Betting Odds and Picks for NFL's Best Offensive Rookie in 2019
My favorite thing to do after the NFL Draft is to look at the Offensive Rookie of the Year odds when they are posted. I am less interested in finding value - it's tough to find, and even if you did find some it would be tough to justify locking up your money until January for the kinds of returns you could get. Betting odds are a good indication of how people are feeling about what is going on and a peek at what is expected. And these numbers are often strong - last year Saquon Barkley was the solid favorite right after the draft, with Baker Mayfield the second choice. Hard to argue with that.
Here's a look at the more interesting early numbers posted at Sportsbetting.ag:
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona (+250): Murray is the very strong favorite this year, and there can't really be any surprise. The guy won the Heisman in his first year starting for a program last year, so he obviously is proven to be able to get rolling early. And quarterbacks are a good bet here - they have won the award seven times in the last 15 years, with Dak Prescott being the most recent winner. Murray has a lot of things going for him. He is very likely to be the starter in Week 1 - it's not like there are other options. And Kliff Kingsbury is uniquely capable of designing an offense to maximize what Murray can offer. Murray plays a style that is both productive and explosive enough to wind up on highlight reels with consistency. There are some issues - mostly that the Cardinals were lousy last year and left their QB out to dry with regularity. Though they are improving, they may not have done enough yet. He's a deserving favorite, and he will be very fun to watch. But there is no value here at this price. Not even close.
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington (+700): I am much more optimistic about Haskins than a lot of people seem to be. It could just be that in college I watched him rip my team apart ruthlessly. He's talented, and he landed in a good spot. With a good summer, he could start in Week 1. He doesn't have a very good group of receivers to work with, and I don't love his coaching staff, but there is a fair bit to like despite that. I would buy Haskins stock long term, and I don't hate him here at this price.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland (+900): Running backs have won the award six times in 15 years but three times in the last four, including the last two. Jacobs is a very talented guy, but he didn't have to handle nearly as much volume in his college career as some guys did because of Alabama's depth. That means he has a whole lot of rubber on his tires. I don't like that he is in Oakland - the Gruden circus gives me no confidence whatsoever. But taking the top running back in the class at a price like this in the face of recent trends doesn't seem like a bad idea.
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore (+1000): Brown is a very exciting wide receiver, but I hate his chances at this price. We've only seen two receivers in the last 15 years win the award, so the position is a problem. And so is the team. Lamar Jackson is a nice player, but he is a long way from the most accurate quarterback in the league. And the Ravens have been a team that prefer to grind the ball on the ground instead of airing it out. With viable QBs and running backs having an edge in this race, Brown would have to put up big numbers to shine in this race. I just don't see it.
Drew Lock, QB, Denver (+1200): The Broncos just grabbed Joe Flacco in the offseason, so the chances of a rookie getting the start out of the gate is low. And though Lock has some things going for him, he is a bit of a project. And it's not like quarterbacks have shone in Denver in recent years. Hard pass on this one.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (+1800): This price is almost as laughable as the fact that the Giants took him sixth overall. This is such an awful situation on every possible level. I wouldn't bet this player here if you added two zeros on the end of the price.
N'Keal Harry, WR, New England (+1600): There are certainly prices I hate more than this one. Harry is a very good receiver who landed in a strong spot. Tom Brady needs a new favorite target, and this is a guy with reliable hands and an ability to handle a lot of volume. Playing for the evil empire probably doesn't help his case in the eyes of most bettors, but he's a player at a decent price.
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