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An overlooked rookie from last season, Denver Broncos’ quarterback Drew Lock looks poised to succeed in 2020. In his five starts last year, Lock showed the AFC West and the rest of the NFL that he’s here to stay.
There’s value in Lock’s betting props before the season begins, and if you haven’t jumped on them before the draft, now’s your chance. DraftKings Sportsbook has Lock’s passing yardage prop at 3,450.5 yards (-110) and passing touchdowns at 21.5 (-110). His passing props have increased from their opening totals of 3,350.5 yards and 20.5 touchdowns.
As the season comes nearer, his prop totals are only going to rise, and your return value will decline as we approach training camp. Let’s take a look at which bet is the better choice based on projections and scheduling.
Check out all of our 2020 NFL Player Prop Bets here.
Lock’s Rookie Season was no Fluke
Lock went 4-1 as the starter in Denver, with his only loss coming against the Chiefs in Week 15. Lock led the Broncos to wins versus the Chargers, Lions, Raiders, and Texans, and Denver made it a point of emphasis this offseason to upgrade his supporting cast.
Denver’s offensive weapons earned a -4.66 rating supporting cast efficiency (26th) per PlayerProfiler in 2019, leading to a 7-9 record. But in his five starts, Lock threw for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions despite the players around him.
In a 16-game schedule at his 2019 per game output, Lock would have finished with 3,264 yards, 22.4 touchdowns, and 6.8 interceptions. Those totals would have put him top-20 in passing yards, touchdowns, interceptions, and completion percentage.
He threw a total of seven dangerous passes and five interceptable throws in five total games, becoming trustworthy for a rookie. He was one of the NFL’s top-10 safest passers, posting a 14.1% aggressiveness in his first season, ranking right behind Cardinals’ Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray (14.0) per NFL’s NextGen Stats. Youngsters Dwayne Haskins (22.7) and Daniel Jones (22.4) both finished top three in aggressiveness, and both quarterbacks averaged an interception per game in comparison.
Earlier, when I said Denver reloaded, I meant it. They’ve spent their last four first-round picks on excellent talents, including tackle Garett Boles (2017), defensive end Bradley Chubb (2018), tight end Noah Fant (2019), and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (2020). Those three offensive players should excel with Lock again under center.
Denver made a splash in the draft and free agency this offseason, and Lock signaled his approval with their decisions to pick Jeudy and KJ Hamler via Twitter.
— Drew Lock (@DrewLock23) April 25, 2020
Denver later drafted center Llyod Cushenberry III (third), tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (fourth), guard Netane Muti (sixth), and receiver Tyrie Cleveland (seventh) to give the offense some added depth.
The most surprising offseason move was the signing of former Chargers running back Melvin Gordon to a two-year deal, giving the Broncos a 1-2 punch with Phillip Lindsay. Gordon ran behind a similar run scheme at Wisconsin to Mike Munchak’s in Denver, and he’s one of the better receiving backs in the league. Gordon has a shot at becoming one of Lock’s top three most-targeted receivers this year.
Denver added two more offensive linemen this offseason, signing former Lions guard Graham Glasgow and re-signing tackle Elijah Wilkinson to a one-year tender. Wilkinson allowed 10 sacks last season, fourth-most of all tackles, and Denver finished tied for 15th with 2.6 sacks allowed per game. However, that rate fell to just once per game with Lock under center.
Denver’s offensive line finished 12th overall as a unit per Pro Football Focus’ 2019 offensive line rankings. Their line will feature at least two new starters, and there will be a fight for the starting right tackle position between Ja’Wuan James and Wilkinson.
With that offensive line last season, Lock posted a better passer rating than Tom Brady, better completion percentage than Carson Wentz, and had less time to throw than Sam Darnold and Ryan Tannehill. He’s certainly a project for the next two seasons, but in five games last year, he earned the starting role for Denver.
He completed 64.1% of his passes (100/151), which would have ranked him 17th, just ahead of Eagles’ Carson Wentz. In a 16 game schedule at his current projection, Lock would have finished with 3,264 yards, 22.4 touchdowns, and 6.8 interceptions. In most categories, Lock would have even finished top-20 had he played a full season, including yards, touchdowns, interceptions, and completion percentage.
2020 Schedule and Prop Picks
The Broncos have the 21st toughest strength of schedule (.511) and the easiest in the AFC West, making Lock’s case for the over even more appealing. The Broncos will play seven games against teams ranked 17th or worse in passing yards allowed last season, and they’ll play five teams inside the top 10. They’ve got five teams on their schedule that allowed 24.9 points per game or finished 10th or worse in points allowed last season.
|Week / Opponent||Passing Yards Allowed||Points Per Game Allowed|
|Week 1 vs. Titans||255.0 (24th)||20.7 (12th)|
|Week 2 at Steelers||194.6 (3rd)||18.9 (6th)|
|Week 3 vs. Bucs||270.1 (30th)||28.1 (29th)|
|Week 4 at Jets||236.2 (17th)||22.4 (16th)|
|Week 5 at Patriots||180.4 (2nd)||14.1 (1st)|
|Week 6 vs. Dolphins||262.4 (26th)||30.9 (32nd)|
|Weeks 7, 13 vs. Chiefs||221.4 (8th)||19.3 (7th)|
|Week 9 at Falcons||244.9 (22nd)||24.9 (23rd)|
|Weeks 10, 17 vs. Raiders||256.7 (25th)||26.2 (24th)|
|Week 11, 16 vs. Chargers||200.3 (5th)||21.6 (14th)|
|Week 12 vs. Saints||241.8 (20th)||21.3 (13th)|
|Week 14 at Panthers||231.0 (13th)||29.4 (31st)|
|Week 15 vs. Bills||195.2 (4th)||16.2 (2nd)|
For Lock to hit DraftKing’s prop total for passing yards (3,450.5) and touchdowns (21.5), he’d have to average 215.7 passing yards and 1.37 passing touchdowns per game. Both of those are feasible, and outside of his Kansas City game, Lock played outstanding after the thumb sprain that landed him on the injury report for 11 games. He had an 84.5 passer rating, tossed a touchdown, and posted a completion percentage of 60% or better in four of five games.
FantasyPros’ 2020 projections peg Lock to exceed his passing yardage total with 3,688.2 yards, and he should beat his touchdown prop with 22.5 tosses for a score. They also project Lock to record 32.7 pass attempts per game and 230.5 passing yards, a slight jump from his 30.2 attempts and 204 yards in five games last year. Eight of Denver’s games come against teams that allowed more than 230 passing yards per game in 2019, and six of those eight games will be at home in Denver.
Lock recorded over 30 pass attempts and 200 passing yards in two of five games last season, and the added depth all-around will provide a boost of confidence for Lock his fantasy owners and bettors. Lock threw over 400 passes in three-consecutive seasons at Missouri, and after 50 college games and five NFL starts, he’s ready to light up opposing defenses.
Back Lock to surpass both totals this season and become of the NFL’s top-15 passers as a full first-year starter. Denver has put their trust in Lock, and you should do the same for a reasonable -110 odds.