Thursday, November 8, 2007

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson is on pace to set all kinds of records this year, but will he? Sportsbook.com is offering odds that Peterson will break Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record of 1808 yards. The line is Yes -250/No +190, meaning that the bookies think he has somewhere between a 65.5% and 71.4% chance to do it.

To break the record, Peterson needs 773 yards in his final eight games. It's easy to say that he's on pace for another 1036, so he should break the mark with room to spare. I, on the other hand, think this is another case where we're not giving fair consideration to regression to the mean.

773 yards in eight games is a full-season pace of 1546 yards. How many running backs were projected to top 1546 yards before the season started? Just one, according to KUBIAK: Frank Gore, who's not exactly lighting the world on fire right now.

Furthermore, Gore isn't splitting time. Peterson has Chester Taylor taking ten carries a game from him. Though AP took the rock 30 times Sunday, that looks like an aberration; he should get about 20 carries per game the rest of the way, IF he stays healthy.

With 160 carries, Peterson needs to average over 4.83 yards per carry to break the record. I'll gladly take the Under on that. Feel free to search for a running back who averaged 4.9 yards or better as a starter in his rookie year; you'll be busy for awhile. Furthermore, given Peterson's dominant stats and the Vikings' total lack of passing game, it's very likely defenses will key in on Purple Jesus the rest of the way.

Getting +190, I have to strongly recommend the Under here, which should probably hit 50% of the time or so.

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