- BetOnline is offering odds on the 2021 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award
- Dak Prescott (+250) and Joe Burrow (+750) hope to lead high-scoring offenses after suffering season-ending injuries in 2020
- Christian McCaffrey (+850) could run away with the honor if he can return to the 1,000 – 1,000 club
There was no mystery as to who would win the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year honors last year. After returning from a gruesome leg injury in 2018, 36-year-old Alex Smith won the award in a landslide, garnering 49 of 50 votes.
This season’s crop of contenders predicts a much closer race with a long list of injured players and former stars hoping to return to form in 2021. Before we look at the odds for the CPOY contenders, make sure to check out our tips for betting on NFL football games.
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds
|Odell Beckham Jr.||+2000|
Dak Precott opens as CPOY fave
Quarterbacks have claimed Comeback Player of the Year three seasons in a row and nine out of the past 13 campaigns. The leading contenders at the position in 2021 are award-favorite Dak Prescott (+250), who suffered an ugly ankle injury in Week 5 last year, and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow (+750), whose rookie season was cut short by devastating ACL and MCL tears.
While returning from injury always helps with voters, Phillip Rivers’ 2013 trophy proves you can win the CPOY simply by rebounding from a poor statistical season. That would put Carson Wentz (+800) and Sam Darnold (+1200) squarely in the mix as both reclamation projects hope improved coaching will rejvunate their careers in Indianapolis and Carolina, respectively.
— BENGALS TALK 🗣 (@BengalsTalk) June 3, 2021
There’s also Jameis Winston (+1200), who will likely start for the Saints in September after red-shirting in New Orleans last season. The former No. 1 overall pick famously became the first player in NFL history to throw 30-or-more touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 2019 with the Buccaneers, but could thrive under Sean Payton this year.
Running down a dream
Saquon Barkley (+600) and Christian McCaffrey (+850) both suffered through lost seasons in 2020, however, a running back hasn’t won the CPOY since Willis McGahee in 2004.
Still, CMC could be the back to buck that trend if he can return to the 2019 form that saw him become just the third player in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. ‘
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) May 31, 2021
Defensive players haven’t fared much better than running backs in this category, with cancer survivor Eric Berry (2015) as the only man from that side of the ball to win the award in the past 20 seasons. That said, 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa (+750) could put himself in the mix with a double-digit sack campaign for the 49ers.
Derwin James (+1800) may be an even better bet. After the Chargers safety earned first-team All-Pro status as a rookie in 2018, he suffered season-long injuries in each of his past two campaigns. If James can flash All-Pro form as the centerpiece of Brandon Staley’s defense, he could get the votes required to score the upset.
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