2021-22 NFL Offensive Player of The Year Odds
The NFL’s Most Valuable Player award is almost always awarded to the top quarterback that season. The Offensive Player of the Year award is a different story. Check out the NFL futures odds below as well as our expert tips.
In the last 20 years, the MVP has gone to a quarterback 17 times. But when it comes to offensive player of the year, running backs have held their own against the quarterbacks over the years. And while wide receivers are a distant third in the category, the 2020 Offensive Player of the Year was steamroller and running back Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. He grabbed 32 votes in trouncing league MVP Aaron Rodgers and Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who got five votes apiece.
Running backs have won the Offensive Player of the Year award 26 times, compared to 20 times for quarterbacks and three for receivers. Since 2007, however, QBs have taken honors eight of the 13 times, RBs five times and WRs once.
Only two players have won back-to-back Offensive Player of the Year awards – Marshall Faulk and Earl Campbell each won three consecutive. Six others are two-time OPOY winners: Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Tom Brady, Terrell Davis, Drew Bees and Peyton Manning.
Here is a closer look at the top five contenders based on the 2021-21 NFL Offensive Player of the Year Odds at the top sports betting sites.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
Henry was an unstoppable breakneck beast in 2020, churning up defenses and carrying the Titans to the playoffs on his never-stopping, pile-driver-like legs. Henry brought an excitement to the running game that was oft-seen in the 1960s and ‘70s.
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Whether Henry can stay healthy to match the numbers he amassed in 2020 will be a question that bettors will have to weigh. But he has demonstrated his ability to demolish defenses, and the Titans are able to mix it up offensively just enough to create some cavernous holes for Henry to sprint through on his way downfield.
At 6-3, 247 pounds, Henry is as big, quick and strong as many of the defenders who futilely try to slow his game. He’s like a linebacker running with the football. That’s perfect considering his coach – former NFL linebacker Mike Vrabel – scored 10 touchdowns on offense while playing for the Patriots. Two of those catches came in the Super Bowl.
Henry isn’t good enough to get the Titans to the Super Bowl on his own. But for the regular season, he’s a great bet to both help the Titans repeat as AFC South champs and to win himself this award again. His numbers from 2020 are stunning. He rushed for 2,027 yards and scored 17 touchdowns – the first NFL player to reach those numbers in the same season. His total yards were the eighth most in NFL history in a single season. And he averaged 5.4 critical yards over a punishing 378 carries – the most attempts for any NFL running back in six years.
Injuries are a factor in every NFL futures market wager – no matter the bet. But no one will ever call you “foolish” for backing Henry to repeat as NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott was knocked out of the 2020 season after breaking his right ankle Oct. 11 against the New York Giants. Prescott had a second surgery on the ankle in December. However, he’s back at full strength this year and is expected to be 100% come Week 1 of the NFL season.
The Cowboys and Prescott finally resolved their multi-year contract drama in the offseason, as well. Prescott should be mentally and physically clear to focus on simply his opponent on the field – at least on game day. The Cowboys defense was Texas toast last season and allowed 473 points. Dallas went with defensive help in the first round of the NFL draft, taking LB Micah Parsons of Penn State with the 12th overall pick after trading down with division rival Philadelphia.
Without Prescott, the Cowboys went 6-10 in the woeful NFC East. A healthy and presumably happy Prescott is going to have a monstrous impact this season. The Cowboys could very well be the most-improved team in the league (or tied with New England) come playoff time.
Prescott never missed a game before his injury last season. In 2019, his last full season, he piled up 4,950 yards with 30 touchdowns, while completing 65.1% of his attempts. Prescott has an arsenal of weapons from which to choose when he’s throwing the ball in 2021 – including CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Then there’s RB Ezekiel Elliott, who ran for 979 yards last season in 15 games.
The Cowboys have loads of upside in 2020 and Prescott offer a tremendous value here.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs returned to the Super Bowl in February, only to get crushed by Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Chiefs retooled their offensive line this offseason after Mahomes was battered, beaten and metaphorically bruised in The Big Game. That’s good news for the Chiefs and those who wish to back them in multiple futures markets. Mahomes is a favorite to win the NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors and will be each year for at least the next decade.
The Chiefs are aiming for a three-peat as AFC champions and Mahomes sits at the fulcrum of their success.
The Chiefs went 14-2 last season, and those opponents with mediocre pass defenses have little chance of slowing the high-flying Chiefs offense. Mahomes has a bounty of pass catchers he can target whether he is on the move or tight in the pocket. They include tight end Travis Kelce (1,416 yards receiving and 11 TDs in 2020), Tyreek Hill (1,276/15) and Mecole Hardman (560/4). The overall strength of schedule in 2021 is in the middle of the NFL pack, with last year’s opponents at .511 in 2020.
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Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson was the incumbent NFL MVP heading into the 2020 season. He didn’t miss a beat in throwing for 2,757 yards while gaining another 1,005 on the ground in 15 games. He threw for 26 scores and ran for another seven, while throwing nine interceptions.
The Ravens slipped just a bit last season in finishing 11-5. But the team was hit hard by COVID-19. Baltimore should be improved this season, along with Jackson.
The Ravens looked to add juice to the offense by choosing wide receiver Rashod Bateman from Minnesota with the 27th overall pick in the 2021 draft. The selection was widely hailed as a winner, and Bateman may be just the addition Jackson needs to elevate his passing game to the next level.
It’s one thing to try to figure out Jackson. It’s all together another challenge in trying to stop him. For game planning Jackson, it isn’t about stopping the run or the pass, but being good at both. If Jackson continues to make the right decisions on when to throw and when to run – as he did in 2019 – he’s going to be tough to stop.
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Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
The best quarterback you never thought much about before 2020 was Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills. Allen drove the Bills to the AFC Championship Game as Buffalo dethroned New England in the AFC East. Allen, who finished second in the league MVP voting behind Aaron Rodgers, said all the right things in the offseason, talking about pushing the Bills to the next step and final delivering a Super Bowl title to perhaps the NFL’s most dedicated fanbase.
At 6-6, 237 pounds, Allen has the size and strength to weather whatever opposing defenses can throw his way. He’ll be challenged by New England in the AFC East. All of the key indicators for Allen are pointing in the right direction.
Among the Buffalo team records set by Allen in 2020 were passing touchdowns (37), passer rating (107.2), completion percentage (69.2), total touchdowns (46), completions (396), 300-yard games (8) and passing yards in a season (4,544). His completion rate spiked up from 58.8 in 2019, thanks in large part to the arrival of WR Stefon Diggs.
Allen is a threat with his legs, too. He has scored 25 rushing touchdowns in 40 games during the past three seasons, compiling 1,562 yards on 300 attempts.
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Our Pick for the 2021-22 NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award
We have only mentioned Aaron Rodgers in passing, no pun intended. His situation with the Green Bay Packers remains in flux. Even if/when Rodgers decides to play this season, one has to wonder just where his head will be given his feelings toward Packers management – not to mention the fact that he’s 37 and is coming off a thrashing in the NFC Championship Game.
The Packers won’t be trading Rodgers. So, his options are either to sit out the season or play for Green Bay. It’s unlikely he’ll opt to sit out. But he has made $242 million playing in the NFL and was a smash hit as a guest host on “Jeopardy.”
Rodgers was a betting value throughout most of the 2020 season – being as much as +400 after Thanksgiving – before rallying to win MVP honors. Rodgers threw for 4,299 yards, connected on a blistering 70.7% of his attempts and logged a stratospheric 121.5 QB rating – the second highest of his career. All of this came against just five interceptions. If Rodgers and the Packers resolve their issues – real or imagined – before the season, he will be a must-watch when it comes to both MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 TDs as a rookie for the New York Giants in 2018. He totaled 1,441 yards from scrimmage with eight TDs in 13 games two years ago. And that was without much support in the pass game and one of the worst offensive lines in the game. Barkley’s 2020 season ended abruptly when he tore an ACL in Week 2. If Barkley can return healthy early, he’ll be another player to watch here.
Finally, there’s Tom Brady. Brady and the Bucs have returned all 22 of their starters from last year’s championship team. Brady is always at the disadvantage of expectations when it comes to any individual awards category. The Bucs are loaded on offense – with Rob Gronkowski, Michael Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown among the targets on Brady’s passing radar. Brady, too, is worth a look in this market for many reasons, starting with his seven Super Bowl rings.
We expect there to be value here throughout the offseason. Mahomes is always a safe bet, as are Allen and Jackson. The competition this year is tough. Overall, we like Prescott given his potential price and upside.
Now that you know the top contenders and have broken down the Offensive Player of the Year NFL odds, the next step is making your bet a reality. Bookies.com is a bettor’s go-to guide for the top legal sports betting sites. We break down only the best options to bet on sports, assuring players they’ll have a safe, trusted environment to submit bets and a strong online gambling experience overall.
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NFL Offensive Player Of The Year FAQs
Who Has Won Back To Back OPOY Awards?
Only two players have won consecutive Offensive Player of the Year awards, and both actually won the award three straight seasons. Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell won it from 1978-1980 and Rams running back Marshall Faulk won from 1999-2001.
Which Position Has The Most OPOY Awards?
Running backs have taken home the award 27 times, followed by quarterbacks (20) and wide receivers (3).
Who Won the NFL OPOY in 2020?
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry ran for 2,027 yards on 378 carries and took NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2020. Henry got 32 votes for the award to easily beat Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, who received five votes apiece.