Justin Herbert Now Clear-Cut Favorite To Win NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year

Written By Nate Weitzer on November 28, 2020
Justin Herbert Joe Burrow Tua Tagovailoa NFL Rookie of the year

With three QBs taken in the first six picks of this year’s NFL Draft, there were no shortage of candidates for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year when the 2020 season began. Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert were locked in a tight race for the award, but Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury last weekend. Herbert is now -835 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Herbert’s Chargers are barely scraping by at 3-7 despite his fantastic individual performance. In Miami, Tua Tagovailoa had the Dolphins winning, but the No. 5 overall pick was benched during a loss at Denver on Sunday. Tagovailoa has the second lowest odds for offensive ROY at DK, at +1000. Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson (+1700), Kansas City’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+2000), Pittsburgh’s Chase Claypool (+2000), Washington’s Antonio Gibson (+2000) and Jacksonville’s James Robinson (+2000) are on the next tier.

Here we break down the changing futures market around these rookie QBs, and highlight some trends that will be helpful when placing bets involving the Bengals, Chargers, and Dolphins.

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NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds

View all the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM.

Justin Herbert

Herbert had already crept in front of Burrow in the MVP race at most books following a stellar performance in a narrow loss to the Raiders in Week 9. He was +125 to win it at DK on Nov. 20 and Burrow was +150. Herbert has been great under pressure with the fifth-best completion rate (52.3%) under duress and he has the fifth-best true passer rating (106.2) in the NFL this year. The Oregon product is ninth in passing yards (2,699) and is getting +2000 odds to catch Patrick Mahomes (3,035) and finish the season as the NFL Passing Yards leader.

Herbert is not only the best rookie QB left, he’s one of the best at his position and his volume is guaranteed with the Chargers defense struggling badly in the red zone. He may not be a candidate for MVP since the Bolts are in last place in the AFC West, but Herbert should be considered a lock for Rookie of the Year if he avoids injury.

Here is a look at Herbert props for this Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Tua Tagovailoa

With Tagovailoa, it’s less about his chances to earn some hardware, and more about the drama unfolding behind the scenes in Miami. Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for Tua in October despite impressive wins over the 49ers and Jets. Fitz also leads all QBs in pressured completion rate (68.2%), is second in deep ball completion rate (62.5%), and fourth in total QBR (80.2).

Tua received a heavy assist from his defense and special teams to top the Rams and Chargers, and he was excellent in a narrow win over the Cardinals. But the rookie is only posting a 37.5% completion rate on deep balls and completing 50% of his passes when pressured.

Miami head coach Brian Flores maintains that the Dolphins aren’t “auditioning” Tua this season to see if they want to draft another QB. However, if Miami wants to compete for the AFC East title, it’s hard to argue that Fitzpatrick isn’t the best option. Tua can regain some confidence in cupcake matchups against the Jets and Bengals over the next two weeks, but if he struggles Flores will have a quick hook. On the surface, Tagovailoa’s hip injury has not been an issue and early reports indicate that the leg injury he suffered in Denver wasn’t serious. What bears watching is how the Alabama product reacts to his benching, and how the Dolphins supporting cast reacts if the coaching staff seems to favor the rookie over the more popular veteran.

Here are props for Tagovailoa for this Sunday’s game against the Jets.

Joe Burrow

Burrow was on pace to set rookie passing records for yards and completions, and had already set a new rookie bar with 300-plus yards in three straight games. The No. 1 pick turned the Bengals from a doormat to a competitive squad that pushed the Browns and Colts to the brink and upset the Titans in Week 8. He ranked 10th in passing yards (2,688) at the time of his injury.

With Burrow sadly done for the season, the Bengals immediately went from 1-point favorites to 5-point underdogs in this Sunday’s game against Giants. Burrow’s backup, Ryan Finley, did a great job of avoiding turnovers while at NC State but struggled to push the ball downfield against premier competition. Finely will be passed over for Brandon Allen starting in Week 12. Allen has experience under Zac Taylor during their days with the Rams. The Arkansas product has a bit more upside than Finley, but will likely struggle behind a poor offensive line.

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