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Manning Prop Taken Off the Board
Often times, the odds that the bookmakers take off the board tell us the most about the behind the scenes processes of our favorite NFL teams.
For most of the summer, FanDuel and DraftKings gave New York Giants longtime QB, Eli Manning a Season-long touchdown prop of Over/Under 18.5 touchdowns. If Daniel Jones didn’t exist, 18.5 would seem appropriate. Manning has averaged 20.0 touchdowns over his past two seasons and his numbers have been trending down.
However by late August, of the 28 QBs on FanDuel with Touchdown O/U Props, Eli Manning was not one of them. Daniel Jones had played so well in the Giants preseason campaign, that the sportsbooks worried about sharps loading up on the under for Manning’s touchdowns. If Jones became the starter midway through the Giants’ season, Manning under 18.5 touchdowns would be a mortal lock.
Daniel Jones Preseason Success
Regardless of the quality of his competition (or lack thereof), Daniel Jones had a much better than expected preseason this August. The Giants won all 4 exhibition games they played, largely because of his exploits.
His final stat line looked excellent: 29/34 (85%), 416 yards, 2 TDs, 0 Ints,
His advanced statistics look even better: 137.3 QBR, 12.2 yards per attempt.
In exhibition games often defined by QBs breaking containment, Jones succeed from the pocket. Despite not accruing 1 rushing yard, Jones lead numerous successful touchdown drives highlighted by cool, calm and collected third down conversions.
Earlier this week Jones success prompted DraftKings to post “Special” odds on who would start more games for the Giants. Manning was still the favorite at -200, but Jones had a significant shot at +155 to start more games than the 15-year veteran he had been drafted to usurp.
By this morning, those odds as well – just like Manning’s Touchdowns Prop – had been taken off the board by DraftKings.
How to Profit From the Writing on the Wall
Young quarterbacks ability to play early and play well has been a defining characteristic of the NFL over the past few years. 10 out of 11 first round quarterbacks took over from the previous starter in short order.
Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, DeShaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, and Carson Wentz all took over as their teams #1 QB within one year. Only one 1st round QB failed to take the reins of his team: Broncos’ bust, Paxton Lynch.
Despite what the Giants brass says publically, I think there is above a 75% that Jones parlays his terrific exhibition season into a starting role this year.
Two Jones specific props are still bettable. One is Jones to Throw More TDs than Baker Mayfield at 25/1. Don’t like these odds, because it almost requires a Mayfield injury to have a chance.
The bet I like better is Daniel Jones to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at 20/1. I like these odds better because it is a narrative driven bet. Jones could be the story of the Giants season even if he doesn’t get the starting reigns until week 8 or later. Cardinals Rookie QB, Kyler Murray is the only other high profile offensive rookie, and he looks over priced at +170 to win OROY. Many bettors I respect love the Cardinals to win less than 5 games. No QB will an win award on a team that is 4-12 or worse.
My prediction: Jones takes over to face Washington in Week 4 and never gives Manning back the starter reigns. He might not win it, but he will be in the conversation for Rookie of the Year and presents great value at 20/1.