NFL FREE PICKS
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NFL Preview: Best Bet to Lead the NFL in Sacks – Aug 01
Last season, we saw Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher T.J. Watt tie Michael Strahan’s all-time single-season sack record with 22.5. Watt is the first player to be the league’s sack leader in consecutive seasons since Philadelphia Eagles legend Reggie White, did so in 1987 and 1988. As a result, Watt is deservingly considered the favourite to lead the league in sacks for a third straight season. Although, if history is any indication, it is unlikely that Watt accomplishes this feat.
Sacks are about more than just having the ability to get to the quarterback. We must consider things such as opportunity and durability when evaluating this market. For example, playing alongside another talented pass rusher forces offensive lines to respect both players, creating one-on-one opportunities with offensive lineman. You can see it in the odds: there are multiple pass-rushing duos on the same team who are amongst the league’s favourites to earn the sack leader title, such as Joey Bosa/Khalil Mack and Chandler Jones/Maxx Crosby. Although, at the same time, these players are also hurting each other’s chances to rack up sacks because they are sharing the sack totals.
Next, strength of schedule also impacts opportunity. Having an easy schedule and being on a team that will be winning a majority of their games will most likely force opponents to have to throw more, creating more sack opportunities in the process. On the other hand, having a tough schedule or playing for a team that will lose a majority of their games puts the opponent in situations where they do not need to pass as much, which in turn will reduce the amount of sack opportunities a player gets.
All things considered, there is one name that sticks out more than the rest: Cincinnati Bengals defensive end, Trey Hendrickson. Only missing two games in the last two seasons, Hendrickson ranks third in the NFL in sacks since 2020, with a total of 27.5. Surrounded by good-not-great pass rushing counterparts on his defensive line, Hendrickson is also the unquestioned leader of this defense and the alpha presence in terms of getting to the quarterback.
Hendrickson is a high-motor player who possesses the skills and relentlessness needed to lead the league in sacks. He also plays for a team that is widely-considered to be a Super Bowl contender in what is one of the strongest and most competitive divisions in football, which should set him and the Bengals up for several close games and high-pressure situations where he will be needed to take down the quarterback. Hendrickson can be found at DraftKings Sportsbook (+1700).
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