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Saquon Barkley’s 2018 Statistical Projections: Will the Rookie Surpass 2,000 Yards from Scrimmage?

Saquon Barkley Giants RB at 2018 NFL Draft
Saquon Barkley rushed for 142 yards last week and totaled 3 touchdowns against the Bucs. Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire.
  • Saquon Barkley is favored to tally over 2,010 total yards this season.
  • The Giants rookie RB has amassed 1,753 total yards through Week 14.
  • His bid for 17 total touchdowns could be out of reach, however. 

Last weekend, Saquon Barkley continued to display the vast talent that has made him a heavy favorite to claim NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, running for a season-high 170 yards and one score in the New York Giants’ 40-16 rout of the Washington Redskins.

The 21-year-old added 27 receiving yards in New York’s win as a three-point favorite, and has now emerged as a strong favorite to finish the season with over 2010.5 total yards, sporting -135 odds on the NFL specials at online sportsbook MyBookie.

Saquon Barkley Regular Season Total Yards O/U

Odds on Saquon Barkley Regular Season Total Yards Odds at MyBookie
OVER 2010.5 -135
UNDER 2010.5 -105

Selected second overall by New York in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley has had an immediate impact in his NFL debut, racking up 1,753 total yards through the first 13 games of the season. And with the Giants finding their groove with wins in four of their past five outings, Barkley remains a candidate to take a run at Eric Dickerson’s rookie record of 2,212 yards from scrimmage.

Can Barkley Top 1,290 Rushing Yards?

Rushing yards make up the bulk of Barkley’s total this season, with the fleet-footed rookie scampering for 1124 yards to date, and listed as a -120 wager to top 1290.5 rushing yards.

Saquon Barkley Regular Season Rushing Yards

Odds on Saquon Barkley Regular Season Rushing Yards Odds at MyBookie
OVER 1290.5 -120
UNDER 1290.5 -120

Barkley’s first opportunity to pad his rushing yards total comes in next week’s home date with Tennessee. The Titans are coming off a solid performance in Week 14, limiting Jacksonville to just 255 total yards including 60 yards on the ground in a decisive 30-9 victory over the fading Jaguars as 5.5-point home chalk.

However, the Titans have stumbled to a 2-5 SU record on the road this season, allowing over 100 rushing yards on four occasions including a massive 281-yard day for the Houston Texans in their 34-17 rout of the Titans as 3.5-point home chalk three weeks ago.

Colts, Cowboys Rush Defenses Present Huge Challenge

Things could get tougher for Barkley in Week 16 when the Giants visit an Indianapolis Colts squad that has stormed into playoff contention during a 5-1 SU run. The Colts ground defence has tightened up considerably during their recent turnaround, limiting opposing offences to 91 or fewer rushing yards in four of five outings.

In addition, the Giants close out their schedule against the rapidly improving Dallas Cowboys, who will likely be jockeying for playoff position in their season finale.

The Cowboys have played ferocious defence over the past two weeks, surrendering just 99 total yards in wins over Philadelphia and New Orleans, and have twice limited New York to 35 rushing yards during a three-game SU win streak.

Can Barkley Top 720 Receiving Yards?

However, Barkley looks to be well in reach of paying out on short -125 odds to finish the season with OVER 720.5 receiving yards. Barkley was used primarily on the ground in New York’s win over the Redskins, but also continued his steady play downfield, pulling in four of five targets.

Saquon Barkley Regular Season Receiving Yards

Odds on Saquon Barkley Regular Season Receiving Yards Odds at MyBookie
OVER 720.5 -125
UNDER 720.5 -115

That number could increase if Odell Beckham Jr. struggles to recover from an injury that forced him to miss Week 14. But even with OBJ in the lineup, Barkley has been targeted 10 or more times on four occasions this season, including a 14-catch, 80-yard performance in a 20-13 loss in Dallas in Week 2.

Touchdowns Could be Scarce Down the Stretch

Perhaps the biggest challenge for Barkley will be paying out on -115 odds to score OVER 16.5 touchdowns this season. Barkley currently sits with nine rushing TDs, along with four scoring receptions, and has scored multiple touchdowns in three of his past four appearances.

Saquon Barkley Regular Season Total Touchdowns

Odds on Saquon Barkley Regular Season Total Touchdowns Odds at MyBookie
OVER 16.5 -115
UNDER 16.5 -125

But with the Titans and Cowboys both denying opponents rushing scores over the past two weeks, four scores for Barkley over the final three weeks of the season will be a tall order.

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Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.