Last Updated on June 10, 2020
Over on the DraftKings Sportsbook, ahead of the 2020 season for the NFL, they’ve started to release 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 Lamar Jackson from the Ravens, who is the reigning MVP of the league in 2019.
Lamar Jackson Over-Under Passing Yards 3250.5
Amongst all the quarterbacks on the board, Jackson has the lowest projected total for his passing yards. After him, the lowest totals on the board belong to Josh Allen at 3300.5, Drew Lock at 3450.5 and Ryan Tannehill at 3425.5. In 2019, amongst quarterbacks who had at least 352 dropbacks, Jackson ranked 22nd in the league with his 3,127 passing yards. Five quarterbacks were below him but only two of them played either the same number of games as Jackson with 15 or all 16 games. Those players were Jacoby Brissett, who was last in the league with 2,942 passing yards and Josh Allen with 16 games and 3,089 passing yards.
For Jackson to hit the over on this total, he needs only 123.5 more than he did last season. On the plus side, Marquise Brown is looking as if his ankle issues are in the rearview, as during the offseason, he underwent surgery to remove a screw from his foot. While he was never at 100% during the 2019 season, he still finished with a dazzling 46/584/7 line through 14 games. He should undoubtedly improve upon his 13.4 YPR that he had last season, giving him the ability to help push Jackson over the needed threshold. During the NFL draft, they also brought onboard WR Devin Duvernay out of Texas, who made 106 catches for 1386 yards, for an average of 13.1 YPR.
In conclusion, this feels like a legitimate over to bet on. One key factor worth noting is that the Ravens sat Jackson in the final game of the regular season. Thus, he ended up averaging 208.4 passing yards per game. Based on that average, through 16 games, Jackson was on pace for 3,334.4 yards, which easily would have put him over that total. While is rushing ability is unlike anything we’ve seen in the NFL in quite some time, it’s so hard to tab a player for over 1,000 rushing yards for two straight seasons. If the run is scaled back or even defended better than it was last season, it could force Jackson to throw more, which would be great for the over bettors.
Lamar Jackson Over-Under Passing TD’s 26.5
This number is down quite a bit from his 2019 total, which ended at 36. DraftKings Sportsbook is looking at a 9.5 decrease from last season, which feels like quite the drop-off. However, I don’t think it’s out of the realm to think that it’s entirely possible that the under could still hit.
Looking at this total, Jackson would need an average of 1.6 touchdowns per game to hit the over. Doesn’t feel like a tall task, right? Looking back at his game log in 2019, Jackson actually had six games where he threw either none or one touchdown. What’s even crazier is that Jackson also had three games where he threw for five touchdowns, which would end up accounting for 41% of his season total! We know the Ravens are a team that wants to run the ball and the evidence is in the stats. The topped the league with 3,296 yards, which was 991 yards more than the 49ers, who were second at 2,305. The Ravens also finished for a tie for the second-most rushing touchdowns at 21, matching the total of the Titans and finishing two shy of the 49ers.
Their game plan to continue to run the ball was also on full display during the 2020 draft. With their second-round pick, the Ravens selected J.K Dobbins out of Ohio State despite already rostering Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. Dobbins is looking as if he’ll be an immediate playmaker on the Ravens, as he broke the rushing record at Ohio State, ending with 2,003 yards and has the ability to catch out of the backfield. Of the 36 touchdowns thrown by Jackson, only five of them were through the air by his running backs with Ingram grabbing all of them.
While this is a big drop off from where he was last season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the under hit on this total. I can’t say I’m actively seeking this bet to throw a large sum of money down on but I firmly believe the Ravens are committed to run the ball, especially in the red zone. I do think the Ravens are much better equipped to get downfield through the air with how the draft played out but when it comes to being in the red zone, the Ravens will do whatever they can to run the ball in. This warrants a small play on the under or just leaving this on the board.