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The Lede: Cook Cements Himself as OROY Favorite?

Dalvin Cook cuts back and runs through an arm tackle (Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story (as adjudged by me) and how it impacts the way you should bet.

Dalvin Cook Impresses vs. Saints in Week 1

In his NFL debut, Dalvin Cook grabbed headlines as he set a new Vikings record for rushing yards in a rookie debut (127). It’s fitting that the former record-holder, Adrian Peterson, was standing on the opposing sideline watching Cook set a new mark. On the evening, Cook totaled 137 yards from scrimmage, helping the Vikings defeat the Saints, 29-19.

It was a very impressive entrance into the NFL, but Cook has plenty more work to do in the race for Offensive Rookie of the Year. After Week 1, who’s the best bet for the honor?

Takeaway: There are a handful of rookies on the offensive side of the ball who burst onto the stage in Week 1. Kareem Hunt set an NFL record for most yards from scrimmage in an NFL debut by a non-replacement player (246) to go along with three TDs; Leonard Fournette totaled 124 yards and one TD against a stingy Texans defense; Tarik Cohen shocked football fans with 113 yards from scrimmage and one TD on just 13 touches; Lions WR Kenny Golladay made some highlight-reel grabs against the Cardinals while racking up 69 receiving yards and two TDs; Cooper Kupp hauled in 76 yards and one TD; Corey Davis turned ten targets into 69 yards; Christian McCaffrey’s 85 yards from scrimmage seem like a floor for the explosive Panther RB; and then there are the two rookie QBs, DeShone Kizer and Deshaun Watson, who saw the field in Week 1, and will have ample opportunity to make sure their case is heard for OROY.

Hunt, Cook, and Fournette should be seen as the three favorites right now. Each is the feature back in their respective offense, and though the massive Week 1 numbers can’t be expected every Sunday, the heavy workloads can be. When online sportsbooks open their NFL season props again, your best bet here will be Hunt.

Opposing teams know the Jaguars want to win this year, which means severely limiting the number of times Blake Bortles is allowed to put the ball in the air. Expect their opposition to begin selling out to stop Fournette and the ground game. Cook’s biggest concern is the offensive line in front of him. The Vikings are just a Riley Reiff injury away from having one of the league’s worst offensive lines, again. Cook also won’t have the luxury of playing the soft Saints defense every week. Hunt, on the other hand, has a stable line in front of him, is used extensively in the passing game, and has Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to prevent defenses from keying on him all game.

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After receiving a bachelor's degree in communications, Matt spent two years with Rogers TV as a host, producer, and play-by-play commentator. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD's editor-in-chief and sports betting expert.