Best Over/Under NFL Player Prop Bets For Conference Championships

In this weekly NFL player props preview, we’ll highlight some bets you should consider for the upcoming week.

Player props typically aren’t posted until closer to game day. This early preview will look at some particularly favorable or unfavorable matchups that could become actionable.

This doesn’t mean we should automatically bet on these props, but these are some of the first players to check when lines are posted.

Hopefully, oddsmakers haven’t identified the same trends as us, and we can find favorable value on these props.

Consider the over on Lamar Jackson’s passing yards prop

If you’re expecting a competitive contest in the AFC Championship Game,  take the over on Lamar Jackson’s passing yards.

Lamar Jackson’s passing yards, current line:

Lamar Jackson has been held under 220 passing yards nine times this year, but eight of those games were double-digit Ravens victories. 

In Ravens losses or one-score victories, Jackson topped 220 yards five of six times with an average of 239.5 yards per game.

Another factor here is the Chiefs’ coverage scheme. Due to the Ravens’ productive run game, opponents tend to stack the box at a high rate, which typically means relying on single-high coverages. 

Although the Chiefs typically favor two-high coverage, we have seen them adjusted for certain quarterbacks 一 most notably a 55% single-high rate against Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. 

When the Chiefs switch to single-high coverage, their preferred coverage is Cover-1, which is also their worst coverage scheme in terms of yards per attempt allowed. 

According to TruMedia, Kansas City allows 7.4 yards per attempt in Cover-1 while allowing 5.1 yards per attempt in all other coverages. 

That trend bodes well for Jackson, who averages 9.6 yards per attempt against Cover-1, the league’s fourth-highest mark per TruMedia. Against all other coverage schemes, Jackson ranks 10th with 7.6 yards per attempt.

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Consider the over on Brandon Aiyuk’s receiving yards prop

Partially due to Deebo Samuel‘s uncertain health status, let’s take the over on Brandon Aiyuk’s receiving yards in the NFC Championship game.  

Brandon Aiyuk’s receiving yards, current line:

The Lions use single-high coverage at an elevated rate (59% on the year) and will likely lean into that trend as teams typically boost their single-high usage against San Francisco as it allows them to stack the box to defend the run.

According to TruMedia, Brock Purdy faced single-high coverage on 65% of his attempts, the league’s second-highest rate. 

As a result, we should expect increased opportunities for Brandon Aiyuk based on his target share breakdown:

  • 24.9% target share versus single-high
  • 18.5% target share versus two-high

Since the 49ers have seen a significant rate of single-high coverage, we shouldn’t expect a huge boost to Aiyuk’s production based on the Lions’ coverage tendency alone. However, the injury to Deebo Samuel, which has put his status for this game in doubt, is a key factor. 

Obviously, Samuel’s absence has the potential to boost Aiyuk’s usage, but the effect is most pronounced against single-high coverage. When Aiyuk is on the field without Samuel, he sees a 37% target share against single-high coverage compared to 22% against two-high coverage, per TruMedia. 

So even if Samuel is active but at less than full strength, there’s good reason to believe Aiyuk’s usage gets a boost in this matchup. 

Consider the over on Odell Beckham’s receiving yards prop

The Chiefs’ expected coverage scheme bodes well for this prop, so let’s take the over on Odell Beckham’s receiving yards.

Odell Beckham’s receiving yards, current line:

As previously mentioned, the Chiefs are likely to shift away from their typical two-high coverage scheme due to Jackson’s athleticism and the Ravens run game. 

Against Justin Fields and the Bears, the Chiefs shifted to single-high coverage on 55% of plays, favoring Cover-1 (39% of plays). 

A high rate of Cover-1 would benefit Odell Beckham, who consistently sees downfield targets against Cover-1. 

According to TruMedia, Beckham is second on the team in target share against Cover-1 (17%), and 35% of those targets have been 20 or more yards downfield. As a result, Beckham averages 24.4 yards per reception against Cover-1. 

Given his production against this scheme, we may only need one catch from Beckham to hit the over 一 which is also reason to consider the over on his longest reception prop. 

Consider the under on Christian McCaffrey’s receiving yards prop

Due to expected game flow and the Lions’ coverage scheme, let’s take the under on Christian McCaffrey’s receiving yards.

Christian McCaffrey’s receiving yards, current line:

Over the 49ers’ last eight games, Christian McCaffrey has topped this number only twice 一 and both overs were aided by a single reception of over 30 yards. 

San Francisco is favored by a touchdown, so increased receiving opportunities due to the flow of the game are unlikely for McCaffrey. 

The Lions coverage scheme also does not bode well for increased usage. As previously mentioned, Detroit leans on single-high coverage (59% rate), and most teams increase their rate of single-high against San Francisco. 

Take a look at McCaffrey’s target share by coverage scheme, via TruMedia:

  • Versus single high: 15% (fourth on team)
  • Versus two-high: 21% (second on team)

Now let’s take a look at those numbers without Deebo Samuel on the field since his status is in doubt:

  • Versus single-high: 13% (third on team)
  • Versus two-high: 28% (leads team)

McCaffrey could benefit from Samuel’s injury in certain matchups, but there’s no reason to anticipate a high rate of two-high coverage from Detroit. As a result, the elevated number on this prop is unwarranted, and the under looks like a strong play. 

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