Where 49ers’ Elijah Mitchell ranks among NFL rushing title favorites

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Where Elijah Mitchell ranks among NFL rushing title favorites originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jonathan Taylor ran away with the NFL’s rushing title in 2021.

Literally.

The Indianapolis Colts running back carried the ball 332 times for 1,811 yards, which was over 500 yards more than the next-closest rusher.

In just his second professional season, Taylor became the 20th player to ever eclipse 1,800 rushing yards. And the former second-round pick can put himself in an even more exclusive group if he’s able to pace the NFL in rushing yet again this season.

There have been just eight running backs who have won consecutive rushing titles in the post-merger era (since 1970), and seven of them are Hall of Famers: O.J. Simpson (1972-73, 1975-76), Earl Campbell (1978-80), Eric Dickerson (1983-84), Emmitt Smith (1991-93), Barry Sanders (1996-97), Edgerrin James (1999-2000), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006-07) and Derrick Henry (2019-20). The only one who isn’t in Canton is current Titans tailback Henry.

So what are the odds Taylor becomes the ninth to accomplish the rushing feat in 2022?

Who are the betting favorites to lead the NFL in rushing in 2022?

A pair of former rushing champs are co-favorites to rack up the most yards on the ground this season, as Taylor and Derrick Henry both have +500 odds, according to our partner, PointsBet. 

Had Henry not gotten hurt in 2021, he might have become the NFL’s first back-to-back-to-back rushing champ since Emmitt Smith from 1991-93 and the third overall in the post-merger era. Henry put up 937 yards in eight games, and at that pace he would have been on track to finish with 1,990 over a full 17-game season.

Browns running back Nick Chubb, who finished second to Taylor with 1,259 yards last season, is tied with Vikings RB Dalvin Cook for the third-best odds at +900. Chubb has been second on the rushing leaderboard in two of the last three seasons. Cook, meanwhile, finished second in 2020 before tallying 1,159 yards in 13 games last season, good for fifth-most.

49ers RB Elijah Mitchell is tied with fellow second-year back Javonte Williams of the Broncos for the seventh-best odds at +1600. As a rookie, Mitchell had the fifth-highest rushing yards per game average in the NFL at 87.5. Despite missing six games, the former sixth-round pick still ranked eighth in total rushing yards with 963.

Here’s a full look at the top betting favorites for the 2022 rushing title:

Jonathan Taylor: +500

Derrick Henry: +500

Dalvin Cook: +900

Nick Chubb: +900

Joe Mixon: +1400

Najee Harris: +1400

Elijah Mitchell: +1600

Javonte Williams: +1600

Antonio Gibson: +1800

Damien Harris: +2000

Cam Akers: +2500

Austin Ekeler: +2800

J.K. Dobbins: +3300

Ezekiel Elliott: +3300

Leonard Fournette: +3300

Josh Jacobs: +3300

Christian McCaffrey: +3300

Rashaad Penny: +3300

Miles Sanders: +4000

Devin Singletary: +4000

Saquon Barkley: +5000

Breece Hall: +5000

Aaron Jones: +5000

Alvin Kamara: +5000

David Montgomery: +5000

AJ Dillon: +6000

D’Andre Swift: +6000

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.