Ezekiel Elliott Opens as Favorite to Lead NFL in Rushing in 2019; Saquon Barkley Given 3-1 Odds

Dak Prescott hands off the ball to Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott is favored to lead the NFL in rushing yards this season. Photo by Keith Allison (Wikimedia Commons).
  • Ezekiel Elliot had the most rushing yards last season with 1,434
  • Saquon Barkley finished second in rushing yards which helped him capture the Rookie of the Year Award
  • Nick Chubb could be a contender for the title this year playing for the suddenly exciting Cleveland Browns

Who will win the NFL rushing title? This season, more than any other, the two heavyweights at the top are getting most of the attention.

Most Regular Season Rushing Yards Odds

Who Will Record the Most Regular Season Rushing Yards? Odds
Ezekiel Elliott +260
Saquon Barkley +300
Le’Veon Bell +1200
Derrick Henry +1200
Todd Gurley +1400
Nick Chubb +1600
Joe Mixon +2000
Melvin Gordon +2000
Dalvin Cook +2000

Odds taken 07/05/19

Elliot won the title last year putting up 1,434 yards on the ground which was 127 more than Barkley, who finished second. As you can see from the odds above, the common perception is they’ll battle it out again this year. Here’s the case for why I think Barkley is the best bet available, as well as one other pick offering much higher odds that you might want to consider.

Barkley Will Get More Opportunity Next Season

It’s tough to imagine Barkley will see more of the ball in 2019, but it’s definitely likely to be the case. Eli Manning returns as the starting quarterback and will rely on a strong game. Even if he’s replaced I wouldn’t expected first-round draft pick Daniel Jones to be slinging it all over the lot. His game, like Manning’s, is about controlled risks more than it is volume passing.

Another thing to consider, the other big weapon on offense is gone with Odell Beckham Jr. being shipped to the Cleveland Browns. Barkley has earned more opportunity sure, but he’s going to get it out of necessity more than anything else.

In the battle between the two superstar running backs the difference will likely be in who has the ball in their hands more often, and it’s shaping up like Barkley will get that edge.

Could Chubb Bring the Title to Cleveland?

Nick Chubb was dynamic back at Georgia and finished four yards shy of 1,000 in his rookie season. Playing in the suddenly star-studded Browns offense, Chubb may not get the touches that Barkley or Elliot do, but he should have much more room to run when he does.

Chubb may not get the touches that Barkley or Elliot do, but he should have much more room to run when he does.

Defenses will need to key in on Beckham Jr. and QB Baker Mayfield, which should lead to some open running lanes for the speedy sophomore.

I don’t necessarily love his chances when stacked up against the two big boys in Barkley and Elliot, but I do love the price he’s offering at +1600.  As far as underdogs go, Chubb is my favorite bet to pull the upset.

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