In this column, we spotlight three Offensive Rookie of the Year contenders that could prove value NFL picks.
A new class of football players graduated into the league through the 2020 NFL draft and the competition to be the best among peers begins in earnest in week 1 of the NFL season, which is only a month away.
Bearing in mind the ongoing public health crisis, underscored by a recent sharp spike in COVID-19 cases across the United States, it’s fair to say a lot of uncertainty remains ahead of the NFL season that makes the betting challenging. Not to mention, the impact on offseason preparation and training camps and the cancellation of preseason games provide additional impediments to handicapping.
Now, the growing exodus of players from the 2020-21 NFL season, all exercising the league’s opt-out option, throws yet another spanner in the works. As of Monday, 45 players opted out of the coming season. The opt-out deadline according to ESPN’s Adam Scheffer is Thursday at 4 pm EST.
Only when the dust has had time to settle will the full extent of all the unprecedented changes be appreciated. That said, if there’s one thing that we can all agree on right now – the glaringly obvious consequence – it’s that the group of players already most affected by this uncertainty is rookies rather than veterans, who have the benefit of experience.
This is the reality of this extraordinary time, challenging NFL enthusiasts in the betting. The best approach to the betting on the Offensive Rookie of the Year contenders, therefore, is to focus on those that are likely to hit the ground running as immediate starters.
With that in mind, here are the three value picks to consider in Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY) betting.
Joe Burrows Tops Offensive Rookie of the Year market
The Cincinnati Bengals’ top selection is certain to start in the first week of the season – unless something unthinkable happens – and that immediate introduction to the game alone gives the highly-touted rookie quarterback a good chance to nail down the coveted award. Following in Kyler Murray’s footsteps, last season’s No.1 draft pick, and his realisation of the honour.
Joe Burrows had a standout single-season of any college quarterback last season, throwing for 5,600 passing yards and 60TDs. If Burrows can transcend the speed, grit and grind of the NFL, he’s a solid bet to take home the OROY award and that amounts to value at its most basic for NFL picks.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is Next in Line at +300
It’s not surprising to have Joe Burrow’s teammate Clyde Edwards-Helaire as the second best bet to clinch OROY award. His association with Burrows at LSU underscores his value as the +300 bet with BetOnline and Bovada Sportsbook.
However, what makes Edwards-Helaire a tempting NFL pick is enviable fortunes. Not only did he play for the best college quarterback last season he’s also set to play with one of the best NFL quarterbacks in the league in Patrick Mahomes.
As a weapon on the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster, Edwards-Helaire may well flourish. He had over 1400 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground with LSU. Now that Damien Williams, who was stellar during the playoffs for the Chiefs, has decided to opt out of the season, the idea that Edwards-Helaire will flourish is gaining more traction. Hence his advantageous odds.
Indeed, Williams decision to sit out opens the door for Edwards-Helaire to shine. And as far as value picks go, one can do no worse than betting on a rookie that is set to play on the most thrilling, high-octane offense in the game.
Justin Herbert a Value Pick Deep in the Mix at +2200
A lot is being made about Tua Tagovailoa as the second quarterback that came off the draft board. Now that he’s been cleared medically to begin his on-field training with the Miami Dolphins, he’s also cropping up in earnest for OROY-consideration. At around +750 to win the award with most top-rated sportsbooks, he’s being served up as a viable contender.
However, because it remains uncertain whether he’s going to be the immediate starter in Miami Tua is better served as a fade for NFL picks right now. After all, the Dolphins have an able journeyman quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Another knockback is the propensity for injuries. Would Brian Flores risk his prized No.5 draft pick so soon after a major hip surgery?
For our money, the third quarterback to come off the board strikes a more attractive pose. The No.6 draft pick, Justin Herbert, who went to the Los Angeles Chargers. Herbert emerges as a better choice for value NFL picks for several reasons and Herbert at +2200 with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review), Herbert practically oozes value in terms of reward versus risk.
Herbert’s position is more auspicious. The Chargers, on balance, are a better team than the Dolphins are. Although Herbert isn’t a sure-fire starter, he could very well win the job from Tyrod Tyler. It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before: Tyler lost the job in Cleveland to Baker Mayfield two years ago.
It would be a bit of a déjà vu if it were to happen again but such is the nature of the business of football. And with an established side on both sides of the ball, if Herbert gets the start in week 1 or early enough in the season, he would have the tools at his disposal to elevate him into contention.