2015 NFL Preview: Oddsmakers Player Projections

With the non-stop dramedy of Deflategate finally resolved and Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension nullified, hopefully this issue can finally stop clogging up the media’s collective consciousness and we can begin looking forward to the start of the 2015 NFL season.

Thursday’s kickoff game features the New England Patriots (-7) hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers, and we have discussed how Brady’s suspension has affected the sports betting marketplace. But what do oddsmakers think about Brady’s prospects this upcoming season?

On Wednesday (9/2) morning, Bovada posted hundreds of player prop bets for the upcoming NFL season. This included the over/under on yardage and scoring for nearly every major offensive skill position player — or at least, every player who has been all but assured of a starting role.

The over/under on Brady’s total yardage was set at 4300 which ranks him eighth behind the likes of both Manning brothers, Brees, Ryan, Luck, Roethlisberger and Stafford.

The tables below display the over/unders for quarterbacks, running backs and receivers (including tight ends). This information will be updated throughout the season.

Quarterbacks

On Tuesday (9/1) BetOnline posted a handful of player props and we pointed out how oddsmakers expectations for Drew Brees were too low. Bovada may have gone too far in the other direction by listing the over/under on Brees’ passing yards at 4700. This ranks ahead of Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger (4400) who have the two best odds of leading the league in passing yards.

Fantasy players may also be interested to see Peyton Manning with an over/under of 4600 passing yards and 37.5 touchdown passes. That ranks 300 yards and 2 touchdowns ahead of Aaron Rodgers — the consensus number one overall pick. Admittedly, Bovada is a square sportsbook and likely shaded their lines to account for the influx of over bettors, but even so it’s interesting to see Manning with such lofty expectations.

Additional QB Props:

Sam Bradford O/U 12.5 starts
Johnny Manziel O/U 5.5 starts
Robert Griffin -120 to start a regular season game for the Redskins

Running Backs

It’s not surprising to see Adrian Peterson with the highest over/under, but the co-favorite definitely comes as a surprise. LeSean McCoy, who is still adjusting to a new offense and is currently questionable for the season opener due to a hamstring injury, is expected to rush for 1,250 yards and tally 7.5 total touchdowns.

For fantasy purposes Justin Forsett and Lamar Miller appear to be undervalued based on ESPN’s current average draft position. Both backs are expected to tally 1,000 rushing yards yet they rank behind Mark Ingram (950) in terms of ADP.

It’s also worth noting that Bovada has posted rushing over/unders for a handful of mobile quarterbacks:

Russell Wilson: 600 rushing yards
Cam Newton: 550 rushing yards, 5 Rushing TD
Colin Kaepernick: 550 rushing yards
Marcus Mariota: 400 rushing yards

Receivers/Tight Ends

Although most sportsbooks have Antonio Brown listed as the favorite to lead football in receiving yards (or listed as the co-favorite alongside Julio Jones) oddsmakers are actually most optimistic about Demaryius “Targaryen” Thomas. The Broncos receiver is expected to record 50 receiving yards more than Brown and 100 yards more than Jones. In terms of receiving touchdowns, Thomas’ projection of 11 ranks second only to Dez Bryant (11.5).

In terms of players to avoid, oddsmakers are bearish about the Jaguars newest offensive weapon — Julius Thomas. In his past two seasons with the Broncos the athletic tight end tallied 24 total touchdowns, but oddsmakers have set his over/under at just 4.5 TD for the 2015 season. It’s tough to be optimistic when your quarterback is downgraded from Peyton Manning to Blake Bortles.

One potentially undervalued fantasy receiver is Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins. Bovada set the over/under for Hopkins’ receiving yards at 1100, which is tied with Alshon Jeffrey and T.Y. Hilton for ninth highest. Despite the player projections from oddsmakers, Hopkins is only the 14th ranked receiver based on ESPN’s ADP.

For the latest lines, betting trends and more, bettors should be sure to bookmark our free NFL odds page. Looking for Best Bets, Bet Signals and valuable features like the line watcher, line predictor and value meter? Sign up for our Early Bird Special and save 40% on more than 4 months of our Pro subscription.

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