Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots NFL Player Props & Picks (12/17/23)

Get Chiefs vs. Patriots player prop picks & odds for the (12/17/23) matchup

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Chiefs vs. Patriots Player Prop Picks

The Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) are looking to snap a two-game losing streak when they face the New England Patriots (3-10) this Sunday (12/17/23). The Chiefs are heavy favorites with a spread of -8.5, but the over/under is a measly 37 total points, which could mean some low lines in the player prop betting market.

This article analyzes the betting odds for player prop bets in this game and recommends the best Chiefs vs. Patriots player prop bets.

Rashee Rice over 5.5 receptions (+110 at BetMGM)

We love finding player prop bets we like with plus odds, and this is our favorite one in this game.

Rashee Rice is emerging as Patrick Mahomes’ favorite wide receiver and his favorite pass catcher not named Travis Kelce. He has started reaching another level of performance over his last three games, averaging 7.7 receptions on 9.7 targets for 81 yards per game. He leads the Chiefs in both targets and receptions over that span as he has been Mahomes’ most reliable target, especially with defenses focused on Kelce.

We expect this to be a high-volume passing day for the Chiefs’ offense. Not only is starting RB Isiah Pacheco missing his second consecutive game, but the Patriots also have the best run defense in the NFL. New England is 1st in DVOA, EPA and success rate against the run, and they are allowing the 3rd fewest rushing yards per game (88.2) and the fewest yards per carry (3.2).

If Mahomes is dropping back a lot in this game, then he will be looking in Rice’s direction more than enough times for the talented rookie to catch at least six passes. Rice has 7 or more catches and 9 or more targets in three straight games. He also has gone over his catches prop line in 10 of his 12 games this season (he had no line set in week 1). We see no reason to expect those trends not to continue this week.

It’s worth noting that BetMGM has the best odds on this bet at +110, as of this writing. Caesars (+104) is the only other major sportsbook with plus odds while DraftKings and FanDuel are both at less than even money.

Jerick McKinnon over 16.5 receiving yards (-114 at FanDuel)

We will lean further into the expectation of a heavy passing day for Mahomes and pick another over prop for one of his pass catchers. McKinnon is a dynamic receiving threat who will see a larger role in the offense for the second straight week because of Pacheco’s absence.

McKinnon saw season highs in snaps (30), snap share (45%), and touches (7) last week with Pacheco out. He turned his 3 targets into 3 receptions for 18 yards, and he has gained at least 18 receiving yards in seven of his 11 games this season. He could see an even higher share of the Chiefs’ backfield work in this game given the matchup.

While the Patriots are excellent against the run, they have been below average at defending RBs in the passing game. They are 19th in receiving yards allowed per game (33.8) and 14th in yards allowed per reception. When you contrast that against their stellar performance against rushing attempts, it’s easy to expect McKinnon to be far more effective in this game than Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and therefore to be on the field for a higher percentage of snaps.

The biggest hesitation with this pick is game script, as the Chiefs should win this game easily and could be playing with a large lead for much of the game. But even in that scenario, McKinnon could still see plenty of work as a safe receiving option who can function as an extension of the run game to help bleed clock.

And of course, the Chiefs’ offense in general has not been the most efficient unit this season, so a blowout is not all that likely, at least not until late in the game. So either way the game script should provide more than enough opportunities for McKinnon to get involved in the passing game and gain at least 17 receiving yards.

Ezekiel Elliott over 19.5 receiving yards (-114 at FanDuel)

Yes, we are going with two running back receiving props in this game. That is where the matchups and the injury situations are creating the best value on player prop bets.

Ezekiel Elliott looked like vintage Zeke last week against the Steelers with Rhamondre Stevenson sidelined with an ankle injury. He had season highs in targets (8), receptions (7), and receiving yards (72) and he gained over 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time this season.

What was perhaps most encouraging last week was that Elliott was running with more power than we have seen all season. He had an 18% missed tackles rate and averaged 2.73 yards after contact per touch. The Chiefs’ defense is allowing the 9th-most yards after contact per touch this season.

Stevenson has already been ruled out again this week, so we can expect another heavy workload for Elliott both as a runner and as a receiver. He has gained at least 20 receiving yards in three of his last four games, so his receiving production is not exclusively a result of Stevenson’s absence last week.

Game script also should support this pick, as the Patriots could be forced into a pass-heavy offense if they are playing from behind for most of the game. Elliott will be a very important checkdown option for Bailey Zappe against a Chiefs defense that leads the league in pressure rate and is 3rd in sacks.

It’s worth noting that we also considered Elliott’s rushing prop, which is set at 60.5 yards, but based on the matchup and the recent production, the receiving yards over is the best player prop bet for Elliott this week.

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Noah hails from Philadelphia and is a diehard Philly sports fan. He graduated from Penn where he was a sports writer and editor for the student newspaper and also spent a summer covering the Baltimore Orioles for MLB.com. He has been playing fantasy sports since before live stats were a thing, and he has enjoyed learning the nuances of DFS in recent years. As a current resident of Florida, he is hoping the wave of sports betting legalization will eventually reach his home state.

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