The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't get better when future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski officially retired – if you actually believe he will stay that way – but bettors at Caesars Sportsbook think Gronk's departure is going to lead to a huge season for Bucs Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans. Since the Gronk news dropped, Evans is taking by far the most action of any player to lead the NFL in receiving yards this year. He's currently +2000.
Evans is on a Hall of Fame path. Last year, he had 74 catches for 1,035 yards and 14 touchdowns. He needed 54 yards in the regular-season finale against Carolina to reach 1,000 for an eighth straight year, and Evans caught six balls for 89 yards and two scores from Tom Brady.
Those eight consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards receiving are an NFL record to start a career. Evans is only the sixth player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards in eight consecutive seasons, joining Jerry Rice (10), Tim Brown (nine), Marvin Harrison (eight), Cris Carter (eight) and Torry Holt (eight). All are Hall of Famers except Holt, and he'll get into Canton soon enough – he was a semifinalist for the Class of 2022.
Brown and Carter never led the league in receiving yards and neither has Evans. His career high was 1,524 yards in 2018 when Julio Jones led with 1,677. Before the Gronk retirement, Evans was +4000 on this prop at Caesars. Since, he has taken 44 percent of all the money on this prop and 39 percent of the tickets, both by far the most of any player in that span. Overall, Evans is second in dollars (12 percent) and fourth in tickets (seven percent).
It's possible Evans faces more double-teams early this season with Gronkowski gone and Chris Godwin perhaps landing on the physically unable to perform list while he rehabs from his torn ACL. That would sideline him the first six weeks of the season and leave newcomer Russell Gage as the No. 2 wideout.
The Rams' Cooper Kupp led the NFL with 1,947 receiving yards last year (second-most in history) and is the +800 favorite to repeat but is only taking four percent of all tickets and three percent of the money on this prop.
The leader on both counts is the Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb, who has taken 19 percent of all money and 12 percent of all tickets. That has dropped Lamb from +2500 to +1600. Remember, the Cowboys traded away Amari Cooper this offseason, so Lamb should be clear option No. 1 for Dak Prescott.
Looking for the best picks against the spread, sharp plays on the total, and props you can take straight to the pay window? Join Jonathan Coachman on the Early Edge as he speaks with SportsLine's top handicappers to preview the day's biggest games. We promise to keep it short, sweet and to put some green in your pocket. Early Edge is in your feed every single day by 11 a.m. ET. Subscribe right here on YouTube to watch daily, plus don't miss the Early Edge specials and live shows!