Shockey Has New Home, New Props From Bodog
by Matt Severance - 07/22/2008
Jeremy Shockey's pending trade from the New York Giants to the New Orleans Saints has spurred Bodog Sportsbook to put out a few interesting prop bets for the outspoken tight end for the upcoming season.
Is Shockey an upgrade over any tight end the Saints have had in years? No question. In fact, New Orleans tight ends have combined for a total of only 11 touchdown catches in the past four seasons; Shockey has 23. The former University of Miami star's best pro season was his rookie year in 2002, when he caught 74 passes for 894 yards. His offensive coordinator then was current Saints head coach Sean Payton (who also made Dallas tight end Jason Witten into a big-time offensive threat).
Shockey has caught at least 48 passes in all six of his seasons and made the Pro Bowl four times. But he also has never played all 16 games in a season and was limited to 14 in 2007 after he broke his leg in December and missed the Giants' Super Bowl run. He still managed 57 catches for 619 yards, far better numbers than New Orleans' top tight end, Eric Johnson, who caught 48 balls for 378 yards.
Thus if Shockey can stay healthy, the over bet on the total of 699 yards receiving this season would seem a good wager. He has surpassed that total only twice in his career, but he reached 600+ yards in three other seasons - and that was on a team that wasn't as pass-friendly as the Saints will be. He will be used as Drew Brees' favorite weapon in the seams of defenses and will open up room for Marques Colston and Reggie Bush.
The over/under total for receptions for Shockey this season is 68. If he plays in at least 15 games in 2008, as he has done in four of his six seasons, that's only an average of a little under five catches a game to surpass that over total. However, the Saints will still use Johnson, assuming he makes the roster after dealing with an offseason ankle injury, so there could be some competition for catches.
The final prop bet involves Shockey's receiving yardage total for this season compared to his replacement in New York, second-year player Kevin Boss. Oddsmakers list the over/under as the difference between the two players as -250 for Shockey.
Assuming Shockey only hits on his average seasonal yardage total of 705, that means Boss would need to hit 455 yards receiving this season. Asking this from a player who only had nine regular-season catches last year and added five during the playoff run seems unlikely. In addition, Boss, considered more of a blocker, will be competing with Darcy Johnson and Michael Matthews for playing time. Taking Shockey -250 seems like a near lock.
Shockey still is recovering from surgery on his leg and ankle that ended his season early last year, but he is expected to be fine in time for the start of the regular season. He must pass a physical for the trade to be official, in which the Saints gave up second- and fifth-round draft picks in 2009.
New Orleans' first training camp practice is Thursday in Jackson, Miss.