Weingarten: My latest NFL awards bets

September 25, 2022 08:20 AM
Justin_Jefferson

With just three weeks left in the NFL regular season, we can separate the contenders from the rest of the field for the major player awards. I am going to go through the major player awards market and see if we can find any value this week.

NFL Awards – The Contenders

MVP

FanDuel:

Mahomes -350

Hurts +550

Jefferson +15000

DraftKings:

Mahomes -350

Hurts +550

Jefferson +10000

Mahomes: 4,496 passing yards, 35 TD/11 INT, 313 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs

Hurts: 3,472 passing yards, 22 TD/5 INT, 747 rushing yards, 13 rushing TDs

Jefferson: 111 receptions, 1,623 receiving yards, 7 receiving TDs, 1 rushing TD

The MVP market looked very different yesterday morning until it was announced that Jalen Hurts is missing this weekend’s game against the Cowboys with a shoulder injury. When that news hit the market, Hurts saw his MVP odds move from -150 to as high as +700, now having settled at +550.

Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL whenever he is on the field. It’s not inconceivable to think Mahomes deserves the MVP every time he plays a full season. But I’m hesitant to make him such a huge favorite due to Hurts missing only one game, or even the next two games for that matter. Was there some benchmark that Hurts needed to hit, some number of touchdowns that he needs to pass to be considered the MVP? I don’t think Hurts needed to show anything more in the remaining three games to convince anyone that he deserves the award. If he was the MVP before his injury was announced on Monday, he should still be the MVP now.

I will bet a bit on Hurts here at +550. Nothing crazy, just a regular $500 bet, but I think the market has overreacted here.

I bet on Justin Jefferson last week at 150/1, and I am tempted to bet on him again, but his odds haven’t moved at all off the news of Hurts' injury or his participation in the largest comeback in NFL history this past weekend. In reality, the receiver who deserved MVP consideration was Cooper Kupp last season, and this year, the market/voters are basically telling us that no non-quarterback will get serious MVP consideration, because there’s nothing they can do in the eyes of the voters to beat a quarterback. Justin Jefferson might very well eclipse 2,000 receiving yards and his reward will be the Offensive Player of the Year and some third-place MVP votes.

Defensive Player of the Year

FanDuel:

Bosa -130

Parsons +100

Garrett 50/1

DraftKings:

Bosa -125

Parsons -105

Garrett 60/1

Bosa: 41 tackles (34 solo), 15.5 sacks, 16 TFL, 1 PD, 1 FF, 0 FR, 0 TD

Parsons: 59 tackles (40 solo), 13.0 sacks, 13 TFL, 3 PD, 3 FF, 2 FR, 1 TD

Garrett: 42 tackles (28 solo), 13.5 sacks, 15 TFL, 4 PD, 2 FF, 0 FR, 0 TD

Myles Garrett is probably being penalized for playing on a Browns team that is likely going to miss the playoffs, otherwise, his numbers are similar enough to Bosa and Parsons to question why he’s 50/1 or 60/1.

When it comes down to Bosa and Parsons, they are both so close together in production, and both playing on 10-win teams, it’s hard to make a case for one over the other. Three weeks is enough for one player to separate themselves. While I want to make a case that it could be Myles Garrett, I think being on a playoff team will trump Garrett’s production, and it will be Bosa or Parsons.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

FanDuel:

Wilson -250

Purdy +700

Walker +800

Watson +800

Olave +1200

DraftKings:

Wilson -220

Watson +500

Walker +600

Olave +800

Purdy +1200

Two things stand out after last week. Garrett Wilson continues to see his price drop as he’s now up to 67 receptions for 966 yards and 4 TDs thru 14 games. Very good numbers for a rookie 1st round WR, but still only four touchdowns. And those four touchdowns came over two games, so he’s been held scoreless in 12 of 14 games so far. It’s also hard for me to say his production in Week 14, 4 receptions for 98 yards, was more impressive than Christian Watson who only had 4 receptions for 46 yards, the difference being the Packers won and the Jets lost.

The market seems to be saying Wilson’s more consistent performance and higher receiving yards total is more important than Watson’s touchdowns or that the Packers have been winning with Watson in the lineup. There are still enough games for Watson to score enough touchdowns to win the award, but the market doesn’t like his chances much.

The second thing that stands out, especially on FanDuel’s numbers, is Brock Purdy’s drop in odds under 10/1. He’s now the second favorite behind Garrett Wilson. As I’ve said before, Purdy’s inclusion is unprecedented. All the other quarterbacks who have won Offensive Rookie of the Year started at least 13 games and in most cases 15 or 16. Winning with only six starts would be a first. But in Purdy’s favor, there’s nobody else doing anything extraordinary, so the path is there if Purdy can keep winning. Based just on history, Garrett Wilson is likely going to get more votes than Purdy. But at this point, Purdy has made himself a contender, if only because nobody else has seized this award for themselves.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

FanDuel:

Gardner -600

Hutchinson +600

Woolen +900

DraftKings:

Gardner -500

Hutchinson +550

Woolen +800

Gardner: 58 tackles (40 solo), 0 sacks, 3 TFL, 16 PD (leads NFL), 2 INT, 0 FF, 0 FR

Hutchinson: 40 tackles (27 solo), 7 sacks, 7 TFL, 2 PD, 2 interceptions, 0 FF, 1 FR

Woolen: 51 tackles (39 solo), 0 sacks, 1 TFL, 13 PD, 6 interceptions, 0 FF, 2 FR

Tariq Woolen has played great, especially for a fifth-round pick. But his six interceptions are more of an indication that quarterbacks are fine with throwing in his direction than of his elite defensive presence. Gardner has fewer interceptions, but that’s because NFL quarterbacks quickly learned not to even try to pick on him. Last week against the Lions, Gardner was targeted zero times in coverage. Gardner immediately joined the upper echelon of NFL cornerbacks before the end of his first NFL season.

Hutchinson has come on strong in Detroit, grading out as a top-five edge rusher over the past month, and is part of the reason the Lions are on a 7-game win streak. But neither Woolen or Hutchinson is going to overtake Gardner, and its looking like the Jets might walk away with the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year.

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