- BetOnline favors Patrick Mahomes (+350) to lead the NFL in passing yards for the first time in his career
- Dak Prescott (+450) and Joe Burrow (+1400) are buoyed by incredible receivers and terrible defenses
- Josh Allen (+1000) and Russell Wilson (+2500) seem undervalued given their respective talent levels
One would assume that if a quarterback leads the NFL in passing yards, his franchise would be among a handful of blue-chip Super Bowl contenders. But that certainly wasn’t the case last year when Deshaun Watson threw for 4,823 yards on a 4-12 Texans club.
With Watson’s status for the upcoming season still a mystery, the 25-year-old rub-and-tug connoisseur isn’t even listed on the board below. Instead, Patrick Mahomes (+350) is the favorite after finishing runner-up in both 2020 and during his 2018 NFL MVP campaign.
Let’s look at the full list of odds and make our picks on who could lead the league in passing yards this upcoming season, and be sure to check out our tips for betting on NFL football games.
2021 NFL Passing Yards Leader
Top weapons out wide
With the No. 1 seed in the AFC all locked up, Andy Reid decided to rest Patrick Mahomes (+350) in Week 17 last year, allowing Watson to sneak ahead of the Chiefs quarterback by a mere 83 yards. Kansas City upgraded its offensive line after getting crushed in the Super Bowl, so as long as Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce stay healthy, nothing should stop the 25-year-old from continuing to put up absurd numbers.
Dak Prescott (+450) dinged up his shoulder in camp last week, but the injury doesn’t sound serious. Before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Dallas’ fifth game of 2020, Dak was on pace for a franchise-record 6,000-plus passing yards. If CeeDee Lamb makes the leap as expected, the Cowboys offense will be scary.
.@PatrickMahomes is out here making the no-look pass look easy 🤯 pic.twitter.com/AEzZy6R8LY
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) July 28, 2021
Given how much Josh Allen (+1000) improved from 2019 to last season, you would think oddsmakers would have more faith in the 25-year-old, especially with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll staying put in Buffalo. After placing fifth with 4,544 passing yards in 2020, the Bills starter is locked in loaded with Stefon Diggs, fellow anti-vaxxer Cole Beasley and savvy vet Emmanuel Sanders.
Look for QBs with bad defenses
With a loaded group of young pass catchers and an awful Bengals defense, Joe Burrow (+1400) is a strong bet, however, he was widely available at +3000 before Establish the Run‘s Adam Levitan started talking him up so be sure to shop around.
Before looking at his 2020 statistics, it would only be natural to assume Matt Ryan (+1400) had a down season for the 4-12 Falcons. Yet, he somehow finished fourth in passing yards and now has former Titans OC Arthur Smith calling the plays.
Justin Herbert: "I think it's pretty cool that Patrick Mahomes knows who I am." https://t.co/HknZkvVtA1
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 28, 2021
The Buccaneers defense is likely way too good for Tom Brady (+1400) to get the necessary volume, but the 43-year-old placed third in passing yards last season and will be all the more comfortable in Bruce Arians’ offense. After enjoying the most prolific season by a rookie QB in NFL history, Justin Herbert also has to be heavily considered at +1600.
Finally, don’t forget that Russell Wilson (+2500) was the frontrunner for NFL MVP at the midway mark last year. With new OC Shane Waldron and generational receiver DK Metcalf at his disposal, Wilson could pile up yards if the Seahawks defense stays poor to league average.
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