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Justin Jefferson’s NFL OROY Odds Improve to +600 After Week 13, Herbert Still Favored After Struggling Against Patriots

Curtis Rush

by Curtis Rush in NFL Football

Updated Dec 7, 2020 · 10:30 AM PST

Justin Jefferson of the Vikings
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates with teammate Dalvin Cook, right, after catching a 20-yard touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
  • Chargers QB Justin Herbert tosses two interceptions in 45-0 loss to Patriots
  • Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson rolls up 121 yards, one TD against Jaguars
  • Read below for an analysis of the leading candidates in the race for OROY

The NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award may still be Justin Herbert’s to lose, but the race is closer than the odds suggest after the LA Chargers quarterback struggled in Week 13 while Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson piled up more catches and yards.

Herbert has the best NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds of -750 while Jefferson has closed to +600 and Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa is solidly in third place with +1500 odds. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool is listed at +2000, while Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson has climbed into the top five at +3200.

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Player (Team) Odds
Justin Herbert (Chargers) -750
Justin Jefferson (Vikings) +600
Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) +1500
Chase Claypool (Steelers) +2000
James Robinson (Jaguars) +3200

Odds as of Dec. 6 at FanDuel

Herbert passed for only 209 yards on 53 attempts and threw two interceptions in the Chargers’ 45-0 blowout loss to the New England Patriots that sent LA’s record crashing to 3-9. Herbert wasn’t all to blame. Special teams gave up two touchdowns — a punt return TD and a blocked field goal — and the Patriots were up 28-0 by halftime, forcing Herbert to throw on almost every down to play catch-up.

Jefferson moved into second place for the first time after Week 12, though his odds (+1000) were well behind Herbert, who was given odds of -1067. But Jefferson has closed the gap with his big performance in Week 13 (121 yards on nine catches) and Herbert’s worst performance of the season (43.7 QB rating).

There is good value with Jefferson (a $100 bet would pay $600) because he and the Vikings (6-6) are 5-1 since coming off their bye in Week 7 and their momentum will be hard to stop.

A testament to Jefferson’s big-play capability is that he has 19 catches of 20 yards or more, which leads the league. With 1,039 yards, Jefferson trails only Odell Beckham Jr.  (1,305) for the most receiving yards after the first 12 games of his career, and Jefferson is ahead of Anquan Boldin (1,032 yards) and Randy Moss (1,014 yards) in their rookie seasons.

This may be a good OROY indicator because Beckham, Boldin and Moss all won offensive rookie of the year awards. Jefferson has also surpassed Moss for the most games with 100+ receiving yards by a rookie in Minnesota history.

Justin Herbert’s Stock Declines

Justin Herbert has fallen out of the top 10 in passing with 3,015 yards, but he still has an impressive 23 TD passes and he’s clearly the Chargers quarterback of the future. But a 3-9 record takes away from his chances to win OROY.

Justin Jefferson On Upswing

Five wide receivers were drafted before Jefferson was selected 22nd overall by the Vikings in the NFL draft. So, it’s nothing short of surprising that Jefferson went over the 1,000-yard barrier after his Week 13 performance.  His stock is rising.

The Case for Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa just missed a 300-yard passing game (296 yards) in a 19-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13. Tagovailoa is 4-1 as a starter and, with another TD pass on Sunday, he has thrown at least one TD pass in five straight games, the longest streak by a Miami rookie QB since Dan Marino in 1983.

Chase Claypool Is a TD Machine

The Canadian-born Steelers wide receiver has scored 10 TDs (eight in the air) going into Monday Night’s game, which is one off the franchise rookie record and a stunning breakthrough for a receiver who didn’t emerge as Notre Dame’s go-to receiver until the second half of last season.

James Robinson a Dark Horse Candidate

James Robinson, the undrafted rookie running back for Jacksonville, has been a consistent force this season. In the Jaguars’ Week 13 loss to the Vikings, he rushed 18 times for 78 yards and one touchdown.

The RB added six catches for 30 yards on six targets as a receiver to stake his claim as the best rookie running back in the league.

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