The NFL divides their Rookie of the Year into an Offensive Rookie of the Year and a Defensive Rookie of the Year. In this article, I’m going to look at the former — with a focus on offensive rookies that have long odds. Sunday’s Week 1 had a few interesting developments from this perspective. Here’s my take on who bettors should be targeting when it comes to long-shot dabbles on the ROY on offense.
Bijan Robinson is the Favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year (all odds bet365)
The favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year is Bijan Robinson and it’s not hard to see why. He is front and center with the Atlanta Falcons as their main go-to player for rushing. He also plays alongside an inexperienced quarterback, meaning that the Falcons might be inclined to favor the rush over the pass. Robinson is a 13 to 5 favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year — pretty lousy odds when you think about it.
After all, when you are backing a rookie, you are backing someone without a track record. Also, this is a futures market (also called antepost), meaning it won’t be settled for months and months. It’s a lot smarter to bet small than big in these kinds of markets. To make things interesting, you need the long shots. They are the players that you can bet small on and still hope to win big. Let’s look at the QB3 for the Tennessee Titans, rookie Will Levis.
Will Levis With the Tennessee Titans
Will Levis is the third-string quarterback for the Tennessee Titans. That, simply put, might mean that he doesn’t see a single regular-season snap all season. He’s behind Malik Willis and Ryan Tannehill, The latter of which struggled to start the season, which creates an opportunity for Levis.
Tannehill is 35 years old. He was also the worst quarterback of Sunday’s games in Week 1. He had a nightmarish outing, complete with three interceptions, no touchdowns, a 47.1% completion percentage, and a passer rating of 28.8 with an egregious QBR of 10.3. The New Orleans Saints sacked Tannehill three times. The game was so awful that it might just be the beginning of the end of Tannehill, noting his age.
The backup QB is Malik Willis, a player who hasn’t been too impressive in the playing time he has had. In many ways, the QB2 position is wide open with Tennessee. It’s quite possible that Will Levis might end up with a chance this season. Levis is out at 150 to 1 to win the Offensive ROY with bet365. For a quarterback that might be getting a chance this season, those are odds worth taking. That said, he’s not the best long shot.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson of the Cleveland Browns
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who is also priced at 150 to 1, is a better pick than Will Levis. DTR backs up Deshaun Watson, the QB1 for Cleveland who didn’t overly impress in Week 1. Watson’s play wasn’t terrible on Sunday but nor was it good. Furthermore, he didn’t have a good season when he played in games last year.
DTR’s path to becoming the QB1 in Cleveland isn’t complicated. If Watson goes out or plays too poorly, then Thompson-Robinson is in. Cleveland doesn’t even have a third-string quarterback to consider. DTR was also good in the preseason. At 150 to 1, you have to be thinking that those odds have some potential to shorten.
Puka Nacua of the LA Rams
Another player to be aware of is Puka Nacua. He had a very good week as a receiver for the LA Rams in Week 1. LA targeted him fifteen times, he had ten catches, and his total was 119 yards as an NFL debutant. With Cooper Rush on the sideline, there is a chance for the smaller stars to shine for the Rams. Nacua is out at 28 to 1 right now, which isn’t the same kind of long shots odds you find on the other two rookies in this article. However, right now Nacua is getting playing time. That removes a complication as both DTR and Levis need a roster shakeup before they get their own playing time.
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