NFL betting: With draft done, which player is the rookie of the year favorite?
Quarterbacks are at the front of the line for all awards by now, and there were three quarterbacks taken in the top four picks of the NFL draft last week.
That's why the BetMGM odds for NFL offensive rookie of the year are a little surprising.
The favorite isn't a quarterback, but running back Bijan Robinson.
Robinson is a reasonable favorite, of course. He went No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Falcons, which is very high for a running back in the new era of devaluing that position. The Falcons obviously loved Robinson and they're going to use him a lot.
Still, it's going to be hard to win the award with at least three quarterbacks as viable options.
Rookie of the year odds
Here are the BetMGM odds for NFL offensive rookie of the year:
Bijan Robinson +350
Bryce Young +500
CJ Stroud +650
Jaxon Smith-Njigba +700
Jahmyr Gibbs +900
Anthony Richardson +900
All other players are +1600 or longer.
Unlike NFL MVP, non-quarterbacks have a realistic shot at OROY. The last two winners were receivers, Ja'Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals and Garrett Wilson of the New York Jets. Robinson isn't a bad pick as the favorite. He'll put up numbers in an offense that is friendly to running backs.
It's hard to make a great argument for any of the receivers. None went in the top 19. Smith-Njigba went 20th and he's a very good prospect, but he probably won't put up great numbers right away in a Seattle Seahawks offense that already has DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at receiver.
What we don't know is when the three top rookie quarterbacks make their first start, but we found out last season that it doesn't matter all that much when it comes to QBs.
Will a QB win top rookie award?
Last season San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy got six of 50 votes for NFL offensive rookie of the year, 12 votes for second place and 12 votes for third place. Purdy started only five games.
Obviously it would help Young, Stroud or Richardson to start all season but if Purdy can finish third in the voting starting less than a third of the season, it's not a requirement to start all 17 games. We'll deal with an offseason of coaches being coy on whether their prized rookie will start, but usually top-five rookies start sooner rather than later. Even Colts owner Jim Irsay acknowledged Richardson will start as a rookie, though he didn't say when.
Robinson will be a focal point of the Falcons offense right away. Young and Stroud will probably start Week 1 and it will be interesting to see how patient the Colts are with Richardson. Any of those three quarterbacks could run away with the award if they're reasonably productive. Voters prefer quarterbacks.
But that will play itself out as the season goes on. For now, a running back is the favorite to be the rookie of the year.