Calling all bettors! It’s been a busy offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders, and that was even before the official free agency period began. Exit Derek Carr and Darren Waller. Enter Jimmy Garoppolo and Jakobi Meyers.
There’s a lot of excitement surrounding this offense heading into 2023. Can Garoppolo replicate his two best seasons in San Francisco? The following betting odds for Raiders prop bets are based on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Top Jimmy Garoppolo Prop Bet for 2023
At this time, DraftKings has only one prop bet for Raiders players. But it’s an important one, with massive implications for the subject’s remaining career, as well as for this franchise’s short-term success.
The over/under on Garoppolo’s regular-season passing yards is 3,750.5. The odds are +100 if you bet over (i.e., if he throws for 3,751 or more yards) and -120 if you bet under.
Let’s analyze the probability of Garoppolo exceeding 3,750.5 passing yards this coming season and whether bettors should feel bullish betting on him to thrive or, instead, bullish betting on Garoppolo to fall short of market expectations.
Raiders Defensive Struggles
The most compelling reason to bet on Garoppolo exceeding expectations concerns the shortcoming of his new team, namely, a defense that’s a far cry from the 49ers’ elite unit. Last season, Garoppolo often played while tied or ahead — 42% of his throws and 43% of his passing yards came while playing from behind.
For a team that was No. 1 in scoring defense, that’s not surprising. Garoppolo could afford to operate as a glorified game manager. And that’s why his second-half numbers paled in comparison to his first-half production.
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But on the Raiders, Carr had to throw early and often. His team yielded the league’s seventh-most points. 51% of his throws and 53% of his passing yards came while trailing. He attempted more passes in the fourth quarter than in any other frame because he often needed to.
There’s a compelling argument that Garoppolo will look more like Carr in 2023 than like the Niners’ version of Garoppolo — not by choice, but by necessity.
On the flip side, Carr benefited from a fairly easy schedule in 2022. The Chargers’ defense was ravaged by injuries. The Chiefs dramatically underperformed until after their bye week — and after nearly losing to Vegas. Beating up on Houston, Arizona, and (at the time) struggling Indy and Jacksonville squads helped elevate Carr’s numbers.
But the Raiders’ 2023 schedule might not be as kind. In addition to potentially tough intra-divisional matchups, Vegas will face the vaunted AFC East, featuring three great-to-elite defenses (the Bills, Patriots, and Jets).
They’ll also battle an improving Lions defense, which already has beefed up its secondary. And let’s not ignore how Detroit finished last season 8-2 while yielding a respectable 20.2 points per game (vs. 32.1 in their first seven contests).
The Colts, Steelers, and Giants also are on the docket. Pittsburgh was No. 10 in fewest points surrendered last year, and the Giants should be on the upswing. The Colts, meanwhile, have a good defense on paper and simply need a quarterback who doesn’t keep turning over the ball like it’s a hot potato.
All told, the Raiders’ offense could run into a lot more walls in 2023, reducing Garoppolo’s potency.
Better Receiving Corps?
The verdict is still out on whether Garoppolo will have a more talented receiving corps in Las Vegas than he had in San Francisco. My immediate answer is, “Um, not at all.” But smart people can see it differently.
On the one hand, he’s leaving a core of Deebo Samuel, an ascending Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle. On paper, these three are a top-10 receiving trio, in my opinion. Oh, and Christian McCaffrey is one of the best pass-catching RBs. Period. There’s a lot of potential for chunk yards on that team.
And in fairness, Jimmy G is joining a team that features one of the game’s elites: Davante Adams. The arrival of dependable Jakobi Meyers helps offset the loss of Darren Waller, who’s still one of the best at his position (when healthy, of course). Hunter Renfrow had one of the most efficient WR seasons in history two years ago. Surely he can rebound after an injury-plagued 2022 campaign.
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Plus, Josh Jacobs will return in the backfield. He caught 53 passes last year and, playing on a franchise tag, should once again be a yard-eater, adding to Garoppolo’s aerial output.
Still, there are plenty of yellow flags for this Raiders offense. Jacobs was overworked last season and, according to my research, is a significant injury/regression risk in 2023. Adams is on the wrong side of 30 years old and now must adjust to his third quarterback in as many years. Meyers is entirely adequate but doesn’t come close to the speed enjoyed by guys like Samuel and Aiyuk.
Yes, this has the makings of a great Raiders unit. But a lot needs to go right for Garoppolo to match or exceed what Carr did last season. They need to play (again) some of their best football. That’s not an encouraging sign.
Every NFL player faces varying degrees of injury risk. Garoppolo is still a fairly youthful (for a quarterback) 31 years old. However, he’s coming off a season-ending injury. He tore a ligament in his thumb the year before (but kept on playing). The year before that, another season-ending injury — this time, his ankle. Two years earlier, a torn ACL again knocked him out for the season.
When you’re betting the “over” on a player’s performance, you’re generally banking on him playing in roughly 90% of his team’s games. Garoppolo realistically could hit 3,751 passing yards in 15 contests. That would equate to 250 yards per outing. Last year, 10 of 32 teams hit that mark. So yeah, doable.
But there’s also little room for error for a QB who’s suffered three season-ending injuries in five years.
Jimmy Garoppolo Prop Bet Recommendation
There are more compelling reasons to bet the “under” than the “over” on Garoppolo’s 2023 passing yardage. Despite shifting to an offensively-minded team that should continue to operate in catch-up mode, fierce headwinds are pushing his probable production below market expectations.
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Essentially, more can go wrong than right with a 3,750.5 yardage prop, including the possibility that Vegas drafts a quarterback this year, begins the season 4-8, and then gives the rookie the reins to see what he can do.
Betting on Garoppolo means betting on 15+ games with, collectively, above-average numbers. I’m advising bettors to take the safer “under.”