: This is my favorite one. Here’s why I love this bet. And again, we’re getting +450. He’s 46 yards behind Eli Mitchell. So you need the Rams to win. And you need the Chiefs to win because you need to knock Mixon out (Akers is a yard ahead of Mixon). We’re at a 50/50 chance the teams we need to win actually win. Now even with the Rams winning, he’s 46 behind Mitchell and Mitchell is favored by 10 yards in the over/unders this week; so let’s say you get the Niners and Bengals eliminated. And we give those 10 more yards to Mitchell. Now you need Akers to get 57 yards in the Super Bowl to beat Mitchell. I think that’s at least 50/50. Akers over/under in that game would be around 61. So this should be a 25% bet at +300, not an 18% bet at +450. It should be +300 or even +250. Now it’s mostly +250. You have to look for the +450, but it’s at a major sportsbook. Please don’t say, “Hey Brad likes it so I bet it at +250.” No! I don’t like it at +250. I’ve lost all my edge. I don’t bet to gamble; I bet to make money.