- Two quarterbacks – Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers – are +100 co-favorites to be named NFL OROY
- Burrow was the +250 chalk to win the award in the opening odds
- Herbert had been the -168 favorite after he won his first NFL start in Week 7
As the NFL nears the midseason mark, Joe Burrow is living up to the hype. Justin Herbert is silencing his doubters.
Trying to pick between these two as to who’s been the better quarterback during their rookie season is like splitting hairs. No wonder the oddsmakers can’t decide which one should be the guy to beat for the NFL OROY.
Following Week 8 action, Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers are deadlocked as +100 co-favorites in the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds.
2020 NFL OROY Odds
|Joe Burrow (Bengals)||+100|
|Justin Herbert (Chargers)||+100|
|Justin Jefferson (Vikings)||+1600|
|Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins)||+2000|
|Chase Clapyool (Steelers)||+2500|
Odds as of Nov. 2nd at DraftKings
Prior to this weekend’s action, Herbert held forth as the -168 chalk in average odds across the leading online sportsbooks. Burrow’s betting line averaged out at +218.
When the NFL OROY betting market opened on March 14th, Burrow was the +250 favorite. Herbert was listed at odds of +1400.
A Two-Horse Race
For the third straight season, the NFL OROY chase quickly narrowed into a two-player pursuit. Burrow and Herbert have already distanced the field.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is third in the NFL OROY betting line at +1600. No other player shows odds better than +2000.
In 2018, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley got the nod over Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield. Last season, it was QB Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals who won the award over RB Josh Jacobs of the Raiders.
Joe Burrow vs. Justin Herbert
Who would you pick? pic.twitter.com/TJF7H0eYXf
— PFF (@PFF) October 26, 2020
Burrow is the third straight Heisman Trophy winner among the two-player chase. Murray won last year, the first Heisman holder to capture the NFL OROY since Robert Griffin III in 2012. Mayfield was the 2017 Heisman winner.
There are subtle differences to this year’s NFL OROY race. Both Burrow and Herbert are QBs. Murray was just the second QB to win the award in the past seven years.
As well, both of this year’s leading contenders are AFC players. The previous three NFL OROY races all featured a player from each of the AFC and NFC finishing in the top two placings.
Burrow’s Big Day
Minus Joe Mixon, his go-to RB and working behind a patchwork offensive line, Burrow and the Bengals went out and whipped the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans 31-20 on Sunday. It marked the fourth time in his eight-game NFL career that Burrow has led Cincinnati to an offensive output of at least 30 points.
"Joe Burrow might be a top 3 QB in the conference." 👀
Do you agree, Twitter?? pic.twitter.com/FdOqWcD94q
— GMFB (@gmfb) November 2, 2020
Burrow is on pace to throw 22 touchdown passes. His 221 pass completions lead all NFL QBs.
Herbert Takes a Step Back
For the fourth time this season, the Chargers squandered a double-digit point lead. LA was up 24-3 on the Denver Broncos in the third quarter on Sunday and lost 31-30.
Justin Herbert joins Deshaun Watson as the only rookies in NFL history with 3 Pass TD in 4 consecutive games. pic.twitter.com/TWIm68uFKx
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 1, 2020
Blaming this on Herbert would be foolhardy. He wasn’t on the field when the Chargers defense surrendered four second-half TDs. At one point in Sunday’s game, Herbert completed 13 successive passes. Three of them went for TDs.
Burrow vs Herbert
Finding fault in the games of either of these young QBs requires some serious nitpicking.
Herbert has passed for 1,542 yards and 12 touchdowns against three interceptions in six starts. Burrow is on pace to shatter the Bengals’ single-season passing yardage record.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 2, 2020
Burrow and WR Tee Higgins could become just the second rookie pass-and-catch tandem in NFL history where the QB threw for at least 20 TDS and the wideout snared 1,000 yards in receptions.
Joe Burrow vs Justin Herbert
|284.0||Passing Yardage Per Game||303.3|
|6.9||Average Yards Per Attempt||8.0|
While the stats lean slightly in Herbert’s favor, Burrow just led his team to victory over the AFC South leaders. Herbert’s only victory is against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the worst team in the AFC South and perhaps the entire NFL.
Through 3 Pass TD today, Justin Herbert has tied the record for the most through a player's first 6 career games in NFL history.
He is the first player in NFL history with 15 Pass TD and 1,500 Pass yards in his first 6 career games.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 1, 2020
Ultimately, what makes the difference in this razor-thin race is that while Herbert is surrounded by better players, Burrow is making the players who surround him better.
Pick: Joe Burrow (+100)