The Need For Speed: DraftKings Sportsbook Unveils Intriguing New NFL Bets

Written By Brett Gibbons on August 18, 2021

The NFL’s betting market is ever-expanding, giving bettors some pretty niche opportunities. This article will take a look at two new markets for the 2021 season – NFL fastest player odds (specifically fastest ball carrier) and fastest recorded sack.

DraftKings Sportsbook offers prices on several players and NFL NextGen Stats records top speeds for ball carriers and the seconds from snap to sack. How are bettors supposed to make an informed decision?

Let’s dive into the market and past results.

NFL Fastest Player odds (Fastest Ball Carrier)

This market is currently only available at DraftKings Sportsbook Pennsylvania and DraftKings Sportsbook New Jersey.

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Tyreek Hill
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+600
Raheem Mostert
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+650
Mecole Hardman
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+1200
Kenyan Drake
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+1200
Henry Ruggs
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+1200
Jonathan Taylor
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+1200
Matt Breida
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+1400
Saquon Barkley
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+1600
Nick Chubb
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+1600
Diontae Spencer
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+1600
Robby Anderson
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+1600
DK Metcalf
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+1800
Nyheim Hines
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+1800
Dede Westbrook
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+1800
Rondale Moore
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+1800
Anthony Schwartz
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+2000
Phillip Lindsay
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+2200
Nelson Agholor
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+2200
Elijah Moore
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+2200
Derrick Henry
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+2200
John Ross
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+2200
Justiin Jefferson
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+2200
Ja'Marr Chase
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+2500
Jakeem Grant
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+2800
DJ Moore
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+3500
Robert Foster
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+3500
Isaiah McKenzie
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+3500
AJ Brown
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+3500

*Odds as of August 18, 2021

What You Need To Know About Ball Carrier Speeds

While it might seem easy enough to Google each player’s 40-yard-dash time, that won’t be enough to make an informed bet. Many of the top players on the odds board do post impressive 40 times– specifically, the favorite Tyreek Hill (4.29). However Saquon Barkley (4.41), Kenyan Drake (4.45), and Nick Chubb (4.52) aren’t breaking any records.

When it comes to considering the top speed reached for ball carriers this season, you also have to consider breakaway opportunities. Since the stat was tracked in 2016, the top-five fastest speeds reached averaged 64 yards gained on those plays.

Since then, just three plays in the top five each season went for under 30 yards and, of those, only one was not a kick return (note: those two kickoff returns were long touchdowns but called back for penalties, officially being recorded as sub-30 yard returns).

According to the NFL, Jonathan Taylor and Chubb are among the top-10 most explosive runners from a season ago. Per Sharp Football Analysis, the Browns are the NFL’s top explosive run team while Indianapolis is seventh. Also worth noting, the Chiefs ranked fifth in 2020 in explosive pass plays.

Taking all of these factors into account can help narrow the field down, but that still doesn’t quite explain everything.

Related: NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds?

Fastest NFL Ball Carriers Since 2016

It’s interesting to note that Tyreek Hill has not been the fastest ball carrier in the NFL in any of the past four seasons, despite opening as the favorite in this new market.

PlayerMPHPlay
2020
Raheem Mostert23.0980-yard rush TD
Raheem Mostert22.7376-yard TD reception
Kenyan Drake22.1169-yard rush TD
2019
Matt Breida22.3083-yard rush TD
Cordarrelle Patterson22.2346-yard rush
Brandon Wilson22.0392-yard kickoff return TD
2018
Matt Breida22.0933-yard rush TD
Dalvin Cook22.0770-yard rush
Devin McCourty22.0584-yard interception return TD
2017
Leonard Fournette22.0590-yard rush TD
Leonard Fournette21.7675-yard rush TD
Martavis Bryant21.7222-yard kickoff return TD
2016
Tyreek Hill23.2427-yard kickoff return
Tyreek Hill22.7786-yard kickoff return TD
DeSean Jackson22.6059-yard reception

NFL Fastest Sack odds

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Montez Sweat
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+750
Chase Young
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+900
Myles Garrett
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+900
Chandler Jones
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+1000
Darius Leonard
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+1000
TJ Watt
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+1200
Aaron Donald
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+1200
Devin White
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+1400
Jason Pierre-Paul
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+1400
Budda Baker
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+1600
Haason Reddick
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+1600
Devin Bush Jr.
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+1600
Antoine Winfield Jr.
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+1600
Micah Parsons
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+1600
Derwin James
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+1600
Shaq Barrett
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+1800
Yannick Ngakoue
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+1800
Jamin Davis
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+1800
Bobby Wagner
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+1800
Greg Rousseau
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+1800
Bud Dupree
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+1800
Joey Bosa
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+2000
Kelvin Joseph
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+2000
Jaelan Phillips
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+2000
Khalil Mack
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+2000
Joseph Ossai
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+2000
K'Lavon Chaisson
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+2000
JJ Watt
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+2000
Von Miller
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+2000
Matt Judon
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+2000

*Odds as of August 18, 2021

What You Need To Know About Sack Speeds

The NFL fastest player odds for fastest sack had some surprising results in previous years. Fastest sack is determined by the quickest time from snap to sack. Oftentimes, this will come due to a free rusher or an explosive player that dismisses their block in the quickest amount of time. How quickly can that be done? Very quickly, if you’re an elite pass rusher.

The league’s top pass rushers like Myles Garrett and Chase Young have appeared on the fastest sack list more than once. However, linebackers and defensive backs who come free on blitzes have a better chance at recording the fastest sack for a number of reasons. First, they’re simply faster than typical edge rushers (though that gap is closing each year). Secondly, they don’t have to waste time getting off a block.

Do note, this doesn’t mean that blitz-happy teams dominate the fastest sack times; in 2020, the top three most blitz-heavy teams didn’t place in the top-five fastest sacks. The fastest sack of 2020– recorded by linebacker Darius Leonard– came from the Colts, who blitzed the second least in the NFL.

While this stat can be less predictable than betting on the NFL fastest player / ball carrier, it can still be fun.

Fastest Sacks Since 2016

Montez Sweat may be the favorite in the betting odds, but he did not have the fastest sack in either of his two years in the league; although, he did come close as a rookie in 2019 with a time that was better than any sack in 2020.

PlayerPositionSeconds
2020
Darius LeonardLB2.00
Haason ReddickEDGE2.04
Antoine Winfield Jr.S2.06
2019
Briean Boddy-CalhounCB1.47
Montez SweatLB1.97
Harrison SmithS1.97
2018
Marcus WilliamsS1.54
Chris JonesDT1.95
Myles GarrettEDGE1.97
2017
Calais CampbellEDGE2.03
Demario DavisLB2.09
Samson EbukamEDGE2.23
2016
Cam JohnsonEDGE1.82
Cameron WakeEDGE2.06
Cliff AvrilEDGE2.08

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