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Now that the draft is behind us, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds are out. Not surprisingly, No. 1 pick Joe Burrow is the early favorite. Burrow will likely be an immediate starter with the Cincinnati Bengals, giving him a good opportunity to nail down the award like last year's top pick, Kyler Murray, did in 2019.
One variable bettors need to consider this season is the uncertainty around NFL training camps and the preseason. A delayed start to camps will hurt rookies, so bettors need to focus on players who are best situated to get playing time immediately.
Here are the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds, along with a few deeper looks at players who bettors should buy and sell based on the early numbers.
|Henry Ruggs III||+1800|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||+4500|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||+6600|
Odds listed for players +7500 and shorter
D'Andre Swift, RB, Lions (+1000)
Swift should make an immediate impact after falling to the Detroit Lions early in Round 2. Detroit finished 21st in rushing offense last season and has very little at the running back position outside of starter Kerryon Johnson. Injuries have been an issue for Johnson, limiting him to 18 games over his first two seasons. Swift adds a much-needed big-play element to the Lions' backfield, and he should push Johnson for the starting job if NFL training camps proceed. He's more appealing than the other players in the 10-1 range.
Cam Akers, RB, Rams (+2000)
Like Swift, the talented Akers should see significant playing time right away. The Los Angeles Rams parted ways with Todd Gurley, leaving only Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown, and John Kelly standing between Akers and a starting gig. Though the Rams will likely use a committee approach early in the season, Akers has the talent to separate himself from the pack and emerge as the full-time starter.
Akers managed 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns last year on a Florida State team that had issues on the offensive line and at quarterback. He's also an excellent receiver out of the backfield, meaning Akers at 20-1 to win the award is good early value.
KJ Hamler, WR, Broncos (+6600)
Hamler is my favorite early bet at 66-1. A Percy Harvin-like big-play threat, Hamler can contribute as a receiver, running back, and return man. The Denver Broncos upgraded their offense in the draft by adding Hamler and Jerry Jeudy for second-year quarterback Drew Lock. Jeudy is sitting at +1400, but the versatile and explosive Hamler could have a bigger rookie impact. He's too good to pass up right now at those long odds.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins (+750)
Tagovailoa is a big name with a bright NFL future, but his +750 odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year are ludicrous. Unlike Burrow, who's pretty much locked in as a starter, Tua will likely begin the season behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for the Miami Dolphins. Quarterbacks who don't begin the campaign under center typically don't win the award; five signal-callers have won Offensive Rookie of the Year since 2010, and all five started from Day 1. A recent serious hip injury, a potentially limited training camp, and the presence of Fitzpatrick combine to make Tua a hard pass at +750.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts (+1000)
Taylor is a phenomenal talent, but he's probably the most overvalued player on the board at 10-1. The Indianapolis Colts already have Marlon Mack, who's coming off a 1,000-yard season, so Taylor doesn't have an easy path to being the primary running back. Another negative: Taylor was rarely used in the passing game at Wisconsin and needs to improve in pass protection. There's no doubt Taylor will have an impact for the run-heavy Colts, but it won't be nearly enough to win him Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.