NFL Rookie of the Year Props
by Tony Corleone - 05/28/2008
Dating back to 1976 the Associated Press has given out two annual Rookie of the Year Awards to NFL players. One is for best offensive player and the other for best defensive player. These awards are viewed very highly and are excellent pieces of hardware to add to a player's resume. Many of the atheletes that have won either of these awards have gone on to have great success in the NFL.
You may be thinking that it's to early to be making a decision on who will win either award. I think that it's never to early and you are going to get the best odds now, before training camp starts. When judging our picks we look at who is giving us the best value for our money and we take into account what each player has done in the past and what they can do in the future.
In the past the Defensive Rookie of the Year award has typically gone to a linebacker. In fact, over the last five years a linebacker has won this award. Does the winner typically play for a top team? The answer is no. Last year's winner was Patrick Willis who played for the San Fransico 49ers. They had a terrible season and finished near the bottom of the entire NFL with a record of 5-11. This means that the winning recipient can come from any team and team performance and record do not affect the pick.
Now let's take a look at Offensive Rookie of the Year. In the past 41 years a running back has won the title an amazing 31 times. Also in the last nine years a running back has taken the award six times. I think that the best value will come from a running back in this category. Again, let's look at how team record and performance effected the choosing of the winner. Last year's winner was Adrian Peterson. He plays for Minessota, who finished with a record of 8-8. In 2006, Vince Young won the award and his team also finished 8-8. The winner typically comes from an average team or a good team.
Here are some of the choices, odds and reasonings on which player to choose (all odds are from Bodog):
Offensive Rookie of the Year:
Darren McFadden, RB (Oak) 3:1 - McFadden is the early favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He was drafted fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders and was a two-time All-American tailback for Arkansas. His resume is very impressive. In 2007 he won the Walter Camp Award as the nation's best player and was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in both 2006 and 2007. He will be ready for his NFL debut and will look to impress. It's not hard to see why he is a favorite and he is going to be very hard to beat. You might not be getting a lot of value here, but I think he's worth it.
Kevin Smith, RB (Det) 6:1 - During the 2007 season Smith put up some very impressive numbers. He ran for 2,567 yards, which was the highest single season rushing total since Barry Sanders did it in 1988. He set the single season record for rush attemps with 450 and also scored 30 touchdowns. I don't think that there is much value with Smith on the Lions. They have failed to establish a rush game in the past and they mostly rely on their passing game. Smith won't get as many touches as he did in the past, so I don't think there is much value here.
Matt Ryan, QB (Atl) 13:1 - At 13:1 I think that there is some good value here with Matt Ryan. He is going to jump into the starter role for Atlanta and is going to have a chance to shine. From 2005-2007 in college he led BC to a 25-7 record. He is no stranger to the QB position as he has thrown for over 200 yards 15 times. He also earned MVP honors in 2005 and in 2007 led his team to the ACC Atlantic Chamionship and was named ACC Player of the Year. He's a longshot here but I think its worth it with these odds.
Field 11:1 - With the option of the field you may see some solid choices. I don't feel that there is much value here even with the 11:1 odds. Many players is this field are rather unknown and won't put up the numbers that are needed to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year title. I don't think a wager on the field is necessary so I would avoid this option alltogether.
Defensive Rookie of the Year:
Chris Long, Defensive end (Stl) 6.5:1 - Long is the early favorite to win this award. Last season was his best in college as he put up great numbers. He has 79 tackles, 14 sacks, and had 23 QB hurries. He without a doubt is a great player but I don't think he's going to win. There are better candidates in this field with better odds, so I would pass on Chris Long.
Glenn Dorsey, Defensive tackle (KC) 7:1 - Dorsey is a top candidate for the Defensive ROY award. In 2007 he was an All American and finished ninth in Heisman Trophy voting and received more votes then any other defensive player. He also was the only player to win the Bronko Nagurski, Outland, Lott and Lombardi trophies. Dorsey is capable of winning this award if he continues to impress. Again there is some decent value here but I don't feel the conditions are ideal.
Curtis Lofton, Linebacker (Atl) 18:1 - Lofton is my undervalued underdog pick. In 2007 he was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and is also an All American. He opted not to play his senior year and I feel he is the top linebacker of the draft. I think there is great value here. If we consider that the past five years a linebacker has won the award and we add in his talent, he is a top candidate in my eyes to win the award.