By Bill Speros | | 8 mins
Top NFL Rookie Prop Bet Odds: 5 Over/Under Wagers To Back
The NFL welcomes a host of big-name rookies in 2021. Several betting markets are now available for season totals among some of the notable names drafted this past week in Cleveland.
The Jacksonville Jaguars surprised no one as bettors cashed on -10000 odds when the league’s worst team chose Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence as the first overall pick. Urban Meyer was so enamored with the opportunity to coach Lawrence that be ended his latest retirement to take over all that is football – including coaching – in Jacksonville.
Here are five markets worth backing based on current over/under totals among the top projected NFL rookies.
Keep in mind these totals are now based on a 17-game season with the AFC team getting the extra home game.
Trevor Lawrence – Jaguars QB
Under 4,250 Yards/Under 24.5 TDs
Trevor Lawrence is ready to take over in Jacksonville ?— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 30, 2021
Jags fans have been waiting for this moment. pic.twitter.com/2C9knOsuhQ
The record for most touchdowns thrown by an NFL rookie QB is 27 by Baker Mayfield in 2018. Mayfield did it in only 13 starts. He broke the mark set by Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning. Depending on whether or not you want to back Lawrence going over or under – you can shop around. His total for touchdowns is 23.5 at Unibet and 24.5 at PointsBet.
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There is also a disparity in total-yards markets on Lawrence. His total is 4,150 yards passing (-112) at PointsBet and DraftKings, while it sits at 4,250 yards (-112) for customers of Unibet.
Lawrence will be the focus of the Jaguars and – barring injury – he will be Urban Meyer’s starting quarterback in Week 1. Meyer loaded up on players from Big Name schools in the draft, starting with Lawrence and continuing with Lawrence’s Clemson teammate, running back Travis Etienne, with the 25th pick overall in the first round.
But Etienne was not Jacksonville’s first second choice.
For those who like random omens, the Jaguars did not score confidence points when Meyer openly lamented the lost opportunity to pick Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney with the No. 25 pick. The Giants snagged Toney at No. 20, a move which Meyer – who won two national titles coaching in Gainesville – says “broke his heart.”
Meyer did not come out of retirement to run the ball. Lawrence will get his reps, but at the same time, Meyer has to protect his franchise’s most important investment since its inception.
To hit the over of 4,150 yards passing, Lawrence will have to average 245 yards per game over a 17-game run. Nineteen QBs in the NFL averaged more than 245 per game passing last season, but only 10 threw for more than 4,150 yards. A total of 18 threw for 24 or more touchdowns.
The key here is whether or not Lawrence starts and plays all 17 games. If he does, the over on 4,150 could be gettable. But among those who fell short of that magic number in 2020 were Baker Mayfield, Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray. The under on 4,250 yards passing at Unibet appears to be the wiser play for this rookie and his first-year NFL coach.
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While yards in garbage time are one thing, touchdowns will be more precious and tougher to achieve, especially with an untested offense. When the Jaguars get close to the end zone, you might see Lawrence take off to score or him hand off to Etienne and Company more often than not.
Watching him thrown for touchdowns could be excruciating to watch. Take the under on 24.5 available at PointsBet.
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Zach Wilson – NY Jets QB
Under 3,874 Yards Passing
Playing for the New York Jets presents multiple challenges in any year. Here, Wilson comes from BYU – where he was relatively untested – and will be entering the full-throated fray of the Big Apple. The Jets jettisoned Sam Darnold after last season. Darnold threw for only 2,208 yards, playing in just 12 games. GM Joe Douglas has launched a franchise rebuild around both Wilson and new coach Robert Saleh.
Mike LaFleur joined Saleh from San Francisco as offensive coordinator. LaFleur can work wonders with Wilson, but the Jets will be a defense-first team for the time being. Running, possession and ball control will be focus, especially with the ferocity of defenses facing the Jets in the AFC East between New England, Buffalo and Miami.
We rarely recommend betting on the Jets, but here it seems the wind will be pushing to keep Wilson and the passing game limited. Take the under on 3,874 yards passing (-110) at BetMGM .
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Travis Etienne – RB Jacksonville Jaguars
Over 600.5 Rushing Yards
This market is open at PointsBet, where the over/under is priced at -115. We can find some value based on the preference the Jaguars will have using Etienne as a go-to during his rookie season. Each carry means one less potential hit on Lawrence. Etienne is a solid 5 feet 10 and 215 pounds and will be considered a dual threat in Meyer’s offense. He finished with 4,925 total rushing yards over his four years at Clemson.
For those who like math, the ask is merely 36 yards per game for Etienne over a 17-game season to hit the over on 600.5. If Etienne falls short of that total, the Jaguars will be far worse off than anyone chasing that number. Take the over.
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Jaylen Waddle – WR Miami Dolphins
Under 730.5 Receiving Yards
The Dolphins passed on Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith to draft his Alabama teammate Waddle with the sixth overall pick in the first round. Waddle missed seven games last season with an ankle injury. He caught 28 passes for 591 yards and 4 touchdowns in just six games.
That’s not the reason why we’re leaning toward taking the under on this wager (-110) at FOX Bet .
The Dolphins went all in on Tua Tagovailoa as QB when they traded the No. 3 pick to San Francisco. Tagovailoa and Waddle played two seasons in together at Alabama and the “chemistry is there for sure,” Waddle said.
But the Dolphins now have multiple options for their young QB on offense. One is WR Will Fuller, who Miami signed as a free agent in March. Fuller had career bests with 53 catches, 879 yards and 8 receiving touchdowns for the Texans in 2020. His was just a one-year deal, but it carries a $10.625 million cap hit, so Fuller will be playing as long as he’s healthy.
Another playmaking option for Tua while Waddle learns Miami’s offense is WR DeVante Parker, who had 63 catches for 879 yards last season. Tight end Mike Gesicki was targeted 85 times last season and tallied 703 yards on 53 catches, so he is another reliable option.
Tagovailoa has plenty of targets and will have to spread the ball to make everyone happy. While his old pal Waddle is a tempting option, coach Brian Flores and co-offensive coordinators Eric Studesville and George Godsey will have a plethora of “weapons” for Tua to choose from. They will make sure he uses them all.