NFL divisional round picks, odds

The surprising Jacksonville Jaguars have been one of the best stories in the NFL this season. Many are expecting that story to come to an end on Saturday, however, when Jacksonville takes on the Chiefs in the AFC divisional round. 

I do think Jacksonville has a puncher’s chance in this matchup. But instead of betting the side, I like a player prop. I’m looking at the Chiefs’ Isiah Pacheco over 50.5 rushing yards. 

Chiefs vs. Jaguars pick: Isiah Pacheco over 50.5 rushing yards (-110, FanDuel)

This total feels a little light for a guy who has seen his usage increase over the second half of the season. Pacheco has hit at least 58 yards rushing in eight of his last nine games, while averaging 70 yards per game over that span. 

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The key to Pacheco’s second-half surge has been opportunity. In his first eight games, Pacheco averaged 5.5 carries. In the last nine games, that number ballooned up to 14 carries per contest, as the former Rutgers runner emerged as Kansas City’s top option for early down carries. 

Isiah Pacheco
Isiah Pacheco
Getty Images

The Jaguars’ defense ranks in the middle of the pack in rush defense, allowing 114 yards per game. The problem for Jacksonville is a guy named Patrick Mahomes. The Jaguars’ secondary is overmatched, so it won’t be able to key on the Chiefs’ running game. This should allow Pacheco to eat up yards against a light front. 

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The other scenario that favors Pacheco going over the number is Kansas City holding a fourth-quarter lead. If that’s the case, Pacheco will see a lot of work late in the game. 

Given Pacheco’s production over the final nine games, I feel this number should be in the low 60s. Anything 58 or under is worth a play. 

Chiefs vs. Jaguars pick: Isiah Pacheco over 50.5 rushing yards (-110, FanDuel)

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