2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Best Bets
By Dan Rivera
After every draft, sports oddsmakers allow you to bet on the Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY). I wanted to see if past history shows us any useful info in terms of betting. All info is pulled from pro-football reference.
Takeaways from the table
Largely a QB and RB award - 21 of the last 25 winners have been QB/RB
Dominated by first-round Draft Picks: 17 of 25 | 13 of the last 16
No TE or offensive lineman has won OROY
The award has gone to a player from the NFC in 13 straight seasons – Vince Young in 2006 is the last AFC player to win it (sports betting dime)
Dan Marino is the only QB to win OROY with less than 12 starts in his rookie season (sports betting dime)
The Vikings have the most OROY winners with five; there are nine teams who have never had an OROY winner: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks (sports betting dime)
I also found this from sports betting dime (same article as above). Among the 53 Offensive Rookie of the Year award winners, 38 of them were drafted in the first-round of the NFL Draft, and 46 of them were drafted in the first two rounds.
Mike Anderson (RB) of the Denver Broncos is the player selected latest in the draft to win the honors – Anderson was selected 189th overall in 2000.
8 of 10 QBs to win the award were drafted in the first-round
24 of the 34 RBs to win the award were drafted in the first-round
6 of 9 WRs to win OROY were drafted in the first-round – Anquan Boldin in 2003 was the last non-first-round WR to win the award
WRs have won this award 9 times, RBs 34, and QBs 10 for the lifetime of this award
Burrow and Edwards-Helaire
To no one’s surprise, Burrow is the favorite to win this award in the +225 area. The biggest sharp play is Clyde Edwards-Helaire (CEH) who was 19/1 to win at some shops post-draft but has come down significantly.
CEH finds himself in a very favorable situation in the Chiefs offense with a lot of touches up for grabs. The Chiefs face the 10th easiest SOS (via Warren Sharp) which would allow CEH to rack up some garbage time stats. Chiefs are also playing 5 primetime games allowing more media members to see him. The best odds I have found currently is CEH at 6/1 on DraftKings.
Between CEH and Burrow, I like CEH more than Burrow even with the price drop in CEH. Burrow plays in a brutal division against 3 teams that are superior to the Bengals and are top 10 defenses by most metrics. Bengals play the 22nd toughest schedule (Sharp) and I expect Burrow to struggle a lot with defenses he plays.
Players that are in consideration not named Burrow or Edwards-Helaire
The table below shows all the offensive odds for the first 2 rounds of the draft.
Some players that are in contention with Burrow and CEH that stand out to me is D’Andre Swift. He is in a very favorable situation and can be found at 12/1 on DraftKings and BetOnline. We know the Lions want to #EstablishTheRun under the current coach and OC. Kerryon Johnson has a nice role currently, but he cannot stay healthy. In 2018, Johnson played 10 games, starting 7. In 2019, Johnson played 8 games, starting 7. Swift will be a backup to start the season but with a chance to get major touches toward end of the year. Lions finished end of 2019 at #11 in offensive line ranking from PFF. Lions play the 8th easiest schedule (Sharp) and Stafford should play most of the year. I went on a podcast with Mackenzie Rivers and he brought up a good point with Swift. If (when) Kerryon Johnson gets hurt early in the year, Swift’s true odds will drop significantly and will offer some real hedge value come end of the year if Swift is in contention.
I don’t give the WRs much thought because none of them are in advantage situation because of either QB play, not being WR 1 on the team, or simply not enough touches on a team (such as CeeDee Lamb).
I also don’t give any thought to Herbert or Tua. They won’t be starting most of the year and their coaches will go conservative when they do play hurting their stats.
Finally, this is how past OROY winner odds have looked (Sports Odd History). This is a small sample size but only twice has a winner been outside of the top 10. The odds are a day or two before kickoff so a lot of these lines have had sharps hit them already (such as Dak being the starter when Romo got hurt).