NFL betting: Expect Ja'Marr Chase to hit the Griddy on Sunday

Just four teams remain alive in the playoffs, which means there are only three NFL games on the schedule until September. It's a bittersweet time of the year, but the football this weekend should be phenomenal. Both games are currently sitting with spreads under a field goal and you can make a very good case for any of the four teams to win the Super Bowl.

With just two games on the schedule this Sunday and both sitting in a standalone, primetime slot, it makes for a great viewing and betting experience. If you're not confident enough to pick a winner, consider turning your attention towards the "anytime touchdown" market. You're simply betting on a player to score a touchdown. It doesn't get any simpler than that. Here are three players that I like to find the end zone on Sunday.

Expect a Ja'Marr Chase griddy

Since entering the NFL in 2021, Ja'Marr Chase has set the league on fire. He won offensive rookie of the year in 2021 and he eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards this season despite missing over a month due to injury. Some have argued he's already the best receiver in the league, but at the very least, it's hard to leave him off of any top-5 lists.

Chase has played three career games against the Kansas City Chiefs. In those games. he's caught 24 passes for 417 yards and four touchdowns. The Chiefs have had a hard time slowing down Chase, and that's a main reason why the Bengals are 3-0 against Kansas City over the last 13 months.

In these playoffs, Chase has scored a touchdown in both games. Joe Burrow has attempted 68 passes in this postseason. He's targeted Chase on 20 of them. The Bengals have plenty of offensive weapons, but the most dangerous one and Burrow's favorite target is none other than the former LSU wide receiver.

Through the 18 games the Chiefs have played so far this season, they've allowed 21 touchdowns to wide receivers. That's the third worst mark in the league. Only the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans allowed more touchdowns per game to the wide receiver position. Christian Kirk found the end zone for Jacksonville last weekend against Kansas City.

Chase is -105 to find the end zone this weekend. If Cincinnati pulls off the victory like many are expecting, it would be shocking if Chase didn't play a major role. I expect to see at least one Griddy on Sunday night.

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 08: Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paycor Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase is already one of the best receivers in the NFL. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Chiefs' offense runs through Travis Kelce

When the Kansas City Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in the offseason, many questioned who would fill the void left behind by Hill. The team signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency. They drafted Skyy Moore in the second round. They traded for Kadarius Toney midseason.

While all of those receivers have had their moments this season, the true answer to the original question was that it would result in an even bigger role for Travis Kelce. Kelce set a career high in targets, receptions and receiving touchdowns this season.

That was on full display in Kansas City's divisional round victory over Jacksonville. The combination of Patrick Mahomes and Chad Henne attempted 37 passes. Seventeen of those targets went to Kelce. Toney had seven targets. No other player had more than two. Kelce turned his 17 targets into 14 catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

Kelce finished the regular season in a bit of a slump as he didn't find the end zone in the last six games of the year. However, he scored 12 touchdowns in the first 11 games of the season. He bounced back in a big way to start the playoffs. When the Chiefs are in the red zone, they look for Kelce.

The Chiefs' tight end has scored in two of his three most recent meetings against the Bengals. He's -110 to score on Sunday. I'm once again expecting the Chiefs' offense to run through Kelce this weekend, making him a solid bet to find pay dirt.

Christian McCaffrey is a touchdown machine

In mid-October, the San Francisco 49ers acquired Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers. In his first game with the 49ers, McCaffrey was limited to just 10 touches as he settled in and learned his new system. Since then, we've seen McCaffrey unleashed in Kyle Shanahan's running back friendly system.

McCaffrey has 12 touchdowns in his last 12 games as a member of the 49ers. He has scored in eight straight games. He's a threat both on the ground and through the air. Since joining San Francisco, McCaffrey has seven rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns.

The Eagles defense is obviously elite, ranking sixth in defensive DVOA on the season, per Football Outsiders. However, if there's one place they are susceptible, it's on the ground. They rank 21st in rush defense DVOA. The Eagles are giving up 0.72 rushing touchdowns per game and 0.17 receiving touchdowns to running backs per game. Both numbers are near the league average.

The Eagles' pass defense is superb and on the road, it's tough to envision Shanahan trusting his rookie quarterback to drop back and throw the ball a ton. I expect Shanahan to try and take the ball out of Brock Purdy's hands and lean on the run game to try and exploit the weakest part of the Eagles' defense. McCaffrey is -120 to score on Sunday.