NFL Betting: Henry Ruggs' Receiving Yards Prop Is a Smashing Value
To the surprise of some, Henry Ruggs was the first wide receiver selected in this year's NFL Draft.
The Raiders franchise is notorious for targeting speed receivers in the draft, and Ruggs is no exception to that mold, running an official time of 4.27 seconds in the 40-yard dash at this year's combine.
That is rare speed, but what kind of numbers will Ruggs put up in his rookie season? Let's take a look at how you should bet on his receiving yards and receiving touchdowns prop bets on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Receiving Yards Prop
FD Sportsbook: 740.5 yards
Ruggs was as a boom-or-bust type of wideout in college. While he produced 746 yards at Alabama last year, he did so on only 40 receptions. This is the very definition of a home-run hitter.
He's a guy who profiles similarly to a Tyreek Hill or Marquise Brown, speedsters who have big-play chops but possibly weren't well-rounded receivers when they entered the league. In their rookie campaigns, Hill and Brown produced 593 and 584 receiving yards, respectively. Obviously, Hill made a big jump in Year 2, something Brown could do, too, with improved health. But for this prop, all we care about is what Ruggs does in his rookie year.
Given the Raiders' lack of a true number-one wideout and the fact they invested big-time draft capital in Ruggs, it's safe to expect him to play a meaningful role right away. With that said, a line of 740.5 yards looks like a reach for him.
Oh, and Derek Carr, at least on paper, doesn't seem like a great fit with a deep-ball guy like Ruggs. Per the NFL's Next-Gen Stats, Carr had an average intended air yards distance of 6.3 last year, the second-lowest mark among all qualifying quarterbacks, besting only Teddy Bridgewater, who had roughly 300 fewer attempts than Carr did.
Our projections love the under here as we forecast Ruggs for just 663 yards, nearly 80 yards below the line.
Receiving Touchdowns Prop
FD Sportsbook: 4.5 Scores
Ruggs was a touchdown machine for the Crimson Tide in 2019. A whopping 17.5% of his receptions went for touchdowns. It was much of the same in 2018 as 11 of his 46 grabs (23.9%) went for scores.
But Ruggs will likely have a tough time maintaining that kind of elite touchdown rate in the pros. For reference, the highest mark in the NFL in 2019 for a receiver -- minimum 50 receptions -- belonged to Kenny Golladay at 16.9%. And Ruggs is only 5-11, 188 pounds -- not the prototype for a red-zone monster.
A line of 4.5 scores is a good one, though.
Hunter Renfrow, a 5-10, 184-pound slot weapon, had four touchdowns on 49 catches a year ago for the Raiders while Williams -- who is the red-zone prototype (6-3, 204 with a 98th-percentile catch radius, per PlayerProfiler) had six scores on 42 receptions.
And while Carr didn't often challenge defenses vertically, that doesn't mean he played poorly in 2019. In fact, he was pretty darn good by our numbers, recording 0.20 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, the ninth-best clip a year ago among passers with at least 300 drop backs.
Like I said, the line of 4.5 touchdowns is pretty accurate -- or at least there's not as much value in this prop as there is in the yardage prop.
Our models project Ruggs for 4.0 scores. While we have him going under, this feels like more of a coin-flip as Ruggs is capable of hitting the over if Carr maintains his efficient play from a season ago.