Handicapping Sportsbook NFL Season Special Props Odds with Betting Picks
by Trevor Whenham - 8/25/2014
When it comes to the NFL, I am an absolute sucker for records and the breaking of mythical barriers. It means little if a guy winds up with 2,000 yards receiving or 1,996 in real terms, but it means everything to the football geeks amongst us - and if you are reading this article that probably means you. One of the great parts of sports betting is that you can, increasingly, bet on almost anything - including whether many of these records and mythical barriers will be broken or reached this season. Sportsbook.ag has listed a wide range of NFL season special props. Here are seven of the most interesting:
Will a QB post a perfect passer rating in any game? (-110): It seems like an incredible accomplishment, but the truth is that a perfect passer rating really isn't that uncommon - more like a no-hitter than a perfect game in baseball terms. Last year there were two. Nick Foles threw for 406 yards and seven touchdowns at the Raiders in November, and Alex Smith also torched the Raiders in December for 287 yards and five touchdowns. Since 2007, the only year that didn't feature a perfect passer rating was 2011. Three of those seasons have featured multiple perfect ratings, including four in 2007, which is the best-ever in a season. Based purely on the math, this bet is absolutely packed with value.
Any quarterback to throw for 500 yards or more in a game (+250): I was surprised when I looked this up, but there have been just 15 500-yard passing games in NFL history. On the surface, then, betting on this prop would hold little appeal. What makes it more interesting, though, is that Tony Romo pulled it off last season, Matt Schaub, Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning all did it in 2012, and Tom Brady eclipsed the barrier in 2011. That means that though the first 500-yard game was recorded 53 years ago, fully a third of all such games took place in the last three years. It's far from a certainty that we will see one, but given the intense focus on passing, the number of outstanding quarterbacks, and the officiating focus on letting receivers move this year, I certainly wouldn't argue with you if you wanted to bet this one.
Will any team win 14 or more games? (+300): Over the last five years we have seen the 2011 Packers go 15-1, the 2010 Patriots finish 14-2, and the 2009 Colts achieve the same record. That's it. 14 wins is a whole lot in this league - especially when things feel as deep and competitive as they do right now. By the math it would have been quite profitable in recent years to bet this prop, but my gut still tells me that it isn't worth it this year.
Any running back to rush for over 2,000 yards in the regular season (+1200): We have seen just seven running backs in history eclipse the 2,000-yard barrier. Of those, only Adrian Peterson in 2012 and Chris Johnson in 2006 are still active - and Johnson only barely is. The problem with this is that to rush for 2,000 yards requires a whole lot of carries, and that is tough to get in this current pass-heavy league. When you break it down there really aren't many guys beyond Peterson that could give this barrier a run for its money, and Peterson is old in running back years. The math is in favor, but I'm not interested in the bet.
Will a player break the NFL regular season TD receiving record of 23? (+2500): We are in the glory years of passing, yet the record of 23 by Randy Moss has stood since 2007, and only he and Jerry Rice in 1987 have better than 18 TD receptions in a year. This is an exceptionally tough record to break, and I am not going to bet that it will happen this year.
Will a team go 0-16? (+3500): In 2008 the Detroit Lions went 0-16. No team has done it before and since. They were a truly lousy team, and their struggles shocked no one, but there have been dozens of other incredibly lousy teams that have tried to match this record and have failed. Managing not to at least fluke into a win at some point is very tough to do. The biggest problem here is that I just don't see any teams in the league that are nearly bad enough to pull it off this year. Jacksonville is very well-coached, has QB choice, and is slowly on the rise. Oakland is really bad but not bad enough. Houston will be much better than last year. The Browns are terrible, but again not bad enough. Minnesota has Peterson. It takes a very special team to go winless, and no team is of the correct caliber. I'll pass on this one.
Will a team go 16-0? (+4000): No. Not in this league this year. There are too many good teams and too many good players on average teams. A definite pass.
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