Last Updated on May 30, 2020
Over on the DraftKings Sportsbook, ahead of the 2020 NFL betting season, they’ve started to release player futures bets. We’ll be taking a look at some individuals and the bets that you can take while offering our opinions on them. For this piece, we’ll focus on Josh Allen from the Bills, who many people are liking to finally dethrone the Patriots in the AFC East this upcoming season.
Josh Allen Passing Yards O/U 3300.5
Over (-106) Under (-115)
This upcoming season will be the third year in the league for Allen, who has started a total of 27 games and appeared in 28. Over that span, he’s posted a completion percentage of just 56.3 to go with 5163 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Last season, his 3089 passing yards ranked him 23rd in the league, sandwiched in between Lamar Jackson with 3127 and Daniel Jones with 3027. Amongst qualified quarterbacks, his 58.8% completion percentage was the worst in the league and he joined two other quarterbacks to finish under 60% in Baker Mayfield (59.5%) and Andy Dalton (59.4%). With this in mind, the Bills did make a massive splash this offseason, acquiring WR Stefon Diggs from the Vikings in exchange for four draft picks, three from 2020 and a fourth-round in 2021.
When looking at this betting prop for next season, Allen would need just 211.5 more passing yards than last season. With the addition of Diggs along with the returning John Brown and Cole Beasley, the Bills offense is certainly set up for success for Allen. His completion percentage certainly wasn’t pretty but all the blame can’t rest on Allen. Last season, the Bills had the highest drop percentage in the league at 7.2%. Dawson Knox was the biggest culprit with nine and was then followed by Beasley with six. With Tyler Kroft coming into the season healthy, he should get the first crack at the starting tight end job over Knox. Diggs posted a career-high seven drops with the Vikings last season but overall, his season average sits at 3.8. So while all the blame can’t all be put on Allen, because we have plenty of reasons to blame him, the drops didn’t help in 2019.
All things considered, I do like taking the over on this bet. I don’t think Brown gets enough love for the work he put in during the 2019 season. Seeing 114 targets, Brown made 72 receptions for 1060 yards and 221 YAC. When Brown was targeted last season, he boasted a passer rating of 100, which was the 18th best in the league. For reference, that ranking put him in between Davante Adams (101.4) and Julian Edelman (98.4). Now we add Diggs into the mix, who drew 91 targets from Kirk Cousins and made 63 receptions for 1132 yards with a passer rating of 110.7, which was eighth in the league. Calvin Ridley (115.9) and D.J. Metcalf (110.3) were in between Diggs to give you an idea of how that ranked in the league. Diggs has always been someone who produced big numbers in YAC, ranking 19th in 2019, eighth in 2018 and 20th in 2017. With the potential of Diggs and Brown, it certainly should help propel Allen to hit the over on this total.
Josh Allen Passing TD’s O/U 21.5
Over (-110) Under (-110)
This is a very enticing number and it’s perfectly set to really stop and make you think. The Bills added a huge playmaker in Diggs and now we’re asked that Allen throw two more touchdowns than he did in 2019. Piece of cake, right? Well, not exactly.
Where I get held up is how the Bills are a team that wants to run. Yes, acquiring Diggs will likely have them airing out the ball a bit more than they did in 2019. Last season, they passed the ball on 54.3% of their plays, which was one of the lowest in the league. The Ravens had the lowest percentage at 44%. Naturally, the Bills had one of the highest percentages of running plays at 45.7%. The Ravens topped the league at 56%. With the emergence of Devin Singletary and Allen rushing in for nine touchdowns to lead the league amongst quarterbacks, this suddenly becomes a bit tougher question than expected.
The Bills were more then content with relying on the run and defense to win games last season and I don’t feel as if that sentiment will necessarily change this upcoming season. The addition of Diggs is huge and will change their plans some but that recipe did the trick last season to earn the Bills 10-6 record. Allen, through 28 games in the NFL, has rushed for 17 touchdowns. Last season when the Bills were in the red zone, they would rarely pass the ball on first or second down and opted to only do so, as you’d expect, on third down.
While I’m not loving either side of this bet, I think the safer play here will be on the under. The Bills are giving Allen the right pieces to succeed in this offense but we need to see fewer drops, a better completion percentage and fewer turnovers to start being fully invested in the third-year QB. As for now, I’m siding with the under on this bet.