NFL Prop Bets: How to Bet Philip Rivers’ 2020 Passing Props
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Philip Rivers.
NFL Prop Bets: Colts QB Philip Rivers
|Pass Yards||4099.5 (-112/-112) [BET NOW]|
|Pass TDs||27.5 (-102/-124) [BET NOW]|
In his first season out of the Los Angeles Chargers’ classic powder blue, veteran quarterback Philip Rivers is still being held to a high standard. Now a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Rivers is being booked for 4,099.5 yards at FanDuel.
Our Action Network Projections have Rivers throwing for 4,168 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Those numbers seem on par, but I see some value in going under on this season-long total. I think that books are still counting on the idea of Rivers being in a similar gun-slinging role with the Colts that he was with the Chargers and will be fading his usage in 2020.
With the Colts, Rivers is joining a run-heavy offense that was Top 5 in the NFL in 2019 in run-play percentage. Now that was with a mix of Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer playing quarterback, but the roster construction still points towards a run-heavy scheme from Indy. There is a notable pullback in Rivers’ passing yard total, but I still think under is the play.
The Colts traded up in the second round to take Wisconsin workhorse Jonathan Taylor, who will be joining a crowded and talented offensive backfield with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines. In addition, the Colts have one of the best offensive lines in football, so I don’t expect Frank Reich to get away from his philosophy, but rather use Rivers as a luxury item after some mediocre quarterback play in 2019.
While Rivers did throw for over 4,600 yards last season — and has every year since 2008 except for one — he is starting to show some signs of age. Rivers threw 20 picks in 2019, two short of his combined total from 2017 and 2018. His arm strength began to show some regression as well. Rivers’ average completed air yards was 17th-best in the NFL, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He did play behind a struggling offensive line and was bottom 10 in average time to throw, also per NFL Next Gen Stats. That said, his depth of throws is still trending in the wrong direction.
Rivers should have more time to operate in Indianapolis, but I do not see him picking apart defenses. T.Y. Hilton is not a reliable No. 1 target anymore after an injury-riddled year. I am high on rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman, but I do not think he is as dangerous as the likes of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams of the Chargers.
The rookie running back Taylor figures to be in for a heavy serving of snaps, but he did not show much talent as a pass catcher at Wisconsin either. That may hamper Rivers’ ability to find his safety valve running back like he did with Austin Ekeler in Los Angeles.
I think Rivers is going to be more efficient this season behind a talented roster and a strong offensive line. However, I also believe the Colts are going to lean on their ground-and-pound attack rather than having him heave the ball 40 times a game like he did as a Bolt.
Play the under yards as Rivers transitions into a new scheme.
Pick: 4099.5 Passing Yards (FanDuel)