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NFL Betting 2023: Data-driven tackle and sack props for divisional round in the NFL playoffs

Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (29) sacks Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

  • A Kanas City under: Juan Thornhill’s deep alignment and non-optimal opponent points to him staying quiet on the score sheet.
  • Jaylon Smith’s part-time role isn’t ideal: Smith has a lot going against him this week, so taking the under is the smart bet. 
  • Sack of the week: The NFL’s leader in sacks from the defensive tackle position has a solid chance to add another one to his totals this week.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The NFL playoffs provide plenty of opportunity for bettors to focus on the key matchups and accompanying prop bets that go with them. The often-overlooked defensive props are no different, and with some key data points to look at, there is an advantage to be had for those looking to make some money this weekend.

Bet: Xavier McKinney over 5.5 total tackles (2.05 on BETMGM)

Optimal opponent: The Philadelphia Eagles have allowed the most tackles per game to the safety position this season (15.7) thanks to their stellar offense. The Eagles also rank fifth in offensive plays per game (66.1), allowing opportunities for opposing IDPs to optimize their production opportunities.

Tackles vs. Expected: McKinney may spend the majority of his snaps from a deep alignment (57%), but he’s performed above his positional average despite that alignment, earning plus 4.2 tackles over expected (tied for 26th). The majority of McKinney’s damage is done when lined up in the box, playing 22% of Philadelphia's defensive snaps this season and posting over 5.5 tackles versus expected, even from that positive alignment. McKinney should continue to get moved all around the defense to help neutralize the Eagles’ many weapons and lead to plenty of tackle opportunities.


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