Three Passing Leader Long Shots Who Aren’t So Farfetched After All

Kevin Stott

Friday, September 1, 2017 1:40 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 1, 2017 1:40 PM UTC

One popular NFL futures market loaded with big-name players from the most important position in the sport is the NFL Regular Season Passing Yards leader betting board, where only one gunslinger can win and where the 5,000-yard mark seems to be the expected high threshold. 

A Trio of Nice Double-Digit Long Shots For Passing Leader

Since we last looked at the 2017 NFL Passing Yards Leader futures market, Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins (was 66/1 to be NFL Passing Leader before Injury and being pulled off the betting board) as well as the frustrated Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams (200/1) are no longer betting options in this market at BetOnline. One young QB whose odds look enticing but who may just not have enough experience and downfield savvy yet is Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston (14/1 to be 2017 NFL Passing Yards Leader, BetOnline), although Winston has had some money bet on him with his odds moving down to 14/1 from 16/1.

Winston backers are probably thinking the addition of deep threat WR DeSean Jackson, the drafting of Alabama TE OJ Howard and the persistent presence of stud WR Mike Evans (12/1 to be 2017 NFL Receiving Yards leader, BetOnline; NFL-high 10.6 Targets per Game in 2016) is all that and a box of Ding Dongs, but jumping from 12th (4,090 yards) to near 1st and around 5,000 yards will be tough with grisled legends like Tom Brady, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers and the Saints' Drew Brees all still in the league and all less likely to run from the pocket as the more youthful Winston -- the only player in the NFL history to pass for 4,000+ yards in his first two seasons -- can and will do for the Bucs.

Here are fresh Futures numbers (in odds and alphabetical order) for the Regular Season Passing Yards leader from sportsbook BetOnline as well as the top 25 Passing QBs from last Regular Season from New Orleans QB and favorite in this market Brees (2/1 to be 2017 NFL Passing Yards Leader, BetOnline) finished first last year, throwing for 5,208 yards for the Saints (14/1 to win Super Bowl, Intertops), 264 yards ahead of the Falcons' Matt Ryan (6/1 to be 2017 NFL Passing Yards Leader, BetOnline) who, with the help of WR extraordinairre Julio Jones, finished with 4,944 Passing Yards for Super Bowl-bound Atlanta (+6459 to win Super Bowl, Pinnacle).

The all-time NFL Record for Passing Yards in a single season is held by legendary Colts/Broncos QB and good guy Peyton Manning, who threw for 5,477 yards back in 2013. The 5,000-yard mark has only been eclipsed nine times with Brees (6/1 to win 2017 NFL Regular Season Passing TDs, BetOnline) doing so an amazing five times (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016) -- the only player with multiple 5,000-yard NFL Passing seasons. Odds are extremely high Purdue-product Brees now throws passes non-stop in his dreams at night and sends his son Baylen deep across the living room perfectly lofting the boy warm dinner rolls on Thanksgiving.

2017 NFL Regular Season Passing Yards Leader Odds

(Aug. 31, BetOnline; July 13 odds in parenthesis)

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints +200 (+200)

Tom Brady, New England Patriots +500 (+450)

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons +600 (+550)

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers +800 (+1000)

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins +1400 (+1400)

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts +1400 (+1400)

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1400 (+1600)

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers +1600 (+1400)

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers +1600 (+1600)

Eli Manning, New York Giants +2000 (+1800)

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions +2000 (+3300)

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders +2500 (+4000)

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks +3300 (+4000)

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens +4000 (+4000)

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals +4000 (+3300)

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles +5000 (+5000)

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers +6600 (+10000)

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys +6600 (+6600)

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars +8000 (+6600)

Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings +8000 (+8000)

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans +10000 (+10000)

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs +15000 (+15000)

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills +15000 (+15000)

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans +20000 (+20000)


2016 NFL Regular Season Passing Yards Leaders (1-25)


Big Ben a Decent Choice if Veteran Steelers QB Can Stay Healthy

Veteran Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (16/1 to be 2017 NFL Passing Yards Leader, BetOnline) finished 17th last season in Passing Yards (3,819, 29 TDs), but the tough 6-5, 240-pound 14-year NFL veteran who hobbles around the field like an old cowboy and throws defenders off his back like a slow-motion King Kong only played 14 Regular Season games for Pittsburgh (12/1 to win Super Bowl, Bovada) due to a Torn Meniscus (Knee) in Week 6, just one season after playing in 12 games after suffering Knee, Foot and two Concussions. So, Injuries are a recurring thing and theme in Big Ben’s career, but still, this Steelers (6/1 to win AFC, Bovada) team know he is aging and potentially has only a couple gunslinging seasons left, so even with dynamic RB Le’Veon Bell, throwing enough to get near the theoretical 5,000-yard mark for Roethlisberger (58-46 ATS at Home) -- who has had 23 documented Injuries so far throughout his NFL career -- may be a stretch, even with the NFL’s 5th-leading Yardage Receiver last season in WR Antonio Brown (1,284, 10.2 Targets per Game), WR Martavis Bryant (76 receptions, 1,314 yards) and Eli Rogers (48 Receptions).

With workhorse Brown (+325 to be 2017 NFL Receiving Yards leader, BetOnline) likely wanting a near-historic 2,000 Receiving yards, the speedy Bryant probably wanting 100 Receptions and targets like TE Jesse James also wanting the football thrown their way more, Roethlisberger is worth a look at these current odds. And losing backup RB DeAngelo Williams (Free Agent) may mean that the Steelers (-150 to win AFC North, YouWager) and the now 35-year-old Miami-Ohio product Roethlisberger (9/1 to win 2017 NFL Regular Season MVP, Bovada) may be throwing like an Arena Football League team at some point with the division seemingly weakening. Big Ben threw for a career-high 4,952 yards in 2014, will want to make a run at 5,000 Passing Yards, and obviously another Super Bowl ring before he finally rides (or limps) off into the Black and Yellow sunset in the Steel City.


Are the Seahawks' Wilson and Chargers Rivers' Nice Value Picks?

Seattle QB Russell Wilson (16/1 to win 2017 NFL Regular Season MVP, Bovada) has gone from 40/1 to 33/1 in this Futures market at BoL, with bettors having to like the evolution of Seattle WR Doug Baldwin (94 Receptions, 1,128 Receiving yards in 2016; 33/1 to be 2017 NFL Regular Season Receiving Yards Leader Odds, BetOnline), steady WRs Jermaine Kearse (46 receptions) and WR Tyler Lockett (41 Receptions) and TE Jimmy Graham (65 Receptions, 923 Receiving Yards), who will no doubt want to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this season in the Emerald City where his Seahawks (12/1 to win Super Bowl, Intertops) look like they have a decent chance of getting to the NFC Championship Game and maybe even the Super Bowl again under HC Pete Carroll (70-52-3 ATS). Last season Wilson threw for 4,219 yards and 21 TDs and ranking 10th in the NFL. Hungry and healthy and back near where he used to be physically, taking a shot on Wilson seems prudent, especially at chewy odds of 33/1.

Injuries may determine who ultimately wins this bet, but it seems the NFL is indeed continuing a slow evolution to becoming a Passing-heavy league, with Totals over the last two decades slowly inching up to where even a 50 or two appears on the Sunday betting board. Fading Quarterbacks like Brees, Brady, Rodgers, Ryan, the Raiders' Derek Carr (25/1) and the ailing Colts' Andrew Luck (14/1) may be where the winner lies this NFL Regular Season with durability and intent to actual pass the pigskin a lot big handicapping realities to weigh.

One veteran who does love to pass, pass, pass is Chargers QB Philip Rivers (16/1 to be 2017 NFL Regular Season Passing Yards leader, BetOnline), but remember that his Chargers have moved up the Pacific coast from San Diego to Los Angeles and may have some growing pains and will be playing in a new facility in 2017 (StubHub Center in Carson, home of the MLS LA Galaxy) -- the smallest in the NFL -- but will at least be playing on the same playing surface (Bandera Bermuda Grass) as the did at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

Like Roethlisberger, if Rivers (50/1 to win 2017 NFL Regular Season MVP, Bovada) can stay healthy and go all 16 Regular Season dates, then he should have a realistic shot at 5,000 yards with a plethora of targets like veteran TE Antonio Gates (548 Receiving Yards in 2016), Keenan Allen (just 6 Receptions in 2016 due to Injury), Clemson Rookie Mike Williams (if he gets healthy), Travis Benjamin (677 Receiving Yards), Tyrell Williams (1,057 Receiving Yards), WR Dontrelle Inman (810 Receiving Yards), TE Hunter Henry (478 Receiving Yards) and RB Melvin Gordon (419 Receiving Yards). Of all the Rosters and mentalities toward the modern NFL game, perhaps Rivers at 16/1 is a great pick in this Futures market with so many talented guys who can theoretically get in the 500- to 800-yard Regular Season range catching passes from Old Man (35) Rivers and Allen and Rookie Williams capable of productive years.

PASSING YARDS LEADER LONG SHOT PICKS: Ben Roethlisberger 16/1, Rivers 16/1, Wilson 33/1

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