Every year the books release DROY and OROY odds. These NFL AP awards are very story driven and I wanted to look at how past winners have done to see if we can take advantage of some lines. The table below is all the DROYs since 1995. I used 1995 as cut off because I wanted a large enough sample size and wanted to keep football semi modern since football has changed over the years. I pulled all info from pro-football reference. As always, click here to take you to a Google spreadsheet if you would like access to the table. You can do further research without starting from scratch. I will be updating this awards next year so we can take advantage of these lines earlier.
HOW TO BET IT:
With the table above, several things stand out:
- 1st round guys dominate this award. Don’t be betting anyone outside of that because they rarely win
- Stick to the top 16 picks. Only 4 guys have won this award coming after pick 16.
- This is an edge or off ball linebacker award, DBs and DTs just don’t win enough to be betting it.
Edge (DE, OLB, LB-DE): 9
Off Balls Linebackers (ILB, LB): 10
DBs (CB, S): 3
Of the first-round winners since 1995 (22), the lowest pick was 18 in Marcus Peter (2015). 12 of 22 winners have been pick #10 or higher.
Something else to keep in mind is this is a media and stats award. The media loves a good story especially with guys they are familiar with. The media plays favorites with teams and depending on if the media likes your team (sorry Lions) you can get a stronger handicap.
Following these guidelines above, we are left with 2 guys that qualify for them all. Chase Young should be the #1 choice here, you can get him at +450 on BetOnline and I think that’s a great pick. FanDuel has it +350 and I still like it at that price while the market is closer to 3/1 on him. Young has the back story, he will be on the edge getting the stats, and media recognizes the name. The only way Young wouldn’t win this award is if he gets hurt or a small chance of him not getting much playing time in the beginning since the Redskins do have a deep rotation of pass rushers. When Young is on the field, he will have a lot of 1-on-1 opportunities to get some sacks. Young also gets the benefit of playing in the NFC East, a division that will get a lot of prime time games meaning more people will see these teams (the good ole eye test). In the NFC East, Giants have serious issues at tackle and Young might be matched up against the rookie Andrew Thomas, Cowboys Tyron Smith can’t stay healthy and their RT Collins had some injuries last year, and the Eagles have by far the best tackle duo in Andre Dillard and Lane Johnson in division. If Young can get 8-10 sacks this year, this would almost seal the deal if he wins it.
The other pick that follows this is Isaiah Simmons. He is 8/1 on BetOnline but the market has it closer to 6/1 depending on what book(s) you have access to. Simmons has a good back story as the college player playing every position on defense, media likes Kyler Murray and will be wanting to watch/follow more Cardinal games, but Vance Joseph has come out and already said Simmons will be playing LB which hurts him. He also plays in a tough division that is gear toward offense and Cardinals defense wasn’t very good last year and I won’t be surprised if they struggle again this year.
SOME OTHER THINGS THAT STOOD OUT FROM THE PRIOR TABLE
- No safety has won in the last 25 years (last one in 1990 with Mark Carrier) and only 2 times has safety won the award ever.
- Since 2005, edge defenders only have won 3 times.
OTHER BETS I LIKE THAT AREN’T CHASE YOUNG
This wouldn’t be worth writing if I didn’t think someone else could win this award. The guy I like a lot more than the public (and during the draft) is Patrick Queen at 12/1 (FanDuel) while most shops have him 10/1 territory. He played for LSU so he has some name recognition already and a big underrated factor that I like to use is how many national TV games does your team get. TV is a big factor in 2020 football and past award winners could get away without being on TV. Queen gets a massive edge over the other guys since he is on the Ravens and the Ravens get 5 prime time games this year. It also helps this award is given out late January or early February and the Ravens are in position this year to make a nice Super Bowl run and will be on TV more. This might swing some voters at the end who are on the boarder of not giving it to Young.
I found this from an article on draft network by Benjamin Solak. “Patrick Queen is an extremely attractive option. He projects as a high turnover and sack player for the Ravens because you can almost guarantee he'll be on the field all year; there are no real veterans to beat out. He now plays in an aggressive system that blitzes often, especially with linebackers. Queen was a quality blitzer and an elite cover linebacker for LSU in his one season starting.”
Another bet I made is a small play on is Kenneth Murray at 21/1 at FanDuel. This is solely because of the number, he fits the LB mold, he has good back story (he works with special needs kids) and is in a position to get some good stats because the Chargers defense is loaded. At 12/1 territory, not worth it.
Patrick Queen was 28th pick in the draft by the Baltimore Ravens. LSU tied a record for most players drafted in the first 3 rounds at 10. LSU also tied the record for most players drafted in 7 rounds at 14.
Lastly, here is how the winners have done since 2009 (Sports Odd History). The data base only goes back until 2009 so we don’t have a large enough sample size to do much with. In 2016, the data base didn’t have actual odds while in 2017 they did have odds but Lattimore was such a long shot they didn’t list him. The odds are about a day or two before kickoff for the season and the lines are moved from the sharps.
UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 11
I wrote this article all the way back in mid-May but I still think this is Chase Young’s award to lose, you can still find him as high as +220 on FanDuel. I still like Patrick Young as a long shot because of his situation he will be in and his ability to rack up stats. You can find him currently at 12/1 on FanDuel. I don’t think Isaiah Simmons wins this award. The Cardinals defense will stink again this year and the coaching staff have him as an off-ball linebacker to start the year with a possibility of playing only that position. His great talent of being any position is about to undermined by the coaching and that’s why I find him unplayable as a bet. For Kenneth Murray, he is still available at 21/1 on FanDuel. Most of shops I have seen is 12/1 territory. I don’t think he wins it but at 21/1 I made a small pizza bet on it.
My biggest concern for Chase Young is the Redskins are about to be bad this year, 4-12 or 3-13. If Young doesn’t get good stats, he will most likely lose it. I project Patrick Queen to do well, Ravens will have the wins and media love, don’t be surprised if Queen beats Young because of this. COVID-19 has been an odd year for sports, I wouldn't be surprised if a long shot wins this award.