NFL Best Bets and Player Props for the Divisional Round: Barkley Bites Back

Divisional Round Player Props and Best NFL Bets

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The NFL Divisional Round begins Saturday, first with the Jags visiting Arrowhead and then the Giants traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. We’ve got a trio of gamer accessories to get you started on the weekend.

It’s the Divisional Round and the longer we wait, the more efficient these prop markets will be. With some teams having to change offensive game plans so drastically from last week to this week, there are a few angles punters can take advantage of early on.

This weekend, I’m blowing the script out of the game in a couple of plays on Saturday night after going defensive in Arrowhead.

Check out my NFL prop picks ahead of Divisional Round weekend.

Latest NFL Prop Picks

  • Chris Jones to record a sack (-130)
  • Saquon Barkley Over 15.5 carries (-115)
  • Richie James Under 4.5 receptions (-130)

Check out the full selection analysis below, or click here for the full betting card.

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NFL Prop Picks for Saturday Games

sack attack

The last time these two teams met, Trevor Lawrence was being carried off the field after taking five sacks. That was a game where Frank Clark (five sacks in 15 games) was inactive and first-round rookie George Karlaftis wasn’t creating pressure at will (5.5 sacks in his last seven games).

This is all good news for Chris Jones and his catch market.

Jones is ranked the No. 2 interior pass-rusher, according to Pro Football Focus, trailing only New York’s Dexter Lawrence. His 15.5 sacks for the season rank fourth in football and in the Week 11 meeting with Jacksonville, he had a season-high two sacks and five tackles, three for a loss.

Their matchup this week is even easier with Walker Little handling the left tackle spot after Cam Robinson’s season-ending injury in the regular season. To make matters worse for the Jaguars’ offensive line, their starting center and right guard were also limited in practice early in the week.

The Chiefs rank fifth in rushing on the year and it will be a big part of their game plan against Lawrence, who is 2-5 SU when taking multiple sacks in a game this year. That includes last week’s improbable win, in which he was sacked twice against a Chargers team that ranks in the bottom 10 in rushing percentage and rushing percentage.

This is one of the best defensive matchups on the board this weekend.

Chris Jones accessory: To register a bag (-130 at bet365)

salvation barkley

The Giants go from one of the best passing matchups in the wild card round, against a Vikings team ranked 26th in DVOA pass defense, to the toughest in the divisional round, against the best pass defense the Eagles by DVOA.

For a running back with the third-highest workload in football, it’s a good thing the Eagles are much softer on the ground, ranking 21st in defense against DVOA attacks, according to Football Outsiders.

Saquon Barley’s carry total opened at 15.5, down three carries from last week as a 3-point dog. In my opinion, the change from +3 to +7.5 isn’t worth three full carries, especially in a divisional game with two teams that have already met twice this season.

The Giants’ 4.8 yards per carry was the fourth best rate in football and with New York being the best team in the league at protecting the ball (0.9 giveaways per game), this game might be closer than expected.

Daniel Jones’ hype is also a bit high for this game. Jones threw for 300 yards last week, but that was only the third time all season he’s done that. The other two games were against the Vikings (again) and the Lions.

Brian Daboll will drastically change the offensive game plan and that should lead to more carries for Barkley, who trailed only Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs in carries per game on the season (18.44 per game). THE BLITZ projects 19.53 carries and the game script projected as a 7.5-point dog seems like an overcorrection.

Saquon Barkley Strut: Over 15.5 carries (-115)

Returning to James

He was pumped for Richie James last week with an elite slot matchup against the Vikings, but he lost plays when Brian Daboll ran over two TE sets. James finished fourth on the team in receiving yards (31) and saw his snap drop from 83% in Weeks 14-17 to 60% last week.

James now has a matchup with the No. 1-ranked DVOA pass defense, and his total receiving yards have dropped from 50.5 to 45.5. However, his receiving total is unchanged from last week and he stands at 4.5.

Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Barkley are all going to take targets and this potentially negative 7.5-point playscript isn’t enough to expect high-volume play from Jones.

Jones threw for 300 yards last week indoors. It was only the third time he has thrown for at least 300 yards this season and now he faces an Eagles pass defense that allows 179 passing yards per game, the fewest in football. Plus, if the Giants can stay this close, beating the Eagles on the ground is their best game plan on offense.

With a tough matchup, a possible lighter role with more two-TE sets, a competition for receptions, and a dwindling yardage total, it’s Under 4.5 receptions for me.

Richie James accessory: Under 4.5 receptions (-130)

Season to date: 129-127, +3.19u units (Risking 1 unit per play)

  • Chris Jones to record a catch (-130 at bet365)
  • Saquon Barkley Over 15.5 carries (-115 at Betway)
  • Richie James Under 4.5 receptions (-130 at bet365)

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