Bovada.lv recently released a slew of over/under bets regarding 2014 NFL free agents players on their new teams. One of the names featured on their list is offensive weapon Darren Sproles, whom the Eagles acquired this offseason via a trade with the New Orleans Saints. Here's a look at the bet:
Total Rushing & Receiving Yards in the 2014 Regular Season - Darren Sproles
My first impression is that number seems high. I checked Sproles' career yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving combined) per season and I saw that he's previously gone over 950.5 once in his career: 1313 with the Saints in 2011. The next closest performance was 911 yards in 2012. Sproles averages a career 700.25 yards from scrimmage per season. Last year he had a total of 824 yards from scrimmage (604 receiving, 220 rushing).
Sproles: "The Eagles Offense Could Get Real Crazy"
The Eagles' offense received a boost with the addition of Darren Sproles. But just how much better can it be?
With that said, the under looks like a good bet. Add in the fact that Sproles will be 31 this offseason and it doesn't seem likely he's going to finish over a mark that would be a career second best for him. It's not like he's going to be the featured piece in the offense, either. LeSean McCoy, the best running back in the league, will still eat up a lot of carries per game. Just on't be surprised to see the two share time on the field together. Sproles will see more time as a receiver, but there are still a number of other targets to spread the ball around to: Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, [rookie WR], Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, etc.
So if the under is so obvious, why is the o/u set so high? The only tricky thing about this bet is the Chip Kelly factor, and that's not one to be taken for granted. A number of players on the Eagles' offense last year put up big numbers in Kelly's offense. I don't doubt that Kelly can get good mileage out of Sproles, especially now that there's more touches to go around with DeSean Jackson gone. The age concern with Sproles might be a little overblown as well. Sproles is small but he has a strong build. And while older running backs tend to decline rapidly, pass catchers tend to age at a better rate. To give an example of what I mean, look at former Patriots RB Kevin Faulk. He had a few quality seasons left in him at 31 and beyond until he fell off at 34.
When it comes to the bet, the under is still a no-brainer for me. But just because Sproles won't be putting up that big of a performance doesn't mean he won't have significant value to the Eagles.
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Another over/under you can bet on is related to a former Eagles quarterback by the name of Michael Vick. Vick signed with the New York Jets this offseason to compete for the starting job with Geno Smith. Here's the bet:
Total games started in the 2014 Regular Season - Michael Vick
The under would certainly seem to be the safe bet here. First of all, there's no guarantee Vick beats out Smith for the starting job. Considering how bad Smith was last year there's a legitimate chance it could happen, but even if Vick starts there's always the risk of injury with him. Vick started 6 games for the Eagles last year. I'm rooting for Vick with NYJ so I hope I'm wrong here, but I'll take the under.