The NFL season has completely snuck up on us (me for sure), but we still have time to get some future wagers in on DraftKings Sportsbook. I did most of my futures research back during the layoff from sports and I think most of us then shifted our focus to the NBA and MLB when those sports returned.
Now it’s time for the NFL to take over the limelight. While researching futures back in April and May was a good way to spend time, it was difficult to bet since there were so many unknowns. With kickoff now rapidly approaching, we can bet futures with a little more confidence than we could have four to five months ago.
Here are some season-long player prop bets I think stand out for the 2020 NFL season.
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Cam Newton Passing Yards: OVER 3250.5 (+100)
This line has been sitting at 2950.5 since the Pats acquired Cam but we needed to be sure of some things before blindly betting it. Cam had to have his health, make this roster and be named the starter, which I thought would be the case but it’s now confirmed. It’s tough to gauge exactly what a Tom Brady-less New England offense will look like, especially with no preseason to base things off of, but we can try.
Removing last season, when Newton played just two games, he went over this total in seven of eight seasons in Carolina and the one he went under was by fewer than 125 yards in a season he missed two games. Health is a huge part of all of these bets but excluding 2019, Cam’s been a guy you can count on to be on the field during his career. This is a modest number for such a talented player. If we see 75% of Tom Brady’s production here, this one goes over.
Kyler Murray Passing Yards: OVER 3850.5 (-110)
Pretty elementary thinking here. We saw Murray pass for 3,722 yards as a rookie, so the natural progressions here of upping his completion percentage a little bit while getting more comfortable in the NFL would be enough for me to bet this over if he was targeting a similar receiving group this season. However, add DeAndre Hopkins to the mix and expecting Murray to improve his numbers by just about 150 yards seems like an easy call. A weird year makes playing overs more dangerous but a healthy Murray should obliterate this number.
Joe Burrow Passing Touchdowns: OVER 21.5 (-106)
I guess I’m all about playing overs on QBs selected No. 1 overall, so we’ll keep that trend going with Joe Burrow here. It’s not really fair to use his LSU numbers to compare to what he can do in the NFL but the dude did throw 60 touchdowns in 15 games last season. There will be growing pains but the Bengals have a pretty solid group of WR for Burrow to target right away.
A.J. Green should be fresh after the year off and if he’s on top of his game it gives Burrow a legit WR1 to target downfield, which he was elite at last year at LSU. Tyler Boyd will get the chance to settle in as a WR2 and John Ross’ blazing speed downfield could also lead to some big plays. Tee Higgins, who the Bengals drafted at the top of the second round, is another big-time talent that will work into the offense this year. Kyler Murray threw 20 touchdowns last season as a rookie but used his legs much more than Burrow will. Baker Mayfield threw 27 TDs the season before as a rookie while making just 13 starts. Give me 14 or more starts from Burrow and I like him to get there.
Aaron Jones Rushing Yards: UNDER 950.5 (-117)
Jones broke out as the Packers’ lead RB last season but things set up pretty perfectly for him to have a big season. He played in all 16 games for the first time in his career (playing in 12 games each of his first two seasons) and rushed for 1,084 yards on 236 carries. That feels like the ceiling for Jones if he’s fully healthy but we also have to remember that Green Bay invested heavily in its backfield, spending a second-round pick on A.J. Dillon.
Dillion ran for double-digit touchdowns in all three years he was at Boston College and is capable of playing a workhorse role in a backfield — finishing with a 318-1,685-14 line as a rusher in 2019. I’m not saying Jones won’t remain the RB1 this season but it’ll be a much more competitive backfield, which should mean fewer touches all around. We’re also talking about the RB position here, which involves taking a lot of hits. Even without any kind of serious injury, it’s totally possible Jones misses a few games here and there, which would make it very difficult for him to reach this number. Missing time would also give Dillon a chance to steal his job.
Derrick Henry Rushing Yards: UNDER 1325.5 (-124)
Henry is favored to repeat as the NFL’s leading rusher this season, coming off 1,540 yards in 2019. He earned that title in just 15 games last season and has never been hurt in his career. So at his size, I’m not going to use the same logic as Jones here. We need to plan for 16 games as the unquestioned RB1.
This is still not only a ton of yards to ask for but also a ton of carries. Henry did manage 303 carries last season but Tennessee knows it can’t just pound the rock like last year and have the same success. The Titans captured lightning in a bottle during that playoff run and teams will make them pass to beat them this season. This isn’t as much of a numbers-based play as it is just betting that opposing teams will make the Titans find other ways to move the ball.
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