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Steelers’ QB Kenny Pickett’s betting odds are straight-up disrespectful

Oddsmakers are clearly not buying into the Pickett hype after a stellar preseason.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jan 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) greets fans following a win over the Browns at Acrisure Stadium.
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Pickett has turned heads this preseason with a flawless performance in which he drove the Steelers down the field for a touchdown on all five of his drives. The hype has intensified surrounding Pickett’s ability to make a huge second-year leap in 2023. However, it seems oddsmakers and bettors are not as optimistic heading into the regular season.

We are just a couple of weeks away from the season officially kicking off and Pickett’s projections for season passing yards and passing touchdowns still rank towards the bottom of all starting quarterbacks. Is he being overlooked heading into his second NFL season?

Here, we’ll examine the available betting odds for Kenny Pickett, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, and give the verdict on whether it is a good or bad bet.

Kenny Pickett passing yards: Over/Under 3300.5

DraftKings has placed the same season passing yards total for Kenny Pickett as new Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo and Giants QB Daniel Jones. Currently, only eight starting quarterbacks, including three rookies, have lower season passing yard total than Pickett. Even Packers QB Jordan Love has a higher predicted season passing yards total (3350.5) than Pickett in his first season as a starter. Excuse me?

As a rookie, Pickett averaged 207.6 passing yards in the 11 games that he started and finished. That alone would put him at a 17-game pace for 3,529 passing yards ... and that is not factoring in any growth from year 1 to year 2.

Verdict: Smash the over.

Kenny Pickett passing TDs: Over/Under 18.5

Another insanely low bar for Kenny Pickett. His over/under line of 18.5 season passing touchdowns is tied with Sam Howell and Justin Fields for the fifth-lowest among all starting quarterbacks. Only Daniel Jones, Desmond Ridder, and rookies Anthony Richardson and CJ Stroud are projected by oddsmakers to throw fewer touchdowns in the 2023 season.

Yes, it is true that Pickett had just seven passing touchdowns in his rookie season, while never throwing more than one in any single game. However, it is hard to envision Pickett won’t hit at least 20 pass touchdowns in his second season with the great weapon surrounding him, plus the growth he has shown over this preseason. Each of Pickett’s five drives he played in the preseason ended with the Steelers scoring a touchdown.

Verdict: Smash the over.

Kenny Pickett MVP odds: +5000

Pickett’s +5000 odds to win 2023 NFL MVP rank tied for 16th among quarterbacks with Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones, Brock Purdy, Derek Carr ... and Trey Lance — a dude that just got traded because he couldn’t beat out Sam Darnold for a QB2 gig.

Do I think Kenny Pickett has a realistic chance to win MVP this season? No. He would have to beat out the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Aaron Rodgers for the award — that seems like an almost impossible mission. However, it is hella disrespectful that his MVP odds are lower than guys like Jared Goff and Geno Smith.

Verdict: Not worth it. Save your money.