NFL Passing Yard Props Odds and Picks for League's Most Prolific Quarterback
by Trevor Whenham - 7/10/2014
As we look longingly into the horizon at the start of the NFL season, it is a good time to look for some value in places like NFL passing yard props. Here are some of my picks and predictions for the most interesting prices for the most prolific quarterbacks in the league in terms of yardage ( odds are from Sportsbook.ag):
Peyton Manning, +300: I was bearish on Manning as the favorite in this category this year, and that didn't work out well for me at all - he ran away with the passing title. Still, I remain skeptical this year. Manning still has the same issues - he's not getting any younger or more mobile, and his body is still not far removed from a very serious injury. The team has faced some real changes in the offseason, and they have to deal with the aftermath of a truly humiliating Super Bowl outing. I'm not saying that Manning can't win - obviously he is still more than capable. I just don't think that there is anything even remotely close to value in betting on him at this price.
Drew Brees, +400: Again, I have to be bearish here. Brees isn't getting any younger - he turned 35 in January - and since he has only missed two games in the last 10 years he has been through a whole lot of wear and tear. At some point all of the abuse is going to catch up to him. As good as he is, and as well as he passes, there just isn't enough appeal in betting on him at a price like this to make it attractive.
Aaron Rodgers, +600: I'm not trying to be the most negative guy on the planet, but I can't get excited about this option, either - not at the price. Rodgers is coming off an injury-riddled year, so we can't be sure how ready he will be. He has lost two of his favorite targets in Finley and Jones. He certainly could shine, but there is too much uncertainty to embrace this price.
Matthew Stafford, +700: Now this is where things get interesting. I am high on Stafford. He and the Lions got a much-needed coaching change. I like Caldwell, but the real advantage here is new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. He was previously Drew Brees' QB coach, and he should be an excellent fit for Stafford. The talent has never been in question, but Stafford makes too many mental mistakes that destroy his momentum. If Lombardi can work on that then the sky is the limit for Stafford. He certainly doesn't lack a top-level target. I like this price. A lot.
Tom Brady, +1000: I feel like a broken record, but Brady isn't getting any younger or more mobile. It also isn't clear who he is going to throw to - his receiving corps is far from world-class, and Gronkowski is a total mystery at this point. You can never count out a Michigan man, but there is no value in this price - not even close.
Matt Ryan, +1500: This is another price I quite like. I'd be happier if head coach Mike Smith had been replaced in Atlanta, but after a disaster of a season the mindset seems to be much-improved. He has talent around him, and he certainly has the arm to be a real contender here. He just didn't seem to care often enough last year. However, if he can show a better attitude he could really make things interesting. The price is solid.
Jay Cutler, +2000: I hesitate to trust Cutler, but at this price he makes some sense. Mostly that is because I am very high on head coach Marc Trestman. He is an excellent offensive coach, and in his second year in the position I expect the team to take a big step forward. Cutler has some decent targets, and he certainly has some talent. I don't love his attitude, but it should be improved now that he is the man in Chicago. If he could stay healthy he could be a factor in this race.
Philip Rivers, +2000: Here is another bet I like because the player has talent and is on an underappreciated team. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt left the Chargers to coach the Titans, but they stayed in house and gave former QB coach Frank Reich the job - an excellent choice for Rivers. This team was much-improved - especially mentally - last year in the first year of the Mike McCoy era. With another step forward the team could be really solid, and Rivers will be a big part of that. He is a much better player than he has looked like recently thanks to the huge negative impact of Norv Turner. This price is more than fair.
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