NFL Props: Who Will Lead the Playoffs in Passing, Receiving, & Rushing Yards?
Sportsbooks are offering a selection of NFL Playoff Specials for passing, rushing, and receiving. The special prop bets present opportunities to get exposure to different NFL teams without wagering on their traditional futures odds. Here is a breakdown of a selection of the odds from DraftKings and BetMGM with a few of my favorite playoff bets.
Make sure to check out our NFL Wild Card Lines and Betting Picks before placing your Wild Card Weekend bets.
2021 NFL Playoff Props
Who Will Throw for the Most Passing Yards?
I would be remiss to not bring up the Patrick Mahomes-sized elephant in the sports betting lobbies at BetMGM & DraftKings Sportsbook lobbies under the NFL tab. If one is to discuss passing yards, the conversation begins with the best quarterback, ahem… player in the NFL. That said, this postseason is a bit different than that of 2020. Matt Schmitto presented a few great ideas this time last year on how to get creative with bets during the NFL playoffs instead of wagering on SuperBowl odds.
This year, Patrick Mahomes possesses the same odds to accumulate the most passing yards at DraftKings (+225) as the Chiefs do to win the SuperBowl. Last year, Mahomes’ passing prop offered better odds and felt like a better way to get exposure to the Chiefs. Given that Kansas City is the only team to have a bye, I think I’d prefer to just bet the Chiefs outright, which you can find +240 at BetMGM. Keep in mind, Mahomes and Rodgers are the only two quarterbacks who face a ceiling of three games.
On the other hand, Tom Brady comes at a +500 price to lead the postseason in passing yards while the Buccaneers are +400 to win the NFC. If I am wagering on the Buccaneers to win the NFC, I might as well take the better price on Brady’s passing prop. Considering the possible routes and the recent Tampa Bay offensive surge — Brady can pay this bet off even if he loses his third game in the NFC Championship. Tampa Bay led the NFL over the last three weeks with 411 passing yards per game. Given the emphasis on passing, Brady is my favorite pick to lead the postseason in passing.
For a longshot, I don’t mind speculating on Ben Roethlisberger at a lofty +2200 price tag. Pittsburgh finished the regular season with the most pass attempts per game (41.0). For the Steelers to succeed, Roethlisberger will have to throw the ball, a lot. If the gamescript is neutral or positive for Pittsburgh, the Steelers will still throw because of a completely inefficient running game (NFL-worst 3.6 YPA). If the Steelers must play from behind, then Big Ben will chuck the football all over the yard. Depending on seeding, the Steelers will likely face the Bills or the Chiefs in their second matchup. A victory that sends Pittsburgh to the conference finals will surely mean Roethlisberger ranks high in passing yards. I prefer these odds to the Steelers’ futures odds.
Who Will Have the Most Rushing Yards?
In a league that favors passing, I find it tough to get excited about some of the odds for playoff rushing yards. Derrick Henry comes in at +300 on DraftKings — an obvious favorite to win despite the Titans sitting fifth to win the AFC. Logically, I feel far more strongly about betting the Titans to win the AFC at +1400 than I do about taking his rushing prop. For Derrick Henry to win the rushing award, he will likely need a few games which puts the Titans in the AFC Championship game. Certainly, Henry has the most upside for rushing Wild Card Weekend — but the Titans can easily lose to the Ravens in the first round. Even 250 rushing yards might struggle to hold throughout the entire playoffs. I would much rather bet the AFC Championship victory and give myself an opportunity to hedge there for a better profit.
As for players to get behind, Clyde Edwards-Helaire strikes me as a decent value at +1500. CEH should be ready for the Chiefs’ divisional game and seemed to retake the reins of the Kansas City backfield prior to his injury. A SuperBowl Run gives CEH three games to work with on a team that heavily featured Damien Williams throughout their postseason run in 2020. Further, I don’t mind taking a shot on Lamar Jackson at +1100. In a world where the Ravens make it to the SuperBowl, four games with Jackson’s rushing upside would potentially blow away the field. Don’t forget, for Jackson to make a deep run, Henry will not play more than one game.
As for a really, really deep longshot, I don’t mind the +8000 dart on Gus Edwards for a very, very, very small bet size. While J.K. Dobbins (+900) seems to further cement his role with each week, Edwards out-touched the former over the last two weeks of the season. Dobbins is far more explosive but the Ravens will run enough to feed every mouth. Edwards can flirt with 80-90 yards in each game if the Ravens are playing a positive script.
Who Will Have the Most Receiving Yards?
Moving on to receiving, Stefon Diggs sits atop the board with a +350 price. The Buffalo Bills come with the same price to win the AFC Championship. If I am looking to bet on Bills’ futures, Diggs to lead the playoffs in receiving makes some sense as an alternative to the Bills winning the AFC or the SuperBowl. The Bills can fall short while Diggs still puts together massive yardage performances. The same can be said about Davante Adams at +500 despite the bye week. That said, I am a bit bearish on the Packers with the loss of LT David Bakhtiari. The market has priced the Packers out of consideration for me.
Tyreek Hill has immense upside and would be my preferred Chief at +600 — especially since Travis Kelce is priced the same on DraftKings. One of my favorite plays, though, is Michael Thomas given the murky situation surrounding the Saints’ backfield. Thomas sits at +750 a mere season after rewriting the receiving record books. Rested down the stretch of the season, Thomas will return on Sunday and could emerge as the top option for a healthy Drew Brees. I will be sure to bet this prop before any further news breaks about the status of Alvin Kamara.
As for a couple of longshots, the price on Diontae Johnson is very appealing considering his massive target-share. At +3000, Johnson offers another way to get exposure to the Steelers without betting the team’s futures. Common sense would suggest that a successful postseason run by Pittsburgh would mean a high volume of receiving yards for Diontae Johnson.
Similarly, my favorite quarterback play, Tom Brady, seems likely to have his top receiver play in the opening game on Saturday night. Most recent reports suggest that Evans will likely play through his hyperextended knee. At +5000, Evans could be a steal if he is able to suit up throughout a deep Tampa Bay run. Like Michael Thomas, I do think Evans merits some speculation given the news-based price.
What are your favorite NFL Playoff Leaders props? Share them below or with Joe on Twitter @JoeCistaro. Good luck.
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