In the NFL, the running game is not what it used to be, as teams rely more heavily on their aerial attacks than they used to. But that doesn’t mean that running the ball isn’t crucial to the success of teams throughout the league. And bettors can still get involved in activities pertaining to the rushing of the football, thanks to rushing yardage props that make the least glamorous part of NFL offenses very exciting still.
What Are Rushing Yardage Props?
Rushing yardage props are prop bets that ask bettors to predict how effective a player will be at running the football. They usually come in the form of asking how many yards a player will end up with. But there are some variations of this prop betting market that can spice up an NFL Sunday.
What makes rushing yards props so interesting is that running the ball is so different from the passing game. In the passing game, teams are throwing the ball far down the field, looking to gain chunks of yards. Running the ball, meanwhile, can go for anything from a significant loss of yardage to a long touchdown, depending on how each rushing play is executed.
Types of Rushing Yards Props?
There are two main types of rushing yardage props, with the first of those props being the over/under rushing yards total prop. In this prop bet, bettors are asked to wager on whether they think a running back or other skill position player will rush for over or under the number of yards set by the bookmaker. For example, a sportsbook might set a running back’s rushing yardage total at 99.5, effectively asking bettors whether or not they will have a 100-yard rushing game.
To bet on this market effectively, bettors have to really dig into how effective the running game is for each team and how good the opposition is at stopping the run. Matchups are everything in football betting, and rushing yardage prop bets are no exception to that rule. And while overs are often a popular bet, there are plenty of instances where rushers go under their totals.
The other main rushing yards prop out there is a weekly prop that asks bettors to predict who will have the most rushing yards during a full day of football games. This is often done on a day where there are a lot of games going on, like an NFL Sunday or college football Saturday. To win this market, bettors have to handicap the rushing outputs of a large pool of players across many games, which is why that market yields higher payouts than simple over/under props.
Pros and Cons of Rushing Yards Props
A huge positive of rushing yardage props is the ability to find value in the event that bettors have a deep knowledge of the way an offense functions. Backup running backs and wide receivers tend to have low rushing yardage totals relative to feature backs. This allows bettors to win on lower totals when they can determine if a player who doesn’t get many carries will be effective or ineffective in a game.
One negative to this market is that the tempo of a game can impact how much rushing yardage a player earns. For example, if a team is down by three touchdowns early on, they may be forced to abandon the running game. That could drastically impact the fate of an over bet on the rushing yardage prop market.