Brady vs. Manning and our favorite NFL passing props
The NFL has more gunslingers than a Spaghetti Western film festival, with most teams airing it out over 50 percent of the time. Having a capable quarterback is the No. 1 priority when it comes to winning games, which makes NFL head-to-head QB props so much fun.
William Hill Sportsbooks in Nevada posted player-versus-player props on total passing yards in 2013. Here are some of our favorite matchups:
Tom Brady, New England Patriots (+110) vs. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (-130)
Brady loses No. 1 target Wes Welker to the Broncos and may not have either tight end, with Aaron Hernandez looking at life in prison and Rob Gronkowski always on the mend. New England did add Danny Amendola, but that only softens the blow of this offseason and could even look at throwing Tim Tebow in the slot. Hey, it's Belichick.
As mentioned, Manning has Welker coming across the middle this season on top of budding star WR Demaryius Thomas, who reeled in more than 1,400 yards in 2012. With another camp to develop timing, Manning is poised for some mile-high numbers in Denver.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (+115) vs. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (-135)
Throwing RB Steven Jackson into the mix in Atlanta puts another receiving weapon in Ryan’s already-loaded tool box. Jackson is great after the catch and gives his QB some hidden value in this prop. And we haven’t even mentioned Roddy White, Julio Jones or Tony Gonzalez yet.
Romo has all the talent in the world– Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin – and statistically has been an elite passer in recent years, but his poor decisions and INT count can sour plenty of prop bettors. New offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will reel in Romo a bit, which may shrink his passing numbers.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (-120) vs. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (+110)
Both of these QBs have a hard time staying on the field but even considering injuries, the prices seem like a misprint. Roethlisberger lost his No.1 option, Mike Wallace, this offseason and TE Heath Miller could miss a lot of time with a knee injury. Big Ben isn’t that healthy either, with knee issues of his own.
Cutler is hoping the hire of new head coach Marc Trestman can lift him to the elite level. He’ll definitely be busy in Trestman’s West Coast offseason. Top wideout Brandon Marshall, TE Martellus Bennett and RB Matt Forte are all options to pick up passing yards.