The NFL playoffs continue this week, and the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots are set to do battle. Check out some of the NFL prop bets that are available at BetDSI, as we analyze the betting lines and see which sides to play in the AFC Championship Game.
Joe Flacco Passing Yards Under 275.5 (-110): It’s a trendy move to take Flacco’s ‘over’ as a given considering how well he has played over the course of his first two weeks in the playoffs this year. He threw for 382 yards against the Patriots the first time around, 282 against the Colts, and 331 against the Broncos. Here’s what you have to remember about that game against Denver, though. Take away that 70-yard touchdown gift that sort of fell into the hands of WR Jacoby Jones, and over 100 passing yards would have been taken away from Flacco. Remember too, that he has only completed 52 and 53 percent of his passes in his first two playoff games to boot. If those percentages keep up, there’s just no way that he is going to make it to 276 passing yards in this game.
Ray Rice Over 75.5 Rushing Yards (-120): RB Arian Foster rushed for 90 yards last week against these Patriots, and though the team really has looked good on the ground at times, we still think that Rice has the advantage. Last week, he was the horse that carried the load against the Broncos, and we have to think that he is going to do so again. What we don’t like about Rice is that he is getting some of his carried pillaged from him by RB Bernard Pierce, but what we do like about him is that over the course of the last seven games that he has played (excluding a Week 17 game against the Bengals), he has rushed for an average of 91.4 yards per game. Rice really has been a lot better down the stretch, and he has especially excelled since Jim Caldwell has taken over as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Dennis Pitta Under 4 Receptions (-130): Pitta had himself an interesting season this year. He had a lot of games where he made a ton of big catches, and that includes when he had five grabs for 50 yards and a TD against these Patriots back in Week 3. However, Pitta also had a lot of games in which he just was a no show. 1 catch for 19 yards against Pittsburgh… 1 catch for 5 yards against Pittsburgh… 2 catches for 33 yards against Cleveland… 3 catches for 22 yards against Kansas City… And even here in the playoffs, Pitta has only had a total of five receptions in two games. What do a lot of these teams have in common? They know how to defend the tight end because they utilize the tight end. Though it wouldn’t be brutally shocking if Pitta ultimately did end up getting to four or five receptions in this game, it just doesn’t seem likely that he ends up doing that.
Ed Reed Over 5.5 Tackles (+100): This is a big time prop that we suggest you playing your maximum number of units on. What we have seen a lot of out of Reed here in the playoffs and of late in the regular season is that of a man that seems to be aging and not getting his nose in on nearly as many plays as he used to earlier in his career. However, we still think that this is an awesome play against the Patriots. Reed is going to be used in coverage against TE Aaron Hernandez, who is sure to get the ball quite a bit. All of these plays that New England runs over the middle are going to give Reed the opportunity to make some plays. Against New England the first time this year, he had nine tackles, his highest tally of the season. At least half the time, Reed is going to get to at least six tackles in this game.
Stevan Ridley to Score a Touchdown (-105): It has to be scary to think that Ridley was not the only goal line back last week against the Texans, but he did ultimately find his way into the end zone. There have been 11 games this year in 17 games in which Ridley scored a touchdown, and we have to like our percentages against a Baltimore team that tends to get gashed on the ground. You have to go back to December 16th to find the last time that the Ravens allowed a rushing touchdown to a primary rusher, but in the end, we still have to think that New England’s main man is going to find his way into the end zone at least once in this game.
Wes Welker Under 7.5 Receptions (-120): Many are going to immediately play Welker’s ‘over’, knowing that he had eight games since Week 3 with at least eight receptions, including four games with double digits worth of catches. That doesn’t mean that he is going to be able to do that again. Baltimore plays an aggressive style of defense, and that generally promotes the idea of having to push the ball up the field a bit. Welker was able to do that the first time around when these two teams met, but we aren’t so sure that he is going to be able to do so again in this one. A lot of the teams that Welker gashed down the stretch just weren’t all that good in the secondary, and the last team that he did face with a solid secondary, the San Francisco defense, held him to five catches for 56 yards.
Aaron Hernandez Under 72.5 Receiving Yards (-125): The former Florida Gator seems to be a lock for a big time game, knowing that he did so against the Texans last week with TE Rob Gronkowski essentially sitting out. However, Gronk has been out since Week 12, exactly the time that Hernandez came back into the fold after dealing with his ankle injury. Since that point, there have been some great games in terms of receptions, as Hernandez averaged 5.7 catches per game. However, the yardage hasn’t always been there. Yes, he had 85 yards against the Texans last week, but in total, he has only averaged 60.7 yards per game. We do think that we could see Hernandez touch the ball a lot, but it isn’t all that often that we see men like this get yards after the catch at a great rate against this defense. Eight catches is possible, but we don’t think that 73 yards will ultimately be.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.