- Both Lamar Jackson and Christian McCaffrey can break single-season records for their position.
- The New England Patriots have a tough road, despite sportsbooks posting odds for them to go 19-0.
- Kyler Murray is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year but other candidates could surprise him.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Week 6 of the NFL schedule is nearly complete, as only the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions are a game behind the rest.
Those two teams face off on Monday Night Football and lead into the first overreaction on this Monday.
The NFC North Is The Best Division In The NFL
No other division can tout can the fact that every team has a winning record. Nor can they brag about each team having a point differential, or having every team keep their opponents under 100 total points thus far.
The NFC North is tough – there is no doubt about that. The projected preseason winners, the Chicago Bears (+450), are currently last in the division, and the Green Bay Packers (EVEN) sit a half-game ahead of the Minnesota Vikings (+225). As for the Lions (+650), a tie during Week 1 keeps them ahead of the Bears, but they could fall back if they lose tonight.
Moving forward, this competition is tight, with every team with nearly similar odds as everyone is still in striking distance. In reality though, from top to bottom, the NFC West could give this division a run for their money – taking the crown as the best division in the NFL.
Kyler Murray Is The Offensive Rookie Of The Year
Before the season began, nearly every analyst and oddsmaker was favoring Murray to win the offensive ROY award. Murray still remains the favorite (+135) but many other candidates have gotten closer to his status.
Still, Murray leads all rookies in passing yards, completion percentage (minus Devlin Hodges game and a half performance), and also has almost 250 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to his name.
His play has been electric and exciting, keeping his Arizona Cardinals in games they have no business being in. However, the award is not locked up.
Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback Gardner Minshew (+250) and New York Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones (+300) have crept up with their play as of late. Also, look out for some skill players such as Josh Jacobs (+375), Terry McLaurin (+850), or DK Metcalf (+1800) to surprise the voters, if they continue their impressive play.
Single-Season Records Will Be Broken
This year, NFL fans are being spoiled with two potential record-setting seasons.
Christian McCaffrey is leading the Carolina Panthers without the aid of Cam Newton as the team has won four straight.
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But the important aspect of the Panthers’ season is based solely around McCaffrey. The Stanford running back is leading the league in yards from scrimmage. McCaffrey has 618 rushing yards and 305 receiving yards. At six games played this year, McCaffrey is on pace to finish the season with 2461 scrimmage yards – just about 50 less than Chris Johnson’s record-setting performance of 2,509 yards in 2009.
McCaffrey was on pace but fell behind with the recent 57-yard performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London.
As for another record, Lamar Jackson is eyeing the quarterback rushing yards record. Michael Vick holds this record, having rushed for 1,039 yards in 2006. Jackson is sitting well above Vick’s average of 64.94, as his 76.7 yards per game have Jackson on pace to finish the season with 1227 yards.
Unless coach John Harbaugh slows down his quarterback’s mindset to run the ball moving forward, this record should be smashed.
In reality, both the Panthers and the Ravens face many teams with great rushing defenses. Both teams face off against the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, who average the sixth and eleventh fewest rushing yards per game, respectively. Furthermore, a handful of rush defenses that fall in the top half of the league face off against one of these teams, such as the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and Houston Texans (Ravens), as well as the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans (Panthers).
The Houston Texans Will Win The AFC
The Texans were the immediate favorite to win the AFC South after the announcement of Andrew Luck’s retirement. With their assumption to win the division, their odds to win the AFC increased in kind. Six weeks in, the Texans are a half-game ahead of the Indianapolis Colts in the division, but sit 3-0 against conference opponents.
US sportsbooks have the Texans odds to win the AFC South (-115) are still around EVEN, despite their last two impressive victories. However, with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs, LA Chargers, and Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans have positioned themselves ahead of the AFC.
At +1000 to win the conference, the reality is that one of the more-favored teams will take this title away from the Texans. The Patriots (EVEN) are the heavy favorites, having yet to drop a game. The Chiefs (+350) and Ravens (+900) also lead the odds ahead of the Texans.
The New England Patriots Will Finish 19-0
Before their Thursday Night Football victory over the New York Giants, the Patriots’ odds to finish the season 19-0 was +950. While this was almost accomplished by the Patriots in 2007, the likelihood of an NFL team getting this done is extremely farfetched.
The Patriots still must play the Ravens, Eagles, and Texans at their home stadiums as well as host the Cowboys and Chiefs in Foxboro. Securing a win against these five teams will be more than difficult, so bettors should look at their odds in other facets instead.
To win the AFC, the Patriots are EVEN but their odds to take home the Lombardi Trophy are a little better (+275). Instead of looking for the monster payout, bettors should look at the easiest accomplishment and not overreact on this Monday.
Michael spends most of his time betting on over/unders and analyzing algorithms in attempts to beat the book. His focus on statistics comes from an early understanding of mathematics as well as knowledge of opportunity costs. Michael enjoys playing basketball and reading about the NBA whenever he has the free time. When he is not writing, he can be found in Mississippi hitting the sportsbooks and enjoying a margarita… on the rocks, no salt.