NFL: NFL Stat Props

NFL: NFL Stat Props



With the NFL preseason getting underway, the regular season isn't too far behind. Sportsbook will be starting a series of looks at each team and division in the coming days, but to whet your football appetite, we've prepared an interview with a profession


2009-08-06

With the NFL preseason getting underway, the regular season isn't too far behind. Sportsbook will be starting a series of looks at each team and division in the coming days, but to whet your football appetite, we've prepared an interview with a professional gambler, breaking down some of the NFL Stat Props now available on the LIVE ODDS page. Read on to see what "Kendall" had to say about the various options, then hit them yourself.

Here is the interview…

We talked to a professional gambler the other day and asked him what makes him different about betting football than other sports bettors. He answered this way, "The professional has studied football for months and already made several long term and short term investments based on his knowledge. Your better-than-average sports bettor has been picking football magazines and started to do his home work, not making many futures bets, and more interested in the regular season and possibly a few NFL preseason games following teams he knows. Your recreational bettor is excited about picking his fantasy team."

While his assessment might be harsh, it's closer to the truth than most of us realize. The person we spoke to is named Kendall, who gambles for a living and belongs to wagering syndicate. He asked us to keep his last name anonymous for privacy reasons. Here is his take on a few prop wagers from Sportsbook.com.

What NFL quarterback is best bet to throw for most yards?

Kendall: Drew Brees led this category in 2008 and is favored again at +250. It's hard to go away from Brees since his coach Sean Payton is essentially the new Mike Martz. Payton loves to throw the ball and has excellent understanding of Brees' strengths and weakness. This is helped by Brees believing in Payton and digesting offense smartly and playing within his own capabilities. Let's not forget, the former Purdue QB threw for over 5,000 yards (last season) and that was with Marques Colston and Reggie Bush out for long periods. Brees is not a lock to win this wager, as he is coming off career numbers and faces tougher opposition in 2009.

Tom Brady (+450) will be on a mission after last season. My Boston contacts tell me he is on-target and even more focused, realizing football is a privilege. Don't expect Brady to play like he did the first half of 2007, nobody ever had before him. I actually like T.B. to win this bet, with only concern three cold weather games in weeks 14-16.

What about the other contenders?

Kendall: Payton Manning makes sense, but don't like reports and quotes coming out of Colts camp. Definitely contender at +700, yet leery. Save your cash on Kurt Warner at +700. He's been complaining about hip giving his trouble and will see very little time in preseason. The passing game has to have timing and though Warner is familiar with (Larry) Fitzgerald and (Anquan) Bolden, he suffers early which takes him out of running. I like both Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers at +1000. Green Bay has rather soft early schedule and Rodgers could pad stats like his predecessor. The Packers O-Line is being rebuilt, but I like Rodgers ability to throw on the run and hit big plays. Rivers is actually my favorite choice, but Norv Turner wants better balance and running game could return to San Diego.

My choices in order are Brady, Rodgers and Brees.

Moving on to most rushing yards, who will lead the NFL?

Kendall: It would be plain dumb to bet against Adrian Peterson (+200) since he is the most explosive running back in the NFL. His jitterbug moves in the hole and ability to hit full stride in two steps separates him from the pack. Peterson isn't automatic however.

The best running back in the NFL in November and December (of last season) was DeAngelo Williams. On the year, Williams averaged 5.5 yards per carry and was over six the last two months. Why Peterson ranks over Williams is because he has a running mate in James Stewart. Williams isn't built to take 16-game pounding, leaving room for a number of Stewart carries and yards taken away.

One back I would pass on (Michael) Burner Turner for Atlanta. In his first full season, he led the league in carries at around 370 (actually 376), which is heavy load. After monstrous first half, his production fell almost 15 percent. He'll still be super back, but a bettor can find something more substantial than +500 on Turner.

Do you have any other running backs that could sneak away with rushing title?

Kendall: If the offensive line was better, I'd take Steven Jackson right now. He's second only to Peterson and is home run threat, which piles up yards. Nevertheless, new coaching staff in St. Louis leaves too many unanswered questions. If Frank Gore is 100 percent healthy, he's a great long shot at +2500. You know San Francisco will run the ball with Mike Singletary as coach, giving Gore ample opportunity. This will be critical year for Gore's future, as he averaged 5.4 yards per carry his first two years and 4.2 the last couple. Maurice Jones-Drew is another very good choice and is any conversation about "do-it-all" backs. You have to admire his 4.8 yards per carry and will be featured back with Fred Taylor gone.

My choices in order are Peterson, Jones-Drew and Jackson.

I know you have little use for most of these players, but who leads in pass catching yards?

Kendall: I just wonder where all these guys developed narcissistic personalities. Anyways that has nothing to with winning props. This is the hardest bet of the three by far. Larry Fitzgerald is the odds-on choice at +500 and very difficult to make a case against him. At 26 (years old), he's in his prime and has played enough to know what is expected. He took the quantum leap in the playoffs to be a star and he has kept his mouth shut in spite of growing celebrity. This year should be the season he's the best, but Warner's potential health makes me cringe.

Steve Smith is next at +550, but does anyone really trust 34-year old Jake Delhomme after the way he played in second half? Not me. Andre Johnson was the yardage leader in 2008, having to play with different quarterbacks. What worries me about A.J. is if Matt Schaub goes down again to injury, Dan Orlovsky is the current backup. Reggie Wayne is listed at +700, nonetheless is not big play receiver, having the same number of 20+ yard catches as Wes Welker (13). That means too many catches to win yardage title.

Well who do you like?

Kendall: I actually prefer a couple of longer shots. Nobody missed Brady more than Randy Moss. Not many 32-year old pass catchers are as multi-purpose as Moss, whose number dipped precipitously with (Matt) Cassell better at short passing game. Moss's focus should return being a bigger part of the passing game and could have one last HUGE season, before really slowing down.

You can't help but notice Calvin Johnson, literally. He's 6'5, a pound or two either way of 240 and is as fast as any elite pass receiver. On a team that didn't win a game, Johnson was fifth in receiving yards and caught 12 TD's. With better supporting cast, a quarterback like rookie Matthew Stafford who can throw over secondary's, its not the worst bet you can make at +1000.

My choices in order are Moss, C. Johnson and Fitzgerald.

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