Over? Under? We highlight three NFL rushing props and explain why these players should be part of your Week 2 NFL bets.
Week 2 of the NFL season offers an early reality check – keep that in mind when examining your favorite players and their rushing totals.
Just as Tua Tagovailoa won’t throw for 466 yards every week, Week 1 is just one sample of NFL rushers and their abilities. Each week brings a different game plan and script, and relying on last week’s results can be your undoing.
With that in mind, here’s a three-player NFL Rushing Yards Parlay for Sunday of Week 2 of the 2023 NFL Season:
(All Odds Courtesy of DraftKings)
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Dameon Pierce OVER 54.5 Rushing Yards vs. Indianapolis Colts (-115)
Only 11 carries for the second-year Texans running back last week in a loss to the Ravens, as Houston fell behind early and had to have rookie quarterback CJ Stroud throw 44 times.
Obvious statement here, but this is not the way coach Demeco Ryans wants to win football games. The Texans are built to… well, they’re built to play for next year. But if they’re to have success in 2023 it’ll be on the strength of the division’s best offensive line and their running game.
That means Pierce, who should have a bigger workload this week against a Colts squad who allowed Jacksonville’s Travis Etienne 77 yards on 18 carries in last week’s loss.
I’m not sure that Pierce gets to 18 carries, but Devon Singletary didn’t impress during his half-dozen rushes last week. Even a moderate increase in workload (say, 15 carries) puts Pierce well in range of hitting this number, particularly if the Texans are in position to win and Stroud can keep Indianapolis honest.
Joe Mixon OVER 55.5 Rushing Yards vs. Baltimore Ravens (-115)
It’s hard to call 13 rushes for 56 yards a “bright spot” but believe me, Mixon was the closest thing to a positive in Cincinnati’s Week 1 offensive performance in a 24-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Since Joe Burrow became Cincinnati’s starting quarterback, the Bengals are a brutal 1-5 against Cleveland.
The good (but surprising) news? They’re a much stronger team against the Ravens (4-2 since Burrow took over) and in a game with a more favorable script Mixon should see more opportunities.
As we covered in the Dameon Pierce section, the Baltimore rushing defense was barely tested in Week 1. And Mixon is one of the NFL’s more consistent backs. Baltimore knows Burrow is looking to bounce back from a terrible first game, and with weapons like Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins at his disposal, the Ravens figure to focus on stopping the pass first.
A few early strong runs from Mixon are just what the doctor ordered for the Bengals to be able to open up the passing game. Let’s take the over in this AFC North matchup.
Geno Smith OVER 13.5 Rushing Yards vs. Detroit Lions (-115)
In 2022, Detroit gave up the most rushing yards in the league to quarterbacks. And despite their excellent Week 1 performance in upsetting the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, the Lions did allow Mahomes to escape the pass rush a half-dozen times for 45 yards.
But there’s more. With DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba at his disposal, Smith could look downfield early against a still-unproven Lions secondary (they look strong Week 1, but it was the 29th-ranked unit in the NFL last season).
A couple of early shots down the field will have the secondary on their heels, looking to prevent the big play. Meanwhile, Detroit pass rushers Aidan Hutchinson, James Houstin IV, and Charles Harris will be coming after Smith early and often with both Seattle starting tackles unlikely to play.
We think Smith could cover this line early. We’d even play this prop all the way up to 22.5 rushing yards in a favorable QB rushing matchup.
Bonus Pick: Joshua Kelley (Los Angeles Chargers) UNDER vs. Tennessee Titans
The books haven’t released a number yet, because Chargers RB Austin Ekeler’s status is up in the air with an ankle injury.
But even with Ekeler fully healthy last week, Kelley gashed the Dolphins for 91 yards on 16 carries of his own.
Reading the tea leaves, it doesn’t look great for Ekeler on Sunday as the Chargers signed Jaret Patterson to their practice squad earlier this week likely as an insurance policy for Sunday.
Regardless, our hope would be that the books release a higher number on Kelley for this week, as the Chargers seem likely to attack Tennessee through the air. If Ekeler plays, all the better, as Kelley’s number may go higher in anticipation of a greater workload. We’d feel comfortable taking the under on Kelley if he’s given a standard starting RB total (usually in the mid-high 50s).
Week 2 NFL Rushing Yards Parlay (+553)
Here’s the Sunday NFL rushing yards parlay for Week 2:
- Dameon Pierce over 54.5 yards
- Joe Mixon over 55.5 yards
- Geno Smith over 13.5 yards
A $50 wager on Rob’s Week 2 NFL Sunday parlay could win $326.73.