For the first time in his career, Philip Rivers is playing for an NFL team that isn’t the Chargers. Instead he’s taking over under-center for the Colts. The 38 year old quarterback signed a one year deal with Indianapolis this offseason. The sportsbooks believe the veteran passer will help take the Colts offense to new heights in 2020 and list his Over/Under touchdown total at 27.5. Rivers eclipsed that mark in six of the last seven years. Fantasy analyst Jaime Eisner and AllColts editor Phillip B. Wilson discuss Rivers’ likelihood of exceeding the 27.5 touchdown mark set by the oddsmakers.
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Bill Enright: Philip Rivers has had 28 or more touchdowns in six of his last seven seasons. Now he's a member of the Indianapolis Colts and his touchdown total for 2020 is a 27.5. So let's find out if he's going over or under. And for that, I go to Jamie Eisner our fantasy and gambling analyst here at Sports Illustrated, and also Philip B. Wilson from All Colts. Phillip, I'm going to start with you, because it seems like the bookmakers and the odds makers seem like they expect Rivers to kind of revitalize this Colts offense. What do you think?
Phillip B. Wilson: Those crafty devils, I bet you Jaime set the line himself. I mean, you said twenty eight. So of course, we'll put it right at twenty seven and a half. I think it's going over and I only base that on because I just started some film study of his interceptions. He had like 20 interceptions last year, second highest total of his career, opposite twenty three touchdown passes. Seven of those twenty were in the final five minutes when he's behind and pressing for a five eleven team. And Phillips, a gunslinger who's going to take his shots here with the Colts. They just want him to be smart. Rely on that run game, the offensive line will give him better protection. I don't know what Jamie is going to say. We didn't talk about this ahead of time, but my gut, and it's a large gut, says Jaime is taking the over.
Bill Enright: Jamie, let's find out which way you're going on this one.
Jaime Eisner: I am indeed taking the over the slide over here. The oddsmakers are leading slightly under with a minus -124 juice on the under. But look, I know he threw twenty three touchdowns last year, but he's thrown twenty eight or more six years in a row before that. And nine of the previous eleven seasons, some positive touchdown regression is coming to what was only three point nine percent touchdown rate last year. Score averages five point two, even including that low number hitting his career average in total passing touchdown percentage and passing attempts gets you what, right? Right at twenty eight touchdowns. I think he can actually flirt with thirty this year behind a much improved offensive line compared to what he was behind with the Chargers last year.
Bill Enright: Let's all make some money betting on the over for Philip Rivers touchdown total. Jamie and Philip, thank you guys so much. Plenty more gambling analysis. You can find it by going to si.com/gambling