- Bet Minnesota Vikings -3: This game comes down to the fact that the best player on the field is Justin Jefferson and if he delivers, the Vikings will escape with another questionable victory.
- Bet Justin Jefferson O6.5 receptions: The New York Giants have no answer for Jefferson, so they will be forced to double and bracket him in coverage, but that won’t deter Kirk Cousins from looking his way early and often.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The two teams every bettor wanted to fade throughout the regular season face off in the wild-card round of the playoffs. The Vikings-Giants spread has been locked into the key -3 spread since opening with no signs of moving off.
Everyone seems to be taking clues based on how the Week 16 matchup between these two teams went, where the Vikings got some turnover luck and still needed a 61-yard field goal to win.
PFF Greenline shows 0.8% value on the Vikings to cover the three-point spread, with an 8.8% push probability. The play-by-play simulation falls close to market expectation but may lean slightly in the Vikings' direction if judged solely by the mean expectation for how this game plays out.
There are somewhat conflicting outputs from the two models on the game total, with PFF Greenline showing 0.6% value on the game finishing with more than 48 points while the play-by-play simulation lean toward the under.
Minnesota’s defense is heavily dependent on turnovers, and the Giants rank as the 28th-best defensive unit based on PFF grades. New York's defense has emerged in recent weeks, but neither team's unit was capable of getting a stop when it absolutely needed to at the end of their Week 16 matchup. Still, there is enough uncertainty to avoid locking anything on the total pregame.
Picks: Vikings -3, -110 (bets playable to -115)
Player props continue to be one of the best approaches to betting on the NFL. If interested in macro-trends from the past three seasons, check out my midseason prop article.
One way to consistently find defined edges without blindly betting unders is by utilizing PFF's player props tool. The ability to adjust both number and price means you are always certain of the expected value for each prop bet. Let’s dive into the best player props to bet for Saturday's playoff game.
Justin Jefferson O6.5 receptions (-155)
Jefferson received all the usage he could handle in the prior matchup between these two teams, seeing 16 targets and securing 12 receptions. He lined up against Fabian Moreau for 46 offensive snaps while the Giants provided help over the top and bracket coverages in crucial situations. Still, it’s clear no one on the planet can slow Jefferson in a one-on-one setting, with PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart believing he has the second-best matchup this weekend.
With Kirk Cousins‘ propensity to lock on to Jefferson in crucial situations expect a high volume of targets if this game gets close. Jefferson’s also been heavily involved in the scripted play set and should be well on his way to going over this prop number after the Vikings' first 15 plays on Sunday.
Anytime TD scorer pricing per FanDuel compared to play-by-play simulation
|Player||FanDuel Price||Implied Probability||Simulation Probability||Value Difference|
|Richie James Jr.||250||28.6%||25.4%||-3.1%|
Pick: ISAIAH HODGINS (+280)
Same game parlay
It’s time to press on the Jefferson matchup narrative, especially with him at a plus price to score a touchdown. DraftKings looks like the ideal spot to target a same-game parlay because his alternate receiving yardage number can be folded in at a higher plus price offering.
Jefferson to score a touchdown and to go over 119.5 receiving yards pays out +380 parlayed together. This is one of the few viable paths to the Vikings also covering the spread in this matchup, and since DraftKings offers a discount on the spread for a same-game parlay, we can grab the -2.5 and boost this overall payout up to +675.
- Justin Jefferson Anytime TD
- Justin Jeffers O119.5 Receiving Yards
- VIkings -2.5
Odds: DraftKings (+675)