Patrick Mahomes has about 21 touchdown passes in his strong right arm for 2018.
So say the oddsmakers at SportsBettingDime.com, who three months before NFL openers released a list of prop bets.
Among them: the over-under on touchdown passes for a handful of quarterbacks. The line for Mahomes, the second-year pro with one game under his belt, is 21½.
Is the oddsmaker projecting an injury, Chiefs fans may ask?
The Mahomes hype has been building since the day he was drafted in 2017 and his one NFL start, throwing for 284 yards in the regular season-ending victory at Denver, only heightened the expectation.
Then there was a recent story about Mahomes by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller that included this quote from a member of the coaching staff who wasn’t identified:
“We’ve been watching him for a year and he just keeps getting better and better. Sure, there are mistakes, but there are also plays I’ve never seen a quarterback make before.”
Also this quote from a “source in the scouting staff” about Mahomes' scout-team success last season “playing with a bunch of practice squad receivers” and “torching (Marcus Peters).”
Add to the equation pass-catchers like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and newly acquired Sammy Watkins, and the Mahomes number might seem low.
Twenty-one touchdown passes would match Steve Bono in 1995. Twenty-two touchdowns would equal the number thrown by Elvis Grbac in 1999. The Chiefs' season record is 30, by Len Dawson in 1964.
Here are some other quarterbacks' touchdown-pass totals projected by SportsBettingDime.com, including former Chief Alex Smith, now with Washington:
Carson Wentz 27½
Kirk Cousins 26½
Alex Smith 22½
Nick Foles 3½