- The New England Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game on Sunday
- In Week 6, the Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in New England
- Check out our favorite AFC Championship Props
After one of the best games in the AFC this season, the Patriots and Chiefs are set up for a rematch with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line.
Tom Brady will take on Patrick Mahomes for the second time, in what is the biggest age difference between two starting QBs in NFL playoff history.
But we're not looking at the signal callers in this week's props. It's their weapons that take center stage.
Prop #1: Receptions By Tyreek Hill
|Number of Tyreek Hill Catches||Odds at
Tyreek Hill has absolutely killed the Patriots in his career.
He caught seven balls for 133 yards and a touchdown in 2017. This year, Hill had seven catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns.
Stacking up his career numbers, it’s clear Hill likes playing New England.
Tyreek Hill vs New England and the Rest of the NFL
Hill vs NE
Hill vs NFL
Catches per Game
Yards per Game
TD per Game
Rushing Attempts per Game
Rushing Yards per Game
|7||Catches per Game||4.6|
|137.5||Yards per Game||66|
|2||TD per Game||0.47|
|1.5||Rushing Attempts per Game||1.3|
|2.5||Rushing Yards per Game||10.5|
Hill has at least four catches in five-straight games, including eight against the Colts. He is one of the hardest receivers to defend in the NFL.
How will the Patriots game plan to stop Tyreek Hill?
Patriots defensive backs have been at their best in press coverage while Tyreek Hill has consistently beaten press, averaging 4.1 yards per route against press coverage this season.#NEvsKC | #GoPats | #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/t8GP01n6YV
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 16, 2019
His 9.0 yards-per-catch against the Colts was his second lowest total of the season. With that likely because of the cold, and KC expected to be even colder on Sunday night, don’t expect him to maintain that 19.6 career mark against the Pats.
The Pick: Hill hauls in at least seven receptions (+110)
Prop #2: Receptions and Receiving Yards for Rob Gronkowski
|Prop||Odds at BetOnline (01/17/19)|
|6+ receptions for Rob Gronkowski||+175|
|76+ receiving yards for Rob Gronkowski||+133|
Rob Gronkowski’s struggles as a pass catcher are well-documented. But his run blocking was pristine against the Chargers. Expect a similar throwback for Gronk in the passing game Sunday.
In Week 6, Gronk was used sparingly. After a first quarter catch, he didn’t re-emerge on the stat sheet until the fourth quarter. He caught two key Tom Brady passes on the Pats’ last two scoring drives.
In fact, that game marked the split in Gronkowski’s season from productive, to ‘over-the-hill'.
Rob Gronkowski Season Splits
|Week||Games Missed||REC/Targets||Yards||Yards per Catch||TD||Catch %|
Like Hill, the weather is going to throw the Pats’ plans for Gronk awry. But cold or not, he’ll still be a handful for the Chiefs’ defense.
The corpse of Rob Gronkowski has now been held to three or fewer catches in 8 of his last 9 games.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) January 14, 2019
KC’s Eric Murray and Daniel Sorensen logged a 68.2 and a 68.0 coverage rating from Pro Football Focus. Dorian O’Daniel is the only linebacker with over 200 coverage snaps to rate higher than 60.0. Eric Berry, the great Gronk eraser, is a question mark.
Rob Gronkowski’s week 17 against NYJ was quietly one of his best games of the season. Only had two receptions, but had a 30 yard reception with two broken tackles called back. Dominated his run blocking assignments. This is the healthiest/strongest he’s looked all season: pic.twitter.com/5zCIxENlT5
— Patriots Film (@PatriotsFilm) January 13, 2019
Expect high volume for Gronk, in hopes he can exploit a winnable match-up.
The Pick: Package the two together for a Gronk-aissance (+216)
Prop #3: Total Carries for Michel and Williams
|Prop||Odds at BetOnline (01/17/19)|
|18+ carries for Damien Williams||+124|
|22+ carries for Sony Michel||+125|
In the Divisional round, both the Chiefs and Patriots unleashed their running games.
New England had been getting pretty regular contributions out of Sony Michel. Since Kareem Hunt was suspended however, KC's running game had been hit and miss to close out the season.
Sony Michel and Damien Williams Divisional Round Statistics
Michel's second career 100-yard game came in their Week 6 match-up. Hunt led the Chiefs with 80 yards on ten carries.
New England Patriots Sony Michel, Kansas City Chiefs Damien Williams, and Los Angeles Rams C.J. Anderson were the top three rushers in the Divisional Round! ? pic.twitter.com/ogLRC8LWXg
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 15, 2019
Again, if that “arctic blast” holds true, then there will be added importance on the running game. Even if one team pulls ahead significantly, the conditions may mean that they can't abandon running entirely.
Both will get plenty of carries on Sunday.
The Pick: Michel and Williams are relied on in bad weather (+404)
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