Cashing that safer SGP yesterday helped to put extra money in our pockets before the weekend, and the best approach we see is to reinvest the profits for the divisional round. We have four games, all of which offer us betting angles worth following.
Expect Jags-Chiefs to be closer than you might think
Oddsmakers have our first game of the weekend projected to be a shootout, with the over/under currently at 53 points. We certainly could see touchdowns on both ends, but our eye gravitates more toward the spread. Kansas City is the largest favorite of the weekend at -8.5, and we do understand why. They're rested at home and have been to four straight AFC Championship Games.
However, Jacksonville is playing great football. They're winners of six straight games and riding a high off of one of the best comebacks in NFL playoff history last Saturday. Doug Pederson knows well what it takes to win in the postseason, and he'll be going against his former mentor in Andy Reid. Kansas City is one of the worst teams in the NFL against the spread this year at 6-10-1. This problem isn't a 2022-23 one, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have never been dominant ATS, in part because they're so often huge favorites. We like KC to win, but not by this much.
The bet: Jaguars +8.5
Dallas Goedert next TE in line to gash the Giants
Saturday night brings with it an NFC East clash between the top-seed Eagles and the sixth-seeded Giants. It will be the third meeting between these two, and Philly has certainly had New York's number for years now. We lean toward the Giants to cover, as divisional matchups tend to be tight (see Dolphins-Bills and Ravens-Bengals last weekend), but our preferred approach is to look to the prop market.
The Giants have allowed the eighth-most yards per game to tight ends this season, and the best forecast we can offer is to look back on how Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson has done against this defense. Minnesota played New York twice between Dec. 24 and last weekend, and in each game, Hockenson went over 100 yards receiving. Whether Jalen Hurts' shoulder is still ailing or not, Philly would be wise to get Dallas Goedert involved on Saturday. Goedert has averaged 5.7 targets per game this season and has gone for 60+ yards in seven of 12 games on the year. We like a big game from the tight end here.
The bet: Dallas Goedert over 51.5 receiving yards (-110 DK)
Back two receivers on Sunday
After we've grabbed a couple of reasonable wins on Saturday, Sunday will be fun. It wouldn't be an NFL weekend without loading up a big parlay, and the Bills-Bengals and Niners-Cowboys games offer us the right opportunity to do so.
We're focused in on two receivers here: Ja'Marr Chase and Brandon Aiyuk. The Bills have allowed the 10th-most yards per game to WRs this season and the fourth-most touchdowns. Chase is the clear target leader on this offense, averaging 12.8 per game over his last five and averaging 91.8 yards per game over his last 10. That goes along with 10 touchdowns, and in a massive game, we expect Joe Burrow to look to his favorite weapon.
Meanwhile, Aiyuk will face a Dallas secondary that has allowed the seventh-most yards per game to WRs and the most overall touchdowns to the position. It's Aiyuk leading the group in yards per game this year, and his 6.4 targets per game guarantee him some involvement. He also has scored eight times to Deebo Samuel's six.
Feel free to take a more relaxed approach to these looks, but we're going for gold with a big play.
- Ja'Marr Chase 100+ yards
- Chase TD
- Brandon Aiyuk 80+ yards
- Aiyuk TD
Altogether we're looking at a +3121 play on FanDuel. Let's end the weekend in style.
In the news ...
Boston takes down Golden State and continues to roll — In the premier NBA event of the night, the Celtics beat the Warriors 121-118 in OT and have now won eight straight games. Boston is one of the hottest teams in the NBA and the owner of the best record at 34-12. They're 4.5 games up on the Bucks and Sixers and look to be in a great position to make it back to the NBA Finals. Boston is currently the favorite to win it all at +350.
Mike Brey to step down at season's end — After 23 seasons in South Bend, Mike Brey is stepping away from Notre Dame basketball at the end of the year. Brey is Notre Dame's all-time winningest coach in program history. The Fighting Irish are currently 9-10 and have won just one game in ACC play. Notre Dame has a few weeks left to turn things around before conference tournament play begins.
LaMelo Ball expected to miss another month — Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball is back on the mend, suffering his third ankle injury of the season after stepping on a fan Wednesday night. Estimates expect Ball to miss another month of play, and at this point, one has to wonder if he'll be shut down for the year. Charlotte is currently 12-34, the NBA's third-worst record, and with Ball out the transition to tanking becomes an easy one. Victor Wembanyama from France is one of the most hyped prospects we've seen enter the NBA in some time, and he's currently -4000 to be selected first. He's the type of player that shifts a franchise in a hurry, and all of a sudden, the Hornets are in the mix.
Today's Bark Bets is written by Griffin Carroll