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If you haven't bet on the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, you're missing out on the fun. It's easily the most unpredictable and borderline reckless market among preseason awards because nobody really knows what factors most heavily into the voters' decision. Is it a return from injury? Poor performance? Legal troubles?
Last year's winner, Ryan Tannehill, was so bad early in his career that a half-season breakout with the Titans made him a convincing choice. It was the first time in five seasons that the recipient wasn't coming back from injury, and it was only the second time during that span (but the 13th in the award's 23-year history) that a quarterback won the award.
This year's favorites are predictable, but there isn't enough upside to laying short odds on older veterans like Ben Roethlisberger or Rob Gronkowski. Here are the early odds for the award, with five candidates we think are worth eyeing in an always volatile field:
This isn't a great number on Green, but it's the best among the favorites. The Bengals star missed all of 2019 with a freak ankle injury but walks into an ideal situation catching passes from presumptive starter Joe Burrow in Year 2 under the offensive-minded Zac Taylor.
Stafford checks the boxes you like to see from a CPOY winner: He's a quarterback coming off a major injury and has the talent to put up gaudy numbers for the Lions when healthy. He's a better passer with a clearer path to success than fellow QB Nick Foles (+600), who also fits the bill.
This is only an interesting bet if the Dak Prescott contract saga takes an unexpected, ugly turn, so I can't recommend it at the current price. However, it's absolutely worth monitoring. Dalton can still play, especially while surrounded by the Cowboys' talent. Last year showed us that it doesn't take a full season of compelling play to win this award.
I nearly jumped out of my chair when I saw Chubb's odds at 66-1. The former No. 5 pick recorded 12 sacks as a rookie in 2018, but an ACL tear in 2019 - the second of his career - cost him the final 12 games of the season. Now, he returns to what should be an elite Broncos defense in 2020 with a strong narrative on his side.
An offensive lineman has almost no shot at this honor, so if you bet here, go lightly. Still, the case is too strong to ignore. Williams is among the most talented linemen in the league and joins one of the NFL's best rosters in San Francisco after a bizarre injury-related holdout. He's a better bet than half the defenders at shorter odds.
Bradley Chubb (+6600)
Chubb has better odds to win Defensive Player of the Year (+4000), which is lunacy. A defensive player has only won CPOY once in the past 12 seasons, so that's clearly baked into these odds, but this still might be the biggest bargain of the entire betting season.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.