2015 NFL Preview: Oddsmakers Player Projections

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.


PlayerPassing YardsTD PassesInterceptions
Drew Brees470030.514.5
Peyton Manning460037.513.5
Matt Ryan460029.514.5
Andrew Luck440034.515.5
Eli Manning440029.516.5
Ben Roethlisberger44002912
Matthew Stafford440026.514.5
Aaron Rodgers430035.58.5
Tom Brady43003010
Tony Romo400029.512.5
Ryan Tannehill400025.514.5
Teddy Bridgewater400021.514.5
Carson Palmer390023.514.5
Joe Flacco390023.513.5
Jay Cutler380024.515.5
Sam Bradford370025.512.5
Andy Dalton360023.516.5
Derek Carr360021.514
Russell Wilson350023.59
Cam Newton350021.513.5
Colin Kaepernick340020.510.5
Alex Smith340020.59.5
Blake Bortles340016.516.5

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

PlayerRushing YardsTotal TD's
Adrian Peterson125011.5
LeSean McCoy12507.5
Eddie Lacy120011.5
DeMarco Murray120010
Marshawn Lynch110012.5
Jamaal Charles110012.5
Matt Forte11009.5
Jeremy Hill11009
Le'Veon Bell105010
C.J. Anderson10008.5
Justin Forsett10007.5
Lamar Miller10007
Frank Gore9507
Mark Ingram9507.5
Carlos Hyde950N/A
Latavius Murray9006
Joseph Randle9006.5
Jonathan Stewart8505.5
Isaiah Crowell7506.5
Chris Ivory7505
T.J. Yeldon7505.5

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

PlayerReceiving YardsReceiving TD
Demaryius Thomas140011
Antonio Brown13509.5
Julio Jones13008
Calvin Johnson125010
Dez Bryant125011.5
Odell Beckham Jr.125010
A.J. Green12008
Randall Cobb12009.5
Alshon Jeffery11008
T.Y. Hilton11006.5
DeAndre Hopkins11007
Rob Gronkowski100011
Golden Tate10004.5
Jordan Matthews10008
Brandin Cooks10006.5
Emmanuel Sanders10008
Andre Johnson10006.5
Sammy Watkins10006.5
Davante Adams9507
Jarvis Landry9005
Brandon Marshall9006
Jeremy Maclin9005.5
Steve Smith9005
Amari Cooper9005
Keenan Allen9005.5
Greg Olsen9006
Larry Fitzgerald8505.5
Eric Decker8505
Anquan Boldin8505
Roddy White8506
Mike Wallace8506.5
Torrey Smith8505.5
Marques Colston8255.5
Jimmy Graham800N/A
Travis Kelce8005.5
Dwayne Bowe7503
Kendall Wright7505
Julius Thomas6504.5
Vincent JacksonN/A5

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.


David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

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