NFL Betting Props: Most Passing Yards Odds with Expert Predictions
We're going to look at the prop for the most passing yards by a QB to see if we can find some betting value. What we are really looking at, though, is whether anyone can knock Drew Brees for the perch he has an iron grip on. For five of the last six years, including the last three, Brees has been tops in the league in passing yards. And in 2013 he still passed for 5,162 yards - and finished second to Peyton Manning. He's a passing yards machine. So, will he keep it up, or will someone finally wrestle his crown from him?
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Drew Brees, New Orleans (+200): Brees is obviously capable of winning and deserving of favoritism. But let's look at the knocks against him. For starters, the Saints aren't very good, but then they haven't been very good lately, and that hasn't got in his way. He's 38 and will turn 39 before the Super Bowl is played. That's obviously getting long in the tooth, but then Tom Brady led the NFL in passing touchdowns for the fourth time at 38, so age doesn't have to be an elimination necessarily. So, Brees is indeed a deserving favorite. It all comes down to the price. It is basically impossible to justify tying up your money for an entire season for this kind of potential return, though, so if you believe in Brees then that pretty much makes this prop unbettable.
Tom Brady, New England (+450): Brady has led the league in passing yards twice but not since 2007. He has won the Super Bowl twice and made the Pro Bowl eight times since then, so it's not like not being the top passer has hurt him. Even last year where he was red hot in his 12 games after his suspension he was still about 700 yards behind Brees if you expanded his performance to 16 games. Brady just keeps getting smarter as a player as he gets older, and he knows he doesn't have to be a reckless gunslinger to win games. He cares only about winning now, and he's good at it. That works against him here. I don't see any value in this bet here.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta (+550): I hate this price. I can see how people can't convince themselves that this is a good idea. He was second last year, so he's capable. Driven to wash away the humiliation of last season, and surrounded by largely the same cast that supported him en route to the MVP hardware last year, he could be driven to even higher heights. While I respect that thinking, I don't buy into it. Ryan and the Falcons haven't been noted for their mental toughness in recent years, so I don't entirely trust that they can shake off the Super Bowl so easily. And Kyle Shanahan is gone and has been replaced by the far inferior offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. That will have a big impact on Ryan. I don't expect Ryan to match last year's accomplishments, and that won't be enough for him here.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (+1000): Brees has had five 5,000+ yard seasons. Rodgers has never exceeded 4,643. Brees has bested that the last six years. Rodgers is efficient and dangerous, but he just isn't a high volume yardage guy. In part that is because he doesn't need to be, and his offense isn't built as aggressively as the Saints have crafted theirs for Brees. I don't see any value here at all.
Kirk Cousins, Washington (+1400): There would be nothing that could provide more poetic justice than Cousins winning this crown. The way that the Redskins have treated him when it comes to a contract is totally mystifying. It makes no sense at all. I mean, if Cousins isn't good enough for Washington then just what do they want? I'd love to see him have a monster year then tell them to shove it and head elsewhere and win big. And he could do it, too. He had 4,917 passing yards last year, which was third best in the league and less than 300 yards behind Brees. It was a big step forward in performance in many ways, and he is only entering his third full year as a starter, so there is still room for him to grow. If you don't want to bet on Brees then it's not tough to make the argument that this is the most attractive alternative.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (+1400): This price, on the other hand, is crazy. Luck is hurt, and no one knows if he will be healthy by the time the season rolls around. Rumors are out there that he could start the season on the PUP list, and that would cost him six games. Even if he does get back he'll be rusty and likely tentative, and it's not like he has an all-star cast around him to prop him up and help him get back to full steam. This just isn't happening, and this bet wouldn't be attractive at three times this price.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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