Top NFL Rushing Picks For Week 4: Two Running Backs & A Wide Receiver

Ben Gretch is back with his Week 4 NFL rushing prop picks. This week, he's focusing on two running backs and a wide receiver.
Ben Gretch
Sat, October 2, 5:42 AM EDT

Top NFL Rushing Picks For Week 4: Two Running Backs & A Wide Receiver

We’re back with more rushing props. For those not keeping track at home, AJ Dillon came a half-yard shy of his prop last week, and then his Week 4 prop has risen from 18.5 yards to 22.5. It’s always fun to be reminded that even when we’re mostly right, we’re still wrong.   

But there will be no more AJ Dillon mentions in this week’s writeup. Let’s get to four rushing props I like for Week 4. 

Miles Sanders — under 59.5 rushing yards (-110, DK)

Miles Sanders — under 12.5 rushing attempts (+100, DK)

You may have heard this by now, but Eagles running backs only totaled three rush attempts last week, an NFL record low. The team has paid lip service to getting back to the run this week, but they host the Chiefs, who are favored by a touchdown and certainly won’t be overlooking this game given they are coming off back-to-back losses. 

That the Eagles have already shown a willingness to be extremely pass-heavy while losing — which is the smart approach — means Week 4 might not be their best chance to achieve their rushing goals. Adding to that issue, they’ve lost both of their starting guards over the early weeks of this season, and starting left tackle Jordan Mailata has not been practicing this week. Their line is in shambles, so while they will probably run more than three times in this game, I’m not sure how effective they can be. 

Sanders also doesn’t have a full handle on this backfield. Backup Kenneth Gainwell mixes in — and has played more when they have been trailing — and Gainwell has slightly more than a third of the team’s RB carries this season. I like the under on Sanders’ yardage number better because it’ll be tough to be an efficient runner behind a beaten-up line, but if that RB split holds, the Eagles would need to approach 20 RB carries to get Sanders over the attempts number, as well. I don’t see that happening. 

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Robert Woods — under 4.5 rushing yards (+120, multiple sites)

This line opened at 1.5 rushing yards early this week, and the over got hammered, which made sense. Woods is frequently involved in the rushing attack for the Rams, and he has carries in all three games so far this year. He’s rushed for 7, 6, and 5 yards in those games. 

But now the number is up to 4.5 yards, and there’s heavy juice on the over. That’s a different bet for a guy who typically only gets a try or two per game. Since Week 7 of last year, Woods has not had more than two carries in a game, and in the 14 games in that span (playoffs included), he’s hit two carries four times, no carries three times, and one in every other game. Also in that span, he’s gone for more than 4.5 yards just six times, so this is by no means a lock. In fact, before hitting that number in all three games in 2021 so far, Woods had closed 2020 going for more than 4.5 rushing yards in just two of his final 10 games.  

Those 10 games included both matchups with Arizona last year, and those happen to be two of only four games since the beginning of last season where Woods did not receive a rush attempt (playoffs included). That very well might be a matchup thing, especially because the Cardinals have speed on the edge but have been susceptible to higher rushing success rates on the interior so far in 2021.  

It’s always tougher to find prop value later in the week, but I think this is one of those instances where a soft prop got bet too far. For those who got in early at the 1.5 line, I like the idea of trying to middle it — there are obviously scenarios where Woods gets one carry and it goes for fewer than 5 yards.

 

Najee Harris — over 50.5 rushing yards (-120, DK)

Harris saw a ridiculous 19 targets last week, but has had an uneventful start to his NFL career as a rusher. But the Packers invite teams to beat them on the ground, and the Steelers need to find something that works because Ben Roethlisberger is really struggling to get the ball down the field. 

I expect Pittsburgh to lean on Harris early, and really try to get the ground game going. He’s been inefficient so far in a yards per carry sense, but this is a matchup where he should be able to find a little more room. Harris has hit double-digit carries in each of his first three games, and has been between 38 and 45 rushing yards in each, despite a very poor 3.1 yards per carry rate for the season.  

Per Sharp Football, the Packers have the 12th-highest rushing success rate against, and their 4.4 yards per carry against so far this season also ranks as the 12th-most-favorable number for opposing rushers. Each of the three teams the Steelers have faced so far, though, currently sit among the top-10 most difficult teams to rush against by success rate. Now some of that is because they have faced the Steelers and shut them down, but there are several reasons to think this week will be the best opportunity Harris has had to get going on the ground. I also like Harris’ rush attempts over up to 14.5 if you can find it, but that opened at 13.5 and got hit hard earlier this week.

 Week 4 Rushing Prop Picks

Miles Sanders — under 59.5 rushing yards (-110, DK)

Miles Sanders — under 12.5 rushing attempts (+100, DK)

Robert Woods — under 4.5 rushing yards (+120, multiple sites)

Najee Harris — over 50.5 rushing yards (-120, DK)

Betting Odds For The Week 4 NFL Slate

Ben Gretch
@YardsPerGretch
Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.
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