New Years Day CFB Player Props Primer

Eric Froton
·5 min read

There are some pretty appealing options from this Friday's New Years Bowls player props slate. FanDuel already released their full list, but be sure to check in to see what Draft Kings puts out before on Friday morning.

Travis Etienne vs. Ohio State - 84.5 - DraftKings

Last year when Clemson and Ohio State clashed, Etienne only received 10 carries for 36 yards but made plenty of hay through the air, securing three passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns. It’s a familiar story for the explosive running back who caught 44 passes this season for 524 yards, averaging 48 YPG through the air. As a result of his all-purpose abilities, the senior tailback has only crossed the 84 rushing yard threshold four times in eleven games this season.

On the defensive side, Ohio State suppresses opposition rushing attacks to the tune of allowing only 96.7 yards per game, good for seventh best in the nation. Clearly the oddsmakers at DK’s are expecting a passing bonanza out of Clemson since Trevor Lawrence’s O/U is set at 345.5. I predict another light rushing load out of Etienne, and while I wouldn’t touch his total yards prop, I am backing his UNDER on 84.5 on Draft Kings. FanDuel obviously feels the same way, since they set their O/U line at 76.5.

Cornell Powell vs. Ohio State - 84.5 - DraftKings

Powell started off the season in rather ignominious fashion, failing to eclipse 50 yards in each of his first six contests. However the senior wideout excelled in the wake of Frank Ladson and Joseph Ngata going down, reeling off four straight games of 90 or more yards. Powell then came back to earth in the ACC Championship, catching only four passes for 59 yards in a blowout of Notre Dame. Both sophomore four-star prospects are expected to play in addition to the emergence of freshman wide receiver E.J. Williams, who caught four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown against Notre Dame two weeks ago. Ladson played sparingly in his recovery from an ankle injury against ND and will be in much better health against Ohio State.

It’s a numbers game with Powell, as the senior wideout isn’t a prolific receiver like Justyn Ross or Tee Higgins that HC Swinney is likely to build a gameplan around. Take the UNDER 84.5 on Powell’s receiving yardage in what is likely to be a crowded receiving corps.

Kearis Jackson vs. Cincinnati - 50.5 - FanDuel

Jackson started out the season hot, catching 19 passes for 300 yards in his first three games. However since Georgia’s October 17 loss to Alabama, the shifty slot receiver was only able to cross the 50 yard barrier one time in his next six games, and just barely at 55 yards, as his target share plummeted. Since George Pickens’ return from injury on November 21, the sophomore deep threat has taken over as the favorite weapon of new QB JT Daniels, reeling in 16 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns in his last three contests. Jackson has been so marginalized in the UGA offense, he only received three targets in the last two games for a total of 16 yards.

I’m strongly backing the UNDER on Kearis Jackson following his tumble down the depth chart and recommend tossing some loot on Pickens’ reasonable OVER 58.5. Remember, Pickens went berserk in last year’s bowl against Baylor, catching 12 passes for 175 yards. We could see another big game from him now the UGA finally has a competent QB at the helm.

Seth Williams vs. Northwestern - 64.5 - Fanduel

Readers of this column have seen me spill considerable ink on Mr. Williams this year. Beyond the obvious limitations that his quarterback Bo Nix has when it comes to his passing accuracy, Williams has been one of the least efficient receivers in the nation. In 10 games this year he has received 90 targets, catching only 42 for a ghastly 46.7% catch rate. However Nix’s poor passing acumen can only explain so much, as Williams dropped eight of 50 catchable passes for an unacceptable 16% drop rate. His poor hands were on full display in his last game against Mississippi State as he managed to reel in only three-of-10 passes.

Auburn has a new head coach in Bryan Harsin, so we have no idea what his gameplan might entail. With Williams having been peppered with targets and failing to justify his volume, i’m going full bore on Williams considering he hasn’t crossed 57 yards in any of his prior four games in addition to Northwestern’s smothering secondary that shut down the mighty Ohio State passing attack in the Big Ten Championship. I’m predicting a heavy dose of Tank Bigsby, and a much more spread out passing distribution than we’ve seen in weeks past. Take the UNDER on Williams’ 64.5 receiving yardage mark.

Zamir White vs. Cincinnati - 73.5 - FanDuel

The highly touted high school standout has hit his stride over the past five games, rushing for at least 84 yards in four of them as Georgia’s offense has taken off since JT Daniels was inserted into the starting quarterback role. White has posted 509 yards in his last five games as the Dawgs have gone 4-1 in that span. In addition to that, fellow RB James Cook is expected to miss the Peach Bowl after his father’s passing due to complications from diabetes.

With such a low number for “Zeus”, who is surging since November and in-line for a heavy workload, I am strongly backing the OVER on White who is running behind a dominant SEC line against an AAC caliber defense that is allowing 118 YPG against inferior offenses. I simply can’t see the Bearcats shutting down UGA’s rushing attack.