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NFL Receiving Leader Odds & 2020 Best Bets You Should Back

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 6 mins

NFL Receiving Leader Odds & 2020 Best Bets You Should Back

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Michael Thomas caught more passes in 2019 than any other wide receiver had ever caught in a single season. Ever.

Thomas hauled in 149 receptions, compiling 1,725 yards for the New Orleans Saints, ranking first place in the NFL in both instances. He was named Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year, the first receiver to win the award since Jerry Rice in 1993.

Thomas is the rightful NFL betting favorite to repeat as the receiving champion, but there are other 1,000-yard pass-catchers back. And several are in situations that could allow them to push Thomas at the top.

Here are the current odds for the top contenders to lead the league in receiving yards.

Most NFL Receiving Yards 2020 Odds

Player Best Odds
Michael Thomas, Saints +600 (BetMGM)
Julio Jones, Falcons +900 (PointsBet)
Davante Adams, Packers +1400 (DraftKings)
Chris Godwin, Bucs +1600 (BetMGM)
Tyreek Hill, Chiefs +1800 (BetMGM)
DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals +1800 (DraftKings)
Mike Evans, Bucs +2000 (BetMGM)
Kenny Golladay, Lions +2000 (bet365)
Odell Beckham Jr., Browns +3000 (BetMGM)
Adam Thielen, Vikings +3300 (FanDuel)
Amari Cooper, Cowboys +3300 (PointsBet)
Calvin Ridley, Falcons +3300 (FanDuel)
Cooper Kupp, Rams +3300 (FanDuel)
Travis Kelce, Chiefs +3300 (bet365)
T.Y. Hilton, Colts +3500 (BetMGM)
Juju Smith-Schuster, Steelers +3500 (BetMGM)
Keenan Allen, Chargers +3500 (BetMGM)
Courtland Sutton, Broncos +3500 (BetMGM)

NFL odds are current as of publication.

CHECK OUT: Our Ultimate Guide To Betting The NFL In 2020

NFL Receiving Leader Betting Tips

Seriously? Someone Other Than Thomas?

Thomas caught 33 more passes than any other receiver in 2019. He gained 331 more yards than anyone else, too. Is fading the Saints star a waste of money?

Not necessarily. Despite the dynamic Drew Brees-to-Thomas connection, New Orleans pass offense ranked just seventh. The Saints addressed the lack of production among the rest of the skill spots by adding two-time Pro Bowl WR Emmanuel Sanders and two-time Pro Bowl TE Jared Cook. Thomas will surely be the top target, but Brees can now look elsewhere with confidence. The moves make the Saints stronger, but brings Thomas back down to earth stats-wise – to some extent, anyway.

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Quantity Is Better Than Quality

Five players caught 100 or more receptions in 2019. Only two of them finished in the top 10 in yards gained. Instead, yards per reception is a better indicator of season-leading yards gained. Barring the anomaly that was Thomas, all but two others averaged at least 13.5 yards per reception.

Among the players who caught at least 70 passes and averaged 13.5 ypc in 2019: DeVante Parker, Chris Godwin, Courtland Sutton, Amari Cooper, John Brown, Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., DJ Chark and D.J. Moore.

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Watch the Yardage Benchmark

For the last 13 years, every receiving leader has finished with a minimum of 1,488 yards. Last season, Thomas was the only WR to hit that mark.

But three of those who were close missed action. Jones, who finished second at 1,394 yards, missed a full game. Chris Godwin, who took third at 1,333 yards, missed two games. Mike Evans (1,157 yards) missed three.

Health is critical: Only three times since 1988 has the receiving champion played fewer than 16 games (twice they played 14; one played 15). That could give pause to backing the likes of DeVante Parker, who has managed a full 16 games just once in five seasons. Amari Cooper played in a combined 15 games in 2017 and 2018, and Davante Adams hasn’t played a full 16 in three years.

Be Wary of Teammate Competition

It’s can be hard to gain 1,500-plus yards when a viable teammate lines up on the other side of the formation.

Tom Brady has come to Tampa Bay, which is great news for Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. But Rob Gronkowski is coming to town, as well. Brady can spread the ball around better than anyone; great for the Buccaneers, not great for a receiving title.

Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce of the Chiefs is another good example, and Thomas has new competition for passes.

NFL Receiving Leader 2020 Picks

Julio Jones, Falcons (+900)

NFL Receiving Leader Odds & 2020 Best Bets You Should Back 1

Jones has missed one game in three years, and he sees as many targets as anyone. Last year he saw the ball 157 times, but the 99 receptions were low in comparison. The year before, however, he saw 170 targets and had 113 receptions for an NFL-leading 1,677 yards.

He can get back to that level. Calvin Ridley isn’t going to steal a lot of passes, but he and TE Hayden Hurst can keep defenses honest enough. Matt Ryan needs a bounceback season and, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to be with Jones as the No. 1 he has proven to be. He should stay healthy, he’ll get targets and he can make plays. Everyone is chasing Thomas, but Jones has shown he can reach those heights. Get Jones for the best odds at PointsBet.

Davante Adams, Packers (+1400)

NFL Receiving Leader Odds & 2020 Best Bets You Should Back 2

Adams managed only 12 games last season, but the year before he played 15. In 2018 Adams had a massive 169 targets and 111 receptions for 1,386 yards. Finding a No. 2 WR to complement Adams was a key offseason priority, but Green Bay famously whiffed in a draft full of options, trading up for QB prospect Jordan Love.

So once again, it’s Aaron Rodgers, Adams and a bunch of unproven other options. If Adams stays healthy, he’ll see as many targets as anyone, and he has the tangibles to make plays. Secure the highest odds for Adams at DraftKings.

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.