Best NFL Playoffs Prop Bet for Ravens vs. Bills: Allen on the Run

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen escapes the pocket during win over 49ers
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PropBetGuy

NFL · 1 year ago

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More commonly known as @PropBetGuy on Twitter, Doug Carter has been crunching the numbers on player props for years. He's also a staunch defender of future Hall of Famer, Eli Manning.

The first of two AFC divisional playoff matchups brings us the Baltimore Ravens traveling north to Buffalo to take on the Bills. Both teams are coming off impressive wins in the wild card round. The home team Bills are favored by less than a field goal, with the game total set at a robust over/under 49.5.  Prepare yourself to bet sides and totals in this matchup by checking out our full game coverage.

This might have been my favorite game of the season to research for player props. Two dynamic teams flush with playmakers on both sides of the ball. In the end, I’m hanging my hat on one of the same guys as last week, just not with the same statistic.

Josh Allen over 33.5 rushing yards

Line available at publishing. Playable up to over 38.5 yards.

Wait, in a game featuring Lamar Jackson, this is the quarterback I’m going with on a rushing yards prop? Well yes, and hear me out. Allen is a mobile quarterback, but with his development as a passer this season, his usage in the run game has taken a backseat. In 2020, the Bills signal-caller ran for 421 yards, but there are a few variables at play here.

During the regular season, Allen only had 39 designed rush attempts (excluding kneels and sneaks) — less than three per game.  However, last week versus the Colts, he had seven designed rushes. In the 2019 regular season, he had 31 designed rushes, and in his lone postseason game, he had 13. Two games isn’t much of a sample size, but it is interesting to see the Bills’ propensity to keep the ball in Allen’s hands when it counts.

An additional factor is that Buffalo’s rookie running back, Zack Moss, is out for the postseason with an injury suffered last week. Moss was more of the ‘thunder’ to Devin Singletary’s ‘lightning’. The Bills have been hesitant to allow Singletary to garner significant carries all season — he averaged less than ten carries per game, and only had three last week. It’s likely that Moss’ departure from the line-up creates more opportunity for Allen.

Baltimore is a tough matchup to gauge. They did not face many designed quarterback runs all season (only 10). What we know about the Ravens is that they are the most blitz-happy team this season (44 percent), and they rely on their stout secondary in man coverage. This spells susceptibility to a quarterback scramble. The Ravens allowed 7.1 yards per scramble (to mostly non-mobile quarterbacks).  This is right on Allen’s average, and versus top ten blitz teams, he scrambled three times per game.

Conclusion

Allen is averaging 4.8 carries on designed runs. The Ravens possess the seventh-worst rush defense this season, allowing 4.6 yards per carry. With cold, windy weather as a potential factor as well, I see Allen with at least eight carries. I have his yardage projected in the mid-40s.

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