Sports Betting

NFL Futures: Rookie of the Year

Bijan Robinson

NFL Futures: Rookie of the Year

My favorite thing about the off-season has to be the limitless optimism, journalists will report from OTAs and beam about how well a rookie is shining. It makes every year feel like it could be the one. Twitter is blooming with slow-motion videos of bombs from rookie quarterbacks hitting their targets effortlessly, and rookie receivers making moves that leave their fan bases dreaming of the possibility of Justin Jefferson the second. Of course, only 1 of those rookies can take home the revered Rookie of the Year award. Online football betting found on this website had some interesting odds which inspired me to write this article. There are tons of odds these days, so make sure you shop around before committing to a single sportsbook.

In this article, we will discuss how Vegas views the top rookie prospects, for those of you who like to engage in the casual or not-so-casual wager.

The Favorites

Often when you read about sports betting, it will be packed full of hot takes on long-shot odds that make the punter dream of a big payout. But it would be irresponsible if I did not at least look at some of the favorites.

Bijan Robinson +250

The standout favorite to take home this award, and with good reason. Bijan Robinson is seen as a generational back, stepping into a Falcons offense that dominated in the run last year. 5th-round pick Tyler Allgeier rushed for over 1000 yards with these same Falcons in 2022, so you can just about bank that Robinson is going to outdo that. Add to that, he is a prolific catcher by running back standards. He does it all, there’s a reason he was considered one of, if not the most, talented player in this year’s draft. Sadly, running backs rarely get the respect they deserve which is why he wasn’t picked in the top 5.

It’s also important to consider situational value, the Falcon’s ship is steered by Desmond Ridder. An unproven, raw “talent”. Forgive my skepticism but the quotations on the word talent there are very intentional. So Bijan is going to get a lot of touches, and likely have the offense run through him. That means the Falcon’s win totals will directly link to Robinson’s production.

Bryce Young +500

No surprises here, the number 1 overall pick usually makes an appearance in this spotlight, especially if he’s a quarterback. Bryce Young is stepping into a pretty good situation with Carolina. If you base your opinions on Young by his college tape, you could be forgiven for having high expectations. The only issue experts seem to have is his stature. But you know what they say, the extra gears are between the ears, and Bryce Young has the smarts to succeed in the NFL. He processes the field, looks comfortable in the pocket, and makes quick decisions. You will hear this year’s hottest topic, the S2 test touted regularly. If you haven’t, it effectively will test how fast a QB makes decisions. Young aced the test, as did last year’s Mr irrelevant extremely relevant Brock Purdy, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen to name a few. Bryce Young has the kind of Joe Burrow-esque talent to come out guns blazing and prove he is an elite talent in year 1.

Anthony Richardson +600

This one surprised me a little, I would have Anthony Richardson a little closer to the top. He is a raw talent that’s for sure, but dual-threat quarterbacks will always have a better chance of production in their first year. What do you associate with rookie QB play? Getting nervous in the pocket and scrambling out. With the ability to run and athleticism that Richardson possesses, his scramble out from pressure could end anywhere from 5 to 50 yards. If I were a betting man (and I certainly am if you can’t tell) I’d be putting my money on Richardson over Young.

The Outliers

Zay Flowers +1800

Not unlike Bijan, Zay Flowers is in a position to really have an impact. The situation plays a heavy part in this award, and this pick is no different. Consider the Ravens WR room. Rashod Bateman is primed as WR1 to take a leap, but that is a stretch considering he’s played 12 games in year 1, and 7 in year 2. A combined career total of 800 yards. Not the kind of numbers you expect in a leading wide receiver. Behind him? A 30-year-old receiver, coming off his second ACL who hasn’t played for over a year. Sorry, but I refuse to acknowledge Odell Beckham Jr. as the legitimate game-changer that he once was. Before you get started on his impact for the Rams Superbowl, sure he caught some balls but he is a WR3 at best. The sad reality is that Beckham is one of those players that’s more name than game (Ezekiel Elliot, sweats nervously as he reads this). That leaves Zay Flowers next in line, an athletic slot receiver with strong hands and the kind of explosiveness usually reserved for an actual cannonball. He could be the Garret Wilson or Chris Olave of 2023, and if he does in that system he will see serious production.

Dalton Kincaid +3500

In a class touted as the best Tight End class in a decade, Dalton Kincaid was the first off the board, and with good reason. A fluid route runner who is a wide receiver disguised as a tight end. In an explosive offense headed up by Josh Allen, he will see snaps and action. Is delivery even close to the way he was in his college game will see Dawson Knox become Dawson who? real fast. In a draft where tight ends were the top bullet point, having a tight end Rookie of the Year is a headline that writes itself, and at +3500, that’s the kind of risk I’d be looking at taking.

The Long Shot

Sam LaPorta +6000

The Athletic’s Colton Pouncy talked about Sam LaPorta putting on a show at OTA’s. That’s just the kind of crowing I was mentioning at the beginning of this article. But for the third and final time let’s look at situational value. Who’s in front of LaPorta in the depth chart? Brock Wright (200-ish yards over 17 games last year). And then? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t anyone else. LaPorta will be TE1 by week 1, and he is part of the 4th-ranked offense of 2022. The Lion’s offense was so undeniably productive, but they were overshadowed by a defense, that never met a game they couldn’t lose. That defense has since seen improvement and they are now for the first time in a long time favored to win the division. Sam LaPorta looks to be a big part of that. You may not like this, but narrative matters when it comes to awards. The darling hard knocks team of 2022, misses the playoffs by a hair, now returns to make Motor City Dan Campbell’s fever dream come true; a deep playoff run. If that happens, and LaPorta is balling out, he’s a good chance at this award.

As always, we love a good bet at Gridiron Experts, all we ask is that you remember to gamble responsibly.

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