NFL Prop Bets: In Saquon We Trust

NFL Prop Bets: In Saquon We Trust article feature image

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Highlights

  • Saquon Barkley has prop totals of 1000 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
  • All four quarterbacks selected with top-10 picks have props for the number of games started.
  • D.J. Moore vs. Calvin Ridley: Which wide receiver will have more receiving yards?

Life is tough without a full slate of NFL games, but we have to make the best with what we have. NFL draft prop season is behind us, but oddsmakers have blessed us with the chance to wager on some of the league’s most talented incoming rookies.


Saquon Barkley over (-120) under (-120) 8 Rushing TDs, over (-170) under (+130) 1000 rushing yards

It’s tough to overstate how talented Barkley is with the ball in his hands. Athletes who are 6’0″ and 233 pounds shouldn’t be able to run and jump the way the former Nittany Lion can.



— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) May 3, 2018

As the No. 2 selection, Barkley is expected to get the second-most guaranteed money for a running back in NFL history. There’s no reason to expect the Giants won’t feature him as much as humanly possible, although new Giants offensive coordinator Mike Shula has reunited with old friend and potential Barkley-vulture Jonathan Stewart.

My lean: Over (-120) 8 rushing touchdowns, over (-170) 1000 rushing yards. The Giants’ still-porous offensive line has limited runners to just 12 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons, but the team also hasn’t possessed a freak-of-nature producer like Barkley. Nine rookie backs have gained over 1,000 rushing yards since 2012, and eight also managed to score at least eight touchdowns.

2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

We’ve already touched on some of the logistics surrounding the offensive rookie of the year odds. It’s currently a two-man race between Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield as far as the odds are concerned, but high draft position hasn’t been all that important for past rookie of the year winners, that considering three of the last five winners weren’t selected in Round 1.

Quarterbacks have won five of the last 10 rookie of the year honors, with three running backs and two wide receivers sprinkled in. Most of this year’s rookie quarterbacks are expected to start the season on the bench behind an incumbent starter or planned bridge option. Additionally, the likes of Sony MichelCalvin Ridley, and Anthony Miller find themselves entrenched in committees or firmly behind superior players.

My lean: Ronald Jones +2000 and Royce Freeman +5000. Barkley is positioned to contribute immediately as a three-down back, but he could lose significant work to Stewart, and Rashaad PennyDerrius Guice, Freeman, and Jones are positioned to play as featured backs sooner rather than later. DJ Moore also offers value as the likely WR1 for the Panthers, but I’ll take the backs with solid offensive lines and the least depth-chart competition.


Bradley Chubb over (-130) under (-110) 5.5 sacks

The idea that rookie pass rushers can’t immediately contribute hasn’t held true in recent seasons. At least three first-year defenders have racked up six-plus sacks in three of the past four seasons after there was only one such season from 2007 to 2013. A bet on the over also isn’t asking for much from Von Miller‘s counterpart:

  • 2011: Elvis Dumervil – 9.5 sacks
  • 2012: Dumervil – 11.0 sacks
  • 2013: Shaun Phillips – 10 sacks
  • 2014: DeMarcus Ware – 10 sacks
  • 2015: Ware – 7.5 sacks
  • 2016: Shane Ray – 8 sacks
  • 2017: Shaquil Barrett – 4 sacks

My lean: Over (-130) 5.5 sacks. The Broncos have already declined Ray’s 2019 player option. It would be surprising for the Broncos not to give an immediate role to the player in whom they’ve invested the most draft capital since they selected Miller.

Bradley Chubb: Player Profile

Quarterback starts

  • Baker Mayfield over (-120) under (-120) 9.5 starts
  • Josh Allen over (-110) under (-130) 10.5 starts
  • Sam Darnold over (-140) under (EVEN) 5.5 starts
  • Josh Rosen over (-120) under (-120) 8.5 starts

Over the last 10 years, 14 of the 17 quarterbacks selected with top-10 picks have started at least 10 games as rookies.

My lean: All over, except for Josh Allen. Mayfield and Darnold will likely begin the season behind Tyrod Taylor and Josh McCown, but eventually they should both get opportunities to start, while Rosen will be ready to go whenever Sam Bradford‘s degenerative knee issue flares up. Allen enters as the rawest prospect of the group and could feasibly start the season behind both A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman.

More receiving yards in 2018 regular season

  • DJ Moore (-145)
  • Calvin Ridley (+105)

Roddy White and Harry Douglas had 1,000-yard campaigns in 2011-2013 while playing alongside Julio Jones, but nobody has managed to surpass even 725 yards since. Cam Newton‘s leading wide receiver has averaged 977.3 yards per season since 2011 with a floor of 739 yards.

My lean: DJ Moore (-145). The Panthers’ run-first offense isn’t ideal, but Moore was perhaps the draft’s most athletic receiver, and he has a very real opportunity to open the season as the No. 1 option in the passing game. Ridley was lauded as the draft’s best route runner, but he could work as the No. 3 receiver in his offense.

Pictured: Saquon Barkley

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