Best bets to lead Wild Card Weekend in passing, rushing, receiving yards
The opening round of the NFL playoffs is exciting enough with six games to bet across three days, but it's also a thrilling time to dive into aggregate player props - especially with a narrower field to compete in.
There are some screaming values this weekend, too, from a matchup nightmare in Cincinnati to two long-shot rushers in favorable situations. Here are our best bets for who will lead Wild Card Weekend in each of the main statistical categories. (All odds listed are shorter than 50-1.)
Most passing yards
Unlike most massive prop markets, where one or two big plays can anchor a long shot, there are only a handful of passers on the board who have a legitimate shot to throw for 300-plus yards. That's likely what it'll take to pace the field this weekend.
Tom Brady is the only player on this list to average 300 yards or more this season, though the game script could work against him if the Buccaneers bury the Eagles early. Matthew Stafford had 280-plus yards in both games against the Cardinals, but the Rams quarterback is coming off his worst three-game stretch of the season.
The answer here is Joe Burrow, who finished the season on a scintillating run with a combined 971 yards over his final two games. It wasn't just those two contests, either. The Bengals star has thrown for 300-plus yards in four of his last five games, while the Raiders are coming off a finale in which they ceded 355 yards through the air.
If you're feeling adventurous, Derek Carr ranked sixth in passing yards per game (282.6) and should be able to exploit this Cincinnati defense, which allowed the second-most passing yards among playoff teams. There's no reason to price him as such a long shot here, so I'd recommend sprinkling some on both him and Burrow, though the latter is a much safer bet to cash.
Best bet: Joe Burrow +600
Most rushing yards
If you can grab Darrel Williams at 50-1 or better to pace the field - which could be found as of Thursday afternoon - stop reading and go do that now in light of the Clyde Edwards-Helaire injury news. Even at a shorter price, the Chiefs leading rusher should see the lion's share of carries against a Steelers front that ranks dead last in yards allowed (146.1) and yards per carry (5.0).
Aside from that, this is really a muddled field at the top, with a handful of workhorse backs priced too short to justify the risk of game script working against them. The one player who seems like a sure bet for production is Damien Harris, who has bludgeoned the Bills for 100-plus yards twice already and will be a primary weapon for the conservative Patriots offense.
With temperatures expected to be in the low single digits, this is feeling like a repeat - minus the blistering winds - of that weather-marred Monday night affair from Week 13. Harris is still dealing at too long of a price for what should be a busy day on the ground.
Best bet: Damien Harris +1800
Most receiving yards
Cooper Kupp is rightfully favored in this market after leading the NFL in receptions (145) and receiving yards per game (114.5), and he torched the Cardinals for 123 yards in Week 14. It's also puzzling to see Ja'Marr Chase at 15-1, given he combined for 391 yards over his last two full games.
Still, the best value on the board is Darren Waller. The Raiders tight end finished with a season-high 116 yards in the Week 11 matchup with Cincinnati; since then, the Bengals surrendered huge games to George Kittle (151 yards) and Mark Andrews (125) and have allowed the fifth-most yards to opposing TEs on the season.
There's risk there for Waller, who is just two weeks removed from a stint on the COVID-19 reserve list and is still battling injuries, but the upside is immense.
Best bet: Darren Waller +2200