If you were looking to make Sunday’s Wild Card playoff game a little more interesting, Michelle Magdziuk and I packed today’s Gold Digger’s podcast with tons of gambling and fantasy advice. Michelle is a researcher for the NFL Network and the Director of Content for Ball Blast Football for those of you who don't know.
Elijah Mitchell over 78.5 rushing yards
The Cowboys can’t stop the run. They have allowed 100+ rushing yards to a team in every game but one since Week 6 - and the one game they didn’t came against Washington when they were up 42-7 at halftime.
While those are team rushing totals, Elijah Mitchell is really the only running back that gets the ball when he’s active. In his last five games played, other running backs have touched the ball 10, 2, 0, 0, and 1 time. Deebo is Mitchell’s main competition for carries in this one, but he won’t get enough to prevent Mitchell from hitting this over.
And let’s be honest, we’ve seen Kyle Shanahan stick with the run when it’s working during a playoff game before.
Deebo Samuel over 28.5 rushing yards
Kyle has joked in the past that he’s turned Deebo Samuel into a running back, and he’s come pretty darn close. Deebo has gone over this mark in seven of his last eight games. Since Week 10, Samuel is averaging almost 43 rushing yards per game, and he has at least 5 carries in eight straight games.
The 49ers are going to give Deebo every opportunity to hit this over, and we doubt the Cowboys will be able to stop him. Dan Quinn’s defense has given up 14 runs of at least 20+ yards this season. That’s third-worst in the NFL.
Over on the longest reception for both Deebo Samuel (25.5) and Brandon Aiyuk (21.5)
The 49ers love to talk about explosive plays, and they are facing a team that give up a ton of them this week. The Cowboys have allowed 42 receptions of 25+ yards this year, which is tied for the second-most in the NFL.
Since Week 12, Dallas has allowed the following players to catch a 25+ yard pass: Zay Jones, Hunter Renfroe, DeSean Jackson, Jordan Humphrey, Deonte Harris, Nick Vannett, Jawuan Johnson, Cam Sims, Kenny Golladay, Dyami Brown, John Bates, Christian Kirk, AJ Green, Quez Watkins, and DeVonta Smith. Some good players in there, but there are a lot of players far, far worse than Deebo and Aiyuk.
Oh, by the way, the 49ers have been gashing people with chunk plays for quite a while now. Since Week 8, San Francisco leads the league in explosive pass plays. Take the over!
Ezekiel Elliott under 51.5 rushing yards
This ain’t the same Zeke from a few years ago. From Week 8 onward, he’s only averaging 43.5 rushing yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry. Couple those facts with the 49ers’ incredible run defense (2nd in the NFL in DVOA), and this seems like it could be a long Sunday for Mr. Elliott.
Since Week 10, no one runs on the 49ers. Only two players in that time frame have had more than 50 rushing yards on them. One was Travis Homer of the Seahawks, who gained 73 yards on a fake punt, and the other was Joe Mixon in Week 14.
Throw in the possibility of having the trio of Fred Warner, Azeez Al-Shaair, and Dre Greenlaw back on the field, and that under is looking mighty good.
Dalton Schultz over 41.5 receiving yards
While it might look at first glance like the Niners have been good against tight ends this year, they have loosened their grip just enough recently to make this bet worth your time. Over the last five games, San Francisco allowed three tight ends to eclipse the 50-yard mark against them (CJ Uzomah, Kyle Pitts, and Tyler Higbee).
Those aren’t monster games by any stretch, but Schultz doesn’t need to do much to hit this over. With most of the attention going to Amari Cooper and Cee Dee Lamb, there are going to be opportunities for Schultz in this game. Plus, Dak likes going to him. Dalton has hit this over in 6 of his last 8 games.
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