NFL betting preview: Figuring out our favorite rushing yardage prop for the season

·3 min read

Running backs aren't as important in the NFL as they were 20, or even 10, years ago.

That's reflected in BetMGM's rushing yardage props. Only five players — Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon — have a rushing yardage total of more than 1,000 yards. Maybe that just means there are good betting opportunities on running backs this season. There are rushing yardage props for quarterbacks too, and those can have some value as well.

Our Yahoo Sportsbook team took a shot at our favorite bets on rushing total props at BetMGM for the season:

GREG BRAINOS: I’m all-in on A.J. Dillon in fantasy this season, so I’ll go with Dillon over 749.5 rushing yards. The Packers boast a top-end offensive line, Matt LaFleur views Dillon as a top back, and opposing defenses don’t dare stack the box against Aaron Rodgers. Dillon will hit this number even if Aaron Jones plays all 17 games, and he’ll really smash it if Jones misses any time like he’s done in four of his five seasons.

Green Bay Packers' A.J. Dillon celebrates with fans after rushing for a touchdown last season. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash, File)
Green Bay Packers' A.J. Dillon celebrates with fans after rushing for a touchdown last season. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash, File)

MARK DRUMHELLER: Josh Jacobs under 749.5 yards. Zamir White will force his way into a starting role by the second-half of the season. The scoreboard pressure from the Raiders 26th-ranked secondary getting slaughtered by Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Russell Wilson will force them to throw much more than even they want.

NICK BROMBERG: I can’t help but wonder if the Bills are looking to lighten the rushing load that was thrust upon Josh Allen in 2021. Buffalo needed Allen to get key yards on the ground over and over again and the Bills’ choice of James Cook in the draft may be a signal that they want to have a better rushing attack from their backs. With Cook and Devin Singletary, I think Buffalo runs it more with its backs and I like Allen at under 524.5 yards at even money.

PETER TRUSZKOWSKI: Is it cheating if I go with a quarterback here? Justin Fields has almost nothing in the way of pass-catching playmakers and he will be running for his life behind a putrid offensive line. This isn’t college, so sacks don’t count against his rushing totals thankfully. Fields only started ten games last season and he reached 420 yards. If he’s healthy, he’ll be scrambling for his life. His rushing ability is one of his bigger strengths. I’m going with Fields over 499.5 rushing yards.

FRANK SCHWAB: Travis Etienne’s total of 699.5 seems low. He’s a first-round talent and has played as the clear RB1 through preseason and camp as James Robinson returns. I’m not sure I trust Robinson to be close to his old self — he tore his Achilles in December, and the history of backs returning from that injury is brutal — and there’s nobody else on the roster that’ll eat into Etienne’s playing time. Even if Robinson forces a committee, all Etienne needs is about 42 yards per game to reach 700. Even though he's not a pure between-the-tackles runner he could go well beyond that; take the over. A close second favorite for me is Denver Broncos back Javonte Williams over 899.5 yards. I don't think Melvin Gordon III was lying when he said the team wants to feature Williams, and if he gets even a few more carries he'll be a 1,000-yard back.