Some Chiefs rookies have really strong odds to win ROY honors in 2020.
Individual awards are much harder to bet on than over/unders, spreads, and straight bets. With over/unders, spreads, and straights, you can research statistics and identify changes that may cause a fluctuation in any patterns. If all else fails and you have to make these choices on a gut feeling, you still have a 50% chance of being correct.
When it comes to individual awards, however, things become significantly more difficult. Sure, you can still study trends and statistics, but patterns in player output are inconsistent and subject to variables and fluctuations. That is without mentioning that these awards are chosen by humans, not statistics, and thus become even more unpredictable due to subjective terms.
On top of everything, there are hundreds of players who could potentially win the award before the season begins. A “gut feeling” is a 1/500 shot into the dark and essentially would be a loss of money if there were any attached. For these reasons, these pools return significantly larger wins than any other pool and could be a promising investment for any bettor with extra money laying around.
Let’s take a look specifically at the rookies on the Kansas City Chiefs roster who could potentially win an individual award in 2020 and try to determine if Chiefs’ Kingdom has any easy returns sitting right in front of them.
Important Note: The author of this piece does not have any money on any of the scenarios described, nor is he a financial advisor. Bet at your own risk.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+400)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire gets the privilege of joining the NFL’s best offense, led by the best player in the NFL and designed by the smartest offensive coach in football. This offense can create opportunities for success for any player that finds his way onto the roster. It’s an offense that highlights the talents and abilities of its elite players play after play.
In his time at LSU, Edwards-Helaire showed patience, balance, and great acceleration, and used his shiftiness and quick jukes to make up for his lack of speed. He identifies holes long before they open and makes moves to optimally shoot through them. His lower body strength combined with his compact size makes him a nightmare to drag down, typically leading to him evading/escaping first contact.
Edwards-Helaire can carry the ball 20-25 times a game and is always in position to make a big play. With Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins creating so many mismatches themselves, Edwards-Helaire can easily find success running the ball against defenses that are likely spread out to defend the pass. This is without mentioning CEH’s own abilities in the passing game, whose hands were celebrated as best in the draft.
If there was a major obstacle in the way of CEH winning OROY, it is the fact that he may have to split snaps with Damien Williams. Sure, the Chiefs did not draft a running back in the first round to have him sit on the bench, but Williams is also getting paid a few million dollars, and the Chiefs picked up his team option this offseason to have him on the field as well. This may result in fewer touches for CEH, which means fewer opportunities to make a name for himself.
With only a $400 dollar return for a $100 bet, Edwards-Helaire is no secret to bettors or oddsmakers and the presence of high-profile rookie quarterbacks doesn’t help his chances. But the Chiefs are going to give Edwards-Helaire every chance to succeed and their last rookie back with plenty of opportunities, Kareem Hunt, made an instant name for himself.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: LB Willie Gay Jr (+2800)
Willie Gay Jr. is a beast. Standing at 6’2″, 240 lbs., Gay is capable of running a scary fast 4.46 second time in the 40-yard dash (Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy also ran a 4.46) and is built to be the quarterback’s worst nightmare. If character issues had not kept him off the field, his measurables would have likely resulted in a first round grade for the linebacker, a sentiment that Chiefs’ GM Brett Veach seems to agree with.
Gay’s size and speed makes him the ideal coverage linebacker, a position the Chiefs’ desperately needed to improve this offseason. Meanwhile his explosiveness, strength, and aggressiveness makes him a force in blitz packages, which just happens to be Steve Spagnoulo’s specialty. Gay refuses to let offensive lines open holes around him, using his strength and long arms to reach out and fill those holes before the runner gets more than a few yards.
Gay seems set to start very early for the Chiefs, if not from day one. With significant playing time in a system that fits him so well, Gay is likely to have a significant impact on the Chiefs defense this year. This greatly increase his chances to win the DROY award and could place him on the same level as Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, and Isaiah Simmons.
With a $2,800 dollar return on 100 dollars, Willie Gay Jr. seems like a promising bet for DROY in 2020 if you’ve got the money to burn.