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.


Player Passing Yards TD Passes Interceptions
Drew Brees 4700 30.5 14.5
Peyton Manning 4600 37.5 13.5
Matt Ryan 4600 29.5 14.5
Andrew Luck 4400 34.5 15.5
Eli Manning 4400 29.5 16.5
Ben Roethlisberger 4400 29 12
Matthew Stafford 4400 26.5 14.5
Aaron Rodgers 4300 35.5 8.5
Tom Brady 4300 30 10
Tony Romo 4000 29.5 12.5
Ryan Tannehill 4000 25.5 14.5
Teddy Bridgewater 4000 21.5 14.5
Carson Palmer 3900 23.5 14.5
Joe Flacco 3900 23.5 13.5
Jay Cutler 3800 24.5 15.5
Sam Bradford 3700 25.5 12.5
Andy Dalton 3600 23.5 16.5
Derek Carr 3600 21.5 14
Russell Wilson 3500 23.5 9
Cam Newton 3500 21.5 13.5
Colin Kaepernick 3400 20.5 10.5
Alex Smith 3400 20.5 9.5
Blake Bortles 3400 16.5 16.5

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:

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

Running Backs

Player Rushing Yards Total TD's
Adrian Peterson 1250 11.5
LeSean McCoy 1250 7.5
Eddie Lacy 1200 11.5
DeMarco Murray 1200 10
Marshawn Lynch 1100 12.5
Jamaal Charles 1100 12.5
Matt Forte 1100 9.5
Jeremy Hill 1100 9
Le'Veon Bell 1050 10
C.J. Anderson 1000 8.5
Justin Forsett 1000 7.5
Lamar Miller 1000 7
Frank Gore 950 7
Mark Ingram 950 7.5
Carlos Hyde 950 N/A
Latavius Murray 900 6
Joseph Randle 900 6.5
Jonathan Stewart 850 5.5
Isaiah Crowell 750 6.5
Chris Ivory 750 5
T.J. Yeldon 750 5.5

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:

  1. Russell Wilson: 600 rushing yards
  2. Cam Newton: 550 rushing yards, 5 Rushing TD
  3. Colin Kaepernick: 550 rushing yards
  4. Marcus Mariota: 400 rushing yards

Receivers/Tight Ends

Player Receiving Yards Receiving TD
Demaryius Thomas 1400 11
Antonio Brown 1350 9.5
Julio Jones 1300 8
Calvin Johnson 1250 10
Dez Bryant 1250 11.5
Odell Beckham Jr. 1250 10
A.J. Green 1200 8
Randall Cobb 1200 9.5
Alshon Jeffery 1100 8
T.Y. Hilton 1100 6.5
DeAndre Hopkins 1100 7
Rob Gronkowski 1000 11
Golden Tate 1000 4.5
Jordan Matthews 1000 8
Brandin Cooks 1000 6.5
Emmanuel Sanders 1000 8
Andre Johnson 1000 6.5
Sammy Watkins 1000 6.5
Davante Adams 950 7
Jarvis Landry 900 5
Brandon Marshall 900 6
Jeremy Maclin 900 5.5
Steve Smith 900 5
Amari Cooper 900 5
Keenan Allen 900 5.5
Greg Olsen 900 6
Larry Fitzgerald 850 5.5
Eric Decker 850 5
Anquan Boldin 850 5
Roddy White 850 6
Mike Wallace 850 6.5
Torrey Smith 850 5.5
Marques Colston 825 5.5
Jimmy Graham 800 N/A
Travis Kelce 800 5.5
Dwayne Bowe 750 3
Kendall Wright 750 5
Julius Thomas 650 4.5
Vincent Jackson N/A 5

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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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.


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David Solar

David Solar is the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He specializes in sports betting analytics and creating data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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