Betting: Will Justin Herbert lead NFL in passing?

Pamela Maldonado gives her top futures bet for the AFC West division.

Video Transcript

PAMELA MALDONADO: We are just one week away from a brand new season in the NFL. Instead of looking at season win totals this close to the season, I want to instead target 7 to 1 futures on a player prop out of the AFC west. The play, Justin Herbert to have the most passing yards at plus 700 found on Bet MGM.

In his rookie season, Herbert was sixth in passing yards with just over 4,300, ahead of players like Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Russell Wilson, behind some of the best quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. In his second year last year, Herbert was second in passing yards with just over 5,000, behind only one man, the GOAT himself in Brady, who had over 5,300 on the year, of which he ended up leading in completions, passing attempts, passing touchdowns, and of course, passing yards. That's 300 yards shy of the lead and had 47 attempts less than Brady.

Now in his third year, Herbert and the Chargers have an opportunity to have themselves a fantastic season. But there is still only one area that Herbert can improve on to have an even better year this year than 2021, and that's under pressure. Herbert was the 12th most pressured quarterback in the NFL, ranked outside the top 20 of pressured completion percentage and outside the top 25 for accuracy under pressure. Still, he finished a second in passing. Herbert can improve on this area through, one, experience alone and through coaching. It is now year number two that he will be with offensive coordinator in Joe Lombardi.

Looking at the schedule, it is pretty sweet for the Chargers and the Herbert-led offense. LA is projected to play the sixth easiest schedule of passing defenses. Looking at the first seven games, Herbert is going to face six teams projected to be ranked 19th or worse in passing defense, including the Chiefs, who were 27th last year, and Seattle, who was 31st in 2021.

Now, the schedule does progressively get more difficult as the season progresses. Looking at weeks 10 and on, the Chargers will end up facing some of the better passing defenses, such as the Raiders and the Titans. These are some of the teams that had good opposing passing yards per game on defense, but they still managed to give up long passing plays ranked worse in opponent yards per catch.

Now, this Chargers team is projected to be one of the top teams in the NFL this season, with a top six offensive line, top 10 running backs, and wide receivers, and now a second-year coaching staff with head coach Brandon Staley and offensive coordinator in Lombardi. I'm really looking forward to what Justin Herbert can do, as I'm sure the rest of you are. So instead of looking at season win totals, give me Justin Herbert to have the most passing yards at 7 to 1 odds.

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