NFL Most Rushing Touchdown Odds: Why Is Lions RB David Montgomery 30-1?

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Written By Zach Tilley | Last Updated
david montgomery

Training camp is well underway for the Detroit Lions in Allen Park, MI. Head coach Dan Campbell, and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will be looking to keep the Lions offense rolling, as it did last season under their watch. A surprise in NFL betting last year, the Lions offense finished fourth in total yards per game (380.0). The offensive unit also ranked fourth in red zone touchdown percentage at 66.18%, a massive improvement from the previous year (46.67% in 2021). That has led many bettors to be optimistic about Lions odds across the board this offseason, perhaps even in some longshot props for new RB David Montgomery.

A big reason for all of the offensive success was a strong run-blocking offensive line and running back Jamaal Williams, now in New Orleans. He notably led the league in 2022 with 17 rushing touchdowns, which passed Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, who held the franchise record of 16 since 1991. Might that role in the offense produce a ton at the goal line again?

New backfield, new opportunities

With Jamaal Williams gone, and D’Andre Swift traded to Philadelphia, in comes David Montgomery. Lured away from the Chicago Bears, Montgomery signed a three-year contract in Detroit for $18 million.

Theoretically, the Detroit Lions now have a similar, but younger, and maybe improved 1-2 punch in the backfield entering the season:

1. David Montgomery (replacing Jamaal Williams): strong runner, great vision in between the tackles, running behind an offensive line that absolutely MAULS in the red zone.

2. Jahmyr Gibbs (replacing D’Andre Swift): 12th overall pick for the Lions out of Alabama, where he showed dynamic playmaking ability in space.

Gibbs’ number may be called in the red zone at times, but it certainly appears that GM Brad Holmes assembled these two backs to improve the backfield, while also continuing a very similar scheme. So the big question is, if David Montgomery is in Detroit to replace a league-leading, franchise record-breaking rushing touchdown scorer … isn’t this season-long prop number slightly low?

The Lions should also be in a healthy amount of positive game scripts this season. Although they are about touchdown underdogs in NFL Week 1 odds, Detroit is favored in 12 games this season in NFL look-ahead lines.

David Montgomery Total Rushing Touchdowns prop

2022 Red Zone rushing

Take a look at the league leaders in red zone rushing attempts last season:

PlayerRushing Attempts Inside the 10 (% of rushes)Rushing Attempts Inside the 5 (% of rushes)Touchdowns Scored Inside the 10
Jamaal Williams (DET)45 (73.8%)28 (84.8%)15
Joe Mixon (CIN)29 (58.0%)14 (63.6%)6
Jalen Hurts (PHI)26 (36.1%)20 (48.8%)11
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)26 (61.9%)16 (69.6%)11
Miles Sanders (PHI)26 (36.1%)11 (26.8%)8
Dalvin Cook (MIN)24 (53.3%)15 (60.0%)6
Derrick Henry (TEN)17 (70.8%)15 (88.2%)10

Montgomery’s Production in chicago

David Montgomery is entering his fifth season in the NFL. A third round pick out of Iowa State, he didn’t exactly light it up in Chicago. This may be one reason why sportsbooks have the season rushing touchdown total where it is. However, consider the fact that Justin Fields has been a major red zone touches stealer for the past two season.

Here are David Montgomery’s rushing stats in each of his first four seasons, all with the Bears:

  • 2019: 242 ATT, 849 YDS, 6 TD
  • 2020: 247 ATT, 1,070 YDS, 8 TD
  • 2021: 225 ATT, 849 YDS, 7 TD
  • 2022: 201 ATT, 801 YDS, 5 TD

NFL Rushing touchdown leader odds

If you aren’t satisfied with simply taking Montgomery’s Over rushing touchdowns, let’s take it one step further.

Jamaal Williams led the NFL in rushing touchdowns last season by a considerable margin. Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, and Jalen Hurts all had 13 rushing TDs last year, tied for second behind Jamaal’s 17 rushing TDs.

Should Montgomery be to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 2023? If you believe David Montgomery is one of the five running backs with the best chance to do it this season, those odds seem too long.

It also doesn’t hurt that two of the top-five favorites on the board (Jonathan Taylor and Josh Jacobs) are very much disgruntled with their teams over contract situations.

NFC North Odds

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