How Much Would You Make Betting On Sam Darnold Each Week?
The first rule of NFL betting: "Never bet on the Jets." Quarterback Sam Darnold spent the past three seasons learning why that adage is rooted in truth.
But Darnold got to escape New York this offseason. After the Jets chose Zach Wilson with the second overall pick in the NFL draft, Darnold landed in Carolina as the would-be Panthers starter.
This is the latest story in our series examining NFL quarterbacks against the spread. So how well has Darnold done against NFL spreads, and how much money would you have won betting on him each week of his career so far?
As a starter, Darnold is 14-24 ATS in his career. That nearly matches his 13-25 overall record in 38 starts.
Backing Darnold A Losing Proposition
Using our system of betting $100 on Darnold ATS each week of his career with the industry standard -110 line per point-spread bet available on most betting sites and betting apps, those who backed Darnold weekly would be down $1,127.40. Another reminder of why you should always avoid the Jets when wagering at top sportsbooks.
Not all spreads are created equally. In this instance we are using records against the spread for each game Darnold has started, according to Pro Football Reference.
We cannot envision a time-space continuum in which anyone would have backed the Jets every time Darnold started. Hometown fans of the Panthers in and around Charlotte are not able to legally wager on the Panthers right now. But a bill that would legalize sports betting in North Carolina is currently making its way through the state senate.
The Panthers have the misfortune to be in the NFC South, which means they’ll be chasing Tom Brady and the Bucs. Carolina is priced at +9000 with DraftKings to win Super Bowl 56. That same site has the Panthers at +4000 to win the NFC , and at +1000 to win the NFC South . Tampa Bay is the first choice in the NFC South at -200, followed by the Saints at +350 and Falcons at +900.
Let’s take a quick look at the projected 2021 win totals and playoff odds for the Panthers and Darnold. All bets in these two categories are voided if the Panthers do not play a full 17-game NFL schedule.
|Over 7.5 Wins||+100 at FanDuel|
|Under 7.5 Wins||-105 at DraftKings|
|Make Playoffs||Yes||+270 at FanDuel|
|No||-275 at DraftKings|
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The Panthers have a soft schedule – seventh easiest in the NFL - based on the final 2020 record of their opponents.
Sam Darnold 2021 Futures & Prop Bets To Watch
Darnold was taken third overall by the Jets in 2018. Darnold, still just 24 now, never had a chance at success in the Big Apple. First, he was playing for the Jets. Second, he was lost in the shadows of Brady (then with the Patriots) and Josh Allen in the AFC East.
Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady is in his second season in the NFL and is all of 31. Joe Brady developed Joe Burrow at LSU. He squeezed a productive 2020 out of journeyman QB Teddy Bridgewater, who threw for 3,733 yards and posted a 92.1 passer rating for the Panthers. And that was with RB Christian McCaffrey playing just three games.
Here are some related NFL futures and prop bets featuring Darnold, and how best to play them this season.
Sam Darnold Passing TDs
Here are the odds on total passing touchdowns for Darnold this season:
|Sam Darnold Passing TDs||Odds|
|Over 23.5||+100 at DraftKings|
|Under 23.5||-130 at DraftKings|
Check out our DraftKings sportsbook review for more information.
Darnold has yet to throw 20 TD passes in a single season. But again, he was with the Jets. So his previous stats don’t matter. The best comp here may be Bridgewater’s performance with the Panthers last year. He threw just 15 TD passes in 2020. So this number is a big ask.
But McCaffrey is back. If fully healthy, he might be worth a receiving TD or two. He will also give the play-action game some legitimacy and take pressure off Darnold, both on and off the field.
The Panthers have reloaded at the tight end position in an attempt to fill the gigantic hole created by Greg Olsen’s retirement two years ago. Here, take Darnold going over 23.5 TDs passing at +100 with DraftKings for the 2021 season.
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Sam Darnold Passing Yards
Here are the odds on total passing yards for Darnold this season:
|Over 3,850.5 Yards||-112 at FanDuel|
|Under 3,850.5 Yards||-112 at FanDuel|
|Over 3,950.5 Yards||-115 at DraftKings|
|Under 3,950.5 Yards||-115 at DraftKings|
This number nearly mirrors that of Bridgewater last season, who played in 15 games. A full season of Darnold with his new complement of tight ends, plus another 1,000-yard receiving season each from Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, and the return of a healthy McCaffrey in swing pass situations, offers a nice formula in hitting this mark. Especially in a 17-game season with a relatively soft schedule.
Back Darnold to go over 3,850.5 yards passing at -112 with FanDuel .
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This is the 21st story in our summer-long series examining NFL quarterbacks against the spread. You can see how Darnold compares to other QBs here:
Tom Brady | Ben Roethlisberger | Patrick Mahomes | Dak Prescott | Aaron Rodgers | Lamar Jackson | Jared Goff | Kyler Murray | Carson Wentz | Josh Allen | Cam Newton | Teddy Bridgewater | Drew Lock | Daniel Jones | Ryan Fitzpatrick | Ryan Tannehill | Derek Carr | Tua Tagovailoa | Trevor Lawrence | Matt Ryan