As the 2019 regular season approaches, a wide variety of betting odds are available for those wishing to place a wager for the upcoming season. Super Bowl champions, win totals, yardage leaders, playoff teams, and Week 1 games against the spread are just a few of the categories odds makers have determined. While not everyone is interested in placing their hard-earned cash on the line, many football fans do look at the odds in order get a better grip on how certain players or teams are expected to perform in the upcoming season.
With JuJu Smith-Schuster taking over the number one receiver role for the Steelers in 2019, he is Pittsburgh’s greatest possibility to lead the league in receiving yards. Using the odds provided by BetOnline, Smith-Schuster is currently at a 10-to-1 chance to have the most regular season receiving yards, placing him tied for fifth on the list. Leading the way is the Atlanta Falcon’s Julio Jones currently at 6-to-1 followed by DeAndre Hopkins at 15-to-2.
Here is a list of the top 15 players according to BetOnline:
There are many interesting comparisons which can be drawn between several players on this list and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Here are a few to consider:
Odell Beckham Jr.: The newest Cleveland Brown has the best chance of leading the NFL in receiving yards out of all the receivers in the AFC North. It’s unclear how Beckham will transfer his production he saw with the New York Giants. The biggest factor for Beckham may be going from a three-time Prowl Bowl and two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback to a second year player with only thirteen career starts. Beckham and Smith-Schuster will be on the same field twice in 2019.
Tyreek Hill: Now that Hill isn’t looking at a suspension, his 2019 projected totals are a little more predictable. With Hill and JuJu both playing in the AFC and having identical odds, it speaks to the level of confidence the odds makers have in Smith-Schuster’s ability to take on the number one receiver role. Hill was All Pro for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018 and had 53 more receiving yard than JuJu (1,479 yards and 1,426 yards respectively) on 24 less receptions (87 receptions to 111 receptions). Placing Hill and Smith-Schuster on equal ground should be a welcomed site to Steelers’ fans if Hill can have a similar season to 2018.
Antonio Brown: The former number one receiver for the Steelers, Brown has less of a chance to lead the league in receiving yards than his former teammate. Already capturing the honor twice in his carrer (2014 and 2017), Brown’s placement on the list could be more of issue with the person throwing him the ball than it is with him catching it. Oakland Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr is currently at 35-to-1 odds to win the passing title while Ben Roethlisberger is at 8-to-1. It remains to be seen if Brown will help Carr elevate his game or if he’ll miss catching passes from a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Even though he is projected to be one of the top receivers with a chance to put up the most yards in 2019, JuJu Smith-Schuster does have one major factor holding him back from achieving this award: it’s not his goal. Sure, leading the NFL in receiving yards for the season looks great on a player’s resume. But JuJu has already stated that winning games is more important than his personal statistics. And I, for one, take him at his word. While individual awards along the way are welcomed, JuJu Smith-Schuster needs to remain focused on the team goal of bringing home a seventh Lombardi Trophy back to the city of Pittsburgh.