The Bovada sportsbook is always a great place to check out during the NFL season because the site comes up with some unusual weekly player and team prop specials. Here, I will look at a few involving quarterbacks for Week 2 matchups.
'Over/Under' Turnovers for Philadelphia's Nick Foles: .5
The 'over' is a -200 favorite with 'under' at +160. Why this prop? Last year Foles led the NFL in quarterback rating largely because he didn't turn the ball over. He threw just two interceptions in 317 pass attempts and only fumbled twice. You will never see a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 27:2 again.
The Eagles were the biggest favorites on the NFL odds in Week 1 in hosting Jacksonville, but Philly fell behind 17-0 at the half, a result that would have destroyed Survivor Pools everywhere had it stood. Foles was strip-sacked on Philly's first two offensive possessions and the Jaguars recovered both. Later in the half, the Eagles were at the Jacksonville 5-yard-line when Foles threw too high to his intended receiver and was picked off by Alan Ball in the back of the end zone. The good news is that Foles didn't turn the ball over in the second half when the Eagles outscored the Jags 34-0.
Foles goes against a Colts defense on Monday night, and at least he won't have to worry about 2013 NFL sack leader Robert Mathis. He was going to be suspended regardless but is now out for the season. In their opener, the Colts got zero pressure on Peyton Manning without Mathis. The Broncos didn't turn the ball over. That said, Foles isn't Manning. Also, Philly lost two starting offensive linemen to injury in Week 1 and a third remains suspended.
NFL Pick: 'Over.'
'Over/Under' 220.5 Passing Yards or 27.5 Rushing Yards for Carolina's Cam Newton
Newton missed last week's 20-14 victory in Tampa Bay -- the Panthers went from favorites to underdogs in a flash after Newton was ruled out -- with fractured ribs. The Cats were taking the long-term view in resting him as Newton had said he would play. He probably would have if the game had more meaning. Newton has returned to practicing fully so he will start Sunday at home against the Lions.
Newton played every game in 2013 and threw for 3,379 and rushed for 585. So divided by 16 that averages out to 211 passing yards and 36.5 rushing yards per game. Newton surpassed 220.5 passing yards in eight games last year. He topped 27.5 rushing yards in nine.
He faces a Lions defense that looked great Monday, but that probably was more a function of the New York Giants being terrible. New York had only 197 total yards. The Lions didn't have to worry about Eli Manning running because he doesn't move at all, much like his brother. I don't take much from that. Detroit faced a Newton-like QB last year in Washington's Robert Griffin III, and he had 326 yards passing and 37 rushing. Under normal circumstances, Newton would top the rushing, but I'm expecting him to avoid any possible contact to protect those ribs.
NFL Pick: 'Over' passing, 'under' rushing.
Will Any QB Have More Than 62 Passing Attempts in the 2014 Season?
No is the -300 favorite with yes at +200. This prop is because Baltimore's Joe Flacco had a career-high-tying 62 attempts last week in a loss to Cincinnati. For some reason, the Ravens only rushed the ball 20 times despite a solid yards per carry of 4.7. Flacco's 62 attempts is tied for the 18th most of all time. He also had 62 last year in the season-opening loss to Denver. The NFL record is 70 by New England's Drew Bledsoe on Nov. 13, 1994, against Minnesota.
Two other guys had more than 50 attempts in Week 1: New England's Tom Brady with 56 and Indianapolis' Andrew Luck with 53. Their teams lost as well. When chosing your NFL picks keep in mind throwing it 62 times is an awful lot, even in what is clearly a passing league.
NFL Pick: No.