Week 1 of the NFL Season is finally here! Let’s take a look at three players to include in your NFL rushing yards parlay this weekend.
In Week 1, we’re mostly assessing matchups – talented running backs against overwhelmed defenses or vice versa. In future weeks we’ll need to be aware of schedule spots, injury reports, etc. But it’s Week 1, and everyone starts with a clean slate.
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Before we get to the picks, a few items:
What Is a Rushing Yards Parlay?
Each week, sportsbooks put out lines on the next week’s NFL games on Sunday night or Monday mornings.
But of course, there’s more to bet on than just favorite vs. underdog. Player props include everything from “will Justin Jefferson score a touchdown?” to “will Saquon Barkley have over or under 18.5 carries?”
Enter the rushing yards parlay. As the week goes on, sportsbooks add numbers on players’ statistical totals. A running back expected to rush for 1,000 yards could be expected to have number of “over or under 62.5 rushing yards” for his player prop.
Of course, he’s not going to get to 1,000 yards by rushing for exactly 62.5 yards per game…. That’s where our wagers come in!
How Do I Place A Rushing Yds Parlay?
This week, we’re using DraftKings to place our rushing yards parlay.
When you enter the App, navigate to the NFL menu, and the Week 1 games will appear.
Let’s say you want to play Saquon Barkley (New York Giants). Go to the Giants/Cowboys game (on Sunday night, so near the bottom of the list) and click on the game (not on a specific bet, just click near the team names.)
A list of wagers will display on the middle bar (“Popular, Quick SGP, Game Lines, TD Scorers”) in that order. Scroll to the right until you reach “Rush/Rec Props” and click.
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Barkley is a well-known player and appears right near the top of the list. Sometimes you may have to look a little harder.
Anyway, select his over or under (65.5 this week if you’re curious) but DON’T PLACE THE BET YET!
Go back out and navigate to another running back using the same process – say, Pittsburgh’s Najee Harris or Seattle’s Kenneth Walker. Make your selections for them as well.
Once you’ve made all your selections, the wagers will list one at a time at the bottom of the screen. But beneath all the listed wagers will be an option for “2 Pick Parlay” (or 3, or 4, or however many runners you select.)
Place your wager (we suggest a portion of your typical bet, as rushing yards parlays are longshots) and confirm. Now you’ve got a rushing yards parlay for week 1!
Week 1 NFL Rushing Yards Parlay
Isiah Pacheco (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Detroit Lions Over 51.5 rushing yards (Thursday, 8:20 p.m.)
Why wait until Sunday? Pacheco went over this number in eight of the final nine regular season games in 2022, and now he’s at home against a Lions rushing defense that allowed 146 rushing yards per game last season to the tune of 5.2 yards per carry.
Most of Detroit’s work on their defense this offseason focused on a secondary that doesn’t figure to be a lot of help in the running game as they try to contend with Patrick Mahomes.
Lastly, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce hyperextended his knee in practice Tuesday. His status for Thursday night is unclear, but whether or not Kelce plays you’d expect the Chiefs to dial back the pass attack some as he will be limited, at best.
Christian McCaffrey (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Under 60.5 rushing yards (Sunday, 1 p.m.)
We already talked about McCaffrey in the fantasy football preview. Might as well double down in Week One.
Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers allowed 108 rushing yards per contest at a clip of 4.2 yards per attempt. This suggests it would take an average running back 15-16 carries to reach 63.5 yards against Pittsburgh.
Now Christian McCaffrey is anything but average. But he averaged only 14 carries per game after being acquired by the Niners last season, eclipsing 60 yards rushing in only five of 11 contests. Remember, this is a player who averages five catches per game as well.
As the 27-year-old running back enters his seventh NFL season, my guess is the 49ers will use their diverse passing game and the health of Elijah Mitchell to keep McCaffrey to 12-15 carries early on, especially in a road game against a touch Pittsburgh defense. This team has bigger goals in 2023 than Christian McCaffrey’s week one rushing total.
Justin Fields (Chicago Bears) vs. Green Bay Packers Under 57.5 rushing yards (Sunday, 4:25 p.m.)
Last season, Fields rushed for 1,143 yards and threatened Lamar Jackson’s single-season rushing record for quarterbacks.
This year, the Chicago Bears have higher ambitions, and keeping their QB healthy and allowing him to stay in the pocket and use weapons like DJ Moore is paramount.
What’s more, in two matchups against the Packers last year, Fields rushed a total of 14 times for 91 yards and a TD. 55 of those yards came on one electrifying scamper in Week 15.
If Fields gets loose for another 55-yarder… well, we likely lose this bet. But Packers/Bears is the NFL’s oldest rivalry, and with an entire offseason to prepare defensive coordinator Joe Barry has surely emphasized that keeping Fields in the pocket is Green bay’s best bet to limit Chicago (as they did last year – the Packers swept the Bears, winning each game by at least two scores.)
Bonus Bet: Samaje Perine (Denver Broncos) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (Sunday, 4:05 p.m.)
This last one is tricky for a couple reasons.
First of all, if you read this after Thursday Night Football, you’ll need to replace Pacheco for a three-player parlay. That’s where Perine comes in.
Except… see, the sportsbooks haven’t listed a prop for him just yet. But that’s what I like here.
Javonte Williams, the Broncos’ nominal starting running back, is expected to play Sunday. But coming off an ACL tear, there’s uncertainty surrounding how much Williams will play.
But here are a few things we do know: the Raiders’ run defense is a middle-of-the-pack unit, and new Denver head coach Sean Payton loves to share carries among his running backs. Remember the days of Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush, Chris Ivory, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Latavius Murray… the list goes on… splitting carries in New Orleans?
So with no line to target, what you’re looking for is an unnatural split between Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine’s rushing prop.
If Williams’ number is around 55-60, with Perine in the 30-40 range – pounce on Perine’s over. I expect the two backs will split carries to begin the season as Sean Payton keeps Broncos fans, fantasy owners, and sportsbooks guessing.
NFL WEEK ONE RUSHING YARDS PARLAY (+544 ODDS)
- Isiah Pacheco over 51.5 yards
- Christian McCaffrey under 60.5 yards
- Justin Fields under 57.5 yards