Givin Props: NFL Divisional Round

Mike Evans #13 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
Image Credit: Julio Aguilar/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 4-3 last week and 91-51 now for the year (64.1%). We have seven picks this week and are highlighting five of them here. Of course, all the picks are available via the Givin Props podcast. We start with one of your favorite bets and one of your favorite players to do it with:

Josh Allen over 1.5 passing touchdowns (a winner last week), at minus-155. 

Brad: Just a great bet. I think this is off by a 100 cents or so. It should be minus-250. I’m 5-0 with this bet this year. Great QBs like Allen should be expected to throw two touchdowns in a game. It’s really that simple. When I put it through the BetPrep grinder, since 2019, Allen is 29-8 his last 37 games with this bet. He’s 14-4 year to date. Laying $1.55 is crazy cheap. What’s my favorite bet of the week? This would be it.  Josh Allen, to me, over 1.5 touchdowns is priced here like it’s a 3-2 winning bet over the long run and that’s silliness. I will take my numbers over the market opinion in props all day. In game betting, I’d assume their line is really good. But this is not a good number.

Matthew Stafford Under 282.5 passing yards.

Brad: I love Matthew Stafford. He’s actually one of my favorites. Certain guys I call my guys. He’s one of my guys. But he’s struggled badly down the stretch. And when I go by the numbers – and I show my work here – Stafford under 282.5 his last five games. And his average in this period is 238 passing yards. All those games were must-win games, too. Big games fighting for the division and seeding. These weren’t B games. So he’s off by 50 yards a game. I also think that Tampa’s run defense is overrated of late and that the Rams will want to and will run the ball more/better than we think. So this is the other side of it, just intuition and my sense of the game. I thought Cam Akers looked good last week. And Stafford may be without his starting left tackle in this game, too, which cuts into the expected passing yards as well.

Tyler Boyd Under 4.5 catches, minus-160.

Brad: He’s just not that involved. I’m paying juice here. If I lose it’s going to sting. But I have his number at 3.5 and when the numbers are this small, with catches, 1.0 is big. Boyd is 11-6 to the Under this year. In his last seven games, he’s getting only five targets a game. And an interesting stat: The Titans hold opponents to the second-fewest plays in the league. I’m going to get really pinched if I lose, but I do think the odds are so much better that he lands on 1-to-4 catches than 5-plus.

Did you think about the yards? What’s the process here?

Brad: I was only lower by a few yards. It wasn’t as mispriced for me as the catches. I had 42.5 and they have 45.5. It’s just not enough of a difference relative to the catches. I like not having to worry about a big play, too. That takes away some of the variance. (In other words, it’s harder to feel unlucky getting beat on the Over with catches than the Over with yards.)

Julio Jones Over 42.5 receiving yards. Has his death been greatly exaggerated? 

Brad: Our guy Tommy The Hitman always has such great stats. Julio is 4-2 to the Over in games where he’s played at least 50% of snaps. And he’s still ranked 31st in yards per route run and even higher in yards per reception.

And Tommy said that in dropbacks where he has Julio, A.J. Brown, and Derrick Henry on the field, Ryan Tannehill averages 9.4 yards per pass attempt vs. 5.2 when one of those guys is missing. It’s going to be really hard for Julio not to get 42.5 yards if Tannehill averages 9.4 yards per attempt.

Brad: 100%. I have him about 10 yards higher in my projections and I liked the Over at that higher number, my number when I did it.

Mike Evans Over 69.5 despite the Rams having Jalen Ramsey.

Brad: Here’s the thing: Ramsey doesn’t shadow receivers. So the Bucs can move Evans away from Ramsey’s side. If they do shadow Evans with Ramsey, then I don’t like this as much. But they haven’t played this way all year. He’s 10-6 to the over this year and went over against this team. He really destroyed a top corner in Darius Slay last week. And since Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown were out, he’s 4-2 to the Over. But let’s look at the two losses. One was the Jets game where he was very limited. The other was the Saints game that was just one of those nights and Tampa Bay just can’t deal with the Saints. We know that Tom Brady trusts Mike Evans and we know that Mike Evans is going to be a massive part of this gameplan. And Evans is also a Hall of Fame talent. In those four games when he’s gone Over, he’s gone Over 90 yards. So 70 is a good number.