The NFL isn’t quite the rushing league it used to be. Teams averaged 115.2 rushing yards per game in 2021, well below what we were used to seeing in the late 1980s. The focus has shifted from the traditional running game that utilized the running back heavily to a forward-passing game dominated by wide receivers.
A running game is still used heavily by some teams. The Eagles ran the ball for a league-high 2,715 yards in 2021, averaging 159 yards per game on the ground. The Colts were right behind the Eagles with 2,540 rushing yards last year. Over 70 percent of that production came through the play of running back Jonathan Taylor, who topped the NFL with 1,811 rushing yards.
Taylor is the early favorite to repeat as the rushing yards leader in 2022 with odds at +400 per sportsbook Sportsbook. Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans) is second on the oddsboard at +500 and Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns) sits third at +900.
Here’s a breakdown of 2022 NFL rushing yards leader and rushing TD leader odds with some of our favorite picks:
2022 NFL Rushing Yards Leader Odds
Odds as of September 8 Sportsbook
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2022 NFL Rushing Leader Odds Favorites
Jonathan Taylor (+400)
Taylor led the league in carries in 2021 with 332 and averaged 5.45 yards per attempt on his way to an NFL-best 1,811 yards. That was an incredible 552 yards better than Nick Chubb’s 1,259 yards in second place.
There’s no reason to suggest Taylor will regress in 2022. The Colts’ starting QB for the season is 37-year-old Matt Ryan, who threw for 3,968 yards last season, his lowest total since 2010. Matty Ice isn’t the passer he once was. Relying on Taylor to eat up as many yards as possible is definitely going to be the Colts’ strategy this season.
Getting Taylor at +400 would return $400 on a winning $100 bet. That seems like easy money.
Derrick Henry (+500)
Henry is a two-time rushing yards leader in the NFL. In 2019, he put up 1,540 yards and in 2020 he was the only player to rush for 2,000-plus yards.
In 2021, despite a broken foot that cost him roughly half the season, he finished ninth in the league with 937 rushing yards. Pace that out over 17 games and Henry was looking at roughly 1,990 yards on the ground. He could have easily retained his rushing yards crown had he been healthy.
He’s healthy to begin the 2022 season. Putting $100 on Henry to take back his rushing yards crown would net you a $500 profit if he does.
NFL Rushing Yards Best Bet: Nick Chubb (+900)
The Cleveland Browns will start Jacoby Brissett at QB for most of the season as Deshaun Watson serves his 11-game suspension. Brissett has never thrown for more than 3,100 yards in a full season as QB. Not to mention Cleveland likes to rush the ball. The Browns finished fourth in the NFL in total rushing yards (2,471) in 2021. And that’s when they had a recognized starting QB in Baker Mayfield.
Without an established starter calling plays, I bet the Browns double down on that running game and hand the ball to Chubb more frequently than they did in 2021 when he had 228 attempts. To get Chubb at +900 seems like incredible value that shouldn’t be missed.
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NFL Rushing TD Leader Odds
Odds as of September 8 Sportsbook
NFL Rushing TD Leader Best Bet: Derrick Henry (+600)
Jonathan Taylor had 18 rushing touchdowns last year, and with Matt Ryan now under center, it’s possible he hits that number (or close to it) again in 2022. But Derrick Henry, man ... his pace from 2021 can’t be ignored.
His season was cut short due to that foot injury in Week 8, but he still put up 10 touchdowns in eight games for a pace that put him on a trajectory for 21 touchdowns by season’s end. Sure, 21 sounds like a lot. We haven’t seen a player put up 20-plus rushing TDs in a single season since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 (28 rushing TDs), but consider some of the games Henry missed in 2021.
From Week 9 through to Week 17, the Titans faced the Houston Texans (twice), the Jacksonville Jaguars, the LA Rams, the Steelers and the 49ers, five teams that were in the bottom half of the league in terms of rushing TDs allowed. Houston was the second worst, giving up 25 rushing TDs, while Jacksonville was tied for third worst, yielding 22 TDs on the ground.
Had Henry been healthy, we might have seen a player produce 20 rushing TDs in a season for the first time in 15 years. Like I talked about when it comes to rushing yards, I expect Henry’s 2022 season to go as well as it did in 2021 … assuming he stays healthy. At +600, you could make $600 with a $100 winning bet on Henry to lead the league in rushing TDs this season.
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How To Read NFL Season-Long Player Props
A prop is a bet made on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain events or milestones for individual players or teams. These can range from which player will have the most receiving yards or rushing yards to who will be the NFL touchdown leader in 2022. There are also specific props for games like who will score a touchdown or OVER/UNDER passing yards for a QB.
When you check out your football sportsbook of choice, you’ll see prop odds like so:
NFL Offensive Player Rushing Yards:
Derrick Henry +350
Dalvin Cook +550
Nick Chubb +700
Christian McCaffrey +900
When you make a moneyline bet, you’d see favorites represented by the minus sign (-) and underdogs with the plus sign (+). In this case, because this is a prop bet, you would consider Derrick Henry the fave since he has the lowest odds. The rest are underdogs.
Let’s say you think Henry is going to record the most rushing yards and you bet $100 on him. You’d get a payout of $450 – your original $100 is returned along with your winnings of $350 if you’re right. Check out our Odds Calculator to see what you’d win based on the odds and amount bet.
NFL Yardage Leaders FAQ
Can I bet on which NFL player will lead the league in yards?
Yes, you can bet on NFL props like which player will lead the NFL in yards. You can wager on offensive categories like which quarterback you think will lead the league in passing yards, which running back will lead the league in rushing yards, and which receiver will lead the league in receiving yards.
Who are the favorites to lead the NFL in rushing yards?
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is the current favorite to lead the NFL in rushing yards at +400. Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans is second at +500.
Who are the favorites to lead the NFL in rushing TDs?
Jonathan Taylor is yet again the leader with +450 odds. Derrick Henry holds the second-best odds at +600 to reclaim the crown for most rushing TDs in the NFL.