- Jonathan Taylor put up 1169 rushing yards in his rookie year.
- He has -120 odds to go over 1250 yards, which seems remarkably fair for sports bettors.
- Taylor has an easy schedule, an extra game, and more confidence from his coaches heading into the 2021 season compared to 2020.
INDIANAPOLIS - RB Jonathan Taylor had a very interesting rookie season, posting solid numbers but becoming unreliable in the middle of the year as he struggled and was occasionally replaced by the hot hand.
However, it seems as though online sportsbooks have taken Taylor’s inconsistency from 2020 to heart - and perhaps to their detriment.
Even in a confusing rookie season in which he only started 13 games and only played in 15, Taylor put up 1169 yards. At first glance, it might not be particularly surprising that he’s a mild favorite to go above 1250 rushing yards - but that bet might be a steal at those odds.
Jonathan Taylor Rushing Yards Props
- Jonathan Taylor 1000+ Rushing Yards -450
- Jonathan Taylor 1250+ Rushing Yards -120
There are three major reasons why.
Strength Of Schedule
FantasyPros rates Taylor’s strength of schedule in the 2021 season as first - the easiest RB schedule in the entire league.
Taylor feasted on easy competition at the end of 2020, playing against the Texans twice, the Jaguars, the Packers, the Raiders and the (injured and falling off) Steelers.
It seems plausible that he can do so again in 2021, with a full training camp under his belt, and arguably the lightest RB schedule in the league.
The Extra Game
There will be an extra game of the season in 2021 compared to 2020, which is more time for Taylor to rack up stats.
At his 2020 pace, that extra game would have given him about 78 more rushing yards. This could have brought his total up to 1247 rushing yards.
In other words, he would have nearly covered that second NFL bet in his rookie season in which he was supplanted by other backs.
Of course, being supplanted by other backs isn’t good - it’s a risk one takes when betting on Taylor, but if he can maintain at this level of performance, he should be in a very good position to cover both of these bets.
Taylor As The Bell Cow
J.J. Stankevitz of Colts.com raised the question of the running back room with Colts head coach Frank Reich, and Reich responded with praise for Taylor.
“I think going into this season this year, it’ll be a little bit more, hey, Jonathan will be a little bit more of the bell cow,” said Reich. “But we’re still going to spread it around.”
“Nyheim's gotta touch the football. Jordan is incredible — I'm a big Jordan Wilkins fan. Jordan is incredibly talented. We're going to continue to spread it around but I think Jonathan has established himself as the guy, hey, he's our main running back and then we'll complement him with Nyheim and the other guys.”
Anyone betting on Taylor would have no problem with other backs being used in a complementary position to him.
The problem for Taylor in 2020 was that he was sometimes reduced to that complementary role but Reich believes that those days are over.
So, here we have a second-year RB who put up 1169 yards in his rookie season, starting only 13 of the 15 games he played in.
There will be an extra game in the 2021 season compared to the 2020 season, and this RB is coming in more established with more confidence given to him by his coaches.
Anything can happen in the NFL, but these odds are surprisingly fair for at least a once over by online gamblers.