Who’s got the best odds to walk away with NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Who’s got the best odds to walk away with NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?

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Let me start by saying that I am no betting wizard. However, when it comes to NFL rookies, I like to think that I know my shit. I have studied these players endlessly, have spent entirely too much time thinking about their landing spots and their potential impacts on the field, and have daydreamed about what they will do on Sundays. It’s an illness and I should have it checked.

No matter the prognostication and projections, however, nothing ever goes fully to plan. Nothing is a surefire bet, but let’s look at six candidates for this year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year and their betting odds, and see what we can come up with. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and accurate as of 5/18/2021.

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2 / 8

Trevor Lawrence (+300)

Trevor Lawrence (+300)

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Half of the last 10 OROY winners have been quarterbacks, so it makes sense to start at that position. Lawrence was the locked-and-loaded No. 1 overall pick for months (or years), and him going first to Jacksonville shocked absolutely no one. He lands on a team with a good cast of weapons — Laviska Shenault, D.J. Chark, and Marvin Jones form a good trio of receivers, fellow Clemson rookie Travis Etienne will give him a good receiving option out of the backfield, and much like Justin Herbert, last year’s OROY winner, they will be playing from behind a lot. He’s the odds-on favorite to win, making it not the most sexy bet in the world, but he will have the opportunity as a Week 1 starter and the environment around him to put up numbers.

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3 / 8

Justin Fields (+600)

Justin Fields (+600)

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The new face of the Chicago Bears has the second best odds to win the award. All reports out of the rookie minicamp are glowing, from his ability to learn information to his poise and calm, which were staples of his collegiate career. If it weren’t for Andy Dalton being in Chicago, I bet these odds would be much closer to Lawrence’s. In my opinion, the “threat” of a veteran QB being the Week 1 starter is making Fields a great value. If Fields doesn’t start Week 1, it won’t be long after. As Herbert showed last year, and Kyler Murray the year before, you can still win this award if you don’t start right away.

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4 / 8

Najee Harris (+800)

Najee Harris (+800)

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The running back position has accounted for three of the last 10 OROY winners, including Alvin Kamara winning it in 2017 and Saquon Barkley winning it in 2018. Harris lands in a Steeler scheme that loves to feature running backs, and especially loves to feature one running back. This is not a backfield that is predicated on a committee approach — Harris will see all that he can handle. The first-round draft pick is easily my favorite non-QB to win OROY this year, as he should see one of the heaviest workloads of any running back in the NFL, let alone in the rookie class.

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5 / 8

Ja’Marr Chase (+1100)

Ja’Marr Chase (+1100)

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If you want to go the wide receiver route, Chase is at +1100 odds. Last year, ex-LSU teammate Justin Jefferson broke the single-season rookie receiving yards record and it still wasn’t enough to top Herbert’s performance. That means if you’re betting on Chase in Cincinnati, you’re betting on none of the rookie QBs to take the league by storm. A lot of things would have to go right for Chase to be in the running, but his touchdown upside and deep-ball abilities could have him right there.

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6 / 8

Kyle Pitts (+1100)

Kyle Pitts (+1100)

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That’s right, the tight end unicorn has the same odds as the first wide receiver. A tight end hasn’t won OROY since Mike Ditka with the Chicago Bears in 1961 — 60 years ago. This tight end is no ordinary tight end, however. Being drafted No. 4 overall by the Falcons, he was the highest drafted tight end in NFL history, and will step in immediately and be asked to produce as a receiving threat. There are rumors that wide receiver Julio Jones might be traded in a couple weeks, which would slam the door wide open for Pitts and will lower these odds dramatically. The rookie tight end receiving yards record (1,076) and touchdown record (12) are both held by Ditka. If Pitts flirts with those records, he could be right in the mix for OROY.

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7 / 8

DeVonta Smith (+1400)

DeVonta Smith (+1400)

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This is my favorite bet on the list. The fifth wide receiver drafted last year was Justin Jefferson, who burst onto the scene and broke records. If you’re looking for a Jefferson-like rookie season, then I’m betting on DeVonta Smith, the Slim Reaper. Opportunity is king, and the third receiver drafted (and 2020 Heisman Trophy-winner) will face little to no competition to lead his team in targets. Smith will be reunited with his former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts. Philly will be playing from behind a lot, meaning lots of passing attempts. At +1400 odds, this is definitely worth putting a little money on.

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