Mon, 15 Aug 2022

NFL Wildcard TD props: A pick for 6 in every game

Field Level Media
14 Jan 2022, 03:55 GMT+10

Wildcard Weekend, one of the most exciting weekends of the year in the NFL, offers six games to determine the divisional round matchups.

Betting opportunities are plentiful as each playoff game is in a standalone timeslot.

We evaluated all six games and came up with one touchdown scorer propwe like in every matchup.

--AFC wildcard game at Cincinnati

Las Vegas Raiders vs Cincinnati Bengals

My favorite touchdown pick is Joe Mixon, but at -165 odds, it's not the best option as a straight bet.

Mixon is the clear RB1 in Cincinnati, leading the team in red zone usage by a sizable margin. He has 51 total looks, and the next closest option inside the 20 has 13.

The Raiders allow 1.35 touchdowns per game to running backs, the third-highest mark in the NFL. Mixon to score once is a great option in a parlay.

Data shows the Bengals' offense is the best spot to target, given the defensive vulnerabilities of the Raiders, and the position group of interest keeps coming back to RB. The Raiders are stingy against wide receiver scoring.

Mixon scored twice against the Raiders earlier this year, and the numbers suggest that could happen.

Best Bet: Joe Mixon to Score 2 TDs (380 on FanDuel)

--AFC wildcard game at Orchard Park, N.Y.

New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills

This is the third matchup between the AFC East rivals since Dec. 6. The first game in Buffalo was a low-scoring affair due to heavy winds, while the second contest showcased more scoring. The Bills won at Foxborough on Dec. 26 by a 33-21 count.

Weather isn't expected to be a major factor, but the projected temperature at kickoff is 3 degrees.

Something about the playoffs and big games tends to get Josh Allen moving with his legs, and it's here we'll focus on a touchdown prop bet.

In four postseason games, Allen has averaged 59.25 rushing yards, scoring once. Allen has also been the leading rusher for Buffalo in both games against New England this season.

With six rushing touchdowns on the year, Allen has comfortably demonstrated the ability to get in the end zone with his legs. I like him to do it again. The past two seasons, Allen has rushed for a touchdown in 9 of 19 home games, good for a 47% rate.

Best Bet: Josh Allen TD (180 on DraftKings)

--NFC wildcard game at Tampa, Fla.

Philadelphia vs Tampa Bay

No team allows more touchdowns to tight ends than Philadelphia.

That would suggest Rob Gronkowski is in for a big game, and he's no stranger to postseason success. Gronk's odds on FanDuel are 125, a solid option.

We turn our attention to the Eagles' side, instead, and namely quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Hurts has 10 rushing touchdowns in 15 games this season, and scored twice against Tampa Bay in their previous meeting.

The Philly running back group has some question marks. Miles Sanders has a broken hand and Jordan Howard has been nursing a stinger and looking less effective of late.

Hurts is the constant in this rushing attack with an innate nose for the goal line. His odds are solid at major sportsbooks, but slightly better on FanDuel.

Best Bet: Jalen Hurts TD (220 on FanDuel)

--NFC wildcard game at Arlington, Texas

San Francisco 49ers vs Dallas Cowboys

The highest projected total of the weekend should bring plenty of touchdowns, as two of the more explosive offenses in the NFL face off on Sunday afternoon.

Both offenses should have an edge when they see the field. Dallas averages the sixth-most passing attempts per game and will get a vulnerable San Fran secondary.

The Niners have been running at will for most of the season and get a Cowboys run defense that comes in ranked as a below-average unit on both Pro Football Focus and DVOA.

It's hard to ignore the consistency of Deebo Samuel, who has scored at least once in 7 of his last 8 games.

Whether it's through the air or on the ground, Samuel gets the ball no matter where the 49ers are on the field.

You'd like better odds, but sometimes it's best to follow reliability.

Best Bet: Deebo Samuel TD (-115 on DraftKings)

--AFC wildcard game at Kansas City, Mo.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City is the largest favorite this weekend, which can be read in a few ways. On one hand, the Chiefs should be able to put up points, which makes honing in on their offense the safe path.

On the other hand, Pittsburgh is likely to be throwing throughout the game as they play catch up, which gives us a positional group of focus.

On paper, the Chiefs' biggest advantage is on the ground, but betting on this backfield has been a frustrating endeavor all season. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and even Derrick Gore getting touches, it feels like a dart throw to guess which one finds the end zone.

Pittsburgh pass-catchers seem certain to be busy, namely Diontae Johnson.

Johnson is Big Ben's top target and had seven red-zone targets the past three games.

The Chiefs have allowed the seventh-most touchdowns per game to WRs, further supporting this angle.

Johnson scored just three weeks ago against this same Kansas City defense, and I'll be betting on him to do it again.

Best Bet: Diontae Johnson TD (180 on DraftKings)

--NFC wildcard game at Inglewood, Calif.

Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Rams

Wild Card Weekend extends to Monday Night, where we'll be treated to a third game between the Cardinals and Rams.

No team allows more wide receiver touchdowns than Arizona. In eight regular-season home games, Los Angeles has thrown 21 touchdowns and ran in just two.

Cooper Kupp is the preferred pick here if you parlay your touchdown picks, but at -165, that's poor value on a straight bet. We will mention here that Kupp has scored 16 touchdowns this season, with 1 in 11 of 17 games this season.

To secure better odds, we'll shift to Odell Beckham. Since the Rams bye week in Week 11, OBJ has found the end zone in 5 of 7 games, including against these Cardinals.

Beckham is second among Rams pass-catchers in red zone targets since Week 12 and should have the opportunities Monday.

Best Bet: Odell Beckham TD (140 on DraftKings)

If you wanted to shoot for the stars with a touchdown parlay, the above six picks -- including Mixon to score once -- combine for 16284 odds on DraftKings.

--By Griffin Carroll (@griffybets), Field Level Media

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