- BetOnline favors Derrick Henry (+350) to lead the NFL in rushing for the third-straight season
- Nick Chubb (+700) and Jonathan Taylor (+900) just need more carries to be the rushing champion
- Ezekiel Elliott (+1400) leads all active running backs with 89.9 yards per game on the ground
Derrick Henry took the triple crown in 2020, leading all running backs in yards (2,027), attempts (378) and rushing touchdowns (17) while becoming just the eighth player in NFL history to join the 2,000-rushing-yards club.
Will the Titans bruiser become the first rushing champ to three-peat since Emmitt Smith in the early 90s or will the 782 carries he’s registered over the past two seasons finally catch up with him?
Let’s look at the Rushing Yards Leader odds for the 2021 regular season, and be sure to check out our tips for betting on NFL football games.
2021 NFL Rushing Yards Leader
Rushing champion favorites
While Derrick Henry (+350) ended up running away with the rushing title last season, he did play in two more games than runner-up Dalvin Cook (+550), who put up a respectable 1,557 yards in 15 games. Both backs are in run-first offenses, but the 27-year-old Titan has proved more durable than the 25-year-old Viking to this point in their careers.
No one wants to draft Nick Chubb (+700) in fantasy football because he doesn’t catch passes and has Kareem Hunt cutting into his workload, but he ran for over 1,000 yards in 9.5 games (MCL injury) in 2020. Chubb has averaged 80.8 yards on the ground through his first three NFL seasons, behind only Ezekiel Elliott (89.9), Cook (85.1) and the immortal Adrian Peterson (82.3), and playing for a Super Bowl contender should give him the opportunity to close out a lot of games.
Stopping Derrick Henry wasn't really an option last season 💪😤 pic.twitter.com/7ciodmw9xY
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) July 27, 2021
Despite the Giants saying they will take a “long-term approach” with Saquon Barkley (+1000) in his return from a torn ACL, oddsmakers list him ahead of the aforementioned Elliott (+1400). Zeke’s reported weight loss has fantasy heads buying the dip and Dallas needs to run the rock to keep their defense off the field, but the Cowboys’ offensive line is not what it once was.
The return of CMC
After becoming just the third player in NFL history to reach 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same campaign, Christian McCaffrey (+900) missed almost all of last year with various injuries. Now healthy, CMC could easily surpass the 1,387 rushing yards he put up in 2019 (especially in a 17-game season), but his dual-threat ability actually hurts your chances at cashing this particular wager.
Also at +700, Jonathan Taylor‘s 1,169 rushing yards placed him third in the league in 2020. The Colts rookie accumulated 741 of those yards in the final six games of the year (123.5 average), indicating a huge sophomore season could be in store for the athletic freak if Frank Reich doesn’t mix in too much Nyheim Hines and Marlon Mack.
— Cat Crave (@CatCraveBlog) July 22, 2021
Looking a bit further down the list, Antonio Gibson (+2500) could win the rushing crown if the Washington Football Team double his carries. Entering his second year, the 23-year-old has David Johnson in his prime upside.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: