After nearly two decades without a playoff berth, the Cleveland Browns finally punched their ticket in 2020. That breakthrough came in large part due to the progress made by Baker Mayfield, the team’s starting quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick. Mayfield now enters his fourth season facing the biggest expectations of his professional career and a massive contract extension on the line.
Here, we take a look at the prop bets on the table for Mayfield on DraftKings Sportsbook ahead of the 2021 NFL season and make our picks.
29.5 passing touchdowns: Over (-110) or Under (-120)
Our pick: Over
Mayfield delivered his finest season in 2020, his first working within head coach Kevin Stefanski’s offense. That scheme shares its roots with the Shanahan system, and quarterbacks typically take the biggest leap entering their second year in those offenses, most recently Aaron Rodgers in 2020 Matt Ryan in 2016. While the Browns don’t expect Mayfield to win an MVP in Year 2 like those signal-callers did, an uptick in efficiency and overall production doesn’t seem unreasonable. Add in the extra game on the schedule and return of Odell Beckham Jr. (ACL tear) to an already well-stocked receiving corps, and Mayfield stands a good chance of recording his first season of 30-plus passing touchdowns.
3950.5 passing yards: Over (-115) or Under (-115)
Our pick: Under
While Mayfield’s anticipated increase in efficiency should help in the touchdown department, he might not see an equal boost in total passing yards. The Browns should field their best defense in years and should find themselves in fewer close games as a result. While they’ll still lean on their passing game whenever in the red zone, they will probably do so less elsewhere on the field when the game script doesn’t favor it. Mayfield’s biggest single-season passing total came in 2019 when the Browns lost 10 games and routinely found themselves down multiple scores. Unless the defense underwhelms, that shouldn’t happen as frequently in 2021.
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