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    R.J. White

    Super Stat Geek

    CBS Sports' managing editor of Fantasy and gambling, R.J. twice has cashed huge in the world's most prestigious handicapping tournament, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest. In 2017 he tied for 18th out of 2,748 contestants with a 52-29-4 mark against the spread. In 2015 he tied for 39th out of 1,727 entries with a 51-32-2 record. Over the past nine years, R.J.'s Vegas content picks are 428-327-25 (56.7 percent). He shares those five weekly picks on SportsLine. Beyond his weekly Vegas contest column, R.J. consistently crushes the NFL: He went 636-534-34 on ATS picks from 2017-23, returning $4,899 to $100 players as SportsLine's No. 1 NFL expert in against the spread picks. R.J. has many years of experience analyzing NFL statistics and trends, beginning with Super Bowl XXV, and it shows in his insightful writeups and winning picks. For R.J. White media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.

    @rjwhite1

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    R.J.'s Past Picks

    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    Analysis:

    The 49ers defense comes into this game with a clear directive: slow down Patrick Mahomes. That should leave plenty of room to run for a guy in Pacheco who has had at least 15 carries in eight of his last nine games. At his season average of 4.6 yards per carry, a 15-carry workload translates to 69 yards. But then you look at a 49ers team that has struggled to stop the run in recent weeks, giving up 100-plus rushing yards in five of their last six games after doing so just three times in 13 games prior. I expect this line to climb to the 75.5 range as I'd expect Pacheco to top 80 rushing yards here.

    Pick Made: Jan 30, 2:57 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    Analysis:

    The 49ers receivers have a tough matchup against the talented Chiefs secondary, and that means this should be a productive day for Kittle. He's eclipsed 50 receiving yards in nine of his last 12 games, and the two he didn't since the start of December came against teams with questionable cornerback talent (Lions, Commanders). The Chiefs haven't given up much production to tight ends this season but haven't faced many good ones, and many of the better ones they've faced (T.J. Hockenson, Evan Engram, Hunter Henry) have gotten to 50 receiving yards. I believe Kittle will get it done here as well.

    Pick Made: Feb 10, 1:53 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    Analysis:

    The Chiefs come into this game with great depth in the secondary, and it's hard for me to see Kyle Shanahan making any receivers beyond Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk key parts of the game plan. Jennings has topped eight yards just three times in his last nine games, with one being in the divisional round when he took on an outsized role with Deebo Samuel's injury. After playing 77% of the snaps in the NFC Championship, Samuel should be all systems go with two weeks of rest. The other two games where Jennings saw significant work were blowouts where the team scored more than 40 points, which isn't how this game profiles at all.

    Pick Made: Feb 07, 4:43 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    Analysis:

    Travis Kelce finished the regular season with fewer than 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2015, but the break he got in the regular-season finale seems to have done him good. He's topped 70 receiving yards in all three postseason games, giving him a streak of 12 straight playoff games with at least 70 receiving yards. He'll be up against a 49ers defense that has given up big games to elite TEs featured in their offenses (T.J. Hockenson and Trey McBride in the regular season, Sam LaPorta in the NFC Championship). As Patrick Mahomes' most reliable target, Kelce should get a lot of work and post another big yardage day against a vulnerable defense.

    Pick Made: Feb 05, 5:52 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    Analysis:

    Mahomes had one of his best games of the year at Allegiant Stadium, posting a season-best 79% completion rate with 298 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions. But that game was atypical of his performance down the stretch; after reaching 270 passing yards in five of his first seven games, he crossed 245 yards just four times in his last 12 games. The Chiefs should be able to lean on the rushing attack here, and this number would make more sense in the 240s based on Mahomes' recent performance.

    Pick Made: Feb 11, 2:31 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    Analysis:

    Brock Purdy played at an MVP level for much of the regular season while throwing multiple TDs in 9 of 16 games. But his performance has dipped in the postseason, completing less than 65% of his passes in both games and throwing only one TD in each. The Chiefs have given up multiple passing TDs just four times this year, with the last occurrence more than two months ago. Even if the moment isn't too big for Purdy, the defense he's facing may just be too tough to throw multiple TDs against.

    Pick Made: Feb 05, 6:23 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    +880
    12-3 in Last 15 NFL Team Props Picks
    Analysis:

    The 49ers have survived a few scares to get to the Super Bowl, but their defense has struggled down the stretch. After allowing more than 23 points once in their first 13 games, they've given up at least 29 points in three of their last five competitive games, with both the Cardinals in Week 15 and the Lions last week piling up more than 430 yards of offense behind an excellent rushing attack. The Chiefs have a capable rushing game led by Isiah Pacheco, but also one of the best QBs of all time under center. The Chiefs' scoring offense hasn't been as prolific this year, but I believe they'll get to 24 here.

    Pick Made: Feb 07, 2:43 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    +880
    12-3 in Last 15 NFL Team Props Picks
    Analysis:

    The 49ers offense finished the regular season with the most points per drive in the league. But the Chiefs defense ranked third in the same metric and have been playing their best football in the playoffs, where they held two other offenses in the top five of points per drive to seven and 10 points. Only one team has topped 24 points against the Chiefs all year, and it's possible the moment is too big for Brock Purdy or rookie 49ers kicker Jake Moody, costing the team valuable points. With how the Chiefs have played games this season, I'd be surprised if this was a shootout similar to last year's Super Bowl, even with the talent San Francisco has on offense.

    Pick Made: Feb 05, 5:13 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    Analysis:

    The Chiefs defense has been pretty good about limiting big pass plays as of late, with the Ravens managing a few thanks in part to Lamar Jackson's ability to extend plays with his legs. But no Bills player had longer than a 15-yard reception the previous week, and Tyreek Hill managed the only long pass for the Dolphins the week before. The Chiefs didn't allow a 25-yard reception in any of their final three competitive regular-season games. I'm not sure Kyle Shanahan is going to do much attacking downfield with Brock Purdy here, so fading the chances of Aiyuk getting a long reception seems like a solid play.

    Pick Made: Feb 07, 7:38 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    Analysis:

    Christian McCaffrey is a massive -230 favorite to score a touchdown after scoring twice in both of the 49ers' playoff games. But he's also failed to score in two of their last six games. On the other hand, Pacheco has scored in seven straight games. McCaffrey may have the volume edge, with just two games falling short of 20 touches in his last nine, but Pacheco has only fallen short of 20 touches twice in his last eight. Pacheco's odds to score a TD shouldn't be equal to McCaffrey, but they certainly should be closer.

    Pick Made: Feb 11, 2:31 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    +2053
    98-78-4 in Last 180 NFL Picks
    +1733
    78-61-3 in Last 142 NFL ATS Picks
    +910
    38-28 in Last 66 SF ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    The Chiefs are in the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years, and they got there by winning two straight road games as underdogs. Yet the market is making them a 'dog on a neutral field? The 49ers may have been the better team in the regular season, but they peaked prior to the playoffs, where they've scraped by at home twice as big favorites. The Chiefs are playing their best ball right now, with their receivers shaking off early-season drops to pile up first downs. Patrick Mahomes vs. Brock Purdy, and the Chiefs have the better defense and are catching points? We know what to do.

    Pick Made: Jan 29, 2:06 pm UTC
    Jan 28 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    Detroit
    31
    @ San Francisco
    34
    Analysis:

    The Lions are on the doorstep of their first Super Bowl appearance despite not doing a good job slowing down opposing WR1s. Mike Evans just racked up 147 yards on eight catches in the divisional round after Puka Nacua had 181 yards on nine catches in the wild-card round. In fact, an opposing receiver has topped 140 yards against the Lions in five straight games. That trend should continue with a 49ers offense that ranked first in yards per pass on the regular season, and the injury to Deebo Samuel could help consolidate targets to Aiyuk. I'd also sprinkle on Aiyuk to top 100 yards in this matchup.

    Pick Made: Jan 22, 8:11 pm UTC
    Jan 28 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    Detroit
    31
    @ San Francisco
    34
    +880
    12-3 in Last 15 NFL Team Props Picks
    Analysis:

    The Lions defense has been bend but don't break for over a month, but this seems like the matchup where it could all come crashing down. Five straight opponents have seen their QB throw for well over 300 yards, and the 49ers finished first in yards per pass in the regular season. Even if Deebo Samuel can't go, they should have a lot of success offensively, and that could include a big game on the ground for Christian McCaffrey after Rachaad White did better than expected last week. The Lions have allowed at least four scoring drives in five straight games, and the 49ers are better than any of those offenses.

    Pick Made: Jan 23, 2:08 pm UTC
    Jan 28 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    Detroit
    31
    @ San Francisco
    34
    Analysis:

    Deebo Samuel has been cleared to play, and that's great news for Purdy in this prop. Samuel has caught four of Purdy's 12 completions of at least 41 yards this year and two more right at 40 yards. The Lions surrendered a 40-yard pass play in six straight games prior to avoiding it against Baker Mayfield, who had 349 yards on 41 attempts anyway. With his full complement of weapons, Purdy should have no problem putting at least one explosive play on the board against a defense that struggles against the pass.

    Pick Made: Jan 28, 3:25 pm UTC
    Jan 28 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    Detroit
    31
    @ San Francisco
    34
    +2053
    98-78-4 in Last 180 NFL Picks
    +1733
    78-61-3 in Last 142 NFL ATS Picks
    +951.5
    35-23-1 in Last 59 DET ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    The 49ers barely squeaked by the Packers last week, but I'm not going to let that game impact my valuation of them too heavily with the rain impacting how effective the 49ers pass game could be. Conditions should be perfect for this game, and I believe we're in for a massive point total for the a 49ers pass offense that's No. 1 in yards per pass against a dreadful Lions pass defense, even if Deebo Samuel doesn't play. There could be a threat of a backdoor cover by the Lions, but I don't expect them to be at their best on the road in a rare outdoor spot against a quality 49ers defense. I'll count on the 49ers to score enough to cover.

    Pick Made: Jan 24, 7:58 pm UTC