In 2019, Kirk Cousins failed to reach 4,000 yards for the first time since 2015. Albeit he did sit out the final week of the year, but his 3,603 yards was the lowest mark of his career since becoming a full-time starter. For 2020, the oddsmakers set his yardage total at 3,800.5 yards with the over already seeing a lot of the action. The Vikings tried replacing Stefon Diggs by drafting Justin Jefferson but it’s commonly known Minnesota will focus on running the football. So where does that leave gamblers when it comes to Cousins’ player prop? That’s the question we asked Sports Illustrated’s gambling analyst Frank Taddeo and Inside The Vikings editor Will Ragatz.
Read the transcript from their conversation:
Bill Enright: Our gambling covered for player props in the NFL continues as we take a look at Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has an over-under of 3800.5 yards for 2020. Here to discuss is SI's gambling analyst Frank Taddeo and also Will Ragatz from Inside The Vikings. Will, I'm going to go to you first. No one knows the Minnesota football team better than you, my friend. Are you buying into Cousins having one of his better seasons since turning on the purple and gold for Minnesota?
Will Ragatz: I think Kirk Cousins is going to have a strong season again in 2020. He had a career year in 2019, but when you talk about passing yards, you have to factor in a couple of different things. We know Kirk Cousins can throw for a lot of yards depending on the scheme. He had four straight 4,000 yard seasons from 2015 to 2018, including nearly a 5000-yard season in there. But last year, the Vikings, with Kevin Stefanski and Gary Kubiak, they went with a little bit more of a run-heavy offense, Kirk Cousins attempts dropped dramatically. His efficiency goes up and his overall play goes up, but the yards went down. He had 3,600 yards last year, missed the week 16 game where the Vikings rested their starters. I'm probably leaning a little bit on the under here and this total with the Vikings losing Stefon Diggs. It's going to take a little bit of time for them to integrate Justin Jefferson as their new second receiver. Also, Dalvin Cooks hold out could potentially factor in here. Overall, though, I think I'm going to lean with the under on this one.
Bill Enright: Frank, which way are you going when it comes to Cousins' yardage prop? Are you taking the over or the under?
Frank Taddeo: Yeah, Bill, right now if we do a little bit of a deeper dive, we see that the word around Vegas is that the sharps have actually backed the over here early as this number once stood at 3750.5 yards. They are enforcing the sportsbooks to now make a 50-yard adjustment, seeing the number that we see now, which is nearly 200 yards higher than his output from last season. And Bill, for me, if we just do a little bit more of an investigation, we see that he's only going to need to average 225 yards per game over a 16 game season to be able to go past this number. I think that despite the number moving 50 yards higher, I still think even in this run-heavy philosophy and scheme that the Vikings currently employ right now, thanks to the great Dalvin Cook in the backfield, I still think that there's even a little bit more value right now in going over this number. I'm not so sure that it gets to the 4,000-yard mark like he's done several times in his career. But I actually believe that he's going to be able to surpass this number once again. So for all betters out there, if you believe in Kirk Cousins, strike now, because I believe that this number may even possibly go up to 38, 75 range, maybe even closer to 3,900 yards. I think the value right now is to go over immediately. Don't wait for the season to get closer.
Bill Enright: Will and Frank, thank you guys for your insight. Plenty more gambling advice. You can check it out by going to SI.com/gambling.
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