As of this writing, the NFL season begins in exactly 100 days. So in honor of that 100-day milestone, we look at 2017 props for Cowboys tailback Ezekiel Elliott, who tied for the NFL lead with 100-yard rushing games last year.
The 2017 NFL season begins with the annual Kickoff Game on Thursday, Sept. 7, as the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs. That game is exactly 100 days from the time of this writing (May 30). Yep, the NFL season will be here before you know it.
In honor of the No. 100, let’s take a look at some BookMaker props on the guy who tied for the NFL lead last year with seven 100-yard rushing games: the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott. Some criticized Dallas for taking Elliott at No. 4 overall in the 2016 draft out of Ohio State because the team had so many needs on defense, but it turned out to be a brilliant pick as Elliott had one of the great rookie seasons of any tailback in league history – yet didn’t even win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. That went to teammate and quarterback Dak Prescott.
Elliott surpassed Hall of famer Tony Dorsett (1,007) for the most rushing yards by a Cowboy rookie with 1,631 and set rookie records for carries (322), rushing touchdowns (15) and total touchdowns (16). Elliott’s seven 100-yard games were a franchise rookie record. He also had five games with 130-plus rushing yards, tied for most by a rookie in NFL history. His four straight games with 130-plus rushing yards was an NFL rookie record.
If you include the playoffs, Elliott tied Pittsburgh’s LeVeon Bell for the NFL lead with eight 100-yard games last season. If you want to just count the regular season, Elliott’s seven 100-yard games were tied with Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy and Chicago rookie Jordan Howard for the most. Elliott did sit out a meaningless Week 17 game. Bell had two 100-yard games in the postseason to reach eight.
The NFL oddsmakers expect regression for the Cowboys this year after winning 13 games. They are given an ‘over/under’ of 9.5 wins. I believe Prescott will have a bit of regression as well, but I’m not sure Elliott will have too much of one because he plays behind the NFL’s best offensive line.
BookMaker gives Elliott a total of 1,550.5 rushing yards in 2017, with the ‘over’ a -130 favorite. Keep in mind that Elliott is still awaiting possible NFL discipline, maybe a suspension, for a domestic violence issue. Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, decided to drop charges last year in that case, in which a woman named Tiffany Thompson claimed that Elliott abused her on five separate occasions over a period of several days in July 2016.
The league can still suspend him for violating its personal conduct policy and Elliott remains under review. I’m honestly not sure what’s taking so long. A first-time violation of the policy carries a six-game suspension, but it also allows for a lesser penalty if mitigating factors are involved.
Elliott is also given a total of 13.5 rushing TDs. Only three running backs topped that total in 2016: Elliott, former Patriot LeGarrette Blount (NFL-high 18 TDs) and Arizona's David Johnson (16). I’m recommending ‘under’ both here on my NFL picks because a great season would still be 1,300 yards rushing along with 13 rushing TDs. Elliott could be suspended a couple of games and there’s always the injury factor.Free NFL Picks: ‘Under’ Yards & TDsBest Lines Offered: BookMaker