NFL Rookie Of The Year Odds | Picks, Predictions For Offense & Defense

Written By Juan Carlos Blanco on September 7, 2021 - Last Updated on September 9, 2021

As the National Football League season gets started, online sportsbooks across the United States are fielding plenty of futures bets on the upcoming season. Among the most popular options available are odds for the AP Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards.

Each season, the Rookie(s) of the Year markets draw plenty of preseason betting interest considering the high degree of anticipation there is about how the newest crop of college stars will do at the highest level. This year is certainly no exception with multiple first-year quarterbacks from big-name schools among the rookie class, three which are already set to start right at quarterback in Week 1.

PlayPicks is here to examine three top candidates for each ROY award and their current odds to see where there may be value to be had ahead of Week 1.

2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Betting Picks

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (+400 at DraftKings)

Urban Meyer did away with whatever smidgen of suspense there was by naming Lawrence his starter, meaning the first overall pick should have ample opportunity to build his case right from the jump, assuming good health. Losing fellow rookie Travis Etienne for the season certainly didn’t help matters, but Lawrence has more than enough talent to create on his own and has a solid and perhaps a bit underrated trio of wideouts in D.J. Chark, Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault.

Given the spotlight he’ll enjoy all season and the accelerated learning curve several young quarterbacks have demonstrated in recent seasons (i.e. Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow), Lawrence is certainly solid value at his current price on DK.

Mac Jones, Patriots (+600 at DraftKings)

Jones naturally shot up the leaderboard at the end of preseason when Cam Newton was surprisingly cut loose by the Patriots and the rookie was announced as the Week 1 starter. The Alabama alum impressed both on the stat sheet and with his demeanor throughout camp and preseason, and his projected backup, Brian Hoyer, certainly doesn’t loom as an ominous threat to Jones’ job security.

Jettisoning Newton was no small decision to pull the trigger on, so if you have faith Bill Belichick is ready to ride out what will likely be a bit of a rollercoaster year with long-term benefit in mind, Jones could certainly be worth a roll of the dice at his price considering New England is highly likely to consistently put him in position to succeed.

Zach Wilson, Jets (+900 at BetMGM)

There are some sportsbooks where both Justin Fields and Trey Lance have shorter odds than Wilson, but neither will open the season as a starter. Meanwhile, like Lawrence and Jones, Wilson will be thrown right into the fray beginning Week 1, and given first-year head coach Robert Saleh’s job security for the time being, there’s little incentive for him to do anything but roll with his rookie from wire to wire this season.

Assuming that’s the case, the question becomes how much Wilson’s outstanding pair of preseason performances are accurate barometers of what he might be able to provide once the games begin counting. There’s concerns about the talent around him in Year 1 as well. If Corey Davis and/or Jamison Crowder go down, there will be trouble for the rookie, but the price on BetMGM is certainly nothing if not enticing.

2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Picks

Micah Parsons – Dallas Cowboys (+600 at Caesars)

As long as Parsons is healthy, he’s going to be out there for a ton of snaps on a Cowboys defense that was thoroughly embarrassed against the run a season ago. The Penn State product’s measurables and body of work at the college level are both elite, and Parsons already began flashing some of what he’s capable of this preseason.

Parsons checked off all the major boxes on the defensive stat sheet during his two college seasons with the exception of interceptions. But given his speed and coverage ability, there doesn’t figure to be a goose egg in that category by the end of his first NFL campaign. Throw in what are very likely to be gaudy tackle, and to an extent, sack numbers, and Parsons could coast to the award on a team that will offer him no shortage of visibility.

Jamin Davis – Washington Football Team (+1000 at BetMGM)

Much like Parsons, Davis is an ultra-athletic linebacker , and he’ll be stepping into what was already a very solid defense in 2020. The North Carolina product had only one dominant college campaign — his 2020 junior season – but he actually has more skins on the wall in pass coverage than Parsons in the form of an impressive five career college interceptions, including a pick-six, in 25 games.

While Parsons may ultimately stand out a bit more as very likely the most complete player on a front seven that still figures to struggle some, Davis could potentially make his own sizable mark if he’s utilized aggressively by Ron Rivera and staff.

Kwity Paye – Indianapolis Colts (+1200 at DraftKings)

Paye isn’t going to keep up with Parsons and Davis in the tackle department as a defensive end, and the Michigan product actually had his best college season two years ago when he posted 12.5 tackles for loss, including 6.5 sacks. However, Indy still thought enough of him to invest the 21st overall pick this past April, and Paye will start from Day 1 at left defensive end.

The presence of the talented DeForest Buckner next to him at tackle should help Paye get his fair share of one-on-one matchups on the outside, and with defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ scheme having produced 119 sacks over the coach’s first three seasons with Indianapolis, Paye could certainly be teed up for more opportunities to get to the quarterback than he enjoyed with the Wolverines.

Juan Carlos Blanco Avatar
Written by
Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has served as a freelance writer for a wide variety of online publications and websites, with an intensive focus on fantasy sports and sports betting. Juan has provided analysis and comprehensive coverage of the MLB, NBA, NFL and CFL, while also reporting on news and developments in the daily fantasy sports, online gaming and sports betting industries.

View all posts by Juan Carlos Blanco
Privacy Policy