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Ridley a Top Offensive Rookie of the Year Contender After 3-TD Day

Calvin Ridley and Matt Ryan celebrating a touchdown
After Calvin Ridley and Matt Ryan connected for three touchdowns in Week 3, the former sees much shorter odds to win 2018 NFL OROY. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)
  • Calvin Ridley recorded 146 receiving yards and three TDs in Week 3
  • The Falcons’ WR has seen his 2018 NFL OROY odds get a lot shorter
  • See the top contenders for the award following Week 3

The reason the Atlanta Falcons took Calvin Ridley 26th-overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, is because the guy is a playmaker.

But he just took a little time to break out in the NFL.

After being shutout in Week 1 against Philadelphia, Ridley had a decent performance in Week 2 versus Carolina, scoring his first career touchdown while finishing with 64 yards. That was just the appetizer.

This past Sunday was Ridley’s coming out party. The former Crimson Tide exploded catching 7 passes on 8 targets for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Fans weren’t the only ones who were witness to Ridley’s huge game in Week 3, as online sports betting sites recognized the rookie WR in their 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds. (See the “top 5” tab in the graph below.)

Average 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Ridley saw his average 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds get a lot shorter from +3200 all the way down to +1100, the fifth-shortest in the league, and by far the shortest among wide receivers.

2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds at BetOnline

Player Pos Team Odds to win 2018 NFL OROY at BetOnline
Baker Mayfield QB CLE +150
Sam Darnold QB NYJ +300
Saquon Barkley RB NYG +300
Josh Allen QB BUF +1000
Calvin Ridley WR ATL +1200

*Odds taken 9/25/18

But one big game isn’t going to be enough to win the award. So can Ridley continue to produce in the Falcons offense?

Julio Jones is Still the Go-To Receiver in Atlanta

Although Ridley had a phenomenal performance in Week 3, this is still an Atlanta Falcons offense that runs through Julio Jones.

And now that defenses are aware of the impact the Bama product can have on a game, they may not opt to give Julio so much attention.

Plus, wide receivers rarely win the award due to lack of opportunity compared to QBs and RBs. Stay away from Ridley at these shortened odds.

Where is the Value in 2018 OROY Betting?

Baker Mayfield has taken over as the favorite, following his comeback win on Thursday night over the Jets.

And if Mayfield can win some more games in Cleveland, and continue to post big passing numbers, then he has a real good chance of taking home the hardware. But I don’t love him at +150.

The best bet right now is Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants at +300 on BetOnline.

The running back has a touchdown in two of his three games and is continuing to improve and impress every week.

New head coach Pat Shurmur continues to use Barkley a lot, and in the right ways. The second-overall pick is averaging just over 22 touches and 117.7 yards from scrimmage per game.

With Josh Rosen entering the mix of rookie QBs who are now starting for their respective teams, there is certainly going to be competition for the award.

But Barkley is in the best position to not only put up some big numbers, but also enjoy sustained success.

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Sam has done everything from writing, reporting, commentating, and broadcasting for CBC Sports, TSN 690, the Toronto Observer, Oshawa Generals Radio, and The Hockey Writers. His portfolio of game reports, analyses, and features demonstrate just how dedicated Sam is to the sports betting game.