In 2019, Christian McCaffrey rushed for 1,387 yards during his spectacular All-Pro season. But can he get back to 1,300 yards for 2020? That’s what the oddsmaker set his Over/Under at for the upcoming season. McCaffrey’s rushing yards prop was originally set at 1,350 but the number already declined after sportsbooks saw heavy action come in on the under. Betting on the under is still considered the favorite with odds of -143, while the over is set at +118.
AllPanthers reporter Schuyler Callihan and Sports Illustrated’s fantasy analyst Frank Taddeo joined Bill Enright to discuss if bettors should take the over or under on McCaffrey’s rushing yards.
Read the transcript from their conversation:
Bill Enright: Christian McCaffrey had over 1,300 yards during his spectacular 2019 season, but can he do it again in 2020? That's what the oddmakers want you to bet when it comes to Christian McCaffrey's rushing yard prop. Let's bring on Schuyler Callihan from AllPanthers and Frank Taddeo, our fantasy and gambling analyst here in Sports Illustrated. Frank, I'll start with you. Let's discuss this prop total for McCaffrey when it comes to his rushing yards.
Frank Taddeo: Yeah, Bill, I think the oddsmakers have this number way too high and so do many of the sharks out there. We've already seen this number, which originally started at 1,350.5 yards, come all the way down by 50 yards. It's all the way down to 1,300.5 yards now. And it's still continuing to see steam on the under, which is now juiced up to minus $1.43. Overall, Bill, I think this number is way too high. My model has him coming in with tremendous regression this season, especially in the rushing yards as well as his rushing attempts. My model has him only finishing with 1,202 yards, which would be well shy of this projection of 1,300 yards. So for me, Bill, the play is strongly to the under here as I see McCaffrey taking less of a pounding in between the tackles and maybe becoming more of a factor in the passing game.
Bill Enright: Schuyler, let me ask you a question, because McCaffrey, I mean, if the Panthers won more games in 2019, he could have been a serious candidate for the MVP. He had that good of a season, but could he replicate those stats in his new offense in 2020?
Schuylar Callihan: He came, but the question is, will he? I don't think he will, and I agree with Frank. I think they want to protect the new face of the franchise and since Cam Newton has departed, Christian McCaffrey is exactly that.
There's too much beating to go around. Running backs don't last very long in the NFL, only two to three years, the average lifespan. You want to keep your most important asset around as long as possible. And the way that they like to throw the ball around, I think they want to spread out the football. They want to keep defenses honest. Most important, McCaffrey is going to get his yards going to get as touchdowns but I think they're going to try and protect him and try to keep him from being under.
Bill Enright [00:02:07] We are going through all the NFL superstars, player props. You can find our analysis by going to Si.com/gamblinb. Frank, Schuyler, great job is always.