We’re a little over two weeks away from the start of the NFL season. That leaves us precious time to get our betting sheets in order before our lives get consumed by American football for the next four months.
So ahead of NFL kickoff, I’m going to dive into prop betting. The idea is to get an insight on which players, or coaches in some cases, offer good odds to accomplish certain achievements. It’s the game within the game, ladies and gentlemen. That’s what makes the NFL so unique from a betting standpoint compared to other professional sports leagues.
I’m gonna start with some QB odds, which has gained popularity in recent years with all these record-breaking performances. “Most Passing Yards” is a personal favorite of mine because it always ends up being an exciting race. This season, two of the best passers in the game are the co-favorites at 2/1 odds: Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. This is a toss-up, really, indicative of the offenses both QBs have at their disposal. It would have probably been a four-horse race if Aaron Rodgers (8/1 odds) and Tom Brady (20/1 odds) had better offenses to throw to. Matthew Stafford (7/1 odds) and Matt Ryan (12/1) are two other nice options, but I’m skeptical on those two guys because of a seeming lack of consistency in putting up big passing numbers. If there’s a sleeper here, I think it’s Andrew Luck. Wide receiver TY Hilton said that Luck basically has three number one receivers to throw to and at 20/1 odds, that could end up being a recipe for passing the most yards this season.
Unfortunately, it’s still either Brees or Manning in my opinion and since Manning broke Brees’ passing record last year, I see the Saints QB returning the favor this year.
A QB’s passing yards will only add up if his receivers catch the ball. The prop for “Most Receiving Yards” has familiar names at the top and one sleeper who I think has a chance at winning it. Calvin Johnson is the clear favorite at 3/1 odds. That much we can all agree on. But outside of Megatron, we have four receivers with similar single-digit odds: Demaryius Thomas (8/1), Dez Bryant (8/1), Julio Jones (9/1), and AJ Green (9/1). Of those four, I like Green the most because Andy Dalton will probably just chuck the ball his way akin to how Stafford does with Johnson. The other three receivers will likely share catches with teammates, cutting into their receiving yards total.
But the next guy on my list is my sleeper: Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown.
Currently, he’s at 16/1 odds, which is ridiculously high for somebody who finished second last season in this category, next to a guy who will probably get suspended for an entire year. The sheer volume of catches Brown gets (he had 110 receptions last season) should allow him to pile up his totals north of the 1,499 yards he had last season.
While we’re at receivers, now’s the time to also look at Most Touchdowns for the season. Obviously, this prop excludes quarterbacks so it’s strictly a receiver/running back/ tight end category. I did say tight end, right? That’s because the leader in the clubhouse so far is Jimmy Graham at 10/1 odds. Thomas, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski aren’t far behind at 14/1 odds apiece. Further down the list are some notable names that include Bryant (16/1), Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (16/), Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (16/1) and arguably the best value pick of any prop, the Minnesota Vikings’ workhorse tailback Adrian Peterson at 20/1.
Speaking of All Day, he’s the favorite among running backs to finish with the “Most Rushing Yards” this season at 3/1. Philly’s LeSean McCoy is a close second at 4/1 and from there the odds drop to Charles at 12/1, the Washington Redskins’ Alfred Morris at 14/1, and Lynch and Lacy each at 16/1. Do I have a sleeper pick here? You bet I do. Give me a slice of CJ Spiller at 33/1, baby!