College football quarterbacks player props and best bets

By Adam Burke  ( 

August 16, 2023 07:27 PM

Passing yards and passing touchdowns for NCAAF QBs

The college football season is just about here and there are a lot of interesting betting options available. DraftKings Sportsbook has actually posted some player props for quarterbacks, including passing yards and passing touchdowns for notable Power Five players.

All of them are unquestioned starters to begin the season, so QB battles like what we see at Alabama and Ohio State that have not been decided are not listed. However, many other players are and there are some wagers that look to have some good value.

Riley Leonard Passing Yards: 2,625 (-115/-115)

The Duke Blue Devils exceeded expectations in a huge way last season by going 8-4 in the regular season and then picked up a ninth win in the bowl game against UCF. All areas of the team improved, but Riley Leonard’s play at the QB position was a huge part of the equation. The Blue Devils mustered a 9/9 TD/INT ratio in 2021, but Leonard had a 20/6 ratio and threw for over 2,900 yards.

The reason why I like this bet is because Duke plays a much tougher schedule this season. The ACC eliminated divisions this season, so Duke is no longer a member of the Coastal Division. Duke plays both Clemson and Florida State after not playing either one last season. They also play a Louisville team that many expect to be significantly better.

With the tougher schedule, Duke is likely to be trailing in more games this season, so that could mean more pass attempts for Leonard, who averaged just over 30 per game last season. Balance will be harder to achieve when playing catch-up in the second half more often and volume should breed opportunity in this case.

Pick: Over 2,625.5 Passing Yards

J.J. McCarthy Passing Yards: 2,600.5 (-115/-115)

The Michigan Wolverines are set up for another thoroughly impressive season. They are going to be a massive favorite in 10 of their 12 games, with tests at Penn State and at home against Ohio State as the only things keeping them from another Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. While those are big games, it is the other 10 games that make me think McCarthy goes under this total.

Up until the game against Ohio State, where McCarthy had 263 yards on just 12 completions, he had exceeded 230 passing yards one time. He threw for 308 against Indiana, but only had four games in the 200s, with Hawaii, UConn, Maryland, and Illinois as those games and he was between 208 and 229 yards in those three.

My Power Ratings project Michigan to be favored by at least 21 points in every game except for the two big East Division matchups mentioned above. I have them -3.5 at Penn State and -2.5 at home against Ohio State. The nonconference schedule is a joke with East Carolina, UNLV, and Bowling Green and McCarthy may not even play the duration of those games, as the Wolverines could be a five-touchdown favorite or more in each of them.

Before throwing for 343 yards in the insane College Football Playoff semifinal against TCU, McCarthy had only passed for 2,376 yards. With great depth at running back and a bunch of huge favorite roles, Michigan won’t really need him much again this season.

Pick: Under 2,600.5 Passing Yards

Spencer Rattler TD Passes: 18.5 (-125/-105)

The South Carolina Gamecocks shocked the college football world late last season when they hammered Tennessee in a 63-38 romp in Columbia and followed that up the next week by beating hated rival Clemson for the first time since 2013. While Rattler only finished the year with 18 touchdown passes, there seemed to be some serious growing pains, even though head coach Shane Beamer’s offense wasn’t all that different from what Rattler played in at Oklahoma.

He had 10 touchdown passes in his final three games, including the bowl game loss to Notre Dame, and 13 over his final five games. The wide receiver room looks stronger and the tight end group is much stronger this season, plus Rattler has a really good offensive mind in Dowell Loggains as the new coordinator.

Loggains, who replaced the often-criticized Marcus Satterfield, has drawn rave reviews from the players about his scheme. This is his first college football OC job, but he was an OC for the Bears, Dolphins, and Jets from 2016-20. Between Beamer, whose background is as an offensive coach, and Loggains, this offense could take off in 2023.

Pick: Over 18.5 TD Passes

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