- BetOnline lists Ja’Marr Chase as an overwhelming -225 favorite to win 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
- Mac Jones (+400) and Najee Harris (+700) will have a hard time making up ground with voters
- Kyle Pitts (+1200) has the most yards ever (471) for a tight end through his first six games
Heading into the season, it seemed likely that one of the five quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft would win Offensive Rookie of the Year – and highly unlikely that Ja’Marr Chase would take home the honor after beat reporters fed us a steady diet of “struggling with drops” stories from Bengals camp.
Now with the most receiving yards (754) of any player through the first seven games of their career in NFL history, the 21-year-old is a -225 favorite to become the first wide receiver to win the award since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014.
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
Can anyone catch Ja’Marr Chase?
Ja’Marr Chase (-225) is on track to shatter the single-season rookie record of 1,400 receiving yards that his former LSU teammate Justin Jefferson set just last year. But he’s not just having a rookie season for the ages – after lighting up the Ravens for 201 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, Chase is on pace to post one of the five highest single-season yardage totals in league history (1,831).
With Cincinnati currently leading the AFC North with a 5-2 record, Chase also deserves credit for raising a historically awful Bengals franchise to respectability, as well as raising the ceiling on 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow.
Ja’Marr Chase: 754 receiving yards in his first 7 NFL games
Most in NFL history 👀 pic.twitter.com/aIRbjASHiL
— PFF (@PFF) October 25, 2021
Does this mean the Offensive Rookie of the Year race is all but over? Even if Mac Jones (+400) can bring the Patriots to the playoffs, his raw numbers won’t be overly impressive and Bill Belichick will almost assuredly get all the credit. And while Najee Harris (+700) is being given incredible volume, his 3.8 yards per carry average won’t impress anyone – especially in a year when his rushing production is being dwarved by Derrick Henry.
Stuck on an awful Jags franchise with horndog Urban Meyer, you can also write off No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence (+1000) in the race.
Hedge with Kyle Pitts
If you’re putting money on Chase this late in the game, hedge your bets with a wager on Kyle Pitts (+1200). The Falcons rookie had 163 receiving yards on Sunday, the most by any tight end all season, and his 471 yards are now the most ever for a tight end through his first six games.
Drafted at No. 4 overall, just one pick before Chase, the 6-foot-6-inch Florida product is a “unicorn,” running a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Making a longshot wager on Pitts would provide the perfect investment protection on a bet on Ja’Marr in case an injury were to befall the superstar rookie in the second half of the year.
On Sunday, Kyle Pitts had 163 receiving yards, becoming the youngest TE in NFL history with at least 150 receiving yards in a game (21 years, 18 days old).
He now has 471 receiving yards, the most by any TE through his first six games ever. pic.twitter.com/sroZDDWyJF
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 25, 2021
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