NFL Betting: Who you should target for offensive rookie of the year

Who will follow Saquon Barkley as the OROY? Ben Rolfe attempts to find the value in the NFL betting odds as we enter a season lacking standout options.

One of the most intriguing markets when it comes to NFL betting is the offensive rookie of the year odds. All of these awards are about the opportunity to shine, but this year has the potential to be more competitive than most. As a rookie, it can be hard to get time on the field. Therefore, this award often comes down to five or six options quickly, because they are the only players seeing enough playing time to put themselves in the discussion.

In 2018, Saquon Barkley was the early runaway leader. However, Baker Mayfield pushed him all the way with a fantastic second half of the season. In the end, Barkley’s superb effort on a 5-11 New York Giants team earned him the award, but it certainly was a fascinating race.

There are some compelling candidates for the OROY award this season. There are not many skill position players who come into the season with expectations for the impact that Barkley had last year. However, as we saw in 2017 with Alvin Kamara, rookies can rise from nowhere and put themselves into the spotlight.

Let’s take a look at how the NFL betting odds currently shake out for the award and identify some good value to help guide your decision.

Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals | +225

Not surprisingly, Murray is the favorite to win the award as he will likely be Arizona’s starting QB come Week 1. Kyler Murray comes into a situation where frankly things cannot get any worse, and he is going to have every chance to succeed.

Last season was so ugly and disappointing for the Cardinals that 2019 can only be a success in comparison. Add in that Kliff Kingsbury‘s offense is going to put the ball in the hands of Murray a lot this year, and you have the perfect recipe for OROY.

These odds are not ideal, but a small bet on Murray would be an excellent reason to watch what should be a fascinating Cardinals team this season.

Joshua Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders | +750

Entering the season, Joshua Jacobs is the only back that has the potential to have the workload that Barkley had last season. Now Jacobs is not as talented as Barkley, but in a relatively weak year for NFL offensive rookies he may not need to be.

The problem will be opportunities. The Raiders ranked 23rd in rush attempts last season, mostly due to having to play from behind. However, with essential upgrades to both sides of the ball, their games should be closer than we saw in 2018.

Running backs have won the last two awards and four of the previous six. Can Jacobs add to that? Of the running backs, he has the best chance right now, but the odds here are unlikely to make him a darling of the NFL betting community. There are too many questions marks, making this a stay away.

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington Redskins | +775

This is a hard no. The odds are not good enough for someone who may not start until late into the second half of the season. Even if Haskins were to start Week 1, these odds might be too long.

It is not that Haskins is not talented, it is just that that offense tends to revolve around the run, having ranked 14th in rush attempts and 26th in passing attempts. This is not good value and is not worth the investment at this point.

Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs | +1600

I expect to see this price on Mecole Hardman tumble more and more as we get closer to the season and Tyreek Hill remains available to the Kansas City Chiefs. The only way anyone is jumping on Hardman at this point is if they have inside information that Hill is going to be suspended.

Even if he is, which isn’t looking likely, then Hardman is at best the third mouth in the passing game. Right now, with Hill, he is the clear number four, and this is dreadful value for a fourth option on an offense.

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears | +1800

Montgomery is perhaps the only running back after Jacobs, who has a realistic shot at the award currently. He may be the only other back that will handle the volume of carries required to take the award.

David Montgomery will likely replace Jordan Howard as the early-down back in this offense and could see plenty of touches in that role. Of course, he will have Tarik Cohen handling a majority of the carries, but Howard had 250 carries last season in the same situation.

Out of Montgomery and the Eagles Miles Sanders, Montgomery is the bigger lock for playing time, making this a potentially inviting option.

N’Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots | +2000

It would be a lot of fun to see this one come true, but in general, I struggle to see a wide receiver take the award home this year. In all honesty, it’s rare to see a receiver win any year. Only three of them have taken the award home since the turn of the century. The last winner was Odell Beckham in 2014, so maybe this is the year a receiver does it.

However, all of the receivers have question marks this season. How much of a role will the Brown’s have in their situation? Can Parris Campbell and Deebo Samuel get enough targets? Will the Seahawks throw enough for D.K. Metcalf to have a shot?

Of course, there is no reason to believe that N’Keal Harry has any more chance than any of those above. Tom Brady and young receivers is not usually an ideal situation. However, Harry seems like a good route runner, which is what Brady likes in a receiver.

If I were going to bet a receiver, then Harry would be the one I would choose. Brady’s time in the NFL is depleting, and if the Patriots were willing to step up and add Harry in the first round, then the NFL betting community should probably take him seriously.

Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams | +2500

This is a maybe, could-be type situation. If Todd Gurley is injured, then Darrell Henderson may get the shot to be the man in the offense.

However, are these NFL betting odds long enough to take that chance? Probably not, but if you are tied to Gurley in some way for fantasy football, this bet might be a nice hedge if those knees cannot hold up and he misses a large chunk of the season.

Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos | +2600

If we thought wide receivers winning was rare, then the tight end position winning is even more unique. Just once since the award came into existence has a tight end won, and that was Mike Ditka back in 1961.

The realistic pair to have a chance here are Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson. My gut feeling on these two is that Fant is the better player of the two this season, but Hockenson has the better career overall.

Can Fant be good enough to give the NFL betting community something to celebrate come January? History suggests probably not, but wouldn’t it be fun if it did happen?

Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills | +6600

This is another situation that is all about opportunity. Right now Singletary is behind Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy for touches in the Bills backfield. However, both of those backs are well beyond their prime in regards to age and health.

There is a real opportunity that poor performance or injury could put Devin Singletary in a position to make a significant impact. Playing next to an athletic QB like Josh Allen could mean that Singletary gets favorable looks to take advantage of, and that could sweep him to OROY.

At these fantastic NFL betting odds, why not take the chance?


  • David Montgomery | +1800
  • N’Keal Harry | +2000
  • Noah Fant | +2600
  • Devin Singletary | +6600


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