NFL Passing Leader Odds & 2020 Best Bets You Should Back
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Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston passed for 5,109 yards to lead the NFL in 2019. He’s not even on a starter as the 2020 season approaches, though he has signed with the Saints.
Barring a surprise, there will be a new NFL passing leader. Winston's achievement in 2019 marked the first time since 2010 there wasn’t a repeat champion. Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning had won the previous awards.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is the strong favorite to lead the NFL in passing yards in 2020. But he finished more than 1,000 yards behind Winston last season.
Here are the top contenders and where to find the highest NFL futures odds for each:
Most NFL 2020 Passing Yards Odds
|Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs||+450 (PointsBet)|
|Dak Prescott, Cowboys||+800 (Unibet)|
|Matt Ryan, Falcons||+1000 (Caesars)|
|Tom Brady, Buccaneers||+1000 (Caesars)|
|Jared Goff, Rams||+1100 (FanDuel)|
|Matthew Stafford, Lions||+1400 (DraftKings)|
|Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers||+2000 (888sport)|
|Deshaun Watson, Texans||+2200 (PointsBet)|
|Philip Rivers, Colts||+2200 (DraftKings)|
|Drew Brees, Saints||+2500 (888sport)|
|Kyler Murray, Cardinals||+2500 (Unibet)|
|Carson Wentz, Eagles||+2500 (DraftKings)|
|Russell Wilson, Seahawks||+2500 (DraftKings)|
|Aaron Rodgers, Packers||+2800 (Unibet)|
|Baker Mayfield, Browns||+3000 (888sport)|
|Daniel Jones, Giants||+3600 (FanDuel)|
NFL odds are current as of publication.
The Case For Patrick Mahomes (+450)
Mahomes has only been a starting QB for two seasons, but what a great two seasons they’ve been. In 2018 he had one of the great individual performances in NFL history, which included passing for a 5,097 yards — second to Ben Roethlisberger’s 5,129. He also threw 50 TDs and was the unanimous Most Valuable Player.
Last season, however, Mahomes’ personal stats took a big dive, but with it, the Chiefs’ success ascended to new heights. Mahomes missed two games because of injury, but his passing yards dropped by 1,000, and his TDs were nearly sliced in half (to 26). Yet he led Kansas City to its first Super Bowl title in 50 yards and was named the game’s MVP.
Does that mean the Chiefs’ formula involves Mahomes throwing less in exchange for winning more? There is reason to believe it.
In the Chiefs’ first six games in 2019, they went 4-2 and Mahomes averaged a ridiculous 351 pass yards per game. After his return from injury, they went 6-1 the rest of the way. He threw for 446 yards in the lone loss, and averaged 234 ypg, including three games with under 200, in the six victories.
Kansas City used its first-round pick to add to the run game, selecting RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU. The team likely prefers to have a more-balanced offense. It could always blow up and Mahomes could be back to his 350-plus-yards performances when the Chiefs need points. But it’s no sure thing.
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The Case For Tom Brady (+1000)
It was just three seasons ago that Brady led the NFL in passing yards and attempts. Last year was not his best. In fact, it was one of his worst, throwing for 4,057 yards on 60.8% passing. Compare that to 2018 (4,355, 65.8) and 2017 (4,577, 66.3).
Does Brady still have it? We’ll find out this year. The weapons around him in New England dwindled, but in Tampa Bay they’re aplenty. He has two 1,000-yard, Pro Bowl receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and he recruited TE Rob Gronkowski out of retirement.
And he’ll get opportunities. His predecessor, Winston, led the NFL in passing yards and tied for most pass attempts. Head coach Bruce Arians isn’t going to take it down a notch with Brady coming to town.
The Case For — And Against — Others
Matt Ryan (+1000)
Ryan has missed just one game in the last 10 years, and he’s passed for at least 4,500 yards in eight of those seasons. He still has Julio Jones.
But two of those “under 4,500” seasons were in his last three campaigns. The Falcons have trended downward, going 7-9 each of the past two seasons. Their biggest off-season move was the addition of Todd Gurley for a more traditional run attack in place of the shifty Devonta Freeman. It makes sense for the Falcons to get a run game for defenses to be concerned about. It may not help in regards to Ryan leading the NFL in pass yards, however.
Jared Goff (+1100)
By many benchmarks, Goff’s 2019 was a huge letdown. Not only did he pass for 22 TDs with 16 INTs, he passed for 50 fewer yards than the year before, and on 55 more attempts.
But here’s the reason Goff is so high on the chart: In both seasons, the impressive one and the letdown, he went for over 4,600 yards. The Rams jettisoned Gurley (there was a clear chemistry issue with Goff and Gurley) and added five new WRs in the draft, boosting the position’s depth.
Drew Brees (+2500)
Suffice to say, Brees has been there, done that. The Saints QB has led the NFL in passing yards seven times, the most in NFL history. He also has five seasons with more than 5,000 yards. No other QB has achieved that feat more than once.
Will Brees get the attempts? Last season he attempted 34.4 passes per game, which is 6-7 fewer than Goff, Ryan and Winston of a year ago. He also missed five games, and at age 41, even a nagging injury may keep him out a game or two if it means he’s fresh for a playoff run.
Dak Prescott (+800)
The Cowboys QB went off in 2019 for 4,902 yards and his 8.2 yards per attempt were easily the highest for anyone with more than 500 attempts (he had 592). He’ll continue to get opportunities under new coach Mike McCarthy, who led Aaron Rodgers (and Brett Favre) to great things.
With Amari Cooper back in the fold and rookie CeeDee Lamb a huge threat right away, Prescott has weapons galore. Contract years often bring out the best in players, too. Find the highest odds for Prescott at Unibet.
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Matthew Stafford (+1400)
Stafford last season was on an MVP level — when he played. The Lions veteran managed just eight games but averaged 36.4 passes per game, 8.6 yards per attempt (second to Ryan Tannehill) and was on pace for 5,000 yards before missing the second half of the season.
With head coach Matt Patricia on the hot seat, it would behoove him to ensure the ball is in Stafford’s hands as much as possible. If the QB plays 16 games — something he did for eight straight seasons before 2019 — he’ll be in the hunt. Get Stafford for a great price at DraftKings.
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