After a year of being underutilized and underappreciated in Miami, Lamar Miller went to Houston this offseason. Behind a good offensive line and a team motivated to run the ball, Miller could be in for a huge year.
New-look Houston Offense
DeAndre Hopkins had a career year in 2015 with four different quarterbacks throwing him the ball. Now he has Brock Osweiler and/or Brian Hoyer throwing him the ball, which might improve on his already impressive season last year. The team also signed Cecil Shorts to take some pressure off of Hopkins, but Miller’s signing and the lack of other credible backs on the roster means that Miller could be a big time feature running back in Houston this season.
Even after losing Arian Foster early in the season, the Texans continued trying to run the ball. They ranked sixth in the league in 29.2 rushing attempts per game and while that number may get smaller this season because they have some better arms on the roster, it will still be in the upper 20s in attempts per game.
Assuming Miller gets 20 of those attempts per game, the fifth-year prop is going to get plenty of opportunities to go over his yards total. If he plays all 16 games, 280-300 carries are reasonable to expect for the Texans’ running back.
Miller has a career average of 4.6 yards per carry. Even if he doesn’t improve on that number in his first season in Houston, all he will need is 250 carries to cash the over on this prop. So, basically, that’s what Miller’s prop comes down to, because if he is healthy, he will get the ball for the Texans.
Miller has played in all 16 games for the last three seasons, so the pedigree of being able to do so again in 2016 is there. He has never been asked to carry a workload like 280 carries, but with 216 in 2014, we went for almost 1100 yards and eight touchdowns, so the talent is easily there for the 25-year-old.
However, you also have to think that the Texans are going to want to use Miller on third down as much as they use him on first and second. Without a reliable second receiver as of now, Miller could catch 50 passes this season on third down. He had 47 catches last season in Miami, and with unproven quarterbacks as the helm in Houston, Miller is going to be a popular check down candidate.
That doesn’t help us with his rushing yards. The Texans do still have Jonathan Grimes on the roster who showed some promise last season at times and of course Alfred Blue will still be there as a backup.
I really want to like Miller’s NFL Odds to go with the over on this one, but at this point, it’s a no play for me. His yards total is sharp and his potential to go over is there, but I am going to play it safe with Miller and put my bankroll on better NFL picks in other areas for Bet365’s season specials.
Free NFL Pick: No Play