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After Both Quarterbacks Struggle in Week 10, Herbert Remains the NFL OROY Favorite Over Burrow

Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert (+110) maintains a slight edge over Joe Burrow (+150) in OROY odds. Photo by @Chargers (Twitter).
  • Updated odds for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year have been released
  • Justin Herbert (+110) maintains a slight edge over Joe Burrow (+150), but Tua Tagovailoa (+500) is making a push after Miami’s fifth consecutive win
  • Read below for a complete look at the top contenders and a pick on the winner

Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert both had pedestrian weeks in otherwise memorable rookie campaigns on Sunday, but that did little to disrupt either player’s chances to win the NFL Rookie of the Year Award this year.

Entering the week, Herbert (-103) held a slight edge over Burrow (+113), but neither quarterback did much to move the odds in their favor after Sunday. Herbert threw for 187 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a loss to the Dolphins while Burrow managed to squeeze out 213 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort against one of the league’s top defenses in Pittsburgh.

With most of the second half left to play, either could still distance himself from the other, but there are some others to consider in the current NFL OROY odds.

2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Player Average Before Week 10 Current After Week 10
Justin Herbert (Chargers) -103 +110
Joe Burrow (Bengals) +113 +150
Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) +800 +500
Chase Claypool (Steelers) +3033 +1500
Justin Jefferson (Vikings) +2167 +2000

Odds taken from FanDuel on Nov. 16

Making the Case for Herbert

Herbert made a big impression in his debut when he was thrust into the starting lineup against Kansas City after the Chargers’ medical staff punctured Tyrod Taylor’s lung while trying to treat sore ribs.

Although LA came up short in that one and Herbert only threw for one touchdown with an interception, he passed for more than 300 yards and completed nearly 67-percent of his passes in a pretty unique circumstance. He followed that with a similar performance against Carolina, but his marquee game this season may have come in his third start, when he completed 80-percent of his passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns in a loss against Tampa Bay.

 

Although his numbers have been fine over the past few weeks by traditional standards, his ESPN Total QBR has been under 50 for the past two weeks. Miami brought pressure at Herbert pretty consistently and he didn’t look flustered despite trying to force some passes off of his back foot. He is in a good position to make a push for the rest of the season, starting this week at home against the New York Jets. The only other pitfall matchups thereafter come the following week at Buffalo and in the final week of the season at Kansas City.

What to Make of Burrow

As the first overall draft pick, the expectation shouldn’t have been for Burrow to instantly make the Bengals a playoff team in such a stacked division. All the while, he’s played behind one of the weakest offensive lines in the league.

When Burrow has had a clean pocket, he’s been patient and willing to take shots downfield. He’s done well to hang in games where his line has been overmatched, but he’s also left some meat on the bone when it comes to some of those passes for first downs that teams like Cincinnati can’t afford to miss. Passing on early downs has been a bit of a bugaboo for Burrow; two of his five interceptions and 12 of the 32 times he’s been sacked have come on first down.

 

Between the two, Herbert has the more favorable schedule ahead, as Burrow faces Washington this week, who has had one of the best pass defenses in the league this season. After that, Burrow has his own matchup with Miami, and tough rematches against Pittsburgh and Baltimore to close things out.

Looking at Other Options

If he can keep winning games with the Dolphins, the most compelling narrative for OROY goes to Tua Tagovailoa. After coming back from a pretty significant hip injury to energize a team that raised a lot of eyebrows with its aggressive rebuild last season, he offers the sort of storyline that sticks with voters. Tagovailoa hasn’t put up the sort of numbers that Burrow or Herbert have, but he hasn’t turned the ball over and he already has as many wins under his belt in three starts as both of them combined.

Should Miami win at home against Cincinnati on December 6, Tagovailoa will also have head-to-head wins against Burrow and Herbert. If bettors want to give themselves the best chance to win the bet, Herbert is the best decision with good opportunities ahead to continue padding his stats. However, taking a chance on Tagovailoa’s continued success now could be the best path to a bigger payout at the end of the season.

The Pick: Herbert +110 

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