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Odds to Win NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year: Barkley remains the favorite

2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Betting Odds

As NFL teams embark on OTAs and getting practice reps for the upcoming season, rookies are getting their first taste of the NFL and showing why their respective teams drafted them in the first place. As the buzz and rumors trickle out of training camps, oddsmakers continue to have a rookie running back as the favorite to take the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Giants tailback Saquon Barkley remains the odds-on favorite at +140 and is in a prime position to get a full workload in New York’s revamped offense. He’s followed by quarterbacks Baker Mayfield at +400, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen at +900 and Patriots running back Sony Michel at +1000 to round out the top five.

Is Barkley a lock for O-ROY?

Yes and no. Is he a lock to get over 250 carries and catch 50 passes in Pat Shurmur’s revamped offense? Barring injury, those numbers seem very doable but his biggest issue may not be his performance but the play of quarterback Eli Manning. Manning was awful last season with only 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and voters tend to give this award to players who have remarkable stats (Todd Gurley in 2015) or players who lead their teams to a winning season (Dak Prescott and Alvin Kamara).

If Manning submarines the Giants again and defenses place eight or more players in the box to stop the run, it could lead to some tough outings for the No. 2 overall pick. Also, six of the Giants’ first eight games are against teams that were ranked in the top 10 in fewest rushing yards allowed in 2017.

At +140, the odds aren’t great and players not even listed could emerge to steal the award as Kamara did last season – the Saints back wasn’t even listed at online shops until halfway through the 2017 campaign. It’s also worth mentioning that the last two preseason favorites to win this award (Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette) did not take home the hardware.

Quarterbacks Have the Most Potential

I know why bettors would want to lean toward Baker Mayfield to win this award. The Browns finished 0-16 and have nowhere to go but up in 2018. But the No. 1 overall pick has to contend with nominal starter Tyrod Taylor before getting the starting nod and head coach Hue Jackson seems to have an affinity for mobile quarterbacks (see DeShone Kizer). Also, for what it’s worth, the first overall pick has only won this award twice (2010, 2011) since the award was created in 1967.

My pick to win is quarterback Josh Rosen at +900. His only competition is Sam Bradford (with his glass knees) and the former UCLA product was considered the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft. The Cards finished last season at 8-8 with arguably the worst quarterback play in the league and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will definitely be pushing for Rosen to start after suffering through years of Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley and John Skelton. If Rosen can lead Arizona back into the postseason, it will be hard for voters to ignore him.

2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Odds as of June 14 at Bovada

  • Saquon Barkley +140
  • Baker Mayfield +400  
  • Josh Allen +900          
  • Josh Rosen +900        
  • Sony Michel +1000    
  • Rashaad Penny +1400
  • Calvin Ridley +1600    
  • Derrius Guice +1600  
  • Sam Darnold +1600   
  • Royce Freeman +1800           
  • Lamar Jackson +2000 
  • Christian Kirk +3300   
  • Courtland Sutton +3300        
  • D.J. Moore +3300        
  • James Washington +3300      
  • Ronald Jones +3300