With just four games to enjoy on NFL Division Weekend, we can really pick apart these matchups and come up with a few NFL props bets to spice up your betting card.
NFL Division Props Player Bets
Dalvin Cook 18+ carries, 69+ rush yards & to score a TD +313 @ San Francisco 49ers
Yes, I know the 49ers have a pretty elite defense this year. So, would it surprise you to know that despite their ability to keep points off the board, they rank just 17th in stopping the run? Over the course of the season, they have given up a very average 112.6 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs.
I fully expect Minnesota to utilize Cook out of the gate, try to establish a strong presence on the ground and open up the field for Kirk Cousins. This will be a big help against a defense which ranks first in passing yards allowed, ceding just 169.2 YPG – good for first in the league. This actually helps us, so long as the Vikings don’t fall too far behind early.
I see Minnesota employing a similar tactic to the one they used against the Saints last week in their Wild Card win. They let Cook loose and he ran the ball 28 times for 94 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns against a Top-5 ground defense. If he repeats this performance against a less qualified defense than we’re cashing a big-ticket on Saturday. I like our chances here with Cook averaging 76 yards rushing per game in 2019 and the touchdown can be either the ground or air variety. Cook does factor into the passing game but has failed to catch a TD pass this season.
On a side note, if you are planning to make any other props in this game, fading the Vikings passing attack might be the avenue to explore. This is particularly true for Kirk Cousins, who entered the OT quarter last week with just 179 passing yards and zero touchdowns. If the Vikings have a shot at this game, they will look to lean on Cook more than Cousins, especially with Thielen playing injured.
Derrick Henry to have 100+ rush yards & 1 touchdown +165 @ Baltimore Ravens
Let me make my feelings about Derrick Henry perfectly clear before we get into this. I feel that no defense right now can stop him. Stack all the boxes you want, Henry will run right over you. Some quick numbers off the top. 303 attempts on the year, 1,540 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, all rank first in the NFL. I mean really, I can stop right there. Plus money odds for the best RB in the game to go over 100 yards and score a touchdown? Sign me up.
Now yes, I know the Ravens have a great rushing defense, ranking 4th in the league and giving up just 93.4 YPG (101.2 at home). But I really don’t think it matters much. Let’s take a quick look back at how Henry has done in the recent past against other Top-10 rushing defenses.
We don’t have to look far to find our first victims, the New England Patriots. They ranked 6th in stopping the run before Henry rolled over them for 182 yards and a touchdown last week in the AFC Wild Card game. He hit them so hard in fact, they now rank 9th in the league in the same category.
Next up, we go back a few more weeks to their game against Oakland who ranked 10th against the run coming into the weekend. Henry saw another successful day, running for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The week before that they played the 7th ranked defense at the time, the Indianapolis Colts.
And surprise, surprise, he went off for 149 yards on 26 carries and scoring once. While the breakout star has yet to see the Ravens defense this year, I doubt the results will be any different than any of the other elite run-stoppers have experienced.
Patrick Mahomes to have 300+ passing yards and Chiefs to win vs Houston Texans
Mr. Mahomes has hit the 300-yard mark in half of the 14 games he played this season. While that doesn’t sound all that impressive considering his 2018 season, remember this year has been marred with injuries and being knocked out of a couple of games as a result. Despite this, it appears that he has been playing at full health for the last few weeks and should be in line for a big game against the Texans in the AFC showdown.
This is due largely in part to the awful secondary Mahomes will have the luxury of picking apart. They are, in fact, one of the worst in the league giving up 266.4 YPG on average, good for 29th in the NFL. They have actually even been slightly worse than that over the last few weeks with a 278 YPG average and also sport a 294.3 YPG mark (blister) on the year.
Let’s just examine last week’s game against the Bills for a quick example.
The Texans gave up 264 passing yards in that game, which is actually above average for them. So job well done right? Well, not so much. See the Bills quarterback is Josh Allen, who unlike most every other quarterback in history, is not the best passer. Allen does a lot with his legs and the Bills have a unique playbook catering to him. So, that 264 yards passing marked his 2nd best game of the year after a 266-yard day versus the lowly Dolphins.
To put it bluntly, if this defense gave up almost 300 yards to a guy who averages just 181 YPG, imagine what Mahomes will do to them. This bet is also available at 350+ yards (+210) & 400+ yards (+600) for those interested.
That’s it for our NFL Division props bets, good luck!