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At FanDuel Sportsbook, there is no shortage of NFL player props available to wager on for the upcoming 2020-21 season. Over/unders are posted for a number of quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers. Since there is still some uncertainty pertaining to COVID-19, FanDuel’s rules stipulate that teams must play a full 16 game regular season for a player prop wager to stand.
We have identified a number of player props we love and will be releasing our picks as part of a series over the next month. Be sure to check back for our selections.
This article focuses on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s regular-season total passing yards.
Will Dak Prescott go Over/Under 4319.5 Passing Yards
Over 4319.5 (-112) / Under 4319.5 (-112) (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Case for the Over
Dak Prescott is entering his fifth full season as starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. He is as durable as they come, never missing a game in any of the four previous seasons. More and more is put on his plate every year, as his attempts have increased each season.
Last season was statistically Prescott’s best yet. His 4,902 passing yards were second-best only behind Jameis Winston and would crush this year’s projection. In addition, his 30 passing touchdowns were seven more than his previous career-best which he set as a rookie in 2016.
In this year’s draft, the Cowboys landed arguably the first round’s biggest steal in Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick. Thus, Dallas now has one of the best trios of receivers in the league in Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup. The Cowboys offense ranked first in the league last year with 6,904 total yards and 431.5 yards per game. It will be fun to watch what they can do with even more weapons, as Lamb will be used all over the field.
Though Prescott had a career year last year under head coach Jason Garrett, he will be playing for a new head coach in Mike McCarthy this year. McCarthy and the Cowboys front office retained offensive coordinator Kellen Moore who will enter his second season in that role.
Oddsmakers seem to think a big year is ahead for Dak Prescott. He has the fourth-best odds of any player at +1200 to win the Most Valuable Player Award. In addition, the Cowboys are listed as NFC East favorites with odds of -105. Things are certainly trending up for Prescott and the Cowboys entering 2020-21.
The Case for the Under
Though Prescott has been an “Iron Man” in his young career, he is due for some regression from an injury standpoint. When asked to run the ball, Prescott is a physical runner who does not shy away from contact often. Two years ago, he ran the ball 75 times which was the most in his career. He has carried 241 times so far in his young career. Is this the year all those hits catch up with him?
Those who believe a contract dispute can affect one’s play on the field will certainly look at the under. The Cowboys have until July 15th to reach a deal for a long-term extension with Prescott. If they do not come to an agreement, Prescott is expected to play the 2020-21 season on a one-year franchise tag deal worth $31.4 million.
Furthermore, devil’s advocates will say that even though Prescott’s attempts and yards were way up last years, his interceptions were also up and his completion percentage was his second-lowest of his four-year career. Perhaps new head coach Mike McCarthy will see these trends and think the offense is better suited to feature its strong running game. After all, those gaudy numbers from Prescott only led Dallas to an 8-8 record and missing the playoffs.
Speaking of the strong running game, Ezekiel Elliott had to be happy as well with the team drafting CeeDee Lamb. Elliott has led the league in rushing twice in his four-year career despite facing many stacked boxes. With another weapon in Lamb to take defenses’ attention away from him, perhaps the Cowboys feature Elliott more now. It is not like the team forgot about Elliott last year as it was. He still carried 301 times which was only two less than Derrick Henry’s league-leading 303 carries.
There are some bettors who will look at Prescott’s 4,902 yards last year and think it is an anomaly. After all, he had not thrown for more than 3,900 yards in any season prior to last year.
However, I believe last year is a sign of things to come for Prescott. He is maturing greatly, the coaching staff believes in his talent, and he has the best supporting cast he has ever had.
Even if Prescott does not sign a long-term extension before the season, he will use that as motivation. $31.4 million is nothing to sneeze at, but another huge year could see him earn closer to $40 million a year in a long-term deal.
Head coach Mike McCarthy is no stranger to pass-heavy offenses. He has coached a “gunslinger” in Brett Favre and one of the best arm talents in Aaron Rodgers. Look for his offensive philosophy to mesh well with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and keep Prescott trending upwards.
Lastly, Dallas plays ten games against teams that finished in the bottom half of the league in pass defense. The Cowboys offense should not miss a beat entering this season and Dak Prescott will be the biggest reason why.