The Dallas Cowboys’ star running back Ezekiel Elliott recently received a six-game suspension from the NFL, and if it stands, it means there will be a new rushing leader. The news of the suspension has brought about some interesting changes in terms of the betting odds at sports books. As a rookie, Elliott led the NFL last season in rushing with 1,631 total yards. However, with the running back looking like he could be out for the first six games of his team’s season, that has caused sports books to reconsider his odds, for now.
As USA Today Sports‘ A.J. Perez indicated on Thursday, Ezekiel Elliott has been taken off the board when it comes to NFL prop bets regarding the upcoming season. Elliott was previously listed as a 4 to 1 favorite by the sports book William Hill, but since the sports book isn’t sure if his appeal will end up lessening his suspension or removing it completely, they’ve chosen to take Elliott out of their odds listing. William Hill spokesperson Michael Grodsky informed USA Today Sports that Bell won’t be put back on the board until after his appeal situation has been resolved. So for now, a new NFL rushing title favorite has emerged and it’s star running back Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bell has been an offseason holdout for the Steelers, but a recent tweet from ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter suggested he’ll be back soon. Schefter tweeted that Bell is expected to return ahead of the regular season start for his team, although the exact date is unknown. That’s good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and based on his previous seasons of work, it’s understandable why he is an 11 to 2 favorite to win the rushing title. Bell appeared in 12 games for his team in the 2016 NFL season. He finished fifth overall in rushing with 1,268 yards on 261 carries and also tallied seven touchdowns on the ground.
While Elliott is awaiting the NFL Players Association appeal attempt, his former college coach made some comments recently that may not have helped Elliott’s case. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer told ESPN’s SportsCenter in an interview, “we all want what’s best for him” and “I worry about him.” Meyer coached Elliott as a member of the Buckeyes for three seasons with the team winning the national championship in 2014 thanks to the running back’s big season. It clearly seems like Meyer is suggesting Elliott needs some help to get himself back on track, but will he get that help?
The Dallas Cowboys will host the Indianapolis Colts this coming Saturday night with the preseason game scheduled to be televised on the NFL Network. It’s unknown if Ezekiel Elliott will participate, but based on the previous games, he may not be part of this exhibition game. If he’s not a part of the team’s first six games of the season, it will make bettors reconsider backing any bets involving Elliott or the Cowboys this coming season.
[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]