NFL

Which QB will lead the league in passing?

Minicamps are scheduled to kick off around the NFL this month, and that starts the gears grinding for football bettors looking ahead to the 2019 season. 

There’s still a lot of distance between now and Week 1, but you can kill that time by capping the vast menu of offseason NFL betting odds – like which quarterback will lead the NFL in passing yards this upcoming season. PointsBet has props on this exact market and we’re making our NFL picks and predictions for the league’s top QB.

WHO ARE THE FAVORITES?

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (+350)

Mahomes burst on the scene in 2018, putting up 5,097 yards passing in his first season as the Chiefs starter (second most in the NFL). He can’t take all the credit though: Mahomes was surrounded by an explosive group of skill players. He’s lost some of those weapons in 2019. Top receiver Tyreek Hill is in suspension limbo pending an investigation into child abuse claims and pass-catching running back Kareem Hunt is now in cryostasis for Cleveland for eight games. 

That leaves a “roll of the dice” in WR Sammy Watkins and TE Travis Kelce, who will be much easier to game plan for now that Andy Reid’s cupboard is getting bare. Mahomes cooled off as teams got more tape on Kansas City’s offense. He went over 300 yards passing in nine of his first 11 games, then broke that same mark just once in his last seven outings, including the postseason. 

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (+350)

“Matty Ice” finished third in passing yardage in 2018, connecting for 4,924 yards through the air. And it wasn’t all because of Julio Jones either… well, he did his part, with 1,677 yards receiving. Fellow receivers Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley did damage (both over 800 yards) and tight end Austin Hooper emerged as a true receiving threat as well.

Atlanta returns Dirk Koetter to the role of offensive coordinator this offseason, hoping to pick up where he and Ryan left off. In 2016, Koetter’s last season with the Falcons, Ryan finished second in passing (4,944 yards) and posted 38 touchdowns (second most in the NFL). Atlanta does face a tough schedule in 2019, with some solid defensive opponents standing in the way.

 

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (+350)

In what was supposed to be a “comeback season” in 2018, Luck looked like he never left after throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns (second most in NFL). Frank Reich’s offense fit Luck like a gnarly neck beard and more big stats are expected in 2019.

On top of T.Y. Hilton proving his spot among the NFL’s elite pass catchers, the Colts snatched up former Carolina WR Devin Funchess, who at 6-foot-4 gives Luck a tall target to complement Hilton’s wheels. Indy added Ohio State WR Parris Campbell in the draft and got a huge season from TE Eric Ebron, who was second in receiving on the team and caught 14 scores. 

UNDERDOGS WORTH A WAGER

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (+2,200)

Are oddsmakers that soured on Goff’s Super Bowl performance that they’d forget this guy finished fourth in total passing yards last season? Goff, who amounted 4,688 yards through the air in 2018, is a great value bet at this price. 

He has one of the best receiving corps in the NFL and should have Cooper Kupp back on the field to start the season. And if those rumblings about Todd Gurley’s health hold true, Goff may have to shoulder this explosive offense in 2019. The Rams also have the second-weakest schedule in the league, according to the SOS numbers.

 

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (+3,000)

Year 1 in Minnesota didn’t live up to the hype for Cousins but he still recorded 4,298 yards passing – 10th in the league – despite averaging just over seven yards per completion. Cousins is lobbying for a more explosive playbook and offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski is in his first full year after taking over the job mid-season in 2018.

Cousins, who was third in passing yards in 2016 while in Washington, has plenty of options in WRs Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Laquan Treadwell. He has a pass-catching back in Dalvin Cook and could have a new safety blanket in rookie TE Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama – even if Kyle Rudolph returns or not.

Desean Watson, Houston Texans (+4,000)

Watson put in a very solid 2018 campaign, given how his 2017 rookie season ended. The former championship-winning Clemson QB bounced back from that knee injury, passing for 4,165 yards despite having his receiving corps shredded by injuries.

DeAndre Hopkins was his anchor, finishing second in the NFL in receiving yards at 1,572, however Watson didn’t have No. 2 option Will Fuller or breakout target Keke Coutee in the mix most of the season, as both missed significant time with ailments. That trio is expected to be healthy and good to go come training camp, giving Houston one of the most dynamic downfield attacks in the league. I absolutely love the long-shot value with Watson at this price.

ODDS TO LEAD NFL IN PASSING YARDS 

Patrick Mahomes +350

Matt Ryan +350

Andrew Luck +350

Aaron Rodgers +625

Ben Roethlisberger +700

Baker Mayfield +1,200

Drew Brees +1,200

Jameis Winston +1,400

Philip Rivers +2,000

Tom Brady +2,000

Jared Goff +2,200

Carson Wentz +2,800

Kirk Cousins +3,000

Deshaun Watson +4,000

Kyler Murray +4,000

Jimmy Garoppolo +5,000

Matthew Stafford +5,000

Russell Wilson +6,600

Cam Newton +6,600

Nick Foles +10,000

Dak Prescott +10,000

Andy Dalton +10,000

Sam Darnold +10,000

Eli Manning +15,000

Mitch Trubisky +15,000

Marcus Mariota +15,000

Joe Flacco +15,000

Case Keenum +20,000

Josh Allen +20,000

Lamar Jackson +20,000

Daniel Jones +25,000

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