With the 2020 NFL regular season firmly in the past, it’s time for the first Super Wild Card Weekend. Adding a seventh seed to the NFL Playoffs has increased the number of games to three on both Saturday and Sunday (opposed to just two each day).
There’s plenty of storylines ahead– from JuJu Smith-Schuster calling the Browns “nameless gray faces” to Chase Young demanding Tom Brady. It’s one of the biggest weekends in the history of both the Browns and Bills franchises, and unfamiliar territory for the Buccaneers. With so much to prove on the table, let’s take a look at the best player prop bets for the inaugural Super Wild Card Weekend.
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 Ryan Tannehill’s passing yards Sunday against the Ravens at 237.5. However, DraftKings Sportsbook may offer the same prop at over/under 240.5. That three 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 lands at +300 at DraftKings Sportsbook. However, FanDuel Sportsbook lists his MVP odds at +350. A $100 bet at DK would pay out $300 (plus the initial $100 bet), but the same $100 wager placed at FanDuel would pay out $350– a $50 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
Lamar Jackson vs Rashaan Evans and David Long Jr.
Greg Roman’s offense is built solely around creating numbers mismatches and confusion among box defenders. Evans and Long Jr. are Tennessee’s inside backing duo and there may not be more pressure on any players in the NFL this weekend. The Ravens utilize pre-snap motion more than any team in the league and build off a few staple run plays (for simplicity’s sake: power, trap, and counter). The Ravens’ offense gives defenses the same look for several different plays, famously quarterback counters once a few successful power plays are run.
The only way to combat those counters is gap discipline, and it’s all on Evans and Long Jr. to defeat their blocks and clog gaps. Jackson has made a career off out-of-place linebackers; he hits backside creases like no one else in the NFL and once he hits the open field, it’s all over. The Ravens’ system isn’t foreign to the Titans– they were one of just two teams to put the brakes completely on the machine a year ago (Chargers). However, with a new group of guys in 2021, the Titans will have to really buckle down on discipline.
Should Jackson find ways to expose the inside backers and pick up chunk plays, the Ravens will run away with this game.
Chase Young vs Tristan Wirfs
There may not be a more important matchup between rookies than this one. Historically, Tom Brady has struggled when faced with pressure (2007-08 Giants, 2015-16 Broncos, 2019-20 Titans). Washington has one of the best front fours in the NFL – so much to the point where teams change offensive schemes to get the football out of their quarterback’s hands as fast as possible. While Brady’s no stranger to the short passing game, Bruce Arians doesn’t utilize it like Brady’s used to.
Tristan Wirfs has been an outstanding rookie tackle this season, ranking 11th in the NFL in PFF’s tackle grades (second among rookie tackles). In 1,073 snaps this season, Wirfs allowed just one sack and was flagged just three times. Chase Young, on the other hand, has been a disrupter from Day 1. Young ranks sixth among edge rushers (PFF), above names like J.J. Watt and Brandon Graham. It’s a great battle that’s bound to happen more often than not this Saturday night.
Should Young get home to Brady a few times, it could disrupt the entire offense. Week 9 against the Saints, Brady was hit nine times, causing him to throw three interceptions (the Bucs lost that game 38-3).