NFL Betting Props: Brees Leading Brady on Passing Yards Odds

In not exactly a shocking development, the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees is the +300 favorite to lead the NFL in passing yards this season.

Brees has won the yardage title each of the past three seasons and a record seven times overall. He has thrown for at least 5,000 yards five times while no other QB has done it more than once. Sometime next season, barring major injury, Brees (66,111 yards) will pass Peyton Manning (71,940) for the No. 1 spot on the career list.

It’s easy to see why Brees is favored on this prop, but why might he not win it? Of course, no one can project an injury, but Brees has been remarkably durable in missing only two games since signing with the Saints as a free agent before the 2006 season.

There are two potential things working against Brees in 2017, though. The first is that the Saints might commit to running the ball more after adding Adrian Peterson in free agency. That was an interesting decision considering New Orleans already has a featured back in Mark Ingram, who rushed for a career-high 1,043 yards last year.

A second potential knock against Brees is the Saints traded his No. 1 receiver, big-play Brandin Cooks, to New England in the offseason. He led the club with 1,173 yards last year and 1,138 the year before. Then again, the Saints thought he was expendable thanks to the big rookie season Michael Thomas had in 2016 with 92 catches for 1,137 yards.

One benefit Brees might have is playing his home games in a dome, meaning no inclement weather in at least those eight outings. In fact, the only likely wintry weather game the Saints will face this year is Nov. 12 in Buffalo.

New England’s Tom Brady, two years older than Brees at 40 (on Aug. 3), is the +600 second-favorite on the NFL betting prop. He was limited to 12 games last year due to the Deflategate suspension but still threw for 3,554 yards. His 296 per game ranked fourth in the NFL; Brees led with 326.

Brady, who is fourth all-time in passing yards with 61,582, won his lone yardage title in 2007 with 4,806. His career high of 5,235 in 2011 was second that year to Brees’ 5,476. That had been the league record until Manning threw for 5,477 in 2013. Adding Cooks should only help Brady’s totals. Brady and Brees square off for potentially the last time in their Hall of Fame careers in Week 2 at the Superdome.

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Oakland’s Derek Carr are both +800 at NFL betting sites. It might surprise people to know that Rodgers has never led the NFL in passing. He’s harmed by playing his games at Lambeau Field since it’s obviously pretty cold in Green Bay later in the season. The Pack also have potential cold-weather games this season in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Rodgers’ career high of 4,643 yards came in 2011.

Carr, in his fourth year, has a career high of 3,987 yards set in 2015. He would have passed that last year if not for breaking his leg in Week 15. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, the reigning NFL MVP, is +1000 and Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck is +1200. Both play their home games in a dome. Well, the roof is retractable at Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium but it likely will be closed more often than not.

Ryan set a career high with 4,944 yards in 2016, second to Brees. Luck’s best is 4,761 in 2014. That was third in the league as Brees and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (+2000) tied for the most with 4,952. It’s the only such tie in league history. Luck, however, will open training camp on the PUP list as he has been slow to recover from offseason shoulder surgery.

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