Each week through the Super Bowl, FTN’s resident blabbermouth and player props purveyor, Brad Evans, will attempt to not bleed his pockets dry outlining his favorite picks on the NFL slate. Fade or follow? That, of course, is entirely up to you. And, as always, use the FTN Prop Shop tool to unearth the best lines.
Prop 1: Cam Akers 14.5 receiving yards at Green Bay
OVER. After an undulated regular season in which Akers was temporarily derailed by a rib injury and gross underutilization, the rookie has quickly ascended, proving to all of his zealots Sean McVay unnecessarily slowplayed the RBs involvement. As displayed occasionally before the playoffs, the youngster was a three-down monster last week against the Seahawks. He exhibited spectacular open-field burst, cutback skills, break-tackle brawn (3.46 YAC/att.) and soft hands in a 30-touch, 176-total-yard thrashing of Seattle. Most importantly, he ran a route on 64% of team snaps. Green Bay is Downy-soft when it comes to defending RBs in the flat. During the regular season, the Pack surrendered 5.6 receptions and 47.8 yards per game to the position. In total, 16 rushers eclipsed 15 pass yards against them. Akers, who’s bolted past the over in four of his last five games, is a strong candidate for 20-plus yards. Adding some betting spice, his rush attempts (16.5) and rush yards (70.5) props are also quite delectable.
Prop 2: Lamar Jackson 74.5 rushing yards at Buffalo
OVER. Attempting to contain Jackson and his lightning speed is akin to racking your brain frantically trying to remember your forgotten Bitcoin password with only two guesses left before it’s forever inaccessible. High pressure. As we’ve seen repeatedly in the postseason, every player lays everything out on the line. Jackson, who’s resembled the unstoppable scorer du jour from 2019 in recent weeks, is a prime example. He’s sprinted past the proposed threshold in five of his last six contests, often obliterating the number. In a game with a 50.5 total, he should add more napalm to the hot streak. The Bills performed only adequately against dual-threat QBs during the regular season. Ryan Tannehill, Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton, Kyler Murray and, heck, even Drew Lock all rushed for at least 36 yards against them. Though the Dachshund of the Desert is a step below Lamar, he’s not on the same plane. “Action” Jackson shuttles his way to at least 80 yards. Oh, and if you’re into same-game parlays, matching Lamar’s rush yards prop with an anytime TD (+105) is a likely profitable exercise.
Prop 3: Mike Evans 4.5 receptions at New Orleans (+100)
UNDER. Based on their prior pugilistic engagements, Evans and Marshon Lattimore aren’t going to exchange Hallmark cards anytime soon. It’s a full-blown rivalry, one in which the Saint has won fairly handily. In their past four encounters, Evans failed to haul in five passes each time. There’s no questioning the receiver’s toughness. He tweaked his knee in Week 17 only to return six days later, catching six-of-10 targeted passes for 119 yards in Washington. Still, he’s not quite 100%. Evidenced by his 101.6 passer rating and 1.24 yards per snap allowed on the season, Lattimore is an unsteady contributor. He, however, typically rises to the occasion in high-leverage contests and has given up just a 58.3% catch percentage in 15 games. His big-stage, big-game mentality matched with his ownership of Evans suggests the DB’s smack talk will be backed.
Prop 4: J.K. Dobbins 0.5 touchdowns at Buffalo (+120)
OVER. The oddsmakers are hammered on Rumple Minze again. Hell, they may have washed their pallets with an entire case. Every last drop. Dobbins is an indisputable consistency king. Taking on a larger role in Greg Roman’s run-centric offense, he’s scored in seven consecutive games. Over that span, he amassed a 24.4% red-zone carries percentage, converting an ultra-efficient seven-of-eight totes inside the 5-yard line for touchdowns. Buffalo’s flexible front should extend his scoring streak to eight. A running back crossed the chalk against the Bills 16 times in 17 total contests. On the year, they’ve yielded 4.56 yards per carry and 99.7 rush yards per game to RBs. Knowing Jackson’s game-breaking speed, the rookie should again power through favorable lanes, likely following at least one path for six. Continue to buy tickets on the J.K. money express.
Prop 5: Nick Chubb 14.5 receiving yards at Kansas City
OVER. Underpublicized, Chubb has rained winning over tickets on par with James Harden $100 bills at a Manhattan strip club. Yes, he cashed consistently on the ground, but he also printed money via the air. As witnessed from Week 12 on, he ratcheted up his role in the pass game, running 15-20 routes per game. Last week in the Browns’ skewering of the Steelers, he grabbed all four of his targets and posted a season-high 69 yards. Kansas City, absentminded in short-field coverage, surrendered 5.8 receptions and 52.9 receiving yards per game to RBs during the regular season. In a game with a galactic 57 total, Chubb has an excellent setup to chugg well past the above number.
Season record: 8-2