Heisman Trophy winning, National Champion Joe Burrow was selected #1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Burrow was a lock to go to the Bengals and was listed at -100,000 odds to do so.
What’s not a lock is how well Burrow will do during the regular season. In fact, prior to the release of Andy Dalton, Burrow wasn’t as large of a favorite to start in Week 1 as some fans and pundits would’ve thought.
Bengals Release Andy Dalton to Make Way For Burrow
On Thursday, April 30th, the Bengals announced that they had released longtime QB Andy Dalton. The nine year veteran has been the primary signal caller since 2011. He helped lead the Bengals to five playoff appearances and leads the franchise in TD passes.
Nevertheless, Dalton’s days were numbered once Cincy captured the 1st overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Additionally, Dalton was set to get paid $17.7 million dollars this season. The Bengals tried to trade him, but there were no takers since the rest of the league knew they would have to release him.
Prior to releasing Dalton, Joe Burrow was listed at -1400 odds to be the Day 1 starter. These odds aren’t that high considering he was taken first overall in the draft. Now, with Dalton out of the way, I would imagine that Burrow’s odds to triple. The only other competition is Ryan Finley who was +1200 odds to start.
With Burrow’s clear path to being the opening game starter, we can examine the following prop bets with a little more clarity.
Total Passing Yards O/U 3,800 yds.
In 2019, 14 quarterbacks crossed the 3,800 yard mark threshold. Of the rookie QBs that played at least 10 games, Kyler Murray and Gardner Minshew came the closest to cracking this mark.
The #1 draft pick in 2019, Kyler Murray finished the year with 3,722 passing yards as he averaged 232.6 ypg. The other high profile draft pick Dwayne Haskins only started seven games and finished with 1,365 yards. He averaged 151.7 ypg.
6th round pick Garner Minshew came out of nowhere to take the starting job in Jacksonville after Nick Foles was injured. Minshew played in 14 games, but started in 12 of those contests.
He went 6-6 as a starter and finished with 3,271 passing yards. He averaged 233.6 passing ypg and would’ve probably crossed the 3,800 yard threshold if he wasn’t yanked for a returning Foles.
Burrow is going to have a lot of talent around him with AJ Green, Tyler Boyd and Jon Ross III as his receivers. Joe Mixon will deliver a strong running game to take pressure off of Burrow and the Bengals have improved the o-line since last year, which will give the rookie QB more time to throw the ball.
With that said, I expect Burrow to put up nearly 4,000 yards passing this season as he has all of the components for a highly competitive offense. Take the Over for this wager.
Total Passing Yards :Over 3,800 passing yards (-120)
Total Touchdown Passes O/U 22 TDs
Last year, 15 starting QBs threw for over 22 passing touchdowns. Three more QBs tied that mark and two more were within one touchdown.
For Burrow to reach the 22 TD mark, he would have to throw at least 1.37 TDs per game throughout the 16 game season.
Gardner Minshew threw 21 TDs last year on a less talented team than what Burrow has. And, he only played in 14 games while starting just 12. If Minshew was this close then Burrow should crush that mark.
Kyler Murray had 20 TD passes, but also rushed for four TDs with 544 yards on the ground. Burrow isn’t a dual threat QB like Murray, so I would expect him to throw more.
If Burrow plays at least 14 of the 16 games then I see him going Over 22 TDs rather easily. There’s just too much talent on this Bengals offense for Burrow not to succeed statistically.
Total Touchdown Passes:Over 22 TD passes (-120)
Total Interceptions O/U 20.5 INTs
In 2019, only two QBs threw over 20 INTs: Baker Mayfield at 21 INTs and Jameis Winston at 30 INTs. Philip Rivers had 20 INTs and nobody else had over 16.
Rookie QBs Kyler Murray finished the year with just 12 INTs and Garnder Minshew had just 6 INTs. Both of the first year signal callers took care of the ball as their offensive coordinators put them in positions to succeed without hurting the team.
With that said, I don’t see Burrow throwing 21 or more INTs in 2019. I believe the Bengals will put him in a position to succeed and not ask him to do too much in the beginning of the year. They will tailor the offense to his strengths and slowly take the reins off throughout the season. Go with the Under.
Total Interceptions:Under 20.5 INTs (-120)
Tua Tagovailoa Prop Bets
Perhaps, the one name talked about the most heading into the 2020 NFL Draft was Tua Tagovailoa. The immensely talented QB was often praised for his high ceiling, but also questioned over whether or not he was back to full health following injuries at Alabama the last two seasons.
With injury concerns came speculations over where Tua would get drafted. There were prop bets that had Tua drafted anywhere from the 3rd overall pick to the 3rd quarterback selected. In the end, Tua was drafted 5th overall by the Miami Dolphins and the team didn’t have to trade up to get him.
Now that we know where Tagovailoa will play the start of his NFL career at, we must turn our attention towards whether he starts in Week 1 or not. From there we can then address the additional Tua prop bets.
Miami Dolphins Starting QB for Week 1
Ryan Fitzpatrick (-350)
Tua Tagovailoa (+200)
Josh Rosen (+2500)
Unlike Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa has some stiff competition at the QB position in Miami. He has returning quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen to battle for the starting spot in Week 1 of the 2020 season.
Fitzpatrick is the favorite of the group due to his competitive leadership on and off the field. He’s won his teammates over with his play in 2019 and still has the backing of the locker room going into this season. Fitz went 5-8 last season as a starter with 3,529 passing yards, 20 TDs and 13 INTs.
Fitzpatrick not only gave Miami the best shot at winning last season, over Josh Rosen, but he also gives them the best shot now. With an improved roster, Fitz could lead the Dolphins back to a winning record, which is more than we can say about the rookie QB.
Former NFL QB Tim Tebow weighed in on Miami’s quarterback situation and shared what he thought would be the best scenario for Tagovailoa:
“That’s going to depend on the medical examiners taking a look at him and seeing what is best for his prognosis. What’s better for Tua in the long run? I would personally sit him for a little bit of time, heal him up, get him stronger, get him bigger. Make sure he is 100 percent confident in his hip, his legs and that he is ready to go because I think Tua is one of the most accurate, gifted quarterbacks I have ever seen coming out of college.”
I absolutely agree with Tebow on this topic. I think it’s a bad idea to throw Tua into the fire right now especially when you have a highly respected and capable veteran QB to lead the way.
Fitzpatrick will not only help Miami win games, but he will also help mentor Tagovailoa. That’s a win-win situation for the Dolphins franchise.
I think Tua’s betting odds are overvalued here. With health concerns and a veteran QB in front of him on the depth chart, I don’t see value with his odds. As for Rosen, the only way he starts is if there’s an injury to Fitzpatrick. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised of Rosen finishes 2020 on a different team.
For this bet, go with Fitzpatrick to start the opening weekend.
In my opinion, the best case scenario for the Dolphins and Tua is to wait either one full season or at least half the season before putting him in the starting lineup. Take a page out of Kansas City’s playbook as they sat Patrick Mahomes him his first year and went with veteran Alex Smith.
If Tua plays only half of a season then there’s no way he hits this 3,200 yard mark. I think he will be closer to what Haskins did last year in his rookie campaign where he started 7 games and finished with 1,365 yards.
This prop bet is an easy one. Go with the Under.
Total Passing Yards:Under 3,200 passing yards (-120)
Total Touchdown Passes O/U 19 TDs
Since I don’t see Tua playing more than half of a season, I don’t see the talented QB throwing for more than 19 touchdown passes. Even if he played eight games, he would need 2.4 TD passes per game. Although that’s not impossible, it’s improbable for a rookie.
Like the prop bet above, take the Under.
Total Touchdown Passes:Under 19 TD passes (-120)
Total Interceptions O/U 19.5 INTs
This is the easiest Tua prop bet of all the ones available. As mentioned above, only three QBs threw for 20 or more INTs in 2019. The rest of the starting QBs threw for 16 or less. Rookies Gardner Minshew, Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins all threw for 12 INTs or less.
So, even if Tua played all 16 games, there’s still a great chance he doesn’t throw for 20 INTs or more. But, when you factor in that Tagovailoa will most likely not start at the beginning of the season, and possibly not play this year at all, then there’s absolutely no way he throws 20 or more INTs.
Total Interceptions:Under 19.5 INTs (-120)
What Number Will Tua Tagovailoa Wear in Miami?
Although there’s no official betting odds for this, there’s still a huge debate brewing within the Miami Dolphins fanbase and national football analysts. This debate is over whether or not Tua should wear the #13, which was his number in college at Alabama.
The problem for Tua, and his supporters, is that the #13 is retired. That number belonged to Dan Marino who is a HOF quarterback and arguably the greatest Miami Dolphins player of all time. Furthermore, he’s the only player with a statue outside the stadium.
Marino is often mentioned with the greatest QBs of all-time as he did retire with 40 NFL records to his name. Although, many of those records are now broken, his resume still stands the test of time.
If I were to handicap this possibility, I would put it at -10,000 odds on “No;” Tua will not get this number in Miami. In fact, the supporters of Tua wearing #13 need to quite committing blaspheme and accept that he will need a new number for the NFL.
Justin Herbert Prop Bets
Along with Tua, Justin Herbert saw his name debated throughout the draft process. Many pundits argued where the former Oregon QB would go. From 2nd overall to out of the Top 20, Herbert’s draft stock varied with each draft guru.
Nevertheless, Herbert didn’t slide past the #6 spot as the Chargers took him with their 1st selection of the NFL Draft. In the end, Tua did get drafted ahead of Herbert despite the heated debates over which one would be the 2nd overall QB taken.
Also like Tua, Herbert has some competition for the starting QB spot in Los Angeles. However, unlike Tagovailoa, Herbert is 100% healthy and has a better chance at playing more in 2020 than Tagovailoa does.
Chargers Starting QB for Week 1
Tyrod Taylor (-400)
Justin Herbert (+250)
If longtime QB Philip Rivers was still with the Chargers, there’s no way Herbert would be starting. However, Rivers left via Free Agency to go to the Colts and that left the Chargers with just Tyrod Taylor as the potential starting QB.
Taylor signed a 2-year deal with the Chargers in 2019 and is expected by many to be the starting QB in Week 1 of the 2020 season. Oddsmakers also feel that Taylor will be the starter since he’s listed at -400 odds.
“Competition’s great for everyone. He’s going to push me and I’m going to push him. He’s had a lot of success and I’m going to do everything I can to learn from him, do whatever I can to help him. At the end of the day, it’s all about the team and we’re both professionals now. I’m really excited to learn from him.”
This Chargers team is built to win now with all of the talent they have on both sides of the ball. It’s hard to imagine that they would hand over the keys to Herbert unless the rookie can beat out Taylor in training camp and the preseason.
Herbert has all of the tools to be a successful QB in this league, but Taylor has the drive and veteran intangibles to hold on to the starting job. I think Herbert is worthy of a flier, but Taylor is the smart play here.
Chargers Starting QB for Week 1:Tyrod Taylor (-400)
Total Passing Yards O/U 3,400 yds.
If Herbert ends up taking the starting job from Taylor then I think he will crush this mark. 18 QBs threw for over 3,400 yards in 2019. Kyle Allen started 12 games and surpassed 3,300 yards. Daniel Jones started 12 games and surpassed 3,000 yards.
The Chargers have a better team than Carolina and the Giants did last year. So, if Herbert can get 12 starts on the year, I believe he can throw for over 3,400 yards. And, if he starts all 16 games then there’s no doubt that he will surpass this mark.
The problem is, all signs point to Taylor at least starting the season. And, if the Chargers are winning with Taylor as the QB then there’s no need to put Herbert in during the 2020 season.
The only way Herbert gets the job in Week 1 is if he beats out Taylor in the preseason. With the restrictions in place for sports leagues and teams, I have a hard time seeing a rookie QB beating out a proven vet. Go with the Under for this wager.
Total Passing Yards:Under 3,400 passing yards (-120)
Total Touchdown Passes O/U 21 TDs
The same logic in the wager above also applies to this prop bet and the next one. Herbert will need to start the bulk of the season to have a shot at surpassing 21 TD passes. As of now, I don’t see it happening. The smart play here is on the Under.
Total Touchdown Passes:Under 21 TD passes (-120)
Total Interceptions O/U 21.5 INTs
Like with the Tua and Burrow prop bets above, this one is definitely going to be Under 21.5 interceptions. First, I don’t see Herbert playing all 16 games which means his passing attempts and INTs will be lower.
Second, even if he does play all 16 games, only Jameis Winston threw more than 21 INTS in 2019 as he finished with a whopping 30 interceptions.
Baker Mayfield, who had a highly disappointing season, was 2nd in the league with 21 INTs. Rivers was 3rd with 20 INTs and every other QB threw for 16 INTs or less.
I would jump all over the Under for this bet as I don’t see Herbert throwing 22 or more interceptions during the 2020 season.
Total Interceptions:Under 21.5 INTs
Which Rookie QB Will Have the Better Season?
Currently there are no betting odds for this prop bet, but I believe online NFL betting sites will eventually release some on this topic and debate. If I were to handicap it, the odds would look something like the following:
Joe Burrow (-500)
Justin Herbert (+200)
Tua Tagovailoa (+350)
Burrow has a clear cut path to the starting spot from Day 1. He will have more opportunities to succeed statistically even if that doesn’t translate into more wins for the Bengals. Additionally, Burrow has more talent on his offense than Tua does and just as much as Herbert does.
I just don’t see Tua playing more than a half season in 2020. It makes more sense to roll out Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter and let the team go through the ups and downs with the veteran as the QB. Tua’s health is more important than in-game reps right now.
Plus, Rosen is a capable backup that could fill-in if anything happens to Fitzpatrick. So, Tagovailoa could be the #3 QB and learn from the other two players in the film room and take 2021 by storm.
As for Herbert, I put him at a 30% chance of winning the starting spot from Taylor in the preseason. I think Tyrod has the confidence from his coaching staff, the professional experience, and the determination to beat out the talented, young QB and hold him off for a while.
Yet, I can see Tyrod either playing poorly during the regular season or getting injured, which opens the door for Herbert to get some starts. However, that still won’t be enough for Herbert to finish with a better season than Burrow.
Keep an eye out for this prop bet and take Joe Burrow to have the best season among all rookie QBs.
Best Rookie QB Season:Joe Burrow (-500)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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