Metro Bet dives into the extensive prop bets being offered by sportsbooks on the AFC and NFC championship games.
Tom Brady Total Completions: 25.5 (Over -130, Under EVEN)
If the Patriots are going to beat Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday, they are going to need another Hall-of-Fame-level performance from Tom Brady.
The ageless Brady put on a clinic against the Chargers last week, completing 34 of 44 passes for 343 yards and a TD. If he plays to his season completion average of 65.8 percent, Brady would need to drop back 40 times in order to complete the 26 required passes. That seems ambitious, but with the cold weather that’s being called for in Kansas City, don’t be surprised to see Brady opting for a lot of short-yardage completions to catch-and-run specialist Julian Edelman against the Chiefs’ often obliging stoppers.
The pick: Tom Brady Over 25.5 completions (-130)
Any time touchdown scorer (All bets action)
The aforementioned Edelman (+125) didn’t record a TD against L.A. last Sunday, but he did account for 151 receiving yards on nine catches.
Edelman was Brady’s top target in the waning days of 2018, as he reeled in 39 receptions (315 yards) and three TDs in his last four games. It’s safe to assume that Brady will keep feeding the ball to the reliable wide out, and the odds on Edelman to score a TD are just tempting enough, whereas the odds on Sony Michel (-120), Damien Harris (-130) and Tyreek Hill (-105) feel deflated.
The pick: Julian Edelman (+125)
Any time touchdown scorer and match winner double (All bets action)
Metro Bet is on the Chiefs to win and cover the three-point spread, so we will naturally look for a Kansas City option in this two-outcome prop wager.
Damien Williams quickly asserted himself as the Chiefs’ top running back option after the dismissal of Kareem Hunt. He accounted for six TDs in his last four regular season efforts alone, two of which were receptions. In the divisional round against the Colts, Williams rushed for 129 yards and a TD.
Mahomes clearly trusts Williams, as he’s targeted the tailback 27 times in their last six tilts. He also seems to be the go-to option in short-yardage situations. Expect this “swiss army knife” running back to have a big game against New England’s woeful run stoppers, who surrender an average of 128 rushing yards per game on the road.
The pick: Damien Williams to score a TD and Chiefs win (+165)
Will Drew Brees throw an interception? (Yes -115, No -115)
Drew Brees has a reputation for making smart plays on the football field, and interceptions are a rare thing for him. He threw just five in the regular season (15 starts), so it seems that taking the “No” option would be automatic.
However, four of those five INTs occurred in the last five weeks of the season. Then last week, to the shock of the Superdome crowd, Brees’ first dropback resulted in a pick by Eagles corner back Cre’Von LeBlanc. Philly had just 10 INTs all year long. By contrast, the Rams were third in the NFL with 18 INTs in the regular season.
Whether it’s out of desperation or it’s just a great play by someone like John Johnson, Brees could easily be baited into throwing a pick in this one.
The pick: Yes (-115)
Michael Thomas Total Receiving Yards: 97.5 (Over -115, Under -115)
Oddsmakers are counting on casual bettors to suffer from recency bias, which plays into this selection and the next one.
Michael Thomas had a phenomenal day against the Eagles in the divisional round, tallying 171 yards on 12 receptions. But in 17 games played this year, Thomas eclipsed 97.5 yards receiving just six times.
The Rams will be keying in on Thomas in this matchup, and not just because he registered 171 yards last week. Thomas went for 211 yards when these clubs met in Week 6.
Brees and the Saints, who are usually one step ahead of everyone in the ‘mind games’ department, will probably focus on getting another receiver the ball more often. But with the lines on Ted Ginn Jr. (53.5 yards) and Tre-quan Smith (33.5 yards) appearing somewhat inflated as well, taking the Under on Thomas looks like the way to go.
The pick: Under (-115)
Most Receiving Yards Conference Championships (All Bets Action)
Michael Thomas (+250) is the betting favorite in this wager, followed by Travis Kelce (+450) and Tyreek Hill (+550) of the Chiefs. As previously discussed, Thomas should be expected to take a step back from his 171-yard effort against the Eagles, so he offers terrible value here. The numbers of both Kelce and Hill could suffer based on the frigid weather forecast for Kansas City this Sunday.
Robert Woods (+650) and Brandin Cooks (+1000) offer solid value here. Weather won’t be a factor for quarterback Jared Goff in the climate-controlled Superdome. L.A. should have their way with New Orleans’ secondary, which allowed 288 yards per game through the air at home this year (31st). Instead of guessing which Rams receiver will have the better day, just take them both, as the odds are juicy enough.
The pick: Robert Woods (+650) and Brandin Cooks (+1000)