Vegas Trusts Ja'Marr Chase to Stop the Drops in Cincinnati, But Should You?

Ja'Marr Chase is still getting used to life in the NFL.
Ja'Marr Chase is still getting used to life in the NFL. / Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services,

Ja’Marr Chase had one of the worst possible preseasons imaginable. 

The No. 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft was expected to take the NFL by storm playing with his college quarterback Joe Burrow, but he’s looked extremely rusty after sitting out the 2020 college football season. Chase caught just one pass all preseason, but what’s more concerning is the fact that he dropped four passes in three games.

Yikes. Chase may be one of the better receivers in this class, but it’s going to be really hard to trust him to start the season strong, right? Vegas is thinking quite the opposite. 

Despite the fact that the Cincinnati Bengals have two other solid receivers in Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, the oddsmakers at WynnBET still have Chase and Higgins tied at +2000 odds to lead the NFL and Bengals in receiving in Week 1. 

Did we all watch the same Ja’Marr Chase this preseason? No disrespect to Chase, but there’s no way that I’d trust him to immediately shake off the rust in Week 1. The guy hasn’t played in a football game that mattered (other than these three preseason games) since the 2019 National Championship Game. 

To go even further, rookie wide receivers don’t usually light the league on fire in their first game. Since 2018, only Terry McLaurin and Marquise Brown have been among the top 30 players in receiving yards in Week 1 of the season. 

In the 2020 season that saw Justin Jefferson, Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy, Jalen Reagor, Brandon Aiyuk and CeeDee Lamb all go in the first round, not one of those receivers was among the top 30 players in receiving yardage in Week 1. 

Jefferson still went on to finish with 1,400 receiving yards, but it took him a few weeks to really find his footing and role in the offense. I expect a similar fate for Chase this year, especially after how much he’s struggled early on. 

Maybe Chase is a gamer and will find a new gear in Week 1, but this seems to be more about rust than anything talent wise. I don’t think Higgins will lead the league in receiving yards in Week 1, but he’s certainly a better bet than Chase to do so at this point.

Want to fade Ja'Marr Chase with me in Week 1? Download the WynnBET app now.