Jameis Winston sets up to throw a pass against the New York Giants.

Jameis Winston sets up to throw a pass against the New York Giants. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott currently leads the NFL in passing yards (3,433), but a different passer is favored to finish first in this market. Let’s dig into the numbers to determine the best bet.

Odds to lead the NFL in passing yards

PlayerMost Passing Yards Odds
Jameis Winston+135
Dak Prescott+160
Philip Rivers +750
Patrick Mahomes+1400
Matt Ryan+1500
Jared Goff+1500

Jameis Winston

Winston needs to make up 41 yards on Prescott for the league lead. That can easily be done over a five-game span, especially with the defenses the Buccaneers will face over the season’s final month. The Jaguars (10th) are the only top-10 pass-stopping unit Winston will face over the next five weeks. Additional December matchups include dates with the Colts (16th), Lions (30th), Texans (25th) and Falcons (27th). Winston has arguably the best wide receiver duo in the league in Chris Godwin (second in receiving yards at 1,071) and Mike Evans (third, 1043 yards) helping him out.

Dak Prescott

Prescott has clearly been the most efficient of the top five yards leaders, as he owns a passer rating 12 points above the second-best of the group (Tom Brady). Unfortunately that offers him no bonus points in this market. Prescott also has a daunting schedule in front of him, with consecutive contests against the Bills and Bears, two of the better defenses in the NFL, before the Cowboys close out the season with the Rams, Eagles and Redskins. Go-to guy Amari Cooper has become invisible over the last two weeks, with just three receptions, which is ominous.

Philip Rivers

Rivers’ fate in this market could depend upon Sunday’s game in Denver. The Broncos are fifth in passing defense (207.5 yards allowed per game) and the 4-7 Chargers desperately need a win if they want to save their season. If Rivers (15-14 touchdown-interception ratio in 2019, easily the worst of his career) performs poorly, Los Angeles could go into “give up” mode in late December and possibly bench their Pro Bowl quarterback. Those considering a bet on Rivers would be wise to wait a week.

Dark horse: Matt Ryan

Although he missed a game with an ankle injury, Ryan has the seventh-most passing yards in the NFL and trails Prescott by 499 yards. There’s a tough road game with the 49ers on the horizon, but three of Atlanta’s final five contests are at home. The Falcons end their campaign with a stop in Tampa against its 31st-ranked passing defense. Longshot players should land on Ryan.


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