NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Props Odds and Betting Picks
by Dave Schwab - 6/3/2014
The top college football players in the county last season found new homes in the NFL in last month's draft, so Bovada quickly calculated the results to release its futures odds to win this season's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The biggest story line from this year's NFL Draft was where and when a whole new crop of potential franchise quarterbacks would end up at the end of the proceedings, but it's a pair of wide receivers that have caught the oddsmakers' eyes as far as having the ability to make the biggest impact at the pro level in their rookie year.
Former Texas A&M standout Mike Evans was selected by Tampa Bay with the seventh overall pick in the draft to help revitalize a Buccaneers' offense that finished last season ranked dead last in passing yards per game. Tampa Bay certainly had their issues at the quarterback position last year, but it has appeared to have settled in on Mike Glennon as their starter for the 2014 season.
The addition of Evans gives the Bucs a big-time receiver who has the size and speed to be a dominant force in the NFL right out of the gate. He has been listed as a 4/1 favorite to fulfill these lofty expectations by winning the Rookie of the Year award, and I would have to agree that there is some solid value in these odds.
Sammy Watkins hauled in 101 receptions for 1,464 yards last season for Clemson, and the Buffalo Bills are hoping he can produce the same kind of numbers for their offense after selecting him with the fourth overall pick of the draft. Widely regarded as the best receiver in this year's draft class, Watkins joins another offense that is in need of a complete overhaul after finishing 28th in the NFL in passing yards in 2013.
He does not have the size of a Mike Evans, but he definitely has the speed and the hands to burn a number of defensive secondaries right out of the gate. He will get his chance to impress after already signing his rookie contract to ascend to the No. 1 receiver position. Watkins has also been listed at 4/1 odds to become this season's NFL Offensive ROY, but some of the value is lost with EJ Manuel throwing him the ball. The other thing working against him is the Bills mentality to lean on the ground game to move the ball.
The current odds for three of the highest-profile rookie quarterbacks starts out with Cleveland's Johnny "Football" Manziel at 6/1 followed by Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater at 12/1 and Jacksonville's Blake Bortles at 20/1. If I had to pick one, I would go with the longer odds on Bortles, but I would stay away from all three of these players as far as winning Rookie of the Year.
Looking down the list, I really like wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr's. odds to win at 16/1. He went to the New York Giants with the 12th overall pick in the first round. The value in his odds immediately takes a huge jump considering that he landed on a team with a veteran quarterback that has thrived in the past with a pass-oriented offense.
Giants' quarterback Eli Manning took his lumps last season, and the offense fell to 19th in the league in passing, but this is still a team that has won two Super Bowls in the past seven seasons. Beckham fills a huge need in the passing game, and he is more than capable of becoming Manning's No. 1 target early on in the season. When you put talent and opportunity together it usually results in positive production; the kind of production that can make a player a Rookie of the Year in the NFL.
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