Free NFL Picks: Expert Predictions for Wide Receiver Touchdown Props
Wide receivers generally don't have the smallest egos at the best of times. And the guy who leads the league in receiving touchdowns isn't going to see his ego shrink. He's not going to get more bearable. So, our job today is to look at the strongest contenders to lead the league in receiving touchdowns according to the prop odds at BetOnline to see if there is any betting value to be had. One spoiler up front - the leading receiver isn't going to play for the Jets. I'm pretty sure you have to have a quarterback in order to score passing touchdowns.
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Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (+450): Brown is a machine. Last year he had an impressive 1,284 yards receiving, and that was down from the previous three years. He also missed a game last year. Brown is consistently excellent, and he has great chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger. He has a career high of 13 TD catches, though, which won't be good enough to lead here. And it sure doesn't feel like Roethlisberger is entering a more productive, explosive phase of his career. Brown will have very solid numbers, but I'm just not willing to bet at this price that he will finally be tops here.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay (+500): Nelson led the league last year. He was second in 2014. And he missed all of 2015 to injury. Aaron Rodgers should be himself again this year, so Nelson is going to score a lot of touchdowns - as long as he can stay healthy. Picking the favorite target of one of the two best quarterbacks in the league is never a bad strategy, so Nelson is a reasonable play at this price. And all you have to do if you bet him is hold your breath that he doesn't get hit in the knee or take a bad step.
Odell Beckham, New York Giants (+650): Beckham would have no trouble telling you he is the best receiver on the planet. In his mind I'm sure it isn't even close. He's good, alright, but I'm not convinced he can lead this category. He has topped out at 13 touchdowns in his three-year career. Eli Manning isn't getting younger, and his TD production fell off last year. Last year Beckham play a full season for the first time, and had a career-low 10 scores. I'm not willing to bet on a major Manning surge, so the numbers just aren't likely to be there for Beckham.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay (+650): Evans unquestionably has the upside to lead the league in touchdowns, and I am very bullish on Jameis Winston this year. There is a lot to like. Betting him would be a bumpy ride, though. In his rookie year and last year he had 12 touchdowns each time. In between he had just three despite putting up pretty solid numbers otherwise. So, while I like the price and like him, Nelson has to be seen as a safer pick.
Dez Bryant, Dallas (+1000): At his best, as he was in 2014, Bryant is as good as there is. If I could bet that Bryant at this price I'd bet the farm on it. The last two years, though, have been frustrating as he has struggled through injuries and hasn't been his old self. So, is he going to be back at full strength? And even if he is will he have the chemistry with Dak Prescott to put up massive numbers? And are there enough passing touchdowns to be had given how much Dallas likes to run these days? Too many reasons to bet against him here, unfortunately.
Rob Gronkowski, New England (+1200): This is just an idiotic bet. If you want to bet this, just put your money in an envelope and send it to me - you'll lose it either way, and this way it will get used for better purposes. Gronkowski led the league in 2011. Since then he has missed significant parts of three seasons to injury - including last year. I don't even remotely trust him to stay healthy all year, and even if he does I don't think that the New England offense will be built around him like it was in the past because they don't trust his health, either, and they have proven decisively that they are just fine without him. Terrible play.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (+1400): This one is interesting at this price. Thomas had nine touchdowns as a rookie last year, and he is going to have an even bigger role this year. Drew Brees isn't suddenly going to pass less, and Thomas will get more than his share of targets. Thomas needs to come close to doubling his touchdowns to lead this category, and that doesn't happen too often. However, he is going to get plenty of chances, and the price is right to gamble here.
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