With the football season about to start, we will look at NFL team or player futures betting odds each Monday. This week, I am looking at the individual awards and the favorites to win.
Note: All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
PATRICK MAHOMES (+600) TO WIN MVPMahomes is also the favorite to win Offensive Player of the Year at +650. Last season, he won both the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year Awards and there is reason to think he could be even better this season. Last year was his first full season as a starter and the Chiefs defense projects to be awful this season. To stay in games, Kansas City is going to rely on scoring tons of points on offense. With the defense giving up a lot of points, the Chiefs offense is going to spend more time on the field and we could be looking at another 50-plus touchdown season from Mahomes. For his counting stats, Mahomes caught a break when WR Tyreek Hill avoided a suspension. He’s going to have the same top receiving threats in Hill and TE Travis Kelce and their chemistry should be improved with more time together.
Between the two awards Mahomes is favored to win, the OPOY makes more sense. Not only are the odds a bit better, but he has less competition to win the award. The MVP also includes defensive players, while he’s only competing with skill players for OPOY. His odds for these awards should probably be flipped.
KYLER MURRAY (+180) TO WIN OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEARMurray should be a bigger favorite to win this award. I would be shocked if he doesn’t end up winning and I also expect him to be a fantasy stud this season. Not only does he have all the talent in the world, the Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury as their new coach in the offseason. For Murray, the significance of Kingsbury is that the Cardinals are going to be running an air raid offense. This means Arizona will be throwing frequently and playing at a high pace. Murray’s counting stats should be through the roof and he doesn’t have a ton of competition from other rookies. The other players with a realistic chance to win this award heading into the season are Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins (+800) and Raiders RB Josh Jacobs (+800). As of now, it isn’t clear if either of them will end up as starters from the jump. Haskins is currently listed third on the Redskins’ depth chart and there are concerns about how much of a workload Jacobs can handle. He has a relatively light workload in college and only had one games over 20 carries in his three years at Alabama.
AARON DONALD (+200) TO WIN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEARI think this is the toughest award to predict because of the amount of competition and great defensive players. Notably, Khalil Mack (+400), J.J. Watt (+700) and Von Miller (+1000) are all in the mix as best defensive player in the league. Of all these guys, the one I have the least amount of confidence betting on is Watt. This isn’t to say he isn’t great, however you can’t win this award unless you are on the field. While he was healthy and picked up 16 sacks last season, he played a total of eight games in the two previous seasons combined. As a player with longer odds, Myles Garrett (+1400) is in line for a massive season and could end up with votes to win this award. Only 23 years old, he is by far the youngest player near the top of the odds and the Browns are going to be a team getting a lot of national attention this season. After racking up 13.5 sacks last season, I think Garrett is going to work himself into the conversation of best defensive player in the NFL this year.
JIMMY GAROPPOLO (+350) TO WIN COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEARThe favorite to have the best comeback season, Garoppolo is going to need a big season for the 49ers to be competitive. He tore his ACL early on last season and the common line of thought is that he will be great if he stays healthy. I am not sure this will be the case. Garoppolo doesn’t have a ton of talent around him and he didn’t exactly light the world on fire prior to getting injured last season. He was solid, but not great and is now 27 years old without much experience as a starting quarterback. I don’t think he should be favored.
An odd name near the top of the list is Le’Veon Bell (+400). He is coming back from sitting out voluntarily. The Jets paid him a bunch of money and he is certain to be a big part of the offense, but I think the circumstances of last year’s offense will prohibit him from getting votes. Bell’s narrative isn’t nearly as powerful as somebody coming back from a significant injury like Garoppolo or Carson Wentz (+800). If I was making the odds, Wentz is the guy I would favor to win. His last couple of seasons have been riddled by injury and it’s easy to forget that he was in the MVP discussion before tearing his ACL two seasons ago. His odds to win the award are also favorable since the Eagles should be a contending team this season and I don’t feel the same way about the Jets or 49ers.
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