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The NFL's top two rushing offenses in 2019 - the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers - finished the regular season at the top of their respective conferences. Baltimore's and San Francisco's dominant ground games were team efforts, however, with only one running back on either roster finishing top 25 in rushing yards (Mark Ingram - 1,018).
Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans won the NFL rushing title last season with 1,540 yards. It was the 28th time in the last 30 years that the rushing champion recorded over 1,400 yards. Can Henry repeat in 2020? The Titans running back opened as the co-favorite at +600.
|Field - All Not Listed||+2000|
Odds listed for players +5000 and shorter
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is the other co-favorite alongside Henry, and for good reason. Henry and Elliott have combined to win three of the last five rushing titles and should both be in the conversation again this year. Elliott put up 1,357 yards in 2019, but one thing working against him is the improvement in Dallas' passing game. The Cowboys finished second in passing offense last season, with quarterback Dak Prescott throwing for a career-high 4,902 yards.
Christian McCaffrey is next in line at +800. He finished third in rushing yards last season by averaging 4.8 yards per carry. McCaffrey is a tremendous player, but game script could hurt his pursuit of the rushing title. The Carolina Panthers used all seven of their draft picks in 2020 to try and fix a defense that allowed just under 30 points per game last season. The Panthers' win total is set at 6, so oddsmakers don't expect Carolina to be playing with many fourth-quarter leads in 2020.
The most intriguing player on the board is Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson at +1800. Jackson finished sixth in rushing last year by setting a single-season record for quarterbacks with 1,206 yards. Can a quarterback lead the NFL in rushing in 2020? It's not likely. No true quarterback has won the rushing title in 87 years. As mentioned above, 1,400 is the benchmark, so Jackson would need to put up 200-300 more yards than he did in his record-breaking 2019 campaign.
Oddsmakers expect a regression in Jackson's rushing numbers, setting his total for the 2020 season at 999.5 yards. He's a unique talent, but don't look for Jackson to outpace the league's top running backs in rushing yards.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders +2500
Jacobs at 25-1 to finish with the most rushing yards may be the best bet of the 2020 NFL season. Jacobs finished eighth in rushing with 1,150 yards as a rookie last year. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry, but his 242 attempts were 61 fewer than Henry's. Now the Las Vegas Raiders' unquestioned starter, look for Jacobs to become an even bigger part of the offense and flirt with 300 carries in his second pro season.
Jacobs eclipsed 85 yards rushing on eight occasions as a rookie, so it's surprising to see 12 players listed ahead of him on the oddsboard. He's a good bet to finish the season with 1,400-plus yards if he stays healthy, so take advantage of these generous early odds and jump on him now to lead the NFL in rushing.
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.