This article is part of our FanDuel Sportsbook series.
I'm taking the handoff from Andrew Laird for the playoffs, starting with Super Wild Card Weekend. It's a great football weekend as we're spoiled by three games each day, and all six contests have great storylines. On Saturday's menu, we have Buffalo's first home playoff game in 25 years, Rams-Seahawks Part III, and a Washington team looking to prove it belongs in the postseason as it faces the legendary Tom Brady and Tampa Bay.
Sunday features a playoff rematch from last year with the Titans playing host to the Ravens this time, a battle in New Orleans that the Saints expect will be the start of a deep run, and a divisional game in Pittsburgh where Cleveland will be playing its first postseason game in nearly 20 years. Any way you slice it, this is one of the best football weekends of the year.
On top of the great action, we have a fun board to analyze over at the FanDuel Sportsbook to add to the weekend's excitement. Below you'll find my favorite mix of plays for the weekend ranging from same-game parlays to player props to an interesting future that spans the length of the postseason. Let's dive in on Super Wild Card Weekend.
Ryan Tannehill Anytime Touchdown Scorer +240
This is a prop for anyone who carries the ball into the end zone or receives the ball in the end zone, so we're counting on Tannehill running one in here. Baltimore is going to be laser-focused on slowing Derrick Henry, especially when Tennessee gets the ball into the red zone. That's where Tannehill can be an X-factor with his legs. He has five red zone rushing attempts over his last three weeks and, not coincidentally, has five rushing touchdowns in that span. The Ravens defense isn't great against the run, ranking eighth-worst in YPC allowed at 4.6, and with so much bandwidth being dedicated to Henry, Tannehill is a solid bet at +240 to find his way into the end zone Sunday.
Same Game Parlay: Washington Football Team +7.5; Tampa Bay Buccaneers Moneyline -400 (Pays +268)
This is my favorite Same Game Parlay on the board this weekend. 7.5 is a big number for a road team to cover in January, even if the offense on the other side is anemic. Let's break it down further.
The Football team racked up the sixth-most sacks in the league this season (47) thanks to an explosive pass rush fueled by rookie Chase Young (7.5), Montez Sweat (9.0), and veteran Ryan Kerrigan (5.5). If there's been an Achilles for Tom Brady in the postseason, it has been with teams featuring strong pass rushes. There's an added element of Brady's struggles in night games this season; in four primetime games, Brady is completing 60 percent of his passes at 5.73 YPA, and his TD:INT sits at 5:5. That's more anecdotal than actionable for the purposes of this wager, but it's worth noting when that split contrasts so starkly to his numbers in early or afternoon kickoffs.
That covers the spread portion of this wager. On the moneyline, it's hard to go against the Buccaneers. This is Tom Brady in the playoffs with a loaded group of skill-position talent. Even if Mike Evans (knee) isn't at 100 percent, the likes of Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski are more than enough to keep the offense mostly on track. On top of that, even if Tampa struggles a bit against this Washington defense, the Football Team's offense is almost assured to struggle even more against the Buccaneer defense.
Washington ranked 31st in Yards Per Play (4.8), just a tenth of a yard ahead of the lowly Jets. The Football Team also ranked 25th in points per game. Barring a defensive or special teams touchdown, it's difficult to see Washington cresting 20 points and that won't be enough to come away with the W.
TL;DR Washington's defense keeps the Football Team within 7.5 points, but Washington's offense prevents the Football Team from advancing. Bucs win this in a close one and you profit.
If you tack on a play on the total, you can boost it to +633 on the over and +574 on the under.
Steelers (-3.5) and Under (47.5) at +210 vs. Browns
This one comes from the Game Props menu and is not technically the same-game parlay as this one features a more favorable spread to the Steelers. That parlay pays +256 but the Steelers have to cover 6.5 in that scenario, and even with Cleveland's issues, it's still tough to fully trust this Pittsburgh offense at the moment. So -3.5 with slightly less favorable odds is fine by me, and it's still over +200.
I expect this to be a low-scoring affair in which Cleveland struggles to generate much through the air even with Pittsburgh devoting much of its defensive attention to slowing the run. Baker Mayfield hasn't shown he can solve a defense of this caliber when the run game isn't clicking.
Pittsburgh will do enough to come away with the win by more than a field goal, but this has the elements of a low-scoring affair.
New Orleans (-9.5) and Allen Robinson Receiving Yardage OVER 70.5 (+290)
The public views this as the most lopsided matchup of the weekend and Vegas agrees, setting the line at New Orleans -9.5. That's a big number to cover but the Saints are a Top 5 team in football while the Bears snuck in by virtue of the expanded playoff field and have the worst Strength of Victory (.336) of any playoff team. I expect New Orleans to take care of business rather comfortably despite the Saints' recent playoff woes. Those usually come later.
As for the Robinson total, this tails my thought that the Saints will cover. As a result, Chicago will be playing from behind for most of this game and will have to rely on Mitchell Trubisky (trying not to laugh) and the passing game to keep this competitive. While that's bad for Bears fans, it's good for Robinson backers. Robinson commands a 25.3 percent target share in the Chicago offense and he has seen a target share north of 30 percent on five different occasions this season. With Darnell Mooney (ankle) not at 100 percent, Chicago really has no viable options other than Robinson for Sunday's tilt. Look for A-Rob to push well into double-digit targets in a game the Bears lose by 10 or more.
Playoff Passing Yards: Aaron Rodgers +1000
This is a fun prop offered by the FanDuel Sportsbook as they're taking bets on the playoff passing yardage leader. Unsurprisingly, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes lead the way at +300 and +320 respectively. Allen makes sense as he has a high passing yardage projection to begin with, and he gets the added bonus (for this prop) of getting an extra game by virtue of playing this weekend. Mahomes being second makes sense, too. He had nine games with at least 300 passing yards this season and there's an expectation that the Chiefs will play in at least two, and likely three, games this postseason.
Where the board loses me is Rodgers being at +1000. Yes, Allen, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees could all theoretically play more games than Rodgers, but I'd like Rodgers to throw for more yards than all three of them even they had the same odds. At +1000? Come on.
Rodgers just capped off an MVP-level season and has the Packers seeded atop the NFC. He ranks third in the league in YPA (8.2) and I believe that Rodgers will lead the Packers to the Super Bowl, so that would be three games worth of attempts at a high efficiency. I don't mind that two of those games would be in Lambeau; Rodgers can deliver even in the elements. And if Rodgers leads Green Bay to the Super Bowl, no defense on the AFC side of the table is overly imposing short of the Steelers, who I don't expect to be alive at that point. Betting on a player like Rodgers is never a bad idea, especially when he's getting odds this favorable.