Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Offensive Rookie of the Year race has seen several twists and turns already — three wide receivers have the best odds, but are they the best play for bettors? To help you sort it out, we’ve researched the best NFL betting options to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
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Offensive Rookie of the Year Heading into Week 4 | Risers
Romeo Doubs, WR, Green Bay Packers (+800)
I have to eat some crow — I projected Doubs to endure a free fall in the NFL Rookie of the Year odds last week. My reasoning was sound based on his decreased usage and upcoming matchups. Nonetheless, the Packers then fed Doubs repeatedly. Doubs had the best game of his career in Week 3, catching all eight targets for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Just like that, Doubs is now No. 3 in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has favored Doubs more than any pass catcher within the offense. Doubs has 16 targets on the year, whereas the next wide receiver has only nine targets. Robert Tonyan, AJ Dillon, and Aaron Jones are between Doubs and Allen Lazard.
Unsurprisingly, Doubs’ snap count rose dramatically alongside his production. He was on the field almost 89% of snaps in Week 3 after playing only 36.8% in Week 2. Whatever Doubs did well between those two games clearly seemed to stick with the staff and Rodgers.
I still don’t fully buy into Doubs’ odds to win the award since his variance puts him well behind the torrid pace of Drake London and Chris Olave. But he is a talented player in a potentially great situation if he can be more consistently involved in the unit.
Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints (+500)
Olave’s breakout came in full force last week. The Saints rookie took advantage of Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry’s injuries en route to a nine-catch, 147-yard performance. The Carolina Panthers had no answer for Olave’s blend of speed and smooth route running.
With 17 receptions for 268 yards on the season, Olave now leads all rookie receivers in production. He’s yet to find the end zone, but upcoming matchups against relatively weak secondaries in Minnesota and Seattle could change that. However, there is also a possibly huge roadblock as well: Jameis Winston’s back injury.
Winston and Olave have developed impressive chemistry. We’ve never seen Winston play with a receiver like Olave, but the early returns have shown Winston can work within more timing-based routes than just big, ball-dominant receivers like Thomas and Mike Evans. Still, if Winston misses time, can Andy Dalton step in and continue to feed 13 targets to Olave as Winston has over the last two weeks?
It’s hard to know. Hopefully, we won’t have to find out. I think it’s worth sprinkling action on Olave even at a price that ties him with London for the top odds to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. But I have more reservations about his situation and opportunity than I do about London.
Offensive Rookie of the Year Heading into Week 4 | Fallers
George Pickens, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (+1600)
For as brilliant as Pickens looked in the preseason, the Steelers have utterly failed to build an offense capable of putting Pickens in a position to succeed. I thought Pickens might be Mitch Trubisky-proof, but through three games, he’s not. He’s been targeted only 12 times for five receptions and 65 yards.
The entire Steelers offense has been trudging through sludge through three games. Trubisky isn’t fully to blame, but there’s little question his limitations also hamper the unit. The Steelers failed to build a solid offensive line and also did a poor job pairing quarterback skill set with receiving talent.
I’m shocked Pickens’ OROY odds are even this high. It’s possible Trubisky starts playing with desperation and heaves more passes to Pickens or that Kenny Pickett is handed the starting job sooner than later. Pickett has more gusto than Trubisky, which could benefit Pickens. Nonetheless, Pickens doesn’t produce like Olave or London, which further buries his odds of winning.
I like Pickens’ long-term outlook, but his candidacy for this award is closing quickly by no fault of his own.
Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans (+1800)
After a decent first two weeks with 11 targets, seven receptions, and 102 yards, Burks set himself up to prove skeptics wrong about his readiness and standing within the Titans’ offense after some discouraging reports throughout the preseason. But Week 3 brought a tougher outing, earning just one catch on two targets for 13 yards. This was despite playing 69% of his snaps, far more than his first two weeks.
The good news for Burks is his involvement in the offense has risen each week, even if his production had a sudden drop in Week 3. There’s no major reason to panic if you have a futures bet on Burks to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. His eight receptions for 115 yards are still in the ballpark of his peers.
The biggest concern for Burks is the floor of Ryan Tannehill and the Titans’ passing game. Their offense relies upon Derrick Henry, and they have several interesting role-playing receivers who can siphon targets any given week. We need to see Burks get into the end zone more often.