With the 2020 NFL Draft now in the books, sportsbooks have begun to focus on posting individual player proposition wagering. One of the most popular markets among early bettors involves Joe Burrow's overall passing yards, with an over/under of 3,800 yards at FanDuel sportsbook.
Burrow had arguably the most impressive season by a quarterback in college football history in 2019, passing for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns with a 76.3% completion rate over 15 games for LSU. He obviously won the Heisman Trophy. He now joins a Cincinnati Bengals team that allowed the fifth-most sacks (50) and an offensive attack that finished 26th last year.
All bettors should look to do research into other betting markets before making futures wagers. In this instance, it's imperative to see what the oddsmakers are projecting for Burrow in comparison to other NFL quarterbacks. Upon that deeper dive, we learn that the National Champion is projected to throw for more yards in 2020 than several of his NFL counterparts. Josh Allen, of the Buffalo Bills, is projected to throw for 3,249 yards. The total for the Jets’ Sam Darnold is 3,549 yards, the Giants’ Daniel Jones is 3,799 yards and reigning regular season MVP Lamar Jackson of the Ravens comes in at 3,199 yards.
No rookie quarterback surpassed this mark last year with Kyler Murray leading the way with 3,722 passing yards en route to Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. History reveals that while 21 rookie quarterbacks have eclipsed 3,000 passing yards in a season, a mere 10 have surpassed the 3,500-yard mark. Only three have thrown for 4,000-plus yards, with the NFL rookie record held by Andrew Luck, who posted 4,374 passing yards in 2012. Fellow Heisman Trophy winners Cam Newton threw for 4,051 yards in 2011 for Carolina while Jameis Winston had 4,042 in 2015 while a member of Tampa Bay.
Cincinnati is coming off a dismal 2-14 campaign and William Hill is listing slight improvement with a season win total set at 5 wins, moderately juiced to the over at odds of -145. What every bettor should take away from that is that the Bengals will often be behind in games which will lead to the ball being in Burrow’s hands quite often in the second half of games.
Bettors and fantasy owners should realize that Burrow will have a plethora of talented targets at his disposal in wide receivers A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. Green has shown to be among the NFL’s elite at the position, topping 1,000 receiving yards six times in his NFL career. Boyd was one of the few bright spots in a dismal 2019 season, leading the club with 90 receptions for 1,046 yards and five touchdowns.
Andy Dalton threw for 3,494 yards over 13 starts, but he did not have Green at his disposal. Burrow will also have a premier running back in Joe Mixon, who has rushed for 1,100-plus yards in two of his three seasons in the NFL. The versatile Mixon has also shown great hands out of the backfield, hauling in 108 receptions and four touchdowns in 44 career games.
As fantasy owners can attest, “garbage time” stats are far from garbage. Fantasy championships are predicated upon superior stats and that will come to fruition when analyzing this passing proposition wager. Expected to be trailing in the majority of games in his rookie campaign, bettors should expect the rookie signal caller to surpass Murray’s passing mark (3,722) in 2019 thanks to less running and more passing from the pocket in 2020.
The Play: OVER 3,800 yards (-110)
MORE FROM SI GAMBLING: