Regular-Season Passing TD Total Picks for Likely Starting QBs

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 6:04 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017 6:04 PM UTC

QB play is arguably the most consistent of any position in the NFL from year-to-year, making wagering on season-long prop bets all the more intriguing. Let’s analyze the odds for regular-season TD passes in 2017 as offered at top-rated online sportsbook 5Dimes.

Andy Dalton, O24.5, -115

Cincinnati's Dalton has tossed 25 TDs or more just once in the last three years and that came in an injury-shortened 2015 season. The offense moved the ball well in 2016, accruing 356.9 yards per contest but struggled to find the end zone week in and week out. The team’s 20.3 points per game ranked ninth fewest in the league. The main problem is Dalton’s two best scoring threats, A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, played in three games together all season. The Bengals average 26 points per game and Dalton 1.75 passing touchdowns when the duo each catches a pass in a game.  The unit should mature in offensive coordinator Ken Zampese’s second year and scoring is a primary focus in Cincy headed into the exhibition period. Expect the Bengals to own a top-10 offense. Dalton flourishes and records career high numbers in several categories. ‘Over’ 24.5 TDs is a good NFL pick.

Andrew Luck, O33.5, +105

Rumors are swirling the Colts' Luck could land on the PUP list to begin the season as he rehabilitates from January shoulder surgery. One has to surmise, whether he plays in Week 1 or not, it will take several outings to get back game timing and strength. In addition, the number here is high. Luck has tossed 34 TDs or more once in five seasons. Indianapolis has endured two .500 seasons in a row, tons of roster turnover, and a new general manager. The signs here point to Luck not have his best year. ‘Under’ 33.5 TDs screams value.

Aaron Rodgers, O37.5, +125

Rodgers has thrown for 38 TDs or more in back-to-back seasons just once in his career, but betting on this number is a risky proposition with the two-time MVP tossing a career-high 40 last season. Rodgers has hit the 38 mark in four of the last five seasons in which he played 15 games or more. This bet may come down to whether Green Bay needs him in the final game of the season. The weaker-than normal NFC North suggests playoff implications will be settled come Week 17. Pass.

Ben Roethlisberger, O29.5, -125

Big Ben has tossed 30 regular-season passing TDs twice in his 12 years under center. The primary issue is health. He’s played a full 16 games two times in his career. The Steelers' Roethlisberger is a trooper, but no way at 35 he doesn’t sit out a couple of contests. ‘Under’ 29.5 for the win.

Blake Bortles, O24.5, -115

Bortles numbers may take a dip under Jaguars offense coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett took over for Greg Olson after seven games last season and focused on improving time of possession (30th in the NFL at time of promotion to 13th) through the rushing game (30th in yards per game to fifth). Bortles tossed 11 TDs in the final nine games. Expect a more balanced and conservative attack to begin the year. The over-under here is tight. Pass.

Cam Newton, O23.5, -115

Health is always an issue with Carolina's Newton, and the front office appears ready to pull back a little on the run-option attack with the franchise QB. They beefed up the O-line and brought in Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel as weapons. Newton will still run -- the open field is where he shines -- but expect more of a pocket presence this season. Lean ‘over’ 23.5 passing TDs.

Carson Palmer, O25.5, -115

Palmer averages 1.81 passing TDs in the regular season since moving to Arizona. Keeping the 37-year-old upright is the key to the team’s success on offense. The O-line sustained a multitude of injuries last season, yet Palmer managed to toss 26 scores. The team is even deeper at receiver this year. ‘Over’ 25.5 presents value.

Carson Wentz, O22.5, -125

Philly's Wentz experienced growing pains after tossing seven TDs in his first four contests last year. The rookie threw just nine more all season, despite averaging 39.3 passing attempts per game. The Eagles run a complicated West Coast-based offense, so regression was expected. Passing production should ramp up after the experience, especially with the addition of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to the receiving corps. Still, the reins are tight on Wentz and the staff will not want to see his confidence shattered if he takes on too much responsibility in his second year and fails. He is the future, and he is special. Pass on this number.

Drew Brees, O35.5, +130

Brees is entering his 17th year and shows no signs of slowing down. His 5,208 passing yards in 2016 were the fourth most in NFL history. Brees also set career and league highs in passing attempts (673) and completions (471). A group of young wideouts will give the veteran plenty of targets this year. Lean ‘over’ 35.5 TDs with New Orleans ready to ride Brees’ arm as far as it takes the team.

Derek Carr, O32.5, +105

Carr was poised to lead the Raiders deep into the playoffs last season before going down to a broken fibula in Week 16. Missing one regular-season contest, the 25-year-old QB was still 5 TDs short of the 33 mark needed in this year’s prop bet, a number he’s not reached in three seasons as starter. Expectations are high for Carr -- maybe a little too high with the stifling Chiefs and Broncos defenses on the schedule for four games. Lean ‘under’ 32.5 here.

Dak Prescott, O24.5, +105

Prescott’s O-line may not be as dominant in 2017, but his ability to scramble should keep offensive production up.  The Cowboys were very conservative in the red zone last season with Prescott attempting 49 passes total (14 TDs). The ground game will be the go-to again, making 24.5 passing touchdowns a tough number to wager. Pass.

Deshaun Watson, O17.5, +115

Texans head Bill O’Brien coach is gushing over Watson’s camp performances, confirming he is in the running against Tom Savage for the No. 1 QB spot. Still, the rookie is up against vanilla defenses now and will face a steep learning curve if given the opportunity to be full-time starter. Expectations should stay low. Even Dan Marino only threw 20 TDs in his rookie season, third best behind Peyton Manning’s NFL record of 26. Reaching 18 here would put Watson in elite company. Lean ‘under’ 17.5.

Jared Goff, O17.5, +100

Goff could not have endured a worse experience as a rookie last season. The Rams' O-line was horrific, running game obsolete and coaching questionable all year. Goff took a licking, earned his stripes, and is the bona-fide No. 1 headed into camp. Expect better production in 2017, but ‘over’ 17.5 TDs may be asking a bit much. The Rams passing game has thrown 25 TDs total in the last two seasons. Yikes.

Joe Flacco, O21.5, OFF

Books pulled the offer after the Ravens announced Flacco would sit out a while due to an injured back. His return to the practice field is unknown, but don’t expect the veteran QB to be fully prepped by Week 1.

Jameis Winston, O30.5, +110

The Bucs' Winston made WR Mike Evans the most targeted wideout last season with 171 passes going his way. Enter new signing DeSean Jackson, who can stretch the field as good as any receiver in the league, and the QB’s passing game just got a whole lot more dynamic. Still, 31 TDs is a ton. Only five signal callers surpassed this mark last season. Moreover, of the last 16 passers to do so, only three threw more than 15 interceptions. Winston, who gifted 18 picks last season, needs to improve his TD/INT ratio if he is to top the mark. Lean ‘under' 30.5 here.

Kirk Cousins, O26.5, -110

The longer Cousins plays in a Redskins uniform, the better he gets. Matt Cavanaugh, who served as his QB coach the last two seasons, is now the Redskins' offensive coordinator. He knows Cousins' strengths better than anyone in the organization does. Couple this with the fact the six-year pro is playing for a huge offseason payday and Cousins could put up career-highs in many categories. Lean ‘over’ 26.5 TDs here.

Marcus Mariota, O27.5, +105       

Tennessee's Mariota ranked fourth behind Matt Ryan (7.1), Aaron Rodgers (6.6) and Tom Brady (6.5) in passing touchdown percentage last season for QBs with 400 attempts or more. Mariota’s strengths, however, are his versatility and mobility. The O-line is magnificent and play calling will lean on the run game often in the red zone.  This number should inch downwards. Play ‘under’ 27.5.

Matt Ryan, O32.5, -140

Ryan tossed 38 TDs in 2016 in winning NFL MVP honors. He was the most prolific deep passer in the league, accruing 1,334 yards, 13 TDs, 0 INTs and a 138.2 passer rating on attempts of 20-plus yards. No reason to expect Atlanta to abandon what got it to the Super Bowl. Lean ‘over’ 32.5 TDs.

Matthew Stafford, O24.5, -115

Detroit's Stafford has the ability to throw 30-plus TDs every season, but his options are limited since Calvin Johnson retired. This season looks to be another year with few targets. Anquan Boldin, the Lions’ leader with 8 receiving TDs in 2016, is gone. Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Jared Abbrederis are the top wideouts for 2017. The trio caught 8 TDs combined last season. There is only so far a good QB can make a WR better. Stay away from this prop.

Philip Rivers, O31.5, -115

The Chargers' Rivers is the most consistent TD passer in the NFL over the last four seasons, tossing for 32, 31, 29, and 33 scores. There is nothing to suggest this number will move much in 2017. Pass.

Russell Wilson, O26.5, +110

Wilson attempted a career-high 546 passes last season, but threw just 21 touchdowns. Why? He played behind one of the worst lines in the league. The bad news for Seahawks fans is that Wilson’s front is the biggest weakness the team faces entering 2017. Changes were made (Luke Joeckel, Germain Ifedi), but the unit is inexperienced and needs time. Constant defensive pressure and rushed passes will doom Wilson’s ratings again. Lean ‘under’ 26.5 TDs.

Ryan Tannehill, O24.5, -115

Tannehill has had enough time to prove his worth in the NFL, and he’s a mediocre passer at best. Going 37-40 as a starter with Miami, the five-year pro averages 1.38 TD passes per games. He’s eclipsed 25 for a season once in his career (27 in 2014), and is in no new scenario to see a big bump in performance with head coach Adam Gase poised to establish the run game first in each contest. Lean ‘under’ here.

Sam Bradford, O22, -130

Bradford tossed 50 TDs at Oklahoma in his 2008 Heisman Trophy winning year. He’s never thrown more than 21 in any season in his pro career. He certainly isn’t going to top this number playing under head coach Mike Zimmer. The defensive-minded leader is possession-oriented on offense. In Zimmer’s three seasons in charge of the Vikes, the team has passed for 14, 17, and 20 scores. Play the ‘under’ 22 at plus-money.

Tom Brady, O34.5, -160

Oddsmakers list the Patriots as favorites for every regular season game in advanced lines. Brady averages 2.01 TD passes when chalk in the regular season in his career. New England has a cupcake schedule, and the Brady-led offense could pull the foot off the gas often late if up big. The number here is a tad high. The Canton-bound QB has tossed for 35 TDs once in the last five seasons. Lean ‘under’ 34.5.

Tyrod Taylor, O20, -115

Taylor struggles as a passer. He led the NFL with 42 sacks last year, most of them due to his inability to get rid of the ball. The former 6th-round pick topped the league in average holding time before passing (2.97 seconds). Accuracy is an issue, too, and the Buffalo O-line is suspect. The prospect of passing for 20 TDs is slim. Stay away from this bet.

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