Skip to main content

NFL Conference Championship Games: Player Props and Touchdown Scorers

Fantasy Football 5 Up, 5 Down: Deebo Samuel

Deebo Samuel offensive versatility has been critical to San Francisco's success this season, and not just as a wide receiver

And then there were four as the NFL has hit Championship Sunday.  A lot of people will focus on the spreads and totals for the AFC and NFC Championship Games, but I much prefer looking at the player props and finding some value in specific players and situations.

Related: NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for the Conference Championship Games

Both of these matchups on Sunday are rematches from earlier in the season, so we'll take a look at how those contests went and what we can use to assess the current numbers on DraftKings. As always, make sure to shop around if you have access to multiple sportsbooks because they all handle props slightly differently.

AFC Championship Game: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (3 p.m. ET on CBS)

Previous Meeting

In Week 17, these two faced off with the Bengals holding serve at home 34-31. Joe Burrow was magical, throwing for 446 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He was sacked four times, which is something to watch for considering the beating he took (record-tying nine sacks) against Tennessee last week. Ja'Marr Chase had 11 receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns in that victory over the Chiefs. The other noteworthy Bengal performance was from Evan McPherson, who connected on two field goals, the game-winner coming from just 20 yards out. Only four teams have made multiple field goals against Kansas City this season.

On the other side, Patrick Mahomes had 259 passing yards and two touchdowns while Darrel Williams chipped in 88 yards and two scores on the ground. Travis Kelce and Demarcus Robinson caught Mahomes' TDs, while Tyreek Hill was limited to 40 yards on six receptions (out of 10 targets).

Props to Target

Joe Mixon Over 27.5 receiving yards
The Bengals running back has been busy the past four weeks with 23 receptions on 26 targets leading to 189 yards. He had seven catches for 40 yards in the earlier win against the Chiefs and has gone over this number six times this season. If Kansas City's pass rush forces Burrow to throw quickly, then we could see plenty of dump-offs to Mixon.

Joe Mixon Under rushing yards
As of Friday morning, the number is 56.5. The prevailing thought in props is to take the overs early and wait on unders for gameday. Most people who play props bet only overs, so the numbers inflate the closer we get to kickoff. I hope this number goes up so I can take the under. Mixon has rushed for 60 yards or more just once over the last two months, and even then, he finished with 65 (vs. Ravens on Dec. 26). Both the Steelers and Bills abandoned their run game in the playoffs against the Chiefs. Since Kansas City's Week 12 bye, only four running backs have gained 60 or more yards on the ground.

Byron Pringle Over 3.5 receptions (+105)
Pringle has gotten the trust of Mahomes, who has peppered him with 33 targets the last five weeks. Pringle has turned these into 24 receptions. A lot of his catches aren't necessarily of the long variety, so that's why we aren't targeting his yards.

Sleeper TD Scorer: Pringle (+190)
As mentioned above, Pringle is becoming a bigger threat in the passing game and I think a lot of the focus will be on Hill and Kelce. I usually do not take TD scorers if they are minus money (-130) or else I'd recommend Kelce since the Bengals have struggled against tight ends all year long.

NFC Championship Game: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (6:30 p.m. ET on FOX)

Previous Meetings

In Week 10 in San Francisco, the 49ers defeated the Rams 31-10. Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions while Jimmy Garoppolo had two touchdown passes among his 19 attempts. Deebo Samuel accounted for 133 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Cooper Kupp put up 122 receiving yards on 11 catches in the loss.

Then in Week 18 in Los Angeles, San Francisco completed the sweep (and punched its postseason ticket) with a 27-24 overtime win. Stafford tossed two more picks, but he also had three scoring strikes with two of them going to tight end Tyler Higbee. Garoppolo wasn't great either, with two interceptions of his own, but Samuel threw for a TD and ran for another in the huge victory. Of note, both Kupp (118 yds) and Brandon Aiyuk (107 yds) went over the 100-yard mark.

Props to Target

Cam Akers Under Rushing Yards
Again, with any sort of unders, you need to wait until as close to kickoff as possible because a lot of times these numbers rise. As of publication, the number was 63.5, which Akers has not gone over in the playoffs. There's also the small chance that Sony Michel gets more carries because Akers fumbled twice last Sunday against Tampa Bay. San Francisco has allowed 60 rushing yards to just five running backs all season long.

Deebo Samuel Under 4.5 receptions
This is an under I want to lock in now because he's gone under this number in four straight and eight of his last nine games. The 49ers have used him so much more as a running back lately, which is taking away from his use as a wide receiver. He had five receptions in the first game vs. the Rams, but that also was his first game where he saw significant snaps as an RB. He had just four catches (on six targets, vs. eight carries) in the second meeting. I also think that Samuel will see a lot of Jalen Ramsey in this game, which could keep his catch volume down.

Robbie Gould over 1.5 FGs (+105)
Yes, kicker props count just as much as skill position ones. Gould has had multiple field goals in four straight games and five of his last seven. The Rams have allowed multiple FGs eight times this season, tying them for most among the four teams playing on Sunday. I especially like getting this at a plus price as well.

Sleeper TD Scorer: Matthew Stafford (+600)
He's had rushing touchdowns in both playoff games, so getting the QB at this price is something you can't really pass up. More than likely, it's not going to hit, but as with any ATD bet, sprinkle a little bit on this and hope for another goal-line sneak.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles