Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section.
Due to the suspension of all sports for the foreseeable future, sportsbooks are digging deep for odds to offer their valued customers. This puts us in the unique position of being able to bet on Offensive Rookie of the Year before the NFL draft.
As a result, we can try to find value based on potential landing spots and grab lines that could shorten after the draft.
Here are the odds to win 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, led by national champion and consensus first overall pick Joe Burrow.
|Henry Ruggs III||+1800|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||+3300|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||+5000|
Odds for players +5000 or shorter.
There's little doubting Burrow's (+225), landing spot, as he will in all likelihood be sporting a Cincinnati Bengals jersey in 2020. Burrow is the overwhelming favorite to win the award, a feat that just two quarterbacks have managed to do in the last seven seasons. While the Bengals have some impressive weapons on offense, the offensive line requires a lot of work and the overall roster lacks talent.
Tua Tagovailoa (+650) and Justin Herbert (+1400) could very well have stronger supporting casts and thus better opportunities to impress. The Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, Washington Redskins, and Detroit Lions all possess enough talent to make playoff runs with strong rookie campaigns from Tagovailoa or Herbert, which could wind up being the difference in voters' eyes.
D'Andre Swift (+750) is the odds-on favorite to be the first running back drafted, as he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Georgia teammates Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor (+1100) will push him for that honor, with Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins (+1800), Florida State's Cam Akers (+2400), and LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+2000) likely to be the other names taken off the board early. Each of these backs boasts elite talent, which makes it difficult to predict who will have the brightest rookie campaign.
To make things easier, consider the best and most likely landing spots for backs, and go from there. It's probable that the Dolphins select a rusher with one of their three first-round picks (Nos. 5, 18, 26), and with little competition in the backfield, whomever they draft should have plenty of opportunities. A number of mocks have them taking Swift, but don't sleep on Taylor, either.
There are a handful of other teams that could be looking to upgrade to their backfield, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers really stand out. Ronald Jones II isn't a major threat for carries, so any back that lands in Tampa could find himself in a situation to make an immediate impact on what could be an elite offense with Tom Brady in town. The Bucs could use their No. 45 pick to snag a back, at which point someone like Akers or Edwards-Helaire would make a lot of sense. Both offer terrific value at their current prices.
Only one wide receiver has won the award in the last 10 seasons. While this year's class includes a lot of high-end talent, the learning curve at the position is steep and it's difficult for guys to see enough of the ball to earn the honor.
Michael Thomas and Percy Harvin were the last two wideouts to accomplish the feat. Thomas, a second-round pick in 2016 and the sixth WR off the board, was drafted into a pass-heavy offense in New Orleans with an elite quarterback in Drew Brees. Harvin, meanwhile, won by making a big splash via special teams as a dynamic kick returner. It takes the right situation for guys to stand out. Jerry Jeudy, Ceedee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III are all remarkable talents but will likely be taken too high in the draft to land in the ideal spot - think the Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, or San Francisco 49ers (run-first offenses with deep, if not spectacular, groups of pass-catchers).
My eyes are instead drawn to guys like Justin Jefferson (+3500), Jalen Reagor (+3300), and Laviska Shenault Jr. (+3300), who will be likely targets for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers, both of whom have glaring needs at the position. Jefferson is long and athletic and poses a real matchup problem, while Reagor has blazing speed and could flourish as a downfield threat for Aaron Rodgers.
K.J. Hamler (+3300) is another interesting name. The Penn State product is similar to Harvin in that he is incredibly dangerous with the ball in his hands and always a threat to take it to the house. If he can find his way to the Eagles, New York Jets, or Houston Texans in the second round, he could be a real dark horse.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.