The 2023 NFL Comeback Player of the Year sports betting odds have an intriguing look to them thanks to the shocking events of Jan. 2, 2023. While that has left a clear favorite among the potential winners, there are still some intriguing options to be found among the candidates.
In this article, we will examine the NFL Comeback Player of the Year odds for 2023 and look at the predictions and potential longshot option recommendations from our analyst panel. Among our analysts this week are PFN’s Chief Content Officer David Bearman, Betting Director Brian Blewis, Betting and Fantasy Analyst Jason Katz, as well as guest analyst, FOX Sports’ Chris “The Bear” Fallica.
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Live NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds
NFL • 2023-24 Futures
AP Comeback Player of the Year
Odds updated September 27th, 2023, at 4:43 pm
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Predictions
Fallica: If Damar Hamlin (-275) decides to try and return and steps foot on the field, he wins.
Bearman: It’s hard to argue against Damar Hamlin here, as Fallica is right. If he comes back from near death on the field to play again, the award is over.
However, if you don’t want to lay -275 and think Hamlin doesn’t make it back, the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year, Cooper Kupp (+3000), is as solid of a pick out there. He would’ve likely won it again last year if he didn’t get a season-ending injury and could be up for it again this year.
Katz: Everyone just assumes Damar Hamlin is getting the award. You absolutely should never lay -275 on just about anything, let alone a futures bet. So, let’s operate under the assumption this award will go to the player who performs the best following an injury or a down year.
Last season, Geno Smith rightfully won the award despite not being hurt the previous season. What he “came back from” was being written off after just two years as a starter and nearly a decade as a backup.
In 2012, Philip Rivers won the award by “coming back” from being really bad in 2011. Similarly, Russell Wilson at +2500 fits that criteria. He was one of the worst quarterbacks in the league last season but has a quality offense around him and an offensive-minded head coach in Sean Payton to help right the ship. Wilson may very well just be done, but if he can return to pre-2022 form, he’s worth the long odds.
Blewis: I mean, it’s gotta be Damar Hamlin, right? He’s my prediction to win it, but I can’t ever bet that heavy of a favorite to win an award.
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NFL Comeback Player of the Year Sleepers and Longshots
Fallica: In any other year, John Metchie III (+2800) would be a lock if he makes a return from battling Leukemia. If Hamlin doesn’t return and Metchie does, it could be just as automatic.
Bearman: The Jags made a late-season run last year to the AFC South title and upset the Chargers in the playoffs. This year, they added Calvin Ridley (+5000) from the Falcons. One of the better receivers in the game, Ridley returns from a year-long suspension and should be a perfect fit for the growing offense.
Katz: I know this is cheating, but there are three plausible longshots that caught my eye. First, Matthew Stafford (+5000). Stafford dealt with injuries last season and was even mulling over retirement. This is still a quarterback just two years removed from throwing 41 touchdowns and winning a Super Bowl. He still has Kupp, so maybe Stafford has one more run in him.
Second, Calvin Ridley (+5000). Ridley missed all of last season due to a gambling suspension, wasn’t very good in 2021, and last year, wrote a really moving article for The Players’ Tribute about mental health. If he can return to his 2020 form with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, he definitely has a shot.
Finally, for a super longshot that I don’t actually believe will happen, but maybe: Michael Thomas at +7500. Thomas hasn’t been able to stay on the field since 2019. It’s now 2023, and he’s over 30. In all likelihood, Thomas’ body has betrayed him, and it’s just over. But what if he can put together one more monster season? Unlikely? Yes. But if he does, Thomas checks every box for this award.
Blewis: I can easily see Russell Wilson (+2500) having a bounce-back year in Denver under Sean Payton. Although I don’t think Payton will “Let Russ Cook” to the degree that Seahawks fans were begging for years, if he’s just a competent QB again on a playoff team, then he could definitely be in the mix.
Everything that could’ve gone wrong for Denver last season did, so I expect much improvement given the major upgrade in coaching and positive regression in giveaways and injuries from 2022.
Recent Risers and Fallers
There hasn’t been much of a change in the Comeback Player of the Year odds because Hamlin has been such an overwhelming favorite since the market first opened.
The three quarterbacks with the best odds at DraftKings in Tua Tagovailoa (+2000), Russell Wilson (+2000), and Lamar Jackson (+2500), could each see their odds get shorter if they get off to hot starts to the 2023 NFL season. Jackson and Wilson particularly have easy schedules to start the season to help them gain traction early in the CPOY race.
Who Is the Favorite To Win Comeback Player of the Year?
We have a clear favorite in Hamlin atop the NFL Comeback Player of the Year odds. He’s been the odds-on favorite since the market first opened, and now that he has made the 53-man roster, Hamlin’s case for CPOY has only strengthened.
The story surrounding Hamlin and his cardiac arrest in Cincinnati on Jan. 2, 2023, transcended the game. The moment itself and the events that followed were widely covered both nationally and internationally.
Much like when Alex Smith returned from nearly having his leg amputated to play again in the NFL, the performance on the field is not as important as simply the fact that Hamlin could even step foot on a football field again.
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