Running the ball in a one-running back system is almost becoming a bit faux pas, and NFL betting aficionados have to be afraid when they see that situation, knowing that one injury could go on to cripple the team. Still, those backs exist, and we are going to see if we can pick which one is going to go on to lead the league in rushing in 2012.
Of course, the man that is the favorite, ironically is a part of a bit of a split backfield. Arian Foster has had himself a heck of a brief career with the Houston Texans. This year, he should be healthy for the full season, and though Ben Tate is going to get some touches every single game, Foster will still get the majority of the carries. We’re a bit concerned with Foster as the favorite on the NFL betting lines here though, knowing that Eric Winston isn’t on the team anymore, and Matt Schaub, if healthy, will obviously be throwing the ball more than TJ Yates did at the end of the year.
We’re far more interested in the next two favorites, Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice. Both the back for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the one for the Baltimore Ravens had their contract disputes this year. Rice has gotten the job done with the Ravens, but Jones-Drew is still clearly disgruntled and might not show up to the first days of training camp.
That being said, Jones-Drew carried the ball a whopping 343 times, and he is the only man that is keeping the Jags’ offense moving at all. Rice is going to be doing a lot of his work in the short passing game, but he was also second in the league in rushing behind a remarkable offensive line with 1,394 yards.
We are definitely puzzled as to why Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons is a whopping +2000 to lead the league in rushing. Turner carried the ball 301 times last year, which came in second in the league behind only Jones-Drew. He averaged just 4.5 yards per carry though, which was a lot lower than most of the top rushers in the game. That means that there is a heck of a lot more in terms of possibilities, and if Jones-Drew doesn’t end up starting off the year in training camp, the door definitely could be open. Turner was third in the league in rushing last year with 1,340 yards.
The man that is often forgotten is LeSean McCoy. McCoy is known for what he does for the passing game for Head Coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles, but as we said, he has tended to be forgotten as one of the best rushers in the league as well. If the Eagles really do improve this year from the team that went 8-8, he could all of a sudden find himself touching the ball on the ground a bit more than the 273 times he did a short season ago. With a +800 return on $100 invested on the NFL betting odds, McCoy might just be a steal!