Who will Lead the League in Passing Yards?

SportsInsights recently posted betting lines of quarterbacks to lead the league in passing in 2016, and I want to take a look at some of the best value the lines offer. Here’s a list provided by SportsInsights:

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Note: Tony Romo – +3300 is at the bottom of the pictured list. Cam Newton and Russell Wilson (+6600) are toward the bottom of the list. 

Drew Brees has led the league in passing yards four of the last five seasons, so it’s no surprise he’s at the top of the list; but I don’t think he’ll lead the league this season, opening up a ton of value in the other quarterbacks. Let’s start with the most attractive:

Eli Manning +1000

Eli is a great bet at 10/1 odds. For one, he’s coming off a year in which he threw for over 4,400 yards, his second-best in his career. Secondly, Eli has never missed a start in his NFL career. That plays a big factor into this for me, especially when a guy like Ben Roethlisberger is +550 and the second-favorite in Vegas – his injury history alone makes me weary of choosing him to compete for 16 games and put up the best passing numbers in the league.

My argument for Eli is simple: he is set to have one of his most explosive receiving cores in his career, and his offensive line should be vastly improved. He threw for a career-high 4,933 yards in 2011, and not surprisingly had a monster receiving core in Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham – a crew that helped the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. For the record, Eli wouldn’t have won this bet that year; three quarterbacks threw for over 5,000 yards and he came in fourth. Last year, Brees led the league with 4,870.

The reason I think this team can be better on offense is because Odell Beckham is a better receiver than Victor Cruz, Cruz is coming back from injury (imagine if he’s even close to his 2011 self?), and rookie Sterling Shepard is going to help make them the explosive offense I expect them to be. They’re a pass-heavy team and Beckham is one of the best receivers in the league already, and he’s just entering year three. I like my odds at 10/1.

Andrew Luck +1600

Let’s not forget 2014, when Luck threw for 4,761 yards and 40 touchdowns. Luck missed most of 2015 with injures, which wasn’t surprising considering the guys blocking for him. I wasn’t the only one who recognized the lack of help Luck got up front; the Colts used four of their draft picks on offensive lineman, which should help keep Luck in tact going into his fifth year.

Luck will have a nice receiving core to sling the ball to this year – T.Y. Hilton, Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief are all young guys with a ton of potential, and they’ll have a ton of opportunities with Luck throwing the ball.

At 16/1 odds, Luck is simply a great value bet. If he’s any bit of the 2014 Luck, he can easily lead the league in passing yards.

Blake Bortles +2800

Please, hang with me for a second. I have my thoughts about the Jags’ 2016 breakout year recorded elsewhere, but I want to reiterate some thoughts about Bortles. He threw for over 4,400 yards – good for 7th in the league – in just his second season in the NFL. He’s another guy with a stud receiving core, maybe top five in the entire league. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns had monster years last year, and TE Julius Thomas didn’t even scratch the surface in Jacksonville. This young team is only getting better, and I simply think Bortles is a good bet at 28/1. He may not be the most accurate, polished quarterback, but he can chuck the ball; and he’s got good options to chuck it to.

Featured Image Credit: Spotrac.com

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