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Since Nick Chubb entered the league in 2018, his talent has been undeniable. Last year, he took a huge leap forward and rushed for 1,494 yards. While it’s always risky to base your bets purely on statistics from the prior season, here’s why you can expect Chubb to surpass his 2019 performance and easily cover this line from DraftKings.
Check out all of our 2020 NFL Player Prop Bets here.
He’s got a clear role in the offense — even with Kareem Hunt
While Kareem Hunt’s presence may put a damper on Chubb’s workload, don’t overreact. In the eight games where the two split the backfield last year, Chubb still averaged 18 carries per game. That’s a slight decrease from the 19.3 carries he was getting before Hunt returned, but that disparity is almost certainly due to the string of tough rushing defenses and negative game scripts that Cleveland saw down the stretch.
His talent is undeniable
This one is self-explanatory: on 490 career touches, Chubb has averaged over five yards per carry. Even if he sees fewer than his 298 carries from 2019 (which he shouldn’t), he can still comfortably cover this number.
If anything, there will be more touches to go around in Cleveland
Call me an optimist, but I’m willing to assume that Cleveland’s struggles in 2019 were an outlier. Poor coaching and bad luck hamstrung the Browns last year, but I trust Kevin Stefanski as a head coach and an offensive play-caller. What does his presence mean for Nick Chubb? If you played the 2019 season again 10 times and swapped out Freddie Kitchens with even a semi-competent coach, the Browns’ talent alone would have propelled them to do better than their 2019 record of 6-10 in nine out of ten simulations. Under Stefanski, they are unlikely to underperform as much as they did last year. This means that Chubb will see more positive game scripts and more opportunities to carry the ball late in games.
Stefanski loves to run the ball
Last season, in his only full season as offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski made the Vikings run the ball the fifth-most of any team in the NFL (almost five more times per game than Cleveland). This suggests that he’ll import a run-first offense to Cleveland. Whatever the slice of Chubb’s workload that Hunt takes, it’s going to be offset by the extra carries to go around. Moreover, under Stefanski, the Vikings looked built their passing game off the back of play action. If the Browns want opposing teams to believe that they are running, they may leave Chubb on the field more frequently.
The Browns’ offensive line is much-improved
Last year, PFF had the Cleveland Browns ranked 23rd in their end-of-season offensive line rankings. This was very much based on the poor performance of Cleveland’s tackles. They aggressively addressed this issue over the offseason, however. They added Jack Conklin in free agency and Jedrick Wills, Jr. in the first round of the draft. As I mentioned previously, Chubb already averaged over five yards per carry. If his line improves, he could be even more efficient in 2020.
Last year, Chubb far surpassed this total, and this year, he finds himself in an even better situation to put up lofty totals. My litmus test when betting on season-long props is whether or not the player could miss a game and still have a chance to cover their line. In Chubb’s case, he could miss two games and I would still be confident in his ability to cover 1,300 yards.