2019 NFL Props: How Many Yards & Touchdowns Will QB Kyler Murray Throw?

2019 NFL Props: How Many Yards & Touchdowns Will QB Kyler Murray Throw? article feature image

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyler Murray

  • Day 1 of the 2019 NFL draft is over.
  • Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was selected No. 1 overall by the Arizona Cardinals.
  • What kind of passing production should we expect from Murray in his 2019 rookie season?

Each day, I publish 1-2 pieces on props I like. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.

Day 1 of the 2019 NFL draft is over, and to no one’s surprise, the Arizona Cardinals selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1.

What should we expect from Murray in his rookie campaign with first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury?

Let’s break down the Murray 2019 passing props that have been posted on DraftKings Sportsbook and PointsBet.

Kyler Murray: 2019 NFL Passing Yards

  • DraftKings: 3,150.5 – Over -110, Under -110
  • PointsBet: 3,190.5 – Over -110, Under -110

Over the past decade, there have been 11 quarterbacks drafted in the top two. Collectively, they have averaged 3,186.7 yards passing per season, so these lines look efficient at a glance.

But the median for this cohort is 3,512 yards, suggesting that there might be some drastic low-end performances skewing the average.

Sure enough, that seems to be the case: In the sample are four quarterbacks who started no more than 12 games. One of them (Jared Goff in 2016) started just seven games. When we look at the splits for the cohort based on games started, we see some stark trends.

  • 13-16 Games Started (7 QBs): 3,812.3 yards, 100% over success rate
  • 0-12 Games Started (4 QBs): 2,091.8 yards, 0% over success rate

Basically this prop comes down to how many games Murray starts. I think he’s likely to open the season as the starter and keep the job for the entire year.

Maybe he’ll miss a few games due to injury. But the Cardinals drafted him in order to use him right away in Kingsbury’s offense.

I like his chances to play at least 13 games this year and would bet the over to -150.

The Pick: Over 3,150.5 (-110)

Kyler Murray: 2019 NFL Passing Touchdowns

  • DraftKings: 19.5 – Over -110, Under -110
  • PointsBet: 20.5 – Over -110, Under -110

Touchdowns are different than yards. Murray’s likely to get lots of opportunities to throw in Kingsbury’s pass-heavy Air Raid system, and those attempts should translate into yardage.

But they might not necessarily translate into touchdowns. The Cardinals have a Vegas win total of just 5.0. They might not score many points in 2019. It’s very possible that Murray could get lots of yards playing from behind without passing for many touchdowns.

Or maybe the Cardinals will surprise people with an above-average offense. But even if that happens, Murray could still have relatively few passing touchdowns if the Cardinals decide to give running back David Johnson or Murray himself extra carries whenever the team gets in scoring position.

The start-based splits for touchdowns are still good, but they’re not quite as encouraging as those for yards.

  • 13-16 Games Started (7 QBs): 21 touchdowns, 71.4% over success rate
  • 0-12 Games Started (4 QBs): 11 touchdowns, 0% over success rate

If I had to choose a side, I’d lean over 19.5, but the difference between 21 touchdowns and 19.5 is pretty marginal.

I like Murray a lot and think he could approach the 27 touchdowns that Mayfield threw last year. But it’s also possible for Murray to have a strong season and still hit the under on his touchdown total.

The Pick: Pass

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Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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