Each year, a fresh crop of players are drafted from the collegiate ranks with some of these rookies bringing with them high expectations to help their new teams right away. In those cases, those first-year players often receive praise, accolades, and consideration for the NFL’s Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards.
These awards have been handed out annually since 1957 (offense) and 1967 (defense). The winners of each award is voted on by 50 members of the Associated Press (AP). The NFL has kept this tradition since the awards’ inception and continues to recognize the AP awards as their official ROY honors.
NFL betting sites have listed numerous betting options for the Offensive and the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Let’s huddle up and examine these NFL future bets, identify any potential betting value, and pick this season’s Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year award winners.
Offensive ROY Betting Odds
Giants running back Saquon Barkley ran all over the NFL last season and edged out Browns QB Baker Mayfield for the Offensive ROY award. He also led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage and was second in rushing yards. Barkley became the 39th running back to have ever won this award.
Quarterbacks have won the ROY award eight times, wide receivers have won it nine times, and tight ends have won it five times. In the last five years, running backs have won the ROY award three times including the last two seasons.
With that said, according to Bovada, Kyler Murray is the odds on favorite to win the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Kyler Murray (+170)
Josh Jacobs (+650)
Dwayne Haskins (+850)
David Montgomery (+1000)
Miles Sanders (+1400)
Mecole Hardman (+2000)
N’Keal Harry (+2500)
A.J. Brown (+3000)
Marquise Brown (+3000)
T.J. Hockenson (+3000)
Parris Campbell (+3300)
Darrell Henderson (+3500)
Offensive ROY Betting Favorites
The following rookies are considered the odds on favorites to win the AP’s Offensive ROY award:
Kyler Murray (+170)
Murray really only had one full season as a starter for the Oklahoma Sooners, but it certainly was an eye opener. Murray looked like a real life video game character as he zigged and zagged all over a football field with defenders falling at his feet.
Murray ended up finishing the 2018 season with 4,361 passing yards, 42 TD passes, 1,001 rushing yards, and 12 rushing TDs. His staggering numbers helped lead the Sooners to a Big 12 Championship and into the College Football Playoffs. For Murray, his season was punctuated with the Heisman Trophy.
Although the Sooners were defeated in the playoffs by Alabama, Murray was clearly the most captivating player in the CFP. Ultimately, his numbers and unparalleled athleticism led to the Arizona Cardinals drafting Murray with the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Additionally, the Cardinals paired Murray with Kliff Kingsbury who was an offensive guru in college and will now bring that explosive system to the NFL. In the preseason, Murray has flashed signs of his athleticism and potential. As long as he stays healthy, Murray will be the man to beat for this award.
Josh Jacobs (+650)
Jacobs’ collegiate numbers while at Alabama aren’t anything to boast about. In fact, if you didn’t know who he was then you would scoff at Jacobs even being listed as the second odds on favorite to win the ROY award. However, for those of us who watched him, it was easy to see his overall skillset.
The Jacobs hype train picked up steam at the 2018 SEC championship game when he was named MVP for his 83 rushing yards and two touchdowns against a tough Georgia defense. Josh then helped Alabama in the CFP including the win over Murray’s Oklahoma Sooners.
For me, it was Jacobs’ dual threat versatility on display in the CFP Championship where he looked like an NFL caliber player against Clemson. Although the Crimson Tide lost to the Tigers, Jacobs stood out. Oakland drafted Jacobs with the 24th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Jacobs is in a crowded backfield with the Raiders, but he’s already shown his versatility, athleticism, and toughness in the preseason. There are high expectations for Jacobs in this revamped Raiders offense. He has a great shot at putting up some big numbers. But will they be enough to beat out Murray?
Dwayne Haskins (+850)
Dwayne Haskins was the starting QB for the Ohio State Buckeyes last year and helped lead the team to a Big Ten Championship. He also had a monster game in the Rose Bowl as the Buckeyes defeated the Washington Huskies by a score of 28 to 23.
Haskins won MVP honors at the Big Ten title game after throwing for 499 yards and five touchdowns. He also took home the Rose Bowl MVP award after throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Haskins finished the year with 4,831 passing yards, 50 TD throws, and four rushing TDs.
His poise and leadership led to Washington drafting Haskins with the 15th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. He joined a crowded QB position that already had veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy. After a strong preseason, Haskins earned the backup QB position behind Keenum.
Since Haskins isn’t starting for his team like Murray, I doubt he will be able to rack up the numbers that Kyler Murray does this year. Additionally, unless Keenum gets hurt or plays terrible, Haskins might not play many games at all this year. Avoid Dwayne Haskins for this prop bet.
David Montgomery (+1000)
Unless you are a diehard Big 12 fan, you probably didn’t know much about David Montgomery until the Chicago Bears started gushing over this running back over the summer. He was taken by the Bears in the third round of the draft with the 73rd overall pick.
Montgomery didn’t have as much hype coming out of Iowa State as other running backs did like Josh Jacobs. However, he certainly had the production to back up the Bears draft selection. In his last two seasons, Montgomery finished with 2,363 rushing yards, 24 rushing TDs, and 453 receiving yards.
Pro Football Focus named him a first-team All-American and he was also named a consensus first-team All-Big 12. Montgomery showed toughness, elusiveness, speed, and power while playing for the Cyclones. He’s flashed those same skills in the preseason, which is why the Bears are excited.
Montgomery could end up becoming the main running back for the Bears since they let their former #1 RB Jordan Howard go. If Montgomery can take all of those 250+ touches that Howard received last season, the Bears might’ve found their next great franchise running back.
Best Offensive ROY Betting Value
Miles Sanders (+1400) offers the best betting value based on his collegiate success, projected usage with the Eagles, and his overall football skills. Sanders is a player I’ve watched for all three of his years as a running back for Penn State.
He was a backup to Saquon Barkley for two years before getting the starting running back position all to himself last season. Sanders put together a strong 2018 with 1,274 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. He was the second leading rusher in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation.
Sanders has speed, power, and versatility. He can play all three downs and catches out of the backfield as well as anyone else in this year’s draft class. The Eagles took Sanders in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft, and he’s already cemented himself on top of the running back depth chart.
At +1400 odds, Sanders offers value as a potential starting running back for what some pundits believe will be an explosive Eagles offense.
Longshot to Win the ROY for Offense
T.J. Hockenson (+3000) appears to have found the perfect match with the Detroit Lions. Some pundits believe that the former Iowa Hawkeye will have a stellar rookie season with QB Matt Stafford throwing him the ball. The Lions have a lot of weapons in the passing game, but lacked help at tight end.
Hockenson could become one of Stafford’s favorite options due to his reliability, athleticism, route running, blocking, and toughness. These attributes led the Lions to drafting Hockenson eighth overall in this year’s draft.
Hockenson won the John Mackey Award for his final season with the Iowa Hawkeyes, which is given out to the best TE in college football. Could he also become one of the best NFL tight ends in his rookie year? He certainly has the offense and the skills to put up some big numbers this year.
Defensive ROY Betting Odds
The AP didn’t start voting for a Defensive Rookie of the Year until 1967. Detroit Lions defensive back Lem Barney won the inaugural honors. Last year, Colts linebacker Darius Leonard ran away with the competition and took home this award. He became the 26th LB to have won this prestigious accolade.
For this season, Bovada has Steelers linebacker Devin Bush as the odds on favorite to win the 2019 ROY award. He’s followed closely by 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa and Buccaneers linebacker Devin White.
Devin Bush (+500)
Nick Bosa (+800)
Devin White (+800)
Josh Allen (+1000)
Quinnen Williams (+1100)
Montez Sweat (+1600)
Ed Oliver (+2000)
Clelin Ferrell (+2200)
Brian Burns (+2200)
Chase Winovich (+3000)
Rashan Gary (+3000)
Bobby Okereke (+3000)
Jerry Tillery (+3000)
Darnell Savage (+3300)
Jahlani Tavai (+3500)
Defensive ROY Betting Favorites
The following defensive standouts are considered the odds on favorites to win the AP’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Devin Bush (+500)
Bush was born to play linebacker and he did so with a great deal of success for the Michigan Wolverines. In two years as a starter, Bush finished with 161 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, 10 sacs, 1 INT, and 11 passes deflected.
His collegiate play earned him many awards, Big Ten accolades, and All-American honors. Bush skipped his senior season to enter the NFL Draft and was taken by the Pittsburgh with the 10th overall pick. His floor is solid and his ceiling his very high. Bush could become one of the best middle LBs in the NFL.
Nick Bosa (+800)
Nick Bosa was taken by the San Francisco 49ers with the second overall pick in this year’s draft. He was considered the top defensive player in the draft after missing most of his junior year with an injury. Nevertheless, his numbers in his freshman and sophomore seasons were good enough.
For his collegiate career at Ohio State, Bosa finished with 47 solo tackles, 29 tackles for a loss, 17.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one touchdown. He showed NFL level talent as soon as he became a starter, which isn’t a surprise consider his brother starts for the Chargers.
The one big concern for Bosa is that he’s missed a lot of time this offseason and preseason due to an injury. Although he’s finally returned to practice just before the regular season has started, his status is unclear as to when he will play. With that said, avoid Bosa for this prop bet.
Devin White (+800)
White is another tremendous collegiate linebacker with success at the highest of levels. He played for LSU in the SEC conference and was considered not only one of the best LB’s in the conference, but in all of college football.
White put up big numbers as a starter in his sophomore and junior seasons. In those two years, White finished with 156 total tackles, 25.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, one interception, nine passes deflected, and three forced fumbles.
White has a tremendous blend of athleticism, size, strength, and toughness. He’s a great example of what the NFL inside linebacker position looks like these days, which is why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him fifth overall this year. Can he upstage Bush and Bosa to win this award?
Best Defensive ROY Betting Value
Ed Oliver (+2000) provides the best betting value based on his collegiate success, projected output this season, and his natural fit with the Buffalo Bills.
Oliver started every game he played in college for the Houston Cougars. His numbers might not jump off the screen at you, but they earned him the Outland Trophy which is given to the nation’s best interior lineman. He finished his career with 53 tackles for a loss, 13.5 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles as a DT.
Despite his collegiate success and praise from NFL draft gurus, Oliver fell a few spots in the NFL Draft until the Buffalo Bills snatched him up with the ninth overall pick. Oliver will start for one of the NFL’s top defensive units and has already flashed his power, speed, and football acumen this preseason.
The sky is the limit for Oliver. If he can put up some numbers and the Bills defense finishes near the top of the league, then expect his name to be in the running for Defensive ROY.
Longshot to Win the ROY on Defense
Brian Burns (+2200) is the best option for a longshot to win this ROY award. The former defensive end for the Florida State Seminoles showed top notch pass rushing skills during the NFL preseason. In fact, he was the talk of Carolina’s entire offseason due to his on-field success.
Burns had an up and down career at FSU, but his athleticism and relentlessness showed up each game. It’s also showed up this preseason for the Panthers. Currently, Burns will rotate in with the defensive ends and outside linebackers for Carolina. However, it might not take long for Burns to become their top DE.
Burns is a longshot for a reason, but he definitely has a high ceiling and a nice payout if he can win this award.
Who Wins the 2019 Offensive and Defensive ROY Awards?
For the Offensive ROY award, this trophy is Kyler Murray’s to lose. He has all of the physical attributes to become a dangerous QB in the NFL. He will also be in an offense that’s designed to put up yards and points, which will greatly help his case for winning this award.
If Murray falters in any way, look out for Montgomery and Sanders to challenge for this award. I’m not sold on the Raiders and Jacobs just yet. The Bears and the Eagles have already proven to be successful teams with high octane offenses.
For the Defensive ROY award, it will come down to a linebacker named Devin. Both Devin Bush for the Steelers and Devin White for the Buccaneers will have solid rookie seasons. Each one will be the starting middle linebacker for their respective teams and put up respectable numbers.
It’s hard to pick between these two, but I am going to lean towards Devin Bush. I believe the Steelers will have a better year than the Bucs this season. I also believe Pittsburgh has more talent around Bush than Tampa does with White. It will be a good race, but take the safe play and go with Bush.
Offensive ROY: Kyler Murray (+170)
Defensive ROY: Devin Bush (+500)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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