There is a time for giving NFL props. And a time for taking them.
For NJ sports betting customers, that time may be now. Garden State online sportsbooks steadily enhance their menu as the calendar flips toward training-camp openings in July.
Season-long yardage props for quarterbacks are one of the most interesting betting considerations, especially in this region.
Odds are up at DraftKings Sportsbook for three prominent area players in Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles, “Danny Dimes” Jones of the New York Giants, and former Eagle Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis Colts.
We’ll add a look at Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys and Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Washington Football Team, whose official odds have not yet posted, to get our first look at the NFC East and how Wentz will fare with his new team.
Initial overview: expectations are low, the opportunity may be high.
PlayNJ will break down season-long props on a periodic basis throughout the summer.
Let’s examine where 17-game totals could fall.
The disclaimer, of course, is the injury factor and that passing yardage defenses yield fluctuates yearly.
Breaking down the Jalen Hurts yardage prop
Hurts, 3,700.5 yards. Over is +105, under is -130
This is a pedestrian total, lower than rookie Zach Wilson’s total of 3,850.5 for the New York Jets. And he hasn’t played a down yet.
The number also is lower than Joe Burrow’s pro-rated 3,825 last season.
There are several pros when considering the over with Hurts.
Remember the 338-yard performance against the Arizona Cardinals, one of the better defenses last year?
Remember the 342-yard effort against the Dallas Cowboys one week later?
Maybe you’d like to forget that 72-yard total against the Washington Football team in the season finale.
But all told, he notched 919 yards in four starts. That would pro-rate out to 3,906 this season.
Hurts only needs 218 yards per game to hit this “over.”
Eagles’ first-round pick DeVonta Smith should provide help as a deep receiving threat. Miles Sanders is enough of a backfield presence to turn a screen pass into an occasional big gain.
Another consideration is the Eagles’ schedule. There are some bad defenses in an otherwise fairly strong list of opponents.
The Atlanta Falcons, 293, gave up the most yards per game in the NFL last year.
The Detroit Lions, 275 and New York Jets, 275, were vulnerable too.
The Las Vegas Raiders 263, and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 246, also yield considerable yardage. All are on the schedule this year. Hurts needs to build a cushion in these games.
However, NJ bettors also must weigh the cons or unknowns of this NFL prop.
Can Hurts mature?
Will he be too run-oriented?
Will he click with Smith?
Does he hold onto his job?
Hurts also plays behind 2020’s worst offensive line. Four sacks suffered per game is a lot.
Nonetheless, this yardage total is low.
NFL prop analysis: ‘No real edge’ with Daniel Jones over/under
Jones 3,800.5 yards. Over and under -112.
The bottom line is there is no real edge here.
His prop of 3,800.5 yards is a fairly sharp rise from the 3,570 that would reflect his 210-yard average from last year.
Go back to 2019 and his average of 232 yards would project to 3,944 yards. That would put him over.
There are several factors working in Jones’ favor.
The return of Saquon Barkley, who missed the entire season after being injured against the Chicago Bears in Week 2. Barkley is an excellent safety valve dropoff and can provide “cheap” yardage by turning screen passes into big gains.
The addition of Kenny Golladay, Kelvin Benjamin, first-round pick Kadarius Toney, and tight-end Kyle Rudolph gives Jones more offensive weapons than he’s ever had.
But like the other QBs on this list, there are negatives to betting the over.
The Giants like to pound the rock. Trying to minimize Jones’ mistakes, like strip sacks and pick 6’s that killed New York the past two seasons. They may protect Jones in a run-first offense.
Jones’ running ability also hurts his pass-yardage prop. He rushed for 423 yards last season. Eighty came on one play against the Eagles before they obtained a 22-21 triumph in Week 7.
Will Dak Prescott stay healthy?
His stats were off the charts through four games last year. Dak averaged 371 yards per game, which would have set a 16-game single-season record of 5,936 if it was maintained.
Go back one year earlier to see 306 yards per game. If you think we see that Dak, he comes in at 5,208 this season on offense alone. But if you combine his 2019 average with the 2020 yards per game average yielded by this year’s opponents, the 4,600 projected at varied websites may be right.
The big unknown regarding Prescott is his health. Remember he suffered a season-ending ankle injury during Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season.
Assuming Prescott is healthy and returns to his pre-injury form, here is a little NJ sports betting formula that could help determine which QB passing yardage prop.
Try running the numbers for several players, taking their last full season against the defenses they face this year.
Here’s an example: take 306 yards for Prescott in 2019 and add the 236 yards per game yielded by the Cowboys opponents in 2020. The total comes out to 542. Divide that number by two (one offensive total and one defensive) to get 271 yards per game. Multiply it by 17 (total number of regular-season games in 2021). The total comes out to 4,607.
Use this formula for finding an edge. Some totals will finish close to sportsbook odds. Basically, the QBs that are furthest away are good to bet.
Is Ryan Fitzpatrick too unpredictable to trust?
Fitz Magic is a game manager and excellent team leader.
His problems unfold around teams looking for younger players throughout the year. He does share one stat book don’t have a prop for. Three years ago, Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston led the Tampa Bay Bucs to 5,338, tops in the entire NFL.
But each would have lost on a single-season prop because both players were periodically benched throughout the season.
How do you bench the leaders of the league’s top offense?
NFL prop bettors may see Carson Wentz benefit from a change of scenery
The number on Wentz is 3750.5 yards. The over pays +100 while the under is -125.
Books see him comparable with Hurts.
Last year, Wentz averaged 218.3 yards per game for the Eagles. Prorate that by 17, assuming he wasn’t benched, and his 2021 projection is 3,711, slightly below the prop.
But go back to 2019. He averaged 252.4 yards per game. Multiply that by 17 and he hits 4,284, a romp for the over. If Wentz keeps his job and 2019 numbers play out, he’s an over.
All this and number-crunching just began in earnest.
NFL betting action is heating up.