- Drew Brees (+200) is the favorite to have the most passing yards in the NFL on Wild Card Weekend
- Derrick Henry (+150) is favored to own that distinction in the rushing category this weekend
- NFL receiving yards leader Michael Thomas (+175) is expected to lead the league in passing yards over the Wild Card Weekend
NFL Wild Card Weekend is set, and Drew Brees (+200), Derrick Henry (+150), and Michael Thomas (+175) are favored to lead the NFL in passing yards, rushing yards, and receiving yards respectively. There’s a case to be made for each, but some long shots provide value for bettors as well.
Odds on Most Passing Yards on Wild Card Weekend
|Player||Odds at BetOnline|
All odds taken Dec 30
Value in Brees as the Favorite?
At +200, Drew Brees is favored to have the most passing yards in the league this weekend, and that would certainly be a wise bet. The potent Saints offense will go head-to-head with the pedestrian Vikings pass defense. Minnesota ranks just 15th in the league, giving up 233.6 yards per game. They’re solid against the run, allowing just 108 yards per game, which points to the passing game being even more essential for New Orleans.
Brees threw for 270.8 yards per game in 2019, with that number rising to 297 in the last four games of the year. This game has shootout potential, with the Vikings allowing 25.4 points per game, good for just 25th in the NFL.
Cousins a Valuable Long Shot
A fact that helps Brees, along with his opposite Kirk Cousins, is the setting. The Super Dome in New Orleans is one of the league’s fastest tracks, and it has played host to some of the league’s highest-scoring matchups in recent years. The Viking passer has thrown for 250+ yards in just one of his last four games, so his longer +600 odds make him a valuable bet in a bounce-back spot this weekend.
At +8.5, Minnesota is the league’s biggest underdog this weekend. That helps the case for Cousins, as getting beat handily by New Orleans would have him throwing from behind and getting ample opportunity to rack up yards.
What’s the Best Bet at Quarterback?
At +500, Seattle’s Russell Wilson is the way to go in the passing yards prop. He’s having a monster year, finishing sixth in passing yards (4,110), third in touchdowns (31), and eighth in completion percentage (66.1).
He’ll take on an Eagle defense that struggled against the pass in 2019. Philadelphia gave up 275+ yards in three of their last four matchups, and they’ve struggled to intercept opposing passers. They finished just 24th in the NFL in that stat, with only 11 picks all season.
Henry the Favorite to Lead in Rush Yardage
Derrick Henry is a +150 favorite to lead the league in rushing this weekend, but with such short odds, he may not be the most reliable bet. His biggest obstacle is a Patriot defense that ranks fifth in the NFL against the run, allowing just 95.5 yards per game on the ground. They held opposing teams to under 100 yards rushing in eight of their 16 games in 2019.
Henry finished 2019 strong, but it came against porous run defenses. His 297 yards in his last two games happened against a Houston Texans unit that ranks just 25th in the league in rushing yards allowed. They give up 121.1 yards per contest.
Odds on Most Rushing Yards on Wild Card Weekend
|Player||Odds at BetOnline|
Is Allen the Ultimate Wild Card this Weekend?
There is a case to be made that, at +2000 odds, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen could have the biggest boom or bust potential in the league this weekend. He has the ability to make moves with his legs, and against the aforementioned Houston defense, this could be a big game for Allen.
The Texans, along with being weak against the run, don’t pressure the passer particularly effectively. With just 31 sacks in 2019, they are just 26th in the NFL in that stat. With plenty of time to move in the pocket, Allen should take what the defense gives him, including room to take off and convert in big moments.
What’s the Best Bet in Rushing Yards?
Dalvin Cook is in the midst of the best season of his career, and this weekend, the Vikings’ running back is the best bet. Cook has racked up 1,135 yards and 13 scores and is at +250 odds to lead Wild Card Weekend in rushing yards.
The Saints defense was gashed on the ground on several occasions late in the season. They gave up 120+ yards in four of their last eight games, and three of those four instances took place in New Orleans.
Thomas is the Favorite in Receiving Yards
At +175, the Saints’ Michael Thomas leads the odds to have the most reception yards in the league on Wild Card Weekend. The aforementioned shootout potential involved in the matchup against Minnesota are a big factor in this listing.
Another is, of course, just how good Thomas has been this season. He’s racked up 100+ yards in eight of the last ten games of 2019. He led the league in yards (1,725) and receptions (149) in 2019. The shocking part is the margins with which he led those categories. The second-place finisher in yards was Julio Jones with 1,394 yards, and second in receptions was Christian McCaffrey, at 116 catches. Those are gaps of 331 yards and 33 receptions.
Odds on Most Receiving Yards on Wild Card Weekend
|Player||Odds at BetOnline|
Most Valuable Long Shot in Receiving Yards
With a depleted receiving corps, Philadelphia and Carson Wentz have to turn to Zach Ertz to be one of the main receiving weapons. At +900 odds, he provides a ton of value against a Seattle defense that hasn’t been great against the pass in 2019. The Seahawks are 27th in pass defense (263.9 pass yards allowed per game), and just 26th in total defense (381.6 yards allowed per game).
Best Bet in Receiving Yards?
The play here absolutely has to be the aforementioned Thomas. Not only has Thomas been the best wideout in the NFL, but he has, by far, the best matchup this weekend.
DeAndre Hopkins has gone over 100 yards in just two of his last seven games, and now he’ll take on Buffalo’s fourth-ranked pass defense that allows just 195.2 yards per game through the air.
Stefon Diggs is trending downwards as well. He’s gone under 100 yards in five of his last six matchups.
AJ Brown is about to take on the Patriots defense, which allows just 180.4 passing yards per game, making them the league’s second-best unit.
This weekend, all signs point to Michael Thomas.
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