Top NFL Passing Player Props for Week 4: Are Oddsmakers Too Low on These MVP Candidates?
Bills QB Josh Allen Over 279.5 Passing Yards (-115) - DraftKings
Giving Josh Allen soft, vanilla defenses is not the way to beat him. In Week 1, the Steelers had Allen in a headlock all game through creative pressure packages that forced him to play a tick faster than he wanted to. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s protection plan in that game was suspect, but the point remains. In Week 2, the Dolphins also got after Allen with blitzes, though they did so with more man coverage on the back end thanks to their top-shelf cornerback unit.
That’s not what Washington was able to do in Week 3. To their credit, the Washington front got home to Allen a ton, generating a whopping 29 pressures on Allen’s 40-plus dropbacks. The difference, however, is so many of Washington’s coverages were conservative, as Pro Football Focus’ Diante Lee highlighted this week. The things they were doing on the back end of their pressures were not creative or conducive to getting Allen to think a step ahead. Allen had no issues managing the pocket and firing away into soft zone coverages despite the pressure or bailing altogether to make plays.
The Texans fall closer to the Washington defense than the Steelers or Dolphins. Not only are they less likely to bring interesting pressures, but they also do not have the talent to get home with four. They currently have the third-lowest pressure rate in the league, by Pro Football Reference’s measure. Behind that ineffective pass rush, the Texans regularly deploy a vanilla version of Cover 2 defense, which is just ripe for aggressive quarterbacks to pick apart over the middle of the field, as even Sam Darnold (Sam Darnold!) did last during Thursday Night Football in Week 3.
It’s also worth noting that the Texans have allowed over 285 passing yards in two of their three games this year. The lone match in which they didn’t was against the Cleveland Browns. Quarterback Baker Mayfield still went a stunning 19-of-21 with 10 yards per pass in that game, but the Browns’ stellar rushing attack washed away the need to throw the ball all over the yard. The Bills don’t have a run game like the Browns do, which leads me to believe Allen will get chances to clear the 300-yard mark.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Over 2.5 Passing Touchdowns (-115) - DraftKings
Last week’s showing against the Los Angeles Chargers was a rare brand of bad from Patrick Mahomes. Of course, his “bad” still means a trio of touchdowns and a game that went down to the wire, but he threw a pair of picks, one-off an unlucky bounce and another that was largely his fault. That Mahomes could still put up three scores against a solid Chargers defense while his own offense turned the ball over four times is a testament to how explosive he is and continues to be.
In 49 regular season starts, Mahomes has only thrown multiple interceptions on five occasions. Three of those instances came in his debut 2018 season, another in 2020, and finally last week against Los Angeles. Mahomes is extremely unlikely to have another one of those games this week against the Eagles, which should mean he can more consistently convert drives into scores.
We also saw what the Eagles defense actually looks like against a competent offense on Monday Night Football against the Cowboys. Philly’s defense skated by the first two weeks of the season by playing a disjointed Falcons offense and lucking into one of Jimmy Garoppolo’s least-accurate performances ever. However, the Cowboys made sure to correct the course and remind us all that this defense is still incomplete, especially at the linebacker position. Mahomes should be able to bludgeon the Eagles secondary the same way Prescott did.
Rams QB Matthew Stafford Over 295.5 Passing Yards (-115) - DraftKings
Few theoretical matchups in the NFL right now can match the explosive passing potential of the Arizona Cardinals versus the Los Angeles Rams. Both quarterbacks are playing lights out right now, and their offenses are giving them plenty of chances to show it. With both teams trying to protect their undefeated record, one has to imagine both coaches will put the game in their quarterbacks’ hands and let ‘em duel it out.
Assuming it comes to that, Stafford is more likely to be the one who wins the shootout. Which quarterback is playing better in a vacuum is up to debate, but Stafford is being helped much more by the structure of his offense right now. Murray’s production on offense has primarily been through grab-bag concepts and hoping he can be Superman (and he often has been), while the Rams’ passing game is as well-put-together as any in the league right now.
Additionally, the Cardinals pass defense probably is not all it’s cracked up to be through three weeks. They currently rank ninth in pass defense DVOA, but the schedule has been somewhat favorable to them in that respect. Though Arizona did face Tennessee in Week 1, the Titans’ offensive struggles in that game felt much more a product of their own poor game-planning and discomfort with the new personnel they have on offense. That Titans performance can be chalked up to Week 1 shenanigans more than anything, in my opinion.
The Cardinals were then blasted by Kirk Cousins in Week 2, though they still ultimately won out in that contest. In Week 3, the Cardinals had the fortune of playing Trevor Lawrence. He is currently the most reckless passer in the league and playing in an offense that does not look as though anybody has been coached up in any capacity. The duo of Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay are the perfect candidates to bring this Cardinals pass defense back to reality.
Top NFL Passing Props for Week 4
- Josh Allen Over 279.5 Passing Yards (-115) - DraftKings
- Patrick Mahomes Over 2.5 Passing TDs (-115) - DraftKings
- Matthew Stafford Over 295.5 Passing Yards (-115) - DraftKings