Alongside betting on the teams’ win totals and division and conference winners, picking the best bets for the player specials is a highlight of the NFL preseason. There are plenty of intriguing markets and prop bets to choose from. Hereof, let’s take a look at our top five picks.
Aaron Rodgers Over 4275.5 Yards (-138)
The Green Bay Packers went 6-9-1 last season, missing the playoffs for the second straight year. In 2017, Aaron Rodgers played just seven games due to an injury. Last year, he tossed for 4442 yards, but Green Bay had a poor season.
The Packers are desperate to bounce back this term, and Aaron Rodgers will be a key factor in their eventual drive to success. Since 2008, Rodgers has started in 158 games, recording 100 wins and 57 losses. In those 11 years, he had six seasons with 4295 yards or more.
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Green Bay will have a tall task to clinch the playoff spot in the NFC North. The Packers will need Aaron Rodgers at his best to stand a chance against Chicago and Minnesota. Therefore, I believe the seven-time Pro-Bowl will easily surpass a 4275.5-yard mark.
Matt Ryan Over 4575.5 Yards (-130)
Three years ago, Matt Ryan led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl LI. He tossed for 4944 yards in the 2016 NFL regular season, surpassing a 4600-yard mark for the third time in his career.
After a setback in 2017 and just 4095 passing yards, Ryan threw for 4924 yards last season. The Falcons went 7-9 and missed the playoffs, struggling with injuries all season long. However, Ryan played very well, completing 69.4% of his 608 passing attempts.
There are a few reasons why I’m backing Matt to have another wonderful season. First, the Falcons cannot rely on their ground game. They were ranked 27th in rushing yards last year, so Ryan will have to throw the ball a lot. He should be around 600 attempts.
Second, Ryan’s main target is Julio Jones who’s arguably one of the best wide receivers in football. Likewise, Mohamed Sanu had career-high numbers in 2018, so I’m backing Matt Ryan to take another shot to a 5000-yard season.
Saquon Barkley Over 699.5 Receiving Yards (-120)
The 2018 AO Offensive Rookie of the Year will be busy in 2019. The New York Giants traded Odell Beckam Jr. to Cleveland, while Golden Tate is suspended until Week 5. The Giants receiving corps looks awful with Sterling Shepard as the only reliable option.
Therefore, I expect Saquon Barkley to catch the ball off the backfield a lot this season. He had 91 receptions for 721 yards last season while leading the NFL with 2028 yards from scrimmage. The head coach Pat Shurmur will be glad to use Barkley even more this season.
From this point of view, it seems we will watch a one-man show in New York. The Giants’ rivals will be prepared, but Barkley possesses skills to dominate the league once again. Hereof, I think there’s no way he will post less than 700 receiving yards in 2019.
Juju Smith-Schuster Over 1335.5 Receiving Yards (-120)
The Pittsburgh Steelers missed the 2018 NFL Playoffs after four straight appearances in the postseason. Likewise, they traded Antonio Brown to the Raiders, while Le’Veon Bell joined the Jets. It all means that Juju Smith-Schuster will be the main target for Ben Roethlisberger in 2019.
Juju enjoyed a wonderful sophomore season in the NFL. He had 111 receptions for 1426 yards and seven touchdowns. Without Antonio Brown in the team, I highly doubt Juju’s chances to post less than 1335 yards this term.
Brown had 1297 receiving yards last year and 1533 in 2017. Big Ben led the NFL with 5129 yards in 2018. Hereof, I expect Smith-Schuster to continue with his strong performance and easily surpass a 1335.5-yard line this season.
NFL Comeback Player of the Year – Le’Veon Bell (+400)
According to all relevant sportsbooks, only Jimmy Garoppolo has better chances to win this award than Le’Veon Bell. The two-time All-Pro spent six years in Pittsburgh and missed the entire previous season due to a contract dispute.
Bell decided to leave the Steelers and join the New York Jets. Le’Veon is certainly keen to prove his worth and help the Jets to grove as a team. This will be Bell’s backfield, and if he stays healthy, Le’Veon will have a great season.
In 2017, Bell posted 1946 yards off scrimmage. He had 321 rushing attempts and nine rushing touchdowns (both career-high) while tallying 85 catches for 655 yards and two TD. Bell is a tremendous player, so I’m backing him to win the 2019 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.