NFL QB Futures Betting: Why You Should Consider Drew Brees Over Peyton Manning
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | August 25, 2014
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had the greatest offensive season in NFL history in 2013. Denver broke the league record for points, and Manning’s 55 touchdown passes shattered the record. He also broke the single-season mark for passing yards with 5,477. That only exceeded the previous record by a yard, but Manning likely would have gotten to at least 5,600 if he hadn’t been pulled early in Denver’s Week 17 game against Oakland to preserve his health for the postseason. Manning would win the NFL MVP Award for a record fifth time.
Manning’s 2013 season included everything but a Super Bowl win, so one would presume that he would be the clear favorite on Bovada’s football betting prop to lead the NFL in passing yards. That is not the case. Manning is currently the 11/4 co-favorite with the Saints’ Drew Brees, and Brees is taking more action so far.
There could be a few reasons why bettors are passing on Manning. His previous high in passing yards was only 4,700 in 2010 with Indianapolis, which was his final season playing with the Colts. Manning also lost one of his best receivers, Eric Decker, to free agency. Decker caught 87 balls for 1,288 yards and 11 scores in 2013. Manning’s age (38) probably plays the biggest role. Most quarterbacks start to suffer injuries at that age. Last year, Manning fought through ankle injuries, and he has also had multiple neck surgeries in his Hall of Fame career. There is a yes-only prop that Manning will lead the league in passing yards, win another MVP and finally get the Super Bowl (+2500). No other player warrants that type of prop.
There have been eight instances where a quarterback has thrown for at least 5,000 yards, and Brees has accounted for half of that total. He has thrown for at least
5,162 yards (his 2013 total) each of the past three seasons with a high of 5,476 in 2011. Brees would appear to have two advantages over Manning: he’ll play home games in a domed stadium, and he is three years younger than Manning. Someone breaking Manning’s yard mark this year is +300 prop bet, and the no is set at -400. Manning doesn’t think his record will stand that long.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is third in line (7/1). Rodgers has never led the league in passing yards, and he has had a high of 4,643 in 2011. He was limited to nine games last year after breaking his collarbone in Week 9. Rodgers’ predecessor, Brett Favre, led the league twice in passing. Like Manning, Rodgers has the disadvantage of playing cold-weather outdoor home games later in the season.
The only other two active quarterbacks to top 5,000 yards are Detroit’s Matthew Stafford (15/2) and New England’s Tom Brady (12/1). Stafford threw for 5,038 yards in 2011 and has had more total attempts than any other quarterback in the past three years. He had 4,650 yards in 2013. The Lions are going to continue to throw a lot, play their home games in a dome and Stafford has a ton of weapons; he’s led by the NFL’s best receiver, Calvin Johnson.
Brady’s career high was 5,235 in 2011, but his yards have dropped each of the past two years. He had 4,343 last year, and that accounts for his fewest in a full season since 2006. Brady doesn’t have the receiving weapons that Manning, Brees, Rodgers and Stafford do. His top guy is tight end Rob Gronkowski, who can’t stay healthy.