Few can deny the fun in a high-scoring NFL affair. Football has continued to evolve over its existence from a clock-dominating effort into an efficiency-driven model. Teams that prioritize athleticism and dynamic skill sets can often lead the NFL in scoring.
Defending speed is difficult. Modern coaches have exploited defensive limitations using shifty, explosive playmakers who can maximize production with the ball in their hands. The result has been a major boom in points.
This offseason was a good example of the arm's race for scoring. Just two of the top 11 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft were on the defensive side of the ball. And almost every key acquisition on the transaction report from free agency was an offensive star.
We know the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens are lurking as elite offenses based on their recent play. Those are your betting favorites to lead the NFL in scoring this season. But we want the value plays.
Three offenses have a good shot at overtaking the favorites over the course of the new 17-game schedule. We'll break them all down and explain why each deserves a look as you settle for your top prop bets.
Dallas Cowboys (+1400)
We're looking for pure firepower capable of reaching the distinct accolade of highest-scoring offense in the league. The Cowboys absolutely have that now that Dak Prescott is back in the mix. Dallas has surrounded the talented, newly-extended passer with a bevy of skilled playmakers with great explosiveness.
Dak has a killer lineup including Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb to throw to. Their offensive line received a nice facelift with returning, healthy bodies. Retaining Kellen Moore for his third year as a play-caller should show benefits as well.
Don't forget about how productive Prescott was before his injury. He averaged nearly 400 yards per game passing and routinely produced big plays.
As importantly as the offensive firepower, they have a reason to score. The defense allowed 473 points, 28th in the league. The Cowboys would've needed to be a top-five offense to outscore the horrible unit.
Their defense received several injections of talent through the draft but the team prioritized athleticism over polished defenders. We love this as bettors because the offense will be playing catch-up to a defense filled with flawed individual players for much, if not all, of the year.
The Cowboys are the best value play.
Los Angeles Chargers (+2000)
How much are you buying into Justin Herbert? That's the question you have to ask yourself with this Chargers bet. It's a scary proposition the Chargers traded Anthony Lynn for Joe Lombardi, but talent can usually prevail.
Herbert had a great rookie season considering his play at Oregon and the expectations that stemmed from his performance. He came out more aggressive, accurate, and efficient. I only saw hints of that potential during his sophomore season.
Herbert started off hot to his rookie campaign with nine 300-yard games and 10 multi-touchdown performances. The Chargers relied on him as their running game was shut down. And then this offseason, Los Angeles invested into beefing up their offensive line to make everyone's life easier.
The Chargers don't need to score a ton to win every week but they could explode with Branden Staley leading an opportunistic defense. Better field position and more scoring opportunities are a critical part of the puzzle. They're a solid value.
Arizona Cardinals (+2200)
Can an offense that finished 13th in scoring last year leap to first in 2021? Possibly! The Cardinals will need to unless their defense suddenly makes a similar jump.
What I love about this offense is their ability to cover ground with Kyler Murray. They were sixth in yards last year, then upgraded their receiving corps with A.J. Green and Rondale Moore. Starting Chase Edmonds with James Conner as a complementary back makes more sense than force-feeding Kenyan Drake inside the 10-yard line, too.
The unit has to improve at finishing drives for Kliff Kingsbury to keep his job and for Murray to be the real savior the franchise needs. They're feeling that pressure based on their all-in moves of the offseason. This is an area of logical growth for Murray.
The defense is good up until the secondary. They're old and ineffective at corner currently. This will spell doom against their divisional foes. This is great for our bet.
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