What is seeing in advance of the NFL Divisional Round

January 20, 2023

Prop trends and insights for all four NFL playoff games this weekend.

As we gear up for the Divisional Round, we thought we’d hop deeper into and offer up a few NFL trends and takeaways we’re seeing from all four of the playoff matchups this weekend.

Jacksonville vs. Kansas City

Now, we realize that was a long grouping of images, but it was the best way we could display a larger sample of the long plays attempted and completed against this Jacksonville defense.

If you scan through the names here that yielded a 20+ yard play, you may notice a large amount of tight ends on the list. That’s what we noticed too.

Travis Kelce has been on the receiving end of some big plays this season, including a 46-yard catch against Jacksonville on 11/13.

The Kansas City defense has been reasonably tight this season across the board, but one area that opens up some prop opportunity may be the Chiefs seeing the second-most pass attempts per game against them.

This makes sense in a vacuum. Kansas City has been one of the NFL’s best teams this year, typically forcing teams to become one-dimensional in an effort to keep up.

Given the Chiefs are the heaviest favorite of the weekend, this game script feels likely.

Christian Kirk has been Trevor Lawrence’s favorite target this season, averaging 8.6 looks per game over his past ten. Against the Chiefs in November, Kirk hauled in nine balls for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

Jacksonville has allowed the 4th-most passing yards per game this season, and that appears to be tied to their low sack-rate giving opposing passers plenty of time in the pocket to find their guys.

This certainly appears to suit the Chiefs offense, who sport three Pro Bowlers along their offensive line, and oh also have the MVP of the league at QB.

Patrick Mahomes has 320+ passing yards in seven of his last ten games, which includes a 331-yard outing against this Jacksonville defense on November 13.

New York vs. Philadelphia

Daniel Jones and the Giants head to Philly on Saturday night and are playing with house money in what has been a surprisingly successful season. We may have found us an interesting nugget of a trend when looking at how opponents have fared on their rushing yards prop against the Eagles lately.

The realization is half the fun, so just take a look through that list for a moment.

Did you catch it? 

What we’re seeing is the quarterbacks rushing against Philadelphia. In the interest of space we don’t want to drop the entire season chart, but four of the last six quarterbacks have gone over their rushing yards prop against the Eagles.

Now, one of those unders is Daniel Jones, so why expect a different outcome this Saturday? The answer there may lie in his rushing attempts. Similarly to how Brian Daboll deployed Josh Allen in Buffalo, it’s clear that now is the time to let Jones run wild, and run wild he is.

Jones has carried the ball 28 times over the last two games, resulting in 169 total yards on the ground. Given the success Jones is having with his legs, one has to feel relatively confident that this usage will continue. His rushing yards prop is currently set at 45.5 yards.

Cincinnati vs. Buffalo

At first glance, the defensive metrics for Cincinnati look quite inviting for the Bills’ passing attack on Sunday. They rank favorably for passing yards per game, sack rate, pass attempts allowed and yards per completion.

A look at recent quarterback performances against the Bengals would confirm that these numbers hold some merit. Eight of the last ten QBs to see Cincy have covered their passing yards prop (Note, Allen is an X here but was a void due to the game being cancelled).

Whether you load up Josh Allen’s passing yards over may depend on how much stock you put into hit-rate consistency. Allen has gone over his set line of 276.5 yards in just eight of 17 games this year, and just twice over the last eight.

An alternative approach could be to look for one of Buffalo’s pass-catchers. Diggs has been the steadiest at his line, covering in about 60% of his games this year, including back-to-back 100+ yard efforts.

Similarly to Kansas City above, Buffalo tends to see pass attempts against them, fourth-most in the NFL. This too makes sense, as the Bills are one of the NFL’s best, though you didn’t need us telling you that Joe Burrow and company are going to be passing on Sunday.

Few are sporting the volume we’re seeing from Ja’Marr Chase lately, averaging 12.8 targets per game over his past five and hauling in 7+ receptions in nine straight.

Dallas vs. San Francisco

The Cowboys have allowed the 7th-most yards per game to wide receivers this season, and a quick glance at the receivers who have recently played against this defense confirms that vulnerability.

Multiple receivers in every game dating back to early December have covered their receiving yardage total when facing the Dallas secondary. Naturally, we turn to San Francisco’s pass-catchers, and it’s quite clear who has been the most consistent.

Brandon Aiyuk has covered his current 55.5 line in 11 of his last 14 games, averaging 66.6 yards per game over his last five. He faced Dallas in the playoffs last year, finishing with 66 yards on five catches.

San Francisco has had one of the most stout run defenses in the NFL this season, in the bottom-three for a few key metrics like rush yards per game and yards per attempt.

Ezekiel Elliott has seen a decrease in usage over the past two weeks, handling just 21 carries for 37 yards. He’s been inefficient with the football in his hands, yet he is still getting the carries.

Can Zeke hit a number he crossed in 14 straight games to begin the year, or is the Niners defense going to take him out of the game?

Good luck this weekend, and hop into today to find the trends that stick out to you.

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Written by: Griffin Carroll, @griffybets

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