The 2017 NFL season is a week away, and we here at SportSmasher.com are all about making you money on the NFL season, we have already discussed Over/Under win totals and which teams we expect to go over their win total and which teams we expect to go under their win total. Today we are going to discuss player prop bets for the 2017 season, specifically the offensive and defensive Rookie of the Year odds, and how you can make money at the end of the season by picking players with long odds to win these awards at the end of the season. Let’s get to it:
Offensive Rookie Of The Year: This is a very interesting category this year, because there is value available, and an opportunity to make money. Here are five offensive players who can win Offensive Rookie of the Year, and five defensive players that can win Defensive Rookie of the Year, some with longer odds than others which could result in a big payout on low risk:
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings (+650) An extremely talented player coming out of Florida State University, Dalvin Cook looks the part of future a star, and he is expected to get the majority of the carrier right away in Minnesota. While there were initial fears Cook would lose carries to Latavius Murray, the fact that Murray was slowed by an ankle injury for the majority of the offseason allowed Dalvin Cook to get most of the work, and he impressed coaches enough that he should be the Vikings primary ball carrier. Dalvin Cook is also a threat in the passing game (33 receptions for 488 yards and a touchdown in 2016 per ESPN), and we know how much Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford loves checkdowns, so expect Cook to get plenty of touches through the air. One reason that rookie running backs struggle to get playing time is their inability to pass protect, but Vikings coaches rave about Cook’s skills in this area, so he will not be pulled off the field when asked to pick up the blitz. Expect big things out of Dalvin Cook this season.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (+1100) When it comes to pure talent, Joe Mixon might have been the most talented running back prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft, he incredible skill and is perfectly suited for the current style of play in the NFL. Of course, Joe Mixon’s off-the-field problems are well document, which caused him to slide into the second round of the draft when the Bengals selected him. Joe Mixon will share carries in the Cincinnati Bengals backfield with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, but Bernard is coming off a serious knee injury, while Hill is more suited as a short yardage power back. Joe Mixon is big enough (6’ 228lbs) to break tackles, and explosive enough to break long runs, once he gets a chance to show how good he is Mixon could grab hold of the Bengals starting running back job and never look back. If Mixon gets carries early, and proves he deserves more, he could end up earning the 2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
DeShone Kizer, QB, Cleveland Browns (+1200) While the rest of the quarterbacks who were selected in the 2017 NFL Draft are not expected to start from day one, DeShone Kizer has already been named the Cleveland Browns opening day starter, and while he has made mistakes during the preseason he has also shown flashes of impressive talent. We know that DeShone Kizer thinks that he has Tom Brady’s intellect and preparation in Cam Newton’s body, and while that is a stretch, he does have a big arm and great athleticism which could translate to early NFL success. If DeShone Kizer puts up decent numbers over the course of sixteen games, and leads an improved Browns team to six or seven wins, he could easily win the award.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (+2000) The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Kareem Hunt in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and as a rookie, he was expected to be a change-of-pace back behind Spencer Ware. However, in the third preseason game Spencer Ware suffered a serious knee injury, and he will miss the entire 2017 NFL season. Suddenly, Kareem Hunt is the Kansas City Chiefs starting running back, without a lot of competition on the roster. Due to the touches that Kareem Hunt is expected to receive as the Chiefs starting running back, he has a good chance to win NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year, and with the odds set at (+2000) you have the opportunity to make a good chunk of change if you correctly predict him to win the award.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions (+5500) This is my longshot flier to win the NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year, because the Detroit Lions just made quarterback Matthew Stafford the highest paid player in NFL history, and Stafford loves to air the ball out with his big arm. The Lions are thin at wide receiver, and with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones projected as their starters, they do not have a lot of size at the position. The Lions invested a third round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft in big (6’4 215lbs) wideout Kenny Golladay, and he has done nothing but impress this preseason, there is a lot of buzz about Golladay in Detroit. With Stafford throwing the ball often, Golladay will be a factor for the Lions offense this season, especially in and around the red zone. With long odds to win the award, Golladay has a chance, he will make an impact for the Lions this season.
Defensive Rookie Of The Year: Myles Garrett is the favorite to win the award, and rightfully so, he has shown the skill during the preseason that had scouts agreeing he is an instant impact NFL player who was deserving to be pick first overall in the draft. However, there are some value picks and longshots that have a chance to surpass Garrett, and win this award in an upset.
Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns (+400) The odds on favorite to win this award is the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, and while there is not a lot of value there, Garrett should produce at a level that allows him to be in the running for the award at the end of the season. During the preseason, Garrett showed the talent that made him the first overall pick in the draft, as he routinely beat starting NFL offensive tackles to pressure the quarterback and record sacks. Sack totals can lead to awards, and Garrett should make a splash as a pass rusher right away, and be an impact player for the Browns defense.
Jamal Adams, S, New York Jets (+500) The New York Jets are not expected to be a good football team this season with a 100/1 long shot to win their division, and many experts expect them to tank the season in order to get a quarterback at the top of the 2018 NFL Draft, but the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft safety Jamal Adams is expected to be great right away. Not only is Jamal Adams an incredible leader who will be the quarterback of the Jets defense, but he does everything well, he can play in-the-box and stuff the run as well as play centerfielder on passing downs. Adams is starting for the New York Jets from day one, behind an incredible defensive line that will make mistakes, and while the Jets will not win many games expect Adams to have incredible statistics at the end of the season.
Derek Barnett, DE, Philadelphia Eagles (+1600) If I am going to pick a player who can unseat Garrett and win Defensive Rookie of the Year, it is Philadelphia Eagles pass rusher Derek Barnett, because of his talent and his fit in the scheme. Derek Barnett broke Reggie White’s sack record at the University of Tennessee, and while he may be used as a situational pass rusher early in his career, he will have success early getting to the quarterback in defensive coordinator Jim Schawartz’ attacking defense. Barnett will be a force off the edge in the Eagles Wide 9 front from day one.
TJ Watt, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers (+3300) The younger brother of Houston Texans superstar JJ Watt, a three time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, TJ Watt has a ton of talent and should immediately make an impact coming off the edge for the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Watt has looked explosive in the preseason, and has gotten pressure consistently, including a pair of sacks against the New York Giants. TJ Watt will start the season as part of a rotation, but he will be on the field bringing pressure for passing downs, and once the sack total there is a chance that he wins an award that his brother did not win – NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Kevin King, CB, Green Bay Packers (+3300) The secondary of the Green Bay Packers has been a major weakness for the past few seasons, but they drafted several players who should turn this unit from a weakness into a strength, and the leader of that group is cornerback Kevin King. A very long (6’3 200lbs) and athletic cornerback who can matchup with the NFL’s bigger wide receivers, Kevin King reminds everyone of fellow former University of Washington Huskies cornerback Marcus Peters, who was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and went on to win 2015 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Kevin King has the skill to follow in Marcus Peters’ footsteps, and become the second University of Washington cornerback to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year over the past two seasons.