- Joe Burrow leads the OROY betting odds with +260.
- Right behind Burrow is former LSU teammate Clyde Edwards-Helaire at +350.
- Edwards-Helaire’s odds have skyrocketed after Chiefs starting RB Damien Williams opted out of the season.
LAS VEGAS - Two former LSU offensive stars are sitting pretty atop the odds boards for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie Of The Year award.
Of course, everyone expected Joe Burrow to be at the top of these odds rankings - the Heisman winner is walking into a starting job as a rookie quarterback, and has been compared to Joe Montana.
However, a teammate of his at LSU, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, has jumped up the odds boards recently.
Let’s start by taking a look at the odds at the major NFL sportsbooks.
2020-2021 AP NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year
- Joe Burrow +260
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire +350
- Jonathan Taylor +1100
- Tua Tagovailoa +1200
- Cam Akers +1600
- Ceedee Lamb +1800
- Jerry Jeudy +1800
- Ke'Shawn Vaughn +1800
- D'Andre Swift +2000
- Henry Ruggs III +2200
- JK Dobbins +2200
- Jalen Reagor +2500
- Justin Herbert +2500
- Justin Jefferson +2800
- KJ Hamler +3000
- Zack Moss +3000
Burrow and Edwards-Helaire are clearly at the top of the heap here. Burrow’s +260 odds lead all rookies by far, and Edwards-Helaire is the only other player who is even really close.
So, why did Edwards-Helaire’s odds get much shorter recently? The answer is simple:
The #Chiefs have announced that RB Damien Williams informed the team of his decision to opt out for the 2020 season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 29, 2020
Offensive production, especially for rookies is a combination of talent and opportunity. Edwards-Helaire has talent, that much is clear.
He was an excellent back at LSU, and the Chiefs valued him highly enough to take him in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft. However, he seemed to be stuck on the bench behind Damien Williams, who had an amazing performance in the Super Bowl last season that seemed to lock up his starting spot for good.
With Williams out for the year, Edwards-Helaire suddenly is thrust into the spotlight as the presumed starting running back for the Super Bowl champions. Edwards-Helaire will be in a spot that can really showcase his talents, taking handoffs from Patrick Mahomes, whose passing abilities can open up the run game significantly.
However, is this enough to make him a good bet over Burrow?
Previous Offensive Rookie Of The Year winners have been running backs, so there is plenty of precedent in the form of Alvin Kamara, Todd Gurley, and Saquon Barkley.
While it can take time for elite quarterbacks to get used to the game, running backs tend to arrive a little more ready. However, there are also drawbacks to a bet on Edwards-Helaire instead of Burrow - running backs tend to be more injury prone, and there’s a lot of hype behind Burrow that could serve as a sort of tiebreaker.
That said, one thing that bettors could do is drop a unit on each of them - they’re both above +200 odds, so if either of them wins, the bettor that did this would see some profit.
There’s a lot to consider here, and NFL betting fans should consider all angles before wagering.