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Despite the fact that the NFL has shifted to a pass-happy league, where the spread offense is taking over, you cannot underestimate the importance of a game-changing running back.
Running backs have the shortest lifespan in the NFL, routinely taking a pounding by the biggest and most athletic players on the field. But when a team has a game-changing running back in the offensive backfield, there is no question that it is a big advantage.
Passing the ball may be the forte, but running the ball as any coach will tell you, is the most effective way to beat a defense. It’s because it opens up the passing game and makes it so much easier on the quarterback.
So when it comes to the running back position, oddsmakers have set down betting lines as to which running back will be the most productive in the 2012 NFL Season.
Running back Rushing yards in 2012 available at Bovada Sportsbook have set Houston Texans running back Arian Foster at the top of the list of favorites to lead the league in rushing yards. Foster is going off at 9/2 on the betting line. He is a big reason that the Texans are a favorite in the AFC south, and picked to be one of the top contenders to win the 2013 Super Bowl.
Behind Foster though are a host of notable backs.
chris Johnson did not have a great 2011 campaign, but oddsmakers expect the Titan running back to bounce back and have a productive 2012. Johnson is going off at 7/1 though, which is nearly twice the underdog as Foster. So it’s clear that Foster is the assertive favorite to win the rushing title.
Maurice Jones-Drew lead the league in 2011 in rushing, despite having an offense that ranked dead last in passing. That actually might be one of the most impressive feat of all of last season actually. Jones-Drew is going off at 15/2 on the betting line, along with Baltimore’s Ray Rice. Both rushers are built similar, and have very similar rushing styles.
Oakland’s Darren McFadden rounds out the top-five favorites, as he is predicted to have a big year as well.
Noticeably absent from the top-five is Adrian Peterson. Because of the ACL injury, Peterson is down to 15/1, still in the top-10 on the list though.
Check out these betting odds below for the complete list as seen on Bovada.