The NFL season may still be a ways away, but there are already plenty of betting options available. If you’re looking to get in on the early action, we’re here to offer some assistance.
NFL Insider Field Yates, ESPN betting analysts Joe Fortenbaugh, Preston Johnson and Doug Kezirian, as well as fantasy experts Matthew Berry, Mike Clay and Anita Marks offer their best prop bets for the 2020 season.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Christian McCaffrey under 1,249.5 rushing yards (-110)
Clay: McCaffrey is entering his fourth NFL season after rushing for 1,098 yards during a breakout 2018 campaign, followed by 1,387 yards in 2019. Of the 35 running backs who reached 1,300 rushing yards in a single season from 2009-18, only 12 reached 1,250 yards the following season.
McCaffrey might seem like the logical exception to the rule, but there are plenty of reasons to think otherwise. McCaffrey required a massive 92% snap share in 2018 and 93% in 2019 just to hit the aforementioned marks. New coach Matt Rhule has already admitted McCaffrey won’t be utilized nearly that often in his offense, which, combined with McCaffrey’s gigantic role as a receiver, suggests he’ll see a decrease from the 17.9 carries per game he handled last season. Even if the decrease is small, it’s not logical to bet on a 16-game season from any running back, let alone a workhorse like McCaffrey. The soon-to-be 24-year-old’s 14-game projection comes in at 1,073 yards on 239 carries. Hammer the under.
Kezirian: He’s a fantastic player, but surpassing this mark is a lot to ask, even if he achieved it last season. With a defense that will rank among the league’s worst, I envision Carolina often trailing in the second half and abandoning the run game. McCaffrey is also an excellent weapon in the aerial attack, and the Panthers will continue to use him there. He’s an MVP candidate for good reason and racked up the fourth-most carries of anyone last year, but I just have to take the under.
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