NFL Player Props: Adrian Peterson Favored to Repeat as Rushing King
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | Aug. 23, 2013
It’s not easy in the NFL’s modern era for running backs to repeat as the league leader in rushing. It could be that it’s because the league is now so pass-heavy. Part of it also could be that most elite running backs aren’t the same after age 30, if they even get that far. Running backs on average have the shortest average careers of all NFL players at just 2.57 years. They get hit every time they carry the ball.
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In the 1990s, three running backs won back-to-back rushing titles: the Cowboys’ Emmitt Smith (1991-93), the Lions’ Barry Sanders (1996-97) and Colts’ Edgerrin James (1999-2000). The first two are in the Hall of Fame and James might be some day. This century, only one running back has repeated: the Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006-07. Thus the odds would seem stacked against 2012 rushing king Adrian Peterson of the Vikings, but he is the 11/4 favorite on Bovada’s NFL odds to win another title.
Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards last year despite coming off major offseason ACL surgery in his knee. He was eight yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s NFL single-season record. Peterson also won NFL MVP, the first running back to do so since Tomlinson in 2006. Peterson is 12/1 to repeat there. No back has ever had multiple 2,000-yard seasons. Peterson’s previous high was 1,760 yards in 2008 when he won his first rushing title. The following year, he rushed for 1,383 yards.
Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch is the second-favorite to lead the NFL in rushing at 7/1. Lynch got a career-high 315 carries last season and responded with a career-best 1,590 yards to finish third in the NFL. The only Seahawk to lead the league in rushing was Shaun Alexander in 2005 when he was the NFL MVP. Lynch is 50/1 to win MVP.
Houston’s Arian Foster and Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin are 10/1 on the rushing prop. Foster has been the NFL’s most consistent back the past three years. His 1,424 rushing yards in 2012 was his third-straight year with at least 1,200. He led the league in 2010 with a career-high 1,616. Foster has had some injury problems in his career, playing all 16 games just twice. He is 33/1 to win NFL MVP, which no Texan has done.
Martin had a brilliant rookie season with the Bucs. The former Boise State star was a steal as the No. 31 pick in the 2012 draft. Martin rushed for 1,454 yards, the second-most in franchise history. Martin’s 251-yard game against Oakland was a team record, the most in the NFL last season and the 10th-most all time. He was the first back in more than 70 years with three touchdown runs of at least 45 yards in one game. Martin is 66/1 to win NFL MVP. No Buccaneer has won that award.
Washington’s Alfred Morris (12/1), Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller (12/1) and Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles (14/1) round out the football betting favorites on the rushing prop. Morris was the biggest rookie surprise in the NFL last year. The sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic ran for 1,613 yards, second in the league. Spiller rushed for 1,244 yards on a stellar 6.0 yards per carry, but he will have to share some carries with Fred Jackson. Charles had a career-high 1,509 yards in 2012, including two games with at least 225 yards. Charles and Morris are 66/1 to win MVP, with Spiller not an option.
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