In case you haven’t heard, Johnny Manziel makes his CFL debut on Friday night in Montreal.
Manziel’s first start has been covered six ways from Sunday by all kinds of media, but perhaps the most fun part could be betting on how the 25-year-old will do on various prop bets.
Drew Edwards shared his take on the season-long Manziel bets just days after the celebrity quarterback came north of the border. However, those require patience within the investment. Single games bets can provide instant pay-offs.
Our resident spread picks expert Justin Dunk always has a strong feel for where the value could be found on many CFL lines, John Hodge is sharp too and Edwards thinks he can beat both of them for some reason. So let’s put some money down, make some selections and all cash in, except Edwards, of course.
Total Passing Yards – Johnny Manziel (MTL)
Edwards: First start after five practices and even his agent thinks it’s “insane” to start him this early. The Ticats pass rush hasn’t been great (eight sacks) but they are giving up 221 passing yards a game (second fewest in the CFL) and they’ve played Bo Levi and Reilly already. UNDER
Dunk: Vernon Adams threw for 217 yards and it should’ve been more against Edmonton.
Manziel is a much better passer and if the Alouettes are going to be in a tight game or behind 255 in the CFL isn’t a huge ask. OVER
Hodge: Manziel’s propensity for throwing downfield makes this number feasible, but I have concerns about Johnny’s protection up front and his receiving corps. For me, the under is the better buy. UNDER
Total Touchdown Passes – Johnny Manziel (MTL)
Over 1.5 +120 (6/5)
Under 1.5 -150 (2/3)
Edwards: One maybe, two no. The Alouettes have scored five passing TDs all season and the Ticats have allowed just four. UNDER
Dunk: Whether or not Manziel converts red zone opportunities will determine the outcome of the prop bet and Johnny Football could come through with his legs in those situations. UNDER
Hodge: Garbage time could help Johnny hit the over here, but I’m in agreement with Dunk — Manziel will be most effective in the red zone with his legs. UNDER
Total Completions – Johnny Manziel (MTL)
Edwards: This would be a stayaway for me because Manziel can probably dink and dunk his way to the over and the Alouettes will be in passing mode if they’re trailing. Still. UNDER
Dunk: Manziel’s ability to scramble around and not have to just win from the pocket gives him a real shot at beating the number. OVER
Hodge: How willing is Johnny going to be to check the ball down? To me, this is the trickiest line. UNDER
Total Interceptions Thrown – Johnny Manziel (MTL)
Over 0.5 -190 (10/19)
Under 0.5 +155 (31/20)
Edwards: Even though the Ticats have just two INTs all year, you can’t hamner this OVER fast enough. I might have considered it at 2.5.
Dunk: Dangerous throws can be made on the run where Manziel seems to thrive. OVER
Hodge: Buying it at -190 hurts, but this pick is an obvious one. Given the way he plays, it’s hard to see Manziel not throwing a pick in his debut. OVER
Total Rushing Yards – Johnny Manziel (MTL)
Edwards: I think Johnny will be a one-read wonder, pulling the ball down quick and taking off. He’s going to earn quick that the linebackers and defensive ends in this league can run pretty well. OVER
Dunk: It seems possible to picture Manziel running for the equivalent of three first downs considering he’s been in the offence for what he called four practices. OVER
Hodge: This is my favourite line of the night. Manziel’s got fresh legs, shaky protection, and limited knowledge of the playbook. That spells for an easy over. OVER