We have an interesting mix of games taking place this weekend to kick-off the NFL playoffs. Three of the six games currently have spreads of a field goal or less. The other three games currently have teams favored by at least nine points. On paper, injuries to Tua Tagovailoa and Lamar Jackson have put a bit of a damper on the weekend.
Laying big numbers in the NFL playoffs isn't easy to do. All three of the games with large point spreads are divisional matchups, and those are usually tighter and more competitive. At the same time, it's hard to stomach risking your hard-earned money on Skylar Thompson or Tyler Huntley.
For that reason, I'm looking at another way to bet two of the games that oddsmakers expect to be rather one-sided. Anytime touchdown bets are a popular way to bet games. You're betting on whether a player will score a receiving or rushing touchdown. Since touchdowns are more random and there are less than five touchdowns scored on average per NFL game this season, these bets usually come with decent odds. I like two tight ends to find the end zone this weekend.
Brock Purdy loves George Kittle
George Kittle played his college football at Iowa while Brock Purdy played at Iowa State. While there's certainly a rivalry there, the two have combined for some impressive chemistry on the NFL field.
Since Purdy took over the starting job in Week 14, he has targeted Kittle 32 times over five games. On those 32 targets, Kittle has 22 catches for 293 yards and a robust seven touchdowns. Young quarterbacks often look toward their tight end as a safety blanket over the middle of the field, and that has certainly been the case with Purdy and Kittle.
Not only is Kittle a favorite of his young quarterback, he has a great matchup this weekend. Seattle gives up the most yards to the tight end position of any playoff team. They also allow the seventh-most touchdowns to the position. Purdy and Kittle lit them up back in Week 15 to the tune of four catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Kittle is +160 to score a touchdown in Saturday's game. He's +850 to score two or more touchdowns. He's been red hot and has been a favorite target of his quarterback. He has a good matchup to exploit. I like Kittle to find the end zone this weekend.
Dawson Knox is red hot
The biggest favorite of wild card weekend is none other than the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo is now up to a 14-point home favorite against the Miami Dolphins with Skylar Thompson named as the starting quarterback for Miami. If that spread is too large for you to partake in, let's turn our attention to another tight end to find the end zone.
Bills tight end Dawson Knox had just two touchdowns through the first 14 weeks of the season. However, he really turned it up down the stretch. Knox finished the season with touchdowns in four straight games as he established himself as a favorite red-zone target for Josh Allen.
No playoff team gives up more touchdowns to the tight end position than the Miami Dolphins. Over the last four weeks, the Dolphins have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends. When these two teams last met in Week 15, Knox went off for six catches, 98 yards and a touchdown.
Knox is +170 to score a touchdown against the Dolphins. He's scored in four straight games and has a good matchup. If you're not interested in laying or taking the big number, this is a fun plus-money prop to keep you invested.