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Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert Listed as Co-Favorites to Win NFL OROY After Week 8

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Nov 2, 2020 · 10:56 AM PST

Joe Burrow looking to pass
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert are +100 co-favorites to win the NFL OROY. Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire.
  • 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

Player (Team) 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Joe Burrow
Justin Herbert

2-5-1 W-L 1-5
11-5 TD/INT 12-3
284.0 Passing Yardage Per Game 303.3
91.4 Passer Rating 104.5
60.3 QBR 79.1
6.9 Average Yards Per Attempt 8.0
67.0 Completion Percentage 67.4

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.

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)

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