NFL Wild Card Weekend is finally here. While Wild Card Weekend has always been a fun time for NFL bettors, the 2020-21 edition is more action-packed than ever. The NFL’s playoff expansion means we get a whopping six games on the schedule this weekend, which means we essentially have two straight days of nonstop football to which to look forward.
NFL betting sites are predictably going all-out in anticipation of the big weekend ahead. BetOnline is one of the sites offering up a slew of different futures and prop betting options in addition to their standard game lines. You can actually wager on which players will lead the weekend in passing yards, rushing yards, and receiving yards, among other things.
Let’s dive right into a few of these NFL prop bets offered by BetOnline.ag and try to dig up some value, shall we?
Most Passing Yards
Josh Allen (+400)
Tom Brady (+450)
Drew Brees (+550)
Ben Roethlisberger (+600)
Russell Wilson (+750)
Philip Rivers (+750)
Ryan Tannehill (+800)
Jared Goff/John Wolford (+1000)
Lamar Jackson (+1200)
Mitch Trubisky (+1200)
Baker Mayfield (+1200)
Alex Smith (+1600)
First off, we can go ahead and write off Alex Smith to lead Wild Card Weekend in passing yards. His comeback story is one for the ages, but he hasn’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard since taking over as Washington’s QB1. Smith has a couple of 300-yard games under his belt, but he’s still averaging under 198 passing yards per game on the year. The Tampa Bay Bucaneers have also been one of the most prolific defenses in all of football this season, which won’t help Smith pad his numbers.
Josh Allen is your early leader and with good reason. The Bills’ QB finished with the fifth-most passing yards in the NFL this season (4,544). The only QB playing this weekend that racked up more was Tom Brady, who finished third in the league behind Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Allen and the Bills are favored by about a touchdown at home over the Colts, while Brady’s Buccaneers are nine-point favorites in Washington.
Allen has thrown multiple touchdown passes in each of his last five games, and he’s topped 300 yards passing in three of them. The Colts’ defense has a good reputation, but they ranked just 20th in the league in passing yards allowed this season. Buffalo’s running game has been mediocre at best this season, so Allen will presumably be tasked with carrying the load for this offense in the postseason.
Tom Brady is the oldest player to ever throw 40+ TDs in a season.
Washington has a ferocious pass-rush, but Brady is entering the playoffs in fine form. Brady has topped 300 passing yards in each of his last three games, and four of his last five overall. Tampa Bay is the second-most pass-happy offense in these playoffs. The Bucs threw the ball on 63.72 percent of their plays during the regular season. Only the Steelers (64.24 percent) threw more frequently.
That number makes Ben Roethlisberger an intriguing option at +600 to lead the weekend in passing yards. The Steelers have really hit the skids down-the-stretch, and Roethlisberger has played no small role in their struggles. Big Ben failed to crack 200 passing yards in back-to-back losses to the Bills and Bengals before bouncing back for 341 yards in his most recent outing against the Colts. Roethlisberger has plenty of quality weapons at his disposal, and he’ll be going up against a Browns defense that could be missing some key players. Cleveland’s defense limited Roethlisberger to just 162 passing yards in his lone appearance against them this season, but that game was a 38-7 blowout win for the Steelers.
Ryan Tannehill (+800) and the Rams’ QB (+1000) are interesting long-shot options here. Tannehill didn’t have to do a whole lot during the Titans’ playoff run last season as Derrick Henry steamrolled opposing defenses all the way into the AFC title game. Tannehill didn’t even crack 100 passing yards against the Ravens in last year’s Divisional Round clash, but he did rack up 259 yards when these two teams met earlier this season. This game has the highest over/under of the weekend, so oddsmakers are expecting a shootout. If Henry struggles to get going, Tannehill will be tasked with taking to the air.
The Los Angeles Rams will face the Seahawks for the third time this season. We don’t yet know who’s starting for LA, though, as Jared Goff continues to recover from a thumb procedure. The Rams were able to squeak past the Arizona Cardinals and earn a playoff spot with John Wolford under center in Week 17. If Wolford starts again, he’s a terrible bet to lead Wild Card Weekend in passing yards. If Goff returns, though, you’re getting a solid value option at +1000.
The Rams are a run-first offense, but Seattle has been one of the worst defenses in football in terms of defending the pass all season long. Goff struggled during the season, but he did top 300 yards in one of the Rams’ two games against the Seahawks earlier in the year. If he winds up taking the field on Saturday, I don’t mind a flier on Goff at the current +1000 odds.
It’s hard to go against Allen (+400) or Brady (+450) here. The Bucs being heavy favorites may not necessarily lead to a positive game script, but Tampa Bay is so pass-happy that there’s still a strong chance he puts up big numbers even if the Bucs wind up winning a laugher. I’m inclined to take the slightly better upside you can get by betting Brady over Allen here.
Most Passing Yards –Tom Brady (+450)
Most Rushing Yards
Derrick Henry (+120)
Nick Chubb (+350)
Jonathan Taylor (+475)
JK Dobbins (+900)
Chris Carson (+1000)
David Montgomery (+1000)
Cam Akers (+1000)
Antonio Gibson (+1200)
Alvin Kamara (+1200)
Lamar Jackson (+1400)
James Conner (+1400)
Ronald Jones (+1800)
Derrick Henry put 250 rushing yards on the board in Week 17 against the Houston Texans, which was enough to nudge him past the 2,000-yard threshold on the season. Henry has been the best running back in football over the past two seasons by a wide margin. This is a fact with which the Baltimore Ravens are quite familiar. Henry almost single-handedly ended Baltimore’s hopes of winning a Super Bowl last season in the Divisional Round.
The Baltimore Ravens were one of the worst run defenses in football this season, which doesn’t bode well for their chances of slowing down King Henry this weekend. Henry dashed for 133 yards when these two teams met earlier this season, and we know the Titans will feed him the ball until the Ravens prove they can slow him down. Henry at +120 to lead Wild Card Weekend in rushing yards feels like a very, very good bet.
Titans’ RB Derrick Henry now has become the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Henry now joins Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Terrell Davis, Jamal Lewis, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson and OJ Simpson.
Most other backs in action this weekend are in something of a timeshare in their respective offenses. David Montgomery and Chris Carson are really the only true “bell cow” backs other than Henry. Montgomery just so happens to be playing for a Bears team that is the biggest betting underdog on the board this weekend in New Orleans (+10.5). Carson and the Seahawks are favored, but Seattle hasn’t been as run-heavy this season as they have been in years past.
The Browns ran the fourth-most running plays per game in the league this year, but Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt split duty in the backfield. Chubb does still get the lion’s share of the carries, but he finished the season with almost 200 fewer attempts than Henry did. Chubb just seems like a terrible value at +350 given the way the Browns’ offense operates.
One interesting name to watch is Indy’s Jonathan Taylor. The rookie got off to a slow start this season, but he has really found his rhythm as the campaign has progressed. The Colts utilized a three-headed backfield with Taylor, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins in the early part of the year, but Taylor has taken over in recent weeks. Taylor played a season-high 82 percent of the Colts’ offensive snaps in Week 17, while Hines played the other 18 percent.
Taylor has been in fine form, but the Colts are road underdogs in Buffalo on Saturday. The Colts’ game script will presumably be more pass-heavy if they fall into an early deficit, which limits the rushing upside for Taylor and the team’s other backs. I’m not sure you’re getting enough bang for your buck at +475 with the Colts being ‘dogs in this one.
The Ravens are favored over Henry and the Titans, but Baltimore is another team that uses a committee in the backfield. JK Dobbins has been the most productive back in this offense by a wide margin, but the presence of Jackson limits the upside of Dobbins, Gus Edwards, or Mark Ingram. At this point, I’d much rather just take a shot on Jackson to lead the weekend in rushing yards at +1400 than bet on Dobbins at his worse +900 odds.
The Steelers and Bucs are pass-heavy offenses, which makes James Conner (+1400) and Ronald Jones (+1800) easy fades. Alvin Kamara (+1200) typically does more of his damage in the passing game, as the Saints can rely on Latavius Murray to run clock if they get out to a big lead over Chicago on Sunday.
All things considered, it’s very difficult to get away from Henry here. He’s not giving you a ton of upside at his current +120 odds, but you can probably make the argument that he should be a minus-money favorite. That alone makes him a potentially profitable betting option. Given the volume and the fact that the Ravens haven’t been able to stop the run all year, Henry is the best bet on the board.
Most Rushing Yards –Derrick Henry (+120)
Most Receiving Yards
Stefon Diggs (+500)
AJ Brown (+750)
DK Metcalf (+750)
Allen Robinson (+900)
Terry McLaurin (+1000)
Robert Woods (+1200)
Juju Smith-Schuster (+1400)
Diontae Johnson (+1400)
Mike Evans (+1400)
Chris Godwin (+1400)
Chase Claypool (+1600)
Jarvis Landry (+1600)
Tyler Lockett (+1600)
Alvin Kamara (+1600)
Marquise Brown (+1600)
Stefon Diggs paced the NFL with 1,535 receiving yards in his first season in Buffalo. The former Minnesota Viking has been everything the Buffalo Bills could’ve hoped for and more, and he has already formed a lethal partnership with Josh Allen. The only other pass-catchers that finished in the top-10 in the league in receiving yards that will be in action this weekend are DK Metcalf (1,303) and Allen Robinson (1,250).
You don’t need me to tell you that Diggs is a great bet at +500. Allen fed him early and often in the Bills’ Week 16 demolition of the Patriots, as he finished the game with nine receptions for 145 yards and three scores. Usage is the key, of course. Diggs led the NFL with 166 targets this season, which was six more than any other player and 15 more than the next-best WR in action this weekend (Robinson).
There is absolutely no reason to believe Allen won’t be looking in Diggs’ direction early and often this weekend against the Colts. As mentioned, Indy’s pass defense was fairly mediocre during the regular season, so it’s an exploitable matchup for Buffalo’s pass-heavy offense.
Most targets in NFL w/ only 1 drop: 1. Allen Robinson II – 145 2. DeAndre Hopkins – 144 3. Davante Adams – 140 4. Tyler Boyd – 105 pic.twitter.com/oVglg6uE1S
Robinson at +900 stands out, as well. With the Chicago Bears being such heavy underdogs, Chicago will likely have to pass their way through this one. This game taking place in New Orleans is also beneficial to the passing game because it means weather won’t be a factor. Robinson isn’t typically a name that comes up when people discuss the game’s best receivers, but he has quietly been as productive as anybody since coming to Chicago. Robinson has two 100-yard games in his last four outings overall, and we can expect a pass-happy game script for the Bears in this one. That doesn’t bode well for their chances of upsetting the Saints, but it does set up nicely for Robinson’s individual numbers. You can do a lot worse than throwing a few bucks on Robinson to lead the weekend in receiving yards at +900.
It’s also hard to overlook Mike Evans at +1400. We like Brady to lead the weekend in passing yards, and someone has to catch those passes. Evans injured his knee in Week 17, but the injury isn’t expected to keep him sidelined on Saturday in Washington.
Evans’ involvement in the offense wasn’t necessarily consistent with Brady having so many viable weapons at his disposal, but his big-play ability is enough to put him on our radar here given the +1400 odds. If the injury keeps him out, Chris Godwin becomes a much more alluring option at the same +1400 number.
Diggs is the safest bet on the board, but Robinson just looks too good to pass up at +900. The Bears should have to get him heavily involved if they have any shot at upsetting the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon.
Most Receiving Yards –Allen Robinson (+900)
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu …