world of Super Bowl proposition betting and are already looking forward to busting out our 2013 Super Bowl XLVII (47) Prop Bets in January and February. Other than the Super Bowl, though, we rarely venture out into the world of NFL prop betting.
Sure, we followed the Peyton Manning free agency, losing a few bucks on some ill-advised wagers asking where quarterback would land, and then nailed the Chad Johnson/Ochocinco whatever prop that laid 5/1 odds that he wouldn't be on an NFL roster come Week 1 (this was right after he was released/before signing with Miami), but other than that, the site that brings you such extensive Super Bowl prop betting coverage has lacked in the department during most of the season.
And so, we've taken it upon ourselves to find a good season player prop for a member of each of the NFL's 30 teams. But aren't their 32 NFL teams? Ah, yes, but keep in mind, you need to place your bets before the Week 1 games (Apologies to Giants and Cowboys fans. Without looking at the stats from the first game of the year, our player season props probably would have been Victor Cruz OVER 2 1/2 drops for the G-men and Kevin Ogletree OVER 1 1/2 touchdowns for the Cowboys. We'll see how those do this year.).
Without further ado, here are 32... er... 30 NFL futures in the form of season player props that we see value in:
Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald UNDER 9 touchdowns
Fitz is a beast, but all four of his seasons with double digit TD catches (2005, 2007-09) came in years in which Kurt Warner led the team in passing. Otherwise, hasn't topped 8. Skelton/Kolb... not Kurt Warner.
Atlanta Falcons: Roddy White OVER 1110 1/2 yards
We expect a big year out of Julio Jones, too. But Roddy White is getting under appreciated here. He's gone over 1.1k in each of the last five seasons. Mr. Consistent will strike again.
Baltimore Ravens: Torrey Smith OVER 900 1/2 yards
Take your Julio, we'll take Torrey Smith in the breakout WR category. Almost had 900 yards as a rookie and should be featured more heavily this season.
Buffalo Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick OVER 3500 yards
Fought through injuries in the second half of last year but still had 3800+ yards, with only 3 300+ games. We anticipate a few more of those with a cupcake schedule.
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton UNDER 4000 yards
Threw for 370+ yards in 3 of first 4 games, then never cross 300+ again. Went for under 175 in each of the last three. His dismal second half should be more the norm. There's NFL tape on this guy now.
Chicago Bears: Brandon Marshall OVER 90 1/2 catches
Much has been made about the Cutler/Marshall thing, and we're buying. Marshall's catch total in three years with Cutler as full-time starter in Denver: 102, 104, 101. Six catches a game will get him 96 grabs. He's the only real option among WRs. (Would still lean under 8 TDs--has done this only once in his career. But hey, one prop per team, much less player).
Cincinnati Bengals: BenJarvus Green-Ellis OVER 850 1/2 yards
He's the guy. Cedric Benson isn't a world-beater, but he strung together three consecutive 1000 yard seasons in Cinci with 270+ carries in each of the last three seasons. Most carries BJGE has had is 229--en route to a 1000 yard season.
Cleveland Browns: Greg Little UNDER 850 1/2 yards
We understand that somebody has to catch the ball, but maybe they don't. This whole Brandon Weeden thing is going to get ugly. Don't trust that little can make a jump up (from 700ish) with even worse QB play.
Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning will NOT start all 16 games (+200)
We might lose this one given his durability prior to last year, but WHAT ABOUT HIS DURABILITY LAST YEAR?! Getting 2/1 that a guy who had four neck surgeries in a year and a half and missed all of last season will miss just one start this season? Is this a joke? Now that his start streak is over, even if he stays healthy all year, could easily see him sitting a perhaps meaningless Week 17 game.
Detroit Lions: Nate Burleson UNDER 650 1/2 yards
We wimped out here. Stafford at under 4500 yards is tempting because of health, and we don't think Calvin repeats his numbers but how the hell do you justify betting against Calvin? We'll settle for the Burleson bet, thinking he's a redundancy with the emergence of Titus Young and even rookie Ryan Broyles, both slot guys like Burleson.
Green Bay Packers: Greg Jennings OVER 1000 1/2 yards
Had about 950 in 13 games last year before getting hurt. Had at least 1100 in each of the previous three seasons, playing 16 games in all. We're not worried about injuries and think this is a real low number for a No. 1 wide out.
Houston Texans: Andre Johnson UNDER 8 1/2 touchdowns
A bet against the oft-injured Johnson's health. Also, in nine seasons, has had over 8 1/2 TDs just once (9 in 2009). This is a running team, and that's how they'll score.
Indianapolis Colts: Reggie Wayne OVER 975 1/2 yards
Had 960 yards with some of the most incompetent QB play in NFL history. He's getting older, but with Luck, he should get back into 1000 yard territory--where he was for seven seasons prior to last.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew OVER 1100 1/2 yards
As much as we hate betting on a hold out player, even Chris Johnson managed 1k-plus in his disaster of a season last year. Needless to say, we trust MJD's work ethic a little more than CJ1K. With 1300+, 1300+ and 1600+ in the last three years, we don't think MJD will struggle too much to cross 1100, hold out and all.
Kansas City Chiefs: Jamaal Charles OVER 1000 1/2 yards
Lots of unknowns with the injury concerns, but dude has a career rushing average of 6.1 yards a pop. At that rate, he needs only 164 carriers for 1000 yards. And if Thomas Jones didn't stop him, neither will Peyton Hillis.
Miami Dolphins: Reggie Bush UNDER 7 1/2 total touchdowns
Bush is a tough egg to crack. He had 7 TDs last year and has twice scored 8 (with the Saints), but in this anemic offense and his record of fragility, we don't see him reaching paydirt 8 times.
Minnesota Vikings: Percy Harvin OVER 900 1/2 yards
Interesting that Percy is this low, so the bet probably assumes he'll miss a game or two as is his custom. Played in all 16 last year and had 967, so we thought this number would be 1000. We think he gets there as Vikes' only option. Had 65+ yards in six of the last seven last year; he needs about 57 per game to cross 900.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady OVER 34 1/2 touchdowns
Was ridiculous last year but expect him to be again. 39 and 36 TDs in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Should be back in that range. We also like his over on yards (4500), but again, one per team. While we're breaking that rule, would take Aaron Hernandez at over 6 1/2 TDs (has had 7 and 6), as he'll steal some of Gronk's this year.
New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees OVER 4500 yards
Just like Brady, ridiculous last year, still ridiculous this year. We like yards better than TDs on Brees, though. He's had at least 4500 in each of the last three seasons in which he's played all 16 games. We suppose we could get screwed by him sitting out in Week 17, but expect the Saints won't have things locked up at the end of their tumultuous season. Like Jimmy Graham's chances at topping 1100 1/2 yards, too.
New York Jets: Tim Tebow OVER 2 touchdown passes
We don't know how, but we're not betting against this guy. We can envision several goal line packages with him throwing a dinky TD because the D is playing for the QB keeper. Speaking of Jets QBs, Sanchez's over/under is at 19 TD passes. That's probably a little low. Reactionary New York market forgetting that he did have 26 TD tosses last year. That said, he still sucks.
Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden WILL NOT play in all 16 games this season (-150)
A little chalk here, but our Manning bet makes up for it. McFragile has never played in more than 13 games in his first four seasons, don't expect a change this year. Let him prove us wrong.
Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Vick UNDER 22 1/2 passing touchdowns
Let's quick check how many times in nine years Vick has gone over 22 1/2 passing TDs... oh, that's right, it's never happened. We don't think that will change at age 32. We also would lean toward the under on 650 1/2 rushing yards. Vick will try to throw more this year, stay in the pocket, slide, etc. His numbers will suffer a bit on the ground. But he still won't throw for 22 1/2 touchdowns, and only really has a shot if he plays at least 15 games. Get warm, Foles.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Antonio Brown OVER 1100 1/2 yards
Brown reached 1100 yards almost by accident last year, and he'll be an even bigger part of the Steelers' offense in 2012. He had three games early in the season with under 25 yards--we doubt he'll have any this year. For the record, we do think Mike Wallace surpasses his bench mark of 1000 1/2 yards, but Brown is the guy after a lengthy Wallace contract dispute.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers OVER 4250 yards
Rivers has reached 4250 in each of the last three seasons, and we think he'll have a career year in 2012. Rivers "struggled" last season to the tune of 4700+ yards, throwing a lot of picks early in the year but finding his groove toward the end of the season. Either way, the yards will be there again.
San Francisco 49ers: Frank Gore OVER 950 1/2 yards
You know what? We're just not totally buying the Frank Gore dropoff rhetoric. Sure, he played in all 16 games last season for just the second time in his career, but he doesn't need to play a full slate for 950 yards. He's had 1000 yards in five of the last six seasons, excepting 2010 when he saw a career low 11 games (and still had 853 yards). He's never averaged less than 4.2 yards per carry in a season, either. While his role in the passing game might be reduced like it was last year, we see another 1000-yard output here.
Seattle Seahawks: Golden Tate UNDER 525 1/2 yards
We like the Seahawks this year, but Tate is not the reason why. In fact, we think he's, at best, the fourth option in Seattle. Fifth if you count tight end Evan Moore. Perhaps Bovada means Doug Baldwin here? Old Slug Bald Dick is otherwise excluded from the prop betting options. With Sidney Rice (don't totally trust him for 850 1/2 either), Slug and Braylon Edwards--not to mention a recurring hamstring issue--we don't see Tate being a factor, despite a strong-ish finish to last season.
St. Louis Rams: Steven Jackson OVER 1050 1/2 yards
Similar to Gore, we're going to keep riding the S-Jax train. He's hit this number in each of his last three seasons, part of his run of seven-straight campaigns over 1k. It's his last year on the right side of 30, and we think he still has plenty more to offer, even if the Rams, once again, don't.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dallas Clark UNDER 550 1/2 yards
We could see Clark being a prominent part of the Bucs offense, but we're willing to bet against it. The oft-injured TE is coming off consecutive seasons in which he failed to reach 400 yards, playing in 6 games in 2010 and 11 in 2011. Even if he had played in all 16 games last year, he would have finished with 512 yards. Now with the erratic Freeman at QB, 550 is daunting. Clark's window of production was relatively small: in 9 seasons, he's finished just 3 of them with 550+ yards, and we doubt he gets a 4th.
Tennessee Titans: Jared Cook OVER 750 1/2 yards
Even with a maybe healthy and not suspended Britt and Kendall Wright thrown into a receiving corps that features newly minted 1000 yard WR Nate Washington, we expect Cook to replicate his 2011 numbers at worst. His 2011 numbers included 759 passing yards. We're expecting Locker to lean heavily on the young tight end, who had 335 yards in the last three games of the season.
Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III UNDER 16 1/2 interceptions
We like RGIII, but maybe his 3700 passing and 450 rushing yards seem a little too rich for our blood. A lot to ask of a rookie, even the second overall pick. Had Cam Newton not exploded last year (before quietly fizzling out), the RGIII love would be much less severe. That said, he is a better passer than Cam, and we think this line was set based off Cam's 17 picks in 2011, since so many are jumping to compare the two despite their completely different skill sets and body types. We think Griffin will take care of the ball and be a far more efficient passer than Newton. The INT bet is the safest if you're dabbling in RGIII props.
Those are our 30 recommended player season prop bets if for some reason you are forced to pick one prop bet from every team that has still yet to play in the 2012 NFL season. We can't wait to circle back to these parts and gloat come January. Or delete this post and pretend nothing ever happened. Either way, be sure to follow us on twitter throughout the season.
NFL FOOTBALL. TWO DAYS. HELL YES.