The 2014 NFL season officially starts this week, meaning there will be plenty of great betting opportunities coming up. Of course with so many different wagers available, it can be difficult figuring out where to start first. If you’re in this boat, then check out our list of the top 10 NFL prop bets in 2014 (all found at GTBets.eu).
1. Running Back with Most Rushing Yards (Our Pick: LeSean McCoy at 5 to 2)
Running backs who maintain a high volume of carries aren’t always a great bet to win rushing titles in back-to-back years. But LeSean McCoy, who tallied 1,607 rushing yards last season, seems like a good bet to do so.
McCoy finished 269 yards ahead of his next-closest competition, Matt Forte, so that’s one reason to like him. But another huge reason is simply Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense. With a two-headed attack that includes QB Nick Foles, Kelly’s relentless offense creates a lot of open rushing lanes. So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see McCoy come out with the rushing crown yet again.
2. Quarterback with Most Passing Yards (Value Pick: Matt Ryan at 15 to 1)
Last year, Peyton Manning crushed the NFL record for most passing yards with 5,477. And there’s not a whole lot to suggest that he isn’t a good bet at 11-to-5 odds to repeat his success. But if Manning stumbles, Matt Ryan is certainly a good value pick to steal the passing yardage crown.
Ryan finished fourth in 2013 with 4,515 yards, which is quite a ways back from Peyton. However, the 25-year-old had some things working against him, namely an unhealthy receiving duo of Julio Jones and Roddy White. At one point, Ryan’s main target was Harry Douglas, a mediocre receiver throughout his career. With Jones and White back and healthy, and Ryan forced to carry a suspect running game, we expect No. 2 to be throwing the ball more than he’d like to.
3. Team to win AFC East (Value Pick: Miami Dolphins at 8 to 1)
Like every year, the obvious pick to win the AFC East is the New England Patriots. But if you’re looking for a darkhorse that could earn you a lot of money, then the Miami Dolphins are certainly worth considering.
They finished 8-8 last season, despite a poor running game and the Richie Icognito/Jonathan Martin scandal. The team brought in Knowshon Moreno to add another dimension to their rushing attack, which we like in combination with Lamar Miller. And of course there’s Ryan Tannehill, who took a big step up in his second season. We definitely expect his improvement to continue in 2014, which helps Miami’s chances of winning the division.
4. First Head Coach to be fired (Our Pick: Jason Garrett at 10 to 3)
Like always, several head coaches open the season on the hot seat. Oakland’s Dennis Allen is one of those who’s sitting on the hottest seat, and we have him at 10-to-3 odds of being fired first. Tied with him is Dallas’ Jason Garrett, whom we think is in even more trouble due to his history with the Cowboys.
Sure, owner Jerry Jones seems to have a man crush on Garrett. But that crush may finally end this season if the Cowboys don’t exceed expectations. Since taking over the reigns midway through 2010, Garrett has gone 29-27 with zero playoff appearances. His three full seasons have all resulted in 8-8 campaigns, coupled with some late-season collapses. Seeing as how Dallas lost three of their best defenders (Sean Lee, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher) off an already-bad defense, we don’t like Garrett’s chances of lasting the whole season.
5. Miami Dolphins 2014 Wins (Our Pick: Over 7.5 Wins at -130)
If you read the third bet, you know that we’re high on the Dolphins doing well this season. And it seems reasonable to think that they could at least reach eight wins again, if not exceed that total and win the AFC East.
Besides all of the reasons that we discussed before, a big reason to like Miami is that they play a soft schedule. Their road games are pretty mild, with contests at Buffalo, Oakland, Chicago, Jacksonville, Detroit, Denver, New York Jets and New England. And keep in mind that the Oakland game is actually in London, a neutral spot. We realize that the -130 line doesn’t offer a ton of value, but over 7.5 wins this season seems like a winning bet to us.