The NFL playoffs have finally arrived, and with the four-game weekend of playoff football ahead of us, I am back to release my best prop betting NFL picks for the opening round.
Alfred Blue O/U 48.5 Rushing Yards
The first game of the weekend should have plenty of defense to go around as the Kansas City Chiefs head into Houston to play the Texans. Since Arian Foster went down, the Texans have struggled to run the ball at times, and this week against a red hot Chiefs defense, Alfred Blue’s chances of going over his rushing yards total are very slim. Other than letting Johnny Manziel run all over them a few weeks ago when they played the Browns, the Chiefs have not allowed 100 yards rushing in three of their last four games heading into the playoffs, and in two of those games against the Raiders and Chargers, they did not allow either of those teams to get to 50 yards rushing. In Week 1 when these two teams played one another and Foster was still out, Blue received only nine carries, but turned them into 42 yards. While I expect him to continue to see a heavy workload in this game after getting at least 15 carries in the Texans’ last three weeks, I doubt he is able to break apart the Chiefs’ defense.
NFL Pick: UNDER 48.5 (-115) at bet365
Chiefs vs. Texans O/U 3.5 FGs
In that same game is a nice field goal total of 3.5 from bet365, and with a total of 40 points on the NFL odds board, and with how well these two teams have been playing defense as of late, the red zone conversion percentage for both teams might go down in this win or go home game to open the playoffs. Plus, the Texans have been busy kicking field goals recently. Nick Novak of Houston has attempted 10 field goals in the Texans’ last three games, and he has only gone twice this season without attempting at least one field goal. On the other side of this one you have Cairo Santos, who is one of the better kickers in the league, and while the Chiefs’ offense has been more consistent in the red zone recently, Santos should see one or two shots at three points in this one as well. Both of these teams have been hotter in the red zone in their final three regular season games, but on the year these two teams convert only about 57 percent of the time when they get inside the 20, so assuming they can get into their opponent’s territory some this Saturday, I’m banking on four or more field goals for my NFL picks.
NFL Pick: OVER 3.5 (+125)
A.J. Green O/U 80.5 Receiving Yards
The other Saturday night game should be a good one between the Bengals and the Steelers, and if past performances are an indication as what could happen in this one, the Steelers and Bengals could put up a ton of yards and points on one another’s defense. The Steelers are dealing with an injury to DeAngelo Williams, and with him out the Steelers are going to be throwing the ball liberally in this game. That means the Bengals will have to throw to match this prolific passing attack, and A.J. Green will be the number one beneficiary of that. AJ McCarron starting the game scares me some, the Bengals should pepper Green with targets. In the two games against the Steelers this season, Cincinnati targeted Green a total of 26 times in those two games, and in both games Green saw over 100 yards receiving. Take the over and hope that Green sees another game of 12 to 15 targets.
NFL Pick: OVER 80.5 (-120)