It’s that time of year to start looking at player prop bets for the upcoming 2022 NFL season.

In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at some Over and Under Future bets worth considering at each position group. 

Up first: which running backs are likely to go OVER their rushing yards total?

Joe Mixon Rushing Yards Prop Bet: Why you should bet the Over

Current Rushing Yards Over/Under for Joe Mixon:

Why you should bet the Over:

  • Bengals improved their offensive line
  • Smaller third-down role should only affect his receiving yardage

Joe Mixon’s rushing yards prop is available more than 150 yards below his 2021 total. Mixon easily eclipsed these numbers despite sitting out Week 17 last year, so we should have some confidence he’s able to hit the over.

#1 Reason to Bet the Over

The Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive line struggled last season, but the offseason additions of La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras should improve the unit and make Mixon a more efficient runner this fall. 

According to TruMedia, Mixon picked up just 25% of his rushing yardage before contact last season, ranked 39th out of 50 running backs. He also generated three or more yards before contact on just 21% of his carries, also ranked 39th. 

#2 Reason to Bet the Over

Mixon’s yardage prop may be available at a lower number than his 2021 total due to an expectation of a smaller role on third downs. Chris Evans and/or Samaje Perine are reportedly set to cut into Mixon’s third-down action. 

A smaller third-down role will affect Mixon’s fantasy value, but shouldn’t alter our expectations for his rushing yards. 

In 2021, Mixon only carried the ball on third down 15 times 一 and 13 of those were short-yardage attempts, which Mixon should still receive this year. 

» Bet the Joe Mixon Rushing Yards Over 

Ezekiel Elliot Rushing Yards Prop Bet: Why you should bet the Over

Current Rushing Yards Over/Under for Ezekiel Elliott:

Why you should bet the Over:

  • Elliot is among the most durable running backs
  • He has remained effective in the power run game

The 27-year-old Ezekiel Elliott has shown signs of slowing down in recent years, but should still have enough left in the tank to eclipse these rushing totals.

#1 Reason to Bet the Over

Over the last three seasons, Elliott has only missed one game due to injury 一 a calf injury in 2020. 

So even though he is expected to lose touches to Tony Pollard, we should remain fairly confident Elliott maintains a steady workload throughout the year. 

Let’s conservatively assume Elliott’s yards per attempt rate matches his career low (4.0 in 2020). At that rate, he would need 219 carries (12.9 per game over 17 games) to reach 875 rushing yards 一 his career low is 237 carries. 

Based on those numbers, Elliott appears to be capable of hitting the over even if his production and usage regress slightly. 

#2 Reason to Bet the Over

Since Pollard has emerged as the most explosive ball carrier in the Cowboys’ offense, Elliott sees more touches in the power run game. According to TruMedia, 68% of his carries occurred versus a stacked box in 2021. 

Although the stacked box typically limits rushing yardage, Elliott has consistently performed well in those situations and he’s shown no signs of decline. 

Excluding short-yardage situations, Elliott averaged 4.1 yards per attempt versus a stacked box last year, and 4.3 over the last five seasons combined, per Trumedia. 

Elliott’s ability to grind out the tough yards remains intact, and that should make him a key part of the Cowboys game plan, especially when they’re playing with a lead. 

» Bet the Ezekiel Elliott Rushing Yards Over 

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Rashaad Penny Rushing Yards Prop Bet: Why you should bet the Over

Current Rushing Yards Over/Under for Rashaad Penny:

Why you should bet the Over:

  • Low number lessens the risk of losing bet due to injury
  • Ken Walker III may not pose a serious threat to playing time

Rashaad Penny will need to set a career-high to hit the over, but we should have confidence in his ability to produce after his strong end to the 2021 season.

#1 Reason to Bet the Over

Although durability remains a concern, Penny has already proven capable of putting up significant numbers in limited playing time. He generated 749 rushing yards while playing over 40% of the Seattle Seahawks’ snaps in just six games a season ago. 

His limited playing time was also not entirely due to injury, as he was buried on the depth chart early in the year.

All signs point to Penny beginning the year as Seattle’s starter 一 assuming good health 一 which means he should exceed last year’s 119 carries, even if he’s forced to miss some time due to injury.

#2 Reason to Bet the Over

Seattle drafted running back Ken Walker III in the second round of the NFL draft, which obviously sparked questions about Penny’s job security. 

However, Seattle likely made this selection knowing Chris Carson was unlikely to play 一 he retired in July 一 and needed to address its backfield depth. 

Seattle’s ball carriers must produce behind one of the league’s shakiest offensive lines, and Penny appears better suited for that role than Walker. 

In his final year in college, Walker averaged 1.9 yards per attempt when contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage (ranked sixth in the Big Ten), according to Sports Info Solutions 一 identical to Penny’s average against NFL defenses in 2021. 

For further comparison, Penny averaged 2.9 yards per attempt when contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage during his final collegiate season. 

Seattle running backs were contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage on 44% of their carries last season. 

Penny is the more decisive runner at this stage of their careers, and based on these numbers, we should probably expect Walker to serve as a true backup, rather than a genuine threat to Penny’s job.

» Bet the Rashaad Penny Rushing Yards Over 

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