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Which Players Could Stop Clyde Edwards-Helaire Winning the 2020 NFL OROY Award?

| October 3, 2020 1:49 am PDT
Betting on the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

I literally just broke down reasons why Clyde Edwards-Helaire will win the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Through three weeks, he’s been incredibly dynamic and effective as Kansas City’s feature back, so that logic seems pretty air tight.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed in the world of sports betting.

In fact, now that the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds have been updated at BetOnline, we can see that Joe Burrow (+275) is back in front as the favorite to claim the hardware.

That could very well still happen, but if you want a favorite (and you’re asking me), it’s CEH.

In the interest of playing devil’s advocate, however, I thought it’d be fun to comb over the latest NFL ROY odds and gauge every player’s chances of side-stepping Edwards-Helaire en route to the trophy.

Here’s everyone that has a realistic case to win, and why you may want to bet on them.

Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals (+275)

Back to square one, we go. Yes, Burrow did open the year as the favorite to win the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and yeah, he’s again the top dog at the best football betting sites.

Is he the guy to beat? I still don’t think so, but if you want to hedge your bets, he’s absolutely the next guy to turn to.

Statistically, Burrow has done everything he can to win this award through three weeks.

Despite facing constant pressure, Burrow has shown impressive poise, while putting up 821 passing yards and five touchdowns to just one interception.

Burrow is also completing a healthy 64% of his passes, and has twice nearly led the Bengals to a win. The numbers are honestly a lot better with proper context, but Burrow arguably needs to do even more. Cincinnati winning a few games couldn’t hurt, either.

However, if the stats don’t pop off the page a bit more and the wins don’t come, Burrow still feels like the 1B to CEH’s 1A.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts (+500)

If you’re with me on the Clyde Edwards-Helaire hype, we do need to take a pitstop at the Jonathan Taylor love train. The guy was an athletic freak coming into the 2020 NFL Draft, and for the life of me, I don’t know why he slid into the second round.

Taylor was always going to be a home run threat with underrated receiving ability, but until Marlon Mack went down with an Achilles injury in week one, we couldn’t take Taylor seriously for this award.

We can now, though.

Taylor popped off for 100+ rushing yards in his first NFL start in week two, and he’s found the endzone in successive weeks as a rusher, too.

Taylor is looking at a pretty hefty workload. If the Colts keep winning and his numbers start picking up, he is a very real threat to CEH and Burrow.

I still think he’s entrenched at the third spot in the pecking order, and it’ll take a pretty big jump in stats to see his odds move. In terms of overall betting value, of course, he’s already extremely appealing.

James Robinson, RB, Jaguars (+800)

You can get even more value with Robinson, however, who has just 30 fewer rushing yards than Edwards-Helaire, and has more touchdowns.

The problem is nobody really believes (yet) that Robinson is sustainable. He wasn’t even remotely on the radar until the Jags cut Leonard Fournette loose, after all. In fact, prior to that move, he wasn’t even the next guy up on Jacksonville’s running back depth chart.

But he is now, is the thing.

We need to pay attention here, as Robinson has a true feature back role (17+ touches in every single game), and he is responding with very efficient production.

Can he keep it going? Will a Jaguars rookie actually claim this award over the other elite options? Maybe, and probably not. But at +800, we shouldn’t brush Robinson off like some spare that has no chance of winning.

Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers (+900)

Quarterbacks win the NFL Rookie of the Year at a solid rate. Kyler Murray won the hardware last year, Baker Mayfield arguably should have won it the year prior, and Dak Prescott took it home in 2016.

If it’s not a stud running back, it’s a quarterback, almost always. And if it’s not Burrow, it’d probably be Herbert.

Much like James Robinson, this is another guy who has basically lucked into a starring role. Yeah, the Chargers invested a first-round pick in Herbert to be their franchise savior, but Tyrod Taylor was supposed to relegate him to holding a clipboard in 2020.

That isn’t the case anymore, though. Herbert isn’t without his flaws, but in two starts, he’s flashed exceptional throwing ability, as well as dynamic play as a runner.

Herbert is a little more raw than Burrow, but he has a better team around him, and his numbers to this point are comparable. If his numbers pick up, can we really say he can’t stage the upset?

No, we can’t. Especially not at this +900 price tag.

Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings (+1200)

Quarterbacks and running backs dominate the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, but it’s not like we’ve never seen a wider receiver win.

Odell Beckham Jr. won in 2014, Percy Harvin got the nod in 2009, and Anquan Boldin earned the trophy back in 2003. Those are the only receivers to win the ROY in the last 16 years, but still.

We need to at least glance at the wide receivers capable of surprising here, and we might as well start the bidding with Justin Jefferson and his cool +1200 odds.

Did we want to broach this topic regarding Jefferson after two lackluster weeks? No, but this tends to change things.

Jefferson went off in his third career game, and if that’s remotely a sign of things to come, we need to start considering him more.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys (+1600)

Tee Higgins, Antonio Gibson, and a bunch of others NFL rookies deserve our time, but I’ll stop a realistic look at Rookie of the Year hopefuls at Lamb.

Remember, the receiver position isn’t really where we want to go heavy with our NFL Rookie of the Year bets, but Lamb stands out as one that is ready to explode.

Operating out of a clearly stacked Dallas passing game is likely what ends up holding this kid back, but when you realize how good he’s been (16 catches, 230 yards, 14.4 yards per catch), and yet we’re not really talking about him, it makes you salivate in preparation for his breakout.

Just check out this kid’s Oklahoma highlights.

CeeDee Lamb is a freak. He can take any touch to the house, and the only reason he hasn’t scored yet is because the Cowboys have two star wide receivers next to him. Heck, even Cedrick Wilson is proving he deserves looks in this offense.

Eventually, the explosive plays and touchdowns are going to come, though. Lamb may not win in the end, but if his production meets his talent in year one, you’re going to wish you tossed a flier bet on him at these egregious +1600 odds.

Summary

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still my pick to win the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. His +300 odds at the top NFL betting websites are still plenty alluring, and he has the talent and role to post monster numbers the rest of the way.

When trying to bet on who wins an award like this, the biggest obstacle is deciding who can post the best numbers. After that, you’ll want to consider the player’s team success, and how big of a hand they play in it.

If one of the top rookie passers lights the NFL up and their teams win, they’ll obviously be in the mix. If CEH and any other running backs dominate and their teams are playoff bound, history says they get a chance, too.

Wide receivers have less of a realistic chance, but guys like Jefferson and Lamb have the role and explosiveness to buck that trend.

Ultimately, I think this is a two-man race. CEH could put up better overall numbers than Joe Burrow (although it’s hard to compare positions), and doing it for an elite team can’t hurt him.

I’ll be back to update the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year betting scene at another time. For now, I’m riding CEH and I’m not looking back.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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