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?
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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