- The Chicago Bears drafted RB David Montgomery in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft
- Montgomery had 46 total yards and a TD in his first preseason action and is poised to take the reigns from Jordan Howard
- The Iowa State product is now a top-four OROY favorite
The Chicago Bears drafted Iowa State running back David Montgomery in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and, at the time, it seemed like he’d be a member of a backfield committee.
However, he’s looked good in camp and preseason, and the Bears’ running-back depth chart isn’t star-studded. As a result, Montgomery’s 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds have shortened. Is he a good bet?
Odds to Win 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
|Player (Pos, Team)||OROY Odds at Bovada*|
|Kyler Murray (QB, Cardinals)||+165|
|Josh Jacobs (RB, Raiders)||+750|
|Dwayne Haskins (QB, Washington)||+850|
|David Montgomery (RB, Bears)||+1000|
|Mecole Hardman (WR, Chiefs)||+1800|
|Miles Sanders (RB, Eagles)||+2500|
|N’Keal Harry (WR, Patriots)||+2500|
|T.J. Hockenson (TE, Lions)||+2500|
|Marquise Brown (WR, Ravens)||+2600|
|A.J. Brown (WR, Titans)||+2800|
*Odds taken 08/16/19.
Montgomery’s Odds Have Dipped to +1000
The betting lines for Offensive Rookie of the Year opened up right after the NFL Draft and Montgomery wasn’t even on the board at most books. When he did get included, he was in the neighborhood of +2000. When you take a look at the board right now, he’s as short as +1000 at Bovada, although BetOnline still has him at +1400.
It’s natural for these lines to move around as reports come out of training camp and the preseason begins, but it looks like a number of bettors are bullish on Montgomery. His odds have nearly been cut in half.
Montgomery Has a Clear Path to Carries, Touchdowns
The Bears traded away Jordan Howard in the offseason, so we knew that there was going to be opportunity for someone in the Bears backfield. Howard had 250 carries last season, meaning someone has to pick up the slack. The team did sign Mike Davis but he’s not exactly a proven star. He’s more of a veteran filler.
Thus, Montgomery had the chance to step in and win the job and, by all accounts, he’s in the process of doing just that. The Bears also have Tarik Cohen on the roster but he’s more of the receiving threat/satellite back. He’s not built for taking a pounding 250-300 times this season.
Remember that Matt Nagy – the current Bears head coach – helped a third-round pick (Kareem Hunt) become the NFL’s rushing leader two seasons ago. Montgomery offers the same all-around skillset that Hunt did. He proved that in the preseason opener as he had three carries for 16 yards and a touchdown, and three catches for 30 yards.
He’s got every chance to be the bell-cow here while Davis and Cohen will serve as auxiliary weapons. Bovada has posted Montgomery’s over/under for rushing yards at 850, so they’re expecting close to a 1000-yard season.
If that’s the case and he’s the goal-line back, he’s in great shape to pile up the stats necessary to win the award.
Situation Has Changed for Leaders
While Montgomery has climbed, the players in front of him have slipped. Kyler Murray struggled in Arizona’s second preseason game; Dwayne Haskins has looked hot-and-cold in Washington; Miles Sanders will have to share carries with the Eagles; and Mecole Hardman isn’t going to be an alpha with Tyreek Hill back (avoided suspension).
That gives the impression that Oakland’s Josh Jacobs is the current front runner, and Montgomery is right there with him. At this point, my bet would be on either of these two. I give the slight edge to Jacobs simply because we’ve lost so much value on Montgomery at this point and Jacobs seems to be in the more explosive offense.
In either case, I think these two players are good picks as they look like they’re NFL-ready and have clear-cut opportunities. I’d lean to Jacobs at +750, but if you can find Montgomery at +1500 or higher, he’s a great option for this award.
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