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Ricky Sanders’ Divisional Round NFL Sports Betting Playoffs SportsGrid Model Picks and Analysis

Ricky Sanders’ Divisional Round NFL Sports Betting Playoffs SportsGrid Model Picks and Analysis
Davis Mattek January 17, 2020 2:31PM EDT

Divisional Round NFL Sports Betting Playoffs SportsGrid Model Picks and Analysis

SportsGrid focuses on data-driven takes that analysts and users should be using to make educated decisions in both the NFL Sports betting, gambling and daily fantasy sports worlds. This week, analyst Ricky Sanders will use the SportsGrid NFL Betting Model to determine the best bets from each Conference Championship game along with a few of our model’s favorite NFL sports betting player props. Davis Mattek already has given his picks against the spread for each of the conference championship games. 

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Tennessee Titans At Kansas City Chiefs

Team SG Model Win% Moneyline Vegas Line Over/Under
TEN 21.4% +276 +7 (-104) 53o (-110)
KC 69.3% -338 -7 (-115) 53u (-110)

Best Bet: 53.0 Point Under

After the Chiefs scored 51-points against the Texans by themselves, the public is almost assuredly going to be on any Kansas City over this week. Only 11 of the 19 teams that have scored 40-plus points in their Divisional Round victory have managed to win in the Championship Round and those teams have gone 6-12-1 against the spread, per covers.com. In other words, 50-plus point performances are difficult to duplicate and the SportsGrid model lists the under as a 5.0-star play (out of 5.0). Thus far, the model has been on seven unders as 5.0-star plays and six of them have hit in the playoffs (with last week’s Seahawks/Packers tilt being the outlier). After scoring 40-plus points in a game this year (which happened twice), the Chiefs have averaged 25.5-points per game the following game, and Patrick Mahomes (KC) played the entire game on both those occasions. Fade the public and play the under in this spot.

Green Bay Packers At San Francisco 49ers

Team SG Model Win% Moneyline Vegas Line Over/Under
GB 27.1% +287 +7.5 (-110) 46o (-110)
SF 72.6% -351 -7.5 (-110) 46u (-110)

Best Bet: GB + 7.5

Analysis:

A week ago, the 49ers absolutely demolished the Vikings as they out-gained them 308 yards to just 147. They gashed the Vikings for 186 yards on the ground and the Packers are a defense that ranked just 23rd in rushing defense according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric this year. Even so, the Packers have been one of the best teams against the spread all season long (11-6-0) and recency bias will almost assuredly lead bettors to the 49ers. Earlier in the year, the 49ers beat the Packers 37-8 at home and held Aaron Rodgers (GB) to just 104 yards passing (his lowest all season long). However, Rodgers has topped a 90 QB rating in each of his past four playoff games and has thrown multiple touchdowns (TDs) in each. Furthermore, the 49ers defense has been susceptible to the run and Aaron Jones (GB) has morphed into the focal point of the offense down the stretch. During the course of his final five games (including last week), Jones has topped 100 rushing yards thrice and has scored seven total touchdowns (TDs). According to the Vegas odds, the Packers have just a 25.84-percent chance to win the game and our model has them quite a bit higher. For that reason, our model views the 7.5-points as too many, and views the Packers as the proper play here.

NFL Sports Betting Player Props

Ryan Tannehill OVER 235.5 Passing Yards

Analysis:

In every single month this season, Ryan Tannehill (TEN) averaged over 252 yards passing per game, and now the Titans will be facing one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. In his one meeting versus the Chiefs earlier this season, Tannehill only attempted 19 passes and finished with just 185 passing yards because the team was essentially playing keep-away from the Chiefs offense. The team was able to keep the game close throughout in that contest but Vegas lists the Chiefs as over a touchdown (TD) favorite meaning the keep-away approach will likely not be viable this go-around. The DailyRoto model is projecting over 248-yards passing from the Titans and expecting closer to their seasonal average this go-around and a 13-yard difference from the prop is massive. If the team takes a lead early, this could come down to the wire, but the law of averages suggests Tannehill should have over 235-yards passing more times than not in this matchup (despite the fact the Chiefs defense only allowed 221.4 passing yards per game in the regular season). The Texans threw for 388 yards against this defense last week so it stands to reason Tannehill should at least be able to throw for 20 yards below his seasonal average as a starter in this contest as well.

Aaron Rodgers OVER 12.5 Rushing Yards

Analysis:

In five of his final seven games this year, Rodgers rushed for at least 13 yards, which may not seem like much, but is all Rodgers needs to hit his prop. During that stretch, Rodgers has rushed for 88 yards or an average of 12.6 yards per week. In the regular season, only the Bengals and Browns allowed more rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks (QBs) than the 49ers. Although the 49ers ranked as a top two passing DVOA, they only ranked 11th in rushing DVOA, so their vulnerability clearly came in defending running plays. Opposing QBs averaged 23.8 rushing yards per game against the 49ers and, even without the outlier Ravens 101 QB rushing yard game, QBs rushed for more than 12 yards against the 49ers on nine other occasions (so in 10 total regular season games). Despite projecting Rodgers for just 2.8 rushing attempts this weekend, the DailyRoto model projects Rodgers for 13.3 rushing yards, or nearly a full rushing yard above the prop. This feels like a strange prop to put faith into but Rodgers could exceed the rushing total in just one play (so it is worth the inherent risk).

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