USATSI_17511455

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws for a first down to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) on the Cincinnati Bengals first drive in the first half the AFC wild card game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

Las Vegas Raiders At Cincinnati Bengals Playoff Ac 166

Bally Sports’ resident truffle pig, Brad Evans, constantly scours legal sports in a search of market inefficiencies he’s willing to slap some action on. Each week, crack open a cold one with him as he sorts through his favorite six-pack of player props. Fade or follow? That, of course, is up to you. (Note: All bets are worth 1 unit plus the juice. Example: -115 = 1.15 units wagered.)

1. Joe Burrow most divisional-round passing yards at Titans (+550, DraftKings)

For the NFL’s baby-faced assassin, dagger throws should occur early and often in Nashville. Sizzling like the hot chicken on Broadway, Burrow should twirl multiple chunk gains against a Titans secondary that, to be fair, showed some improvement down the regular-season homestretch. Still, it was a largely embattled unit, surrendering 263.8 passing yards per game and the sixth-most 20-plus-yard pass plays. The modern day Joe Cool, who finished QB8 in completed air yards Weeks 1 through 18, has four 300-yard games to his name in his last six contests. Understanding it’s an uphill battle running on Mike Vrabel’s defense (3.78 yards per carry to RBs), Burrow and his bevy of electric weapons should crank out a high-voltage game. At just over 5/1 to set the divisional-round pace, why not toss a little action on a potential massive game?

2. Julio Jones OVER 42.5 receiving yards vs. Bengals (-115, Caesars)

Sticking with the same game but featuring a different name, the regular-season disappointment should make up for all the squandered opportunities. After missing multiple games with ongoing soft-tissue issues, Jones shook off the rust in a “practice” game against Houston in Week 18, grabbing five of nine passes for 58 yards. Additionally, he finished Weeks 1-18 a respectable WR23 in yards per target. Candidly, Chidobe Awuzie and Eli Apple are better than advertised, allowing a combined 80.5 passer rating to their assignments. However, 23 wide receivers in total have reached at least 43 yards against Cincinnati this year. With the defense keying on bottling up A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry, anticipate Jones catching at least four balls for 50-plus yards.

3. Patrick Mahomes UNDER 281.5 passing yards vs. Bills (-114, FanDuel)

Fading Mahomes in the postseason on any prop is on par with jumping into a pit full of venomous snakes, but this non-ophidiophobic individual is unafraid. Even down blanket corner Tre’Davious White, Buffalo continues to clamp down on opposing passing attacks. Through the wild-card round, the Bills have allowed a restricting 5.76 passing yards per attempt and 179.2 passing yards per game. Mahomes tossed 272 yards in the teams’ first tango back in Week 3, but he and Tom Brady are the only quarterbacks to surpass 252 vertical yards against Sean McDermott’s secondary. And for the “regular sneakerhead,” it took a voluminous 54 attempts. Under 282 in six of his last eight games, Mahomes won’t slither a yard past 270 in the rematch.

USATSI_16933077

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) scrambles from Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Addison (97) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

4. Elijah Mitchell OVER 19.5 rushing attempts at Packers (-125, DraftKings)

Similar to elder Shanahan, who was notorious for his deception, the younger version double-crossed the gaming masses when he inserted Mitchell over the more ballyhooed Trey Sermon into the early season lineup. Though many, especially those living in Fantasyland, were perplexed by the move, it was undoubtedly the right call. Mitchell has been spectacular. The 49ers’ certifiable workhorse has at least 21 rushing attempts in six straight games. He’s also slotted at RB4 in YAC per attempt on the entire season. Highly reliable and rugged between the tackles, he should again receive a vigorous workload. Yes, game script is always influential in rushing-attempt wagers, but knowing Green Bay has yielded 4.37 yards per carry to RBs this year and San Francisco’s run-first identity, it’s quite plausible Mitchell eclipses 20 balls to the belly for the seventh consecutive time.

5. Cooper Kupp UNDER 102.5 receiving yards at Buccaneers (-114, FanDuel)

Going against Kupp is usually an exercise in futility. It’s entirely possible this highly flammable scribe will get burned. Overall, the NFL’s catch king only went under the number in six of 18 games. He finished the regular season WR10 in YAC per reception and WR1 in yards per route run. His machete-sharp routes and uncanniness for finding soft spots in coverage are nearly unmatched. It’s no wonder Matthew Stafford has a 124.2 passer rating when targeting him. Bucs slot corner Sean Murphy-Bunting, who’s given up a season-high 2.11 yards per snap in coverage this year, will have his hands full. To mitigate the damage inflicted, bank on Todd Bowles to use Antoine Winfield in bracket coverage. Falling shy of the number in a Week 3 matchup against Tampa Bay (final line: 9-96-2), a contest in which he locked horns with the quite generous Ross Cockrell, Kupp only flirts with the century mark in the rematch.

6. Cam Akers OVER 53.5 rushing yards at Buccaneers (-114, FanDuel)

Modern medicine never ceases to amaze. From the development of safe and effective vaccines to surgical innovations, it’s remarkable how far the human species has come even in the last 30 years. Take Akers, for example. Rupturing his Achilles in July, an injury long thought to be career crippling, he returned to the field in the wild-card round, handled 18 touches and displayed every imaginable pre-injury skill. Stunning. Unequivocally, the matchup against Tampa’s ferocious front is tough. The Bucs allowed just 4.01 yards per carry and 63.7 rushing yards per game to RBs in the regular season. They are, however, far from invincible, evidenced by Boston Scott’s 34-yard TD gallup last week. Akers tallied a bland 2.35 YAC/attempt against Arizona. Prized LT Andrew Whitworth’s foggy status is also a concern. Still, after playing 32 of 60 snaps on Monday, he should slash and dash to an over cover.

Season record

59-53 +5.42 units

Follow Bally Sports' Brad Evans on Twitter.

Featured Podcast

See all