NFL betting: Bettors are bullish on long-shot Jameis Winston to lead the league in passing yards

Jameis Winston hasn’t been officially named the New Orleans Saints starting quarterback but that isn’t stopping bettors at BetMGM from thinking he could lead the NFL in passing yards in 2021.

Winston is at +4000 to throw for the most yards this season and has garnered the most money from bettors at the sportsbook. Nearly 25% of the handle — the total money wagered — is on Winston to lead the league in yards while 15% of bets are on him.

Winston’s percentage of tickets is second only to new Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford (+1400). Stafford has garnered 15.9% of wagers but those wagers make up 17.1% of the handle — far short of Winston.

It’s easy to see why bettors are a fan of the former No. 1 draft pick’s chances of leading the league with those odds. Winston threw for a league-leading 5,109 yards in his final season with the Buccaneers in 2019, though that fact gets lost because of his league-leading 30 interceptions. He also topped 4,000 yards in his first two seasons with the Bucs.

While he hasn’t been officially anointed QB1 in New Orleans yet, the potential of New Orleans' passing offense is higher with him taking the snaps instead of Taysom Hill.

Stafford and Winston are the only two QBs who have drawn more than 10% of wagers or handle at BetMGM. Bets are split pretty evenly among the next 10 quarterbacks behind them.

The third-most bet QB is the Chargers’ Justin Herbert (+1200). He’s gotten 8.4% of the wagers and 7.2% of the handle. The Bengals’ Joe Burrow (+2000) has also gotten 7.5% of the bets.

The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (+325) is the favorite to lead the league in passing yards in addition to being the favorite to win the 2021 MVP award. The Cowboys’ Dak Prescott (+550) is the No. 2 favorite after his torrid passing yardage pace in 2020 before he suffered a season-ending ankle injury.

Here’s a list of the top betting favorites at BetMGM. Winston is the No. 14 QB on the board just ahead of Trevor Lawrence, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jared Goff and Ryan Tannehill. They’re all at +5000.

Passing yards favorites

Patrick Mahomes (+325)

Dak Prescott (+550)

Josh Allen (+900)

Tom Brady (+900)

Justin Herbert (+1200)

Matt Ryan (+1400)

Matthew Stafford (+1400)

Aaron Rodgers (+1600)

Joe Burrow (+2000)

Kirk Cousins (+3500)

Russell Wilson (+3500)

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