Trey Lance takes over the 49ers and no one agrees with him

At BetMGM, there’s one prop that the quarterback will make the most cuts this season. Trey Lance has taken 28% of the money he bets on this bracket, by far the most in this market.

Lance also has many supporters. Only four players have been wagered more money to win the NFL MVP than Lance at 4.7% (the four before him: Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen, Tom Brady). There is no consensus on what Lance will be this season. Some love him coming into the season. Others believe it will fail miserably.

This makes for a good discussion of Lance’s season totals. His passing total at BetMGM is 3,449.5 and his passing touches are 21.5. His interception total sits at 10.5, if you like that buy.

The argument for the over in Trey Lance’s past totals

NFL analytics has accelerated tremendously. Lance was the third overall pick last season. However, how many people have given up on him after (checks notes) … 71 career cards? Lance wasn’t even that bad with those passes, posting a 97.3 passer rating.

Lance steps into a fantastic situation as a first-time starting quarterback. His receivers are Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. Teams have to respect the 49ers’ running game, so there won’t be too much pressure on Lance. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is a top player. It’s hard to find yourself in a much better situation.

To reach that passing total, Lance would need 203 yards per game if he plays the entire season. Last season, 29 quarterbacks with more than 300 attempts reached that total. One of them was Jimmy Garoppolo with 254 yards per game. Practically speaking, if you’re a rookie NFL player, you’re averaging 203 yards per game. Yes, there’s injury risk in the over — that should be said in every player post debate we’ll have — but if Lance is healthy for even most of the season, the bar set for him is pretty low.

There is a possibility that he will break this set. The touchdown total can be a little more difficult. Only 14 quarterbacks threw for 22 touchdowns last season. But the yard looks low.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance takes over as the team’s starter this season. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

The case for the under in Lance’s totals

Lance doesn’t have a typical injury risk. He will run more than most quarterbacks. He’s more likely to miss time than, say, Mac Jones or another pocket quarterback. That’s the danger of his style of play.

While it seems unlikely, there is also a chance that Lance could lose his job. It seems inconceivable that Jimmy Garoppolo could re-emerge, but he’s still on the roster. More than that, the 49ers have playoff hopes, and if Lance isn’t very good — the whole “only 71 passes” thing works both ways — then maybe he doesn’t make all 17 starts.

Lance isn’t on much offense either. The 49ers would run it most of the time if they could, and obviously that will happen with an unproven second-year quarterback. While we can assume Trevor Lawrence will throw it 600 times this season, the same is not true of Lance. He’ll likely have 3,450 yards if he starts all 17 games, but there’s less room for him to lose games if he doesn’t throw as much as other starting quarterbacks.

The verdict

I’m high on Lance this season. I thought he was the best MVP value bet, along with Lamar Jackson, until the odds dropped to 30-to-1. And I think it’s worth another shot at those odds.

I think he’s got good talent and I’m not too worried about betting the over on his over total. I’m going to hold off on passing touchdowns because they’re a little harder to get, though I think he’ll overcome that as well. But the passing yard is too low. I run the risk of injury, but any locked-in starting quarterback should throw for 3,450 yards in a 17-game season. Especially a throw to Samuel, Aiyuk and Kittle.

Maybe Lance is wasting too much time and the under is hitting. I’m willing to take that risk.

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