We’re down to the final eight teams in the NFL Playoffs and the Divisional Round will offer plenty of stellar matchups. A week after shocking Pittsburgh, the Cleveland Browns head to the defending champion Chiefs’ house with plenty of momentum and motivation. The red-hot Ravens’ offense meets the Buffalo Bills, while the Rams visit the Packers. Tampa Bay and New Orleans get a third and final crack at one another to round out the Divisional Round.
With these outstanding team matchups come some of the best individual matchups that we’ve had all season long. Dozens of All-Pro selections litter the remaining teams, and many of them get to square off against one another. Let’s take a look at some of the most pivotal matchups that will have a heavy impact on not only this weekend’s prop bets, but also the outcomes of the games themselves.
Free props search tool
Looking to bet on team and player props for NFL Wild Card weekend? Use our prop search tool to find the best odds across legal sportsbooks in the US.
What is the player props search tool?
The player props search tool was built to make everyone’s life easier, and we didn’t try to hide its purpose in the name. The Lines now provides one-stop shop that gathers odds from a dozen sportsbooks and puts them in one place. Besides cutting minutes off your search by putting DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, and others right in front of you; the search tool also shows you dozens of prop bets for the individual player.
Advice oft-repeated at The Lines is to shop around when placing bets. Just because Fox Bet offers certain odds doesn’t mean another sportsbook won’t offer better odds. For example, BetMGM offers the over/under on Patrick Mahomes’ passing yards Sunday against the Browns at 320.5. However, DraftKings Sportsbook may offer the same prop at over/under 322.5. That two yard discrepancy might not seem like much, but it’s solid insurance against a bad beat and maximizes your win probability.
Similarly, two sportsbooks may offer the same prop, but at different odds. For example, Mahomes’ season-long odds to win the MVP land at +1400 at FanDuel Sportsbook. However, DraftKings Sportsbook lists his MVP odds at +1600. A $100 bet at DK would pay out $1400 (plus the initial $100 bet), but the same $100 wager placed at FanDuel would pay out $1600– a $200 difference (plus the initial $100 bet).
The player props search tool is made to maximize winnings and minimize time flipping through windows and tabs.
How to use the player props tool
The search tool (above) is incredibly easy to use; simply type in a player’s name (ex. Drew Brees) and your state of residence. Hit enter and that’s it.
From there, you’ll find a list of different props at different odds and at different sportsbooks. There’s even links to the books, so you won’t have to open a new window and re-find those odds. No need to worry about outdated odds, either– the tool is linked to live odds and is ever-changing.
Matchups to watch
Myles Garrett vs Patrick Mahomes
Buckle up, this one gets a little involved:
The Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line hasn’t been great this season, especially on third down. While there’s a lengthy explanation behind why that is – in short – it’s because Patrick Mahomes drops deeper than any other quarterback in the league to extend the time it takes for defenders to put pressure on him. However, it’s caused Mahomes to end up dropping so far back that he’s outside the pocket created from his offensive line, leading to his sack rate increasing by 2% this season (moving him up 11 spots among quarterbacks from 31st-most sacked to 20th-most sacked).
Enter Myles Garrett – first team All-Pro edge rusher. Garrett excels when the Browns allow him to just bullrush the quarterback and use his freakish combination of size, speed, and strength to dominate the opposing tackle. The Chiefs rely on home run plays on early downs and bunch scoring to win. In games against Denver and Atlanta this season, Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense struggled to score because of the soft coverage both defenses showed him.
Again, long explanation made simple – the Browns play plenty of soft coverage (see last week’s game against Pittsburgh), which could give Garrett plenty of time to get home. If he can and the Chiefs’ stall out a few times, their defense won’t be holding the Browns to few enough points to win. It’s a matchup that could put the Browns in position to pull off one of the biggest upsets in playoff history.
Aaron Donald vs Corey Linsley
It’s another matchup between first team All-Pro players. Aaron Donald is one of the league’s biggest disruptors and game-changers while Corey Linsely is one of the best neutralizers in the NFL. A week ago, Donald proved just how much of a disruptor he can be, sacking Russell Wilson twice and knocking him down three additional times in just over a half played (he exited the matchup with an abdominal injury). One of those sacks was a drive-ender early in the first quarter.
Of the remaining teams, no one has given up fewer sacks than Green Bay (just 1.3 per game). This comes in spite of Rodgers sitting in the pocket the 12th-longest among eligible quarterbacks and regularly extending plays with his legs. This is thanks to the Packers’ second-ranked pass blocking offensive line, anchored by Donald. If Linsley can keep Donald out of the game, Green Bay will be finding themselves walking into next week’s NFC Championship Game.
Jalen Ramsey vs Davante Adams
You don’t have to leave Green Bay to find another matchup between first team All-Pros: lockdown corner Jalen Ramsey takes on this year’s best wide receiver in Davante Adams. Five times this year has Adams found the end zone more than once in a single game. In 16 games this year, Ramsey has allowed just 32 total receptions on 64 targets (50% catch) and three touchdowns (two of which came in Week 3 against Buffalo).
This matchup comes down to an unstoppable force (Adams) against an immovable object (Ramsey). Adams has averaged 9.9 targets per game this season (most) and piled up the fourth-most total targets despite missing two games. Adams also averages 9.2 yards per target (third) while Ramsey has allowed just 4.8 yards per target this season.