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RB Prop Betting Cheat Sheets: Identifying Value on Yardage Props

Betting on running backs is betting on opportunity. As obvious as it sounds, it’s the best way to measure how many yards an RB will rack up is by projecting how many times he’ll carry the ball. Everything else is just noise.

Thankfully, we have a pretty decent idea of et’s break down the RB yardage prop bets for the 2018 season.

To do that, we’ve assembled prop bet cheat sheets for every available player betting line being offered at betonline.ag.

These tables compare line being offered by bookmakers against the season-long projections from three different fantasy football experts. Fantasy football has been the driving force behind some of the best analytics work in football, and industry analysts give us a great baseline for player expectation.

Mike Clay works for ESPN and consistently provides some of the most accurate projections in football; his work is considered by many to be the gold standard in the industry. FF Today has been providing top-tier projections for years, while numberFire uses a proprietary analytics model to provide an unbiased set of predictions.

How to read the table:

  • The O/U column is the betting line that has been set by betonline.ag.
  • “Clay Proj” are the projections for each player from Mike Clay.
  • The “Value” column is the difference between the line being offered and that ranker’s projection.
  • For example, Alvin Kamara’s yardage prop is set at 900.5 yards, and Clay projects him to hit 843. So the difference, or “value”, is -57.5, meaning Clay thinks Kamara will go under his betting line.
  • The final “Average Value” column is the average difference from all three sets of projections.
  • All the columns are sortable to make it easy to find the best values.
 O/U YardsClay ProjectionClay ValueFF Today ProjFF Today ValuenumberFire ProjnumberFire ValueAvg Value
Alvin Kamara900.5843-57.5806-94.5892.4-8.1-53.4
Christian McCaffrey625.5548-77.5577-48.5660.3134.81-30.4
Dalvin Cook1099.5114343.51,144451117.1117.6135.2
David Johnson949.51093143.51,3564071031.4381.93210.64
Derrick Henry874.593964.5851-23.51005.33130.8357.28
Devonta Freeman959.5935-24.597717.51035.1875.6822.89
Ezekiel Elliot1375.5140428.51,329-471514.37138.8740.29
Jay Ajayi975.5873-102.59826.5953.43-22.07-39.36
Jerrick McKinnon859.5856-3.588626.5913.2653.7625.59
Kareem Hunt1099.51005-94.51,2161171197.1397.6339.88
Lamar Miller825.5650-175.5803-22.5921.2495.74-34.09
Le'Veon Bell1324.513261.51,225-1001398.8474.34-7.89
Leonard Fournette1149.5120252.51,126-241195.2445.7424.91
Marshawn Lynch650.5949298.5855204.5814.52164.02222.34
Melvin Gordon1049.51024-25.51,042-81216.22166.7244.57
Saquon Barkley1099.5113636.51,115161092.42-7.0814.97
Todd Gurley1349.51224-125.51,255-951279.75-69.75-96.58

Notes on the Over

  • There are two screaming “over” values in Marshawn Lynch and David Johnson. Clay is extremely bullish on Lynch especially, projecting him to beat his 650.5 line by nearly 300 yards. It’s hammer time — Lynch would have to average fewer than 40 yards per game to hit the under. While injury is always a real risk for RBs his age, that risk seems to be baked in to this betting line, and then some.
  • FF Today has Johnson beating his 949.5 projection by a full 400 yards. That might be optimistic, but Johnson did rush for 1,239 yards the last time he played a full season.
  • Kareem Hunt was the NFL rushing leader last year with 1,327 and his line has been set at 1,099.5. Two of the three projections have him landing north of that threshold, while Clay sees him falling short by nearly 100 yards.

Notes on the Under

  • The best value on the board appears to be Todd Gurley. The Rams RB ran for 1,305 yards last year, and bookmakers see him improving on that by 44.5 yards this season. All three of our rankers disagree.
  • The only other player who unanimously projected go to hit the under was Alvin Kamara, although Christian McCaffrey and Jay Ajayi just missed.
  • Lamar Miller is causing the biggest divide, as Clay sees him falling miles south of the projected line, while numberFire has him beating it by 100 yards. We’re leaning on the over with Miller, as he is likely to see a heavy load with sophomore RB D’Onta Foreman recovering from a devastating achilles injury.

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