Two games into the NFL season and the Rookie of the Year NFL future odds have been shaken up a little as the sports betting community re-evaluates based on a couple of early performances.
One rookie has really stood out in Week 1 and 2 and his stock has risen amongst sports bettors. Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez is that guy. While many rookies are still just trying to get on the field or are the second and third options in an offensive scheme, the Jets top pick has led his team to two upset victories.
Sanchez began the season with NFL odds of 8-1 to win Rookie of the Year, but is now the front-runner. Sanchez served notice in his league debut when he threw for 272 yards and a touchdown in Houston against the Texans, who many felt are set to become a top team in the AFC. He followed up that performance in Week 2 with a strong second half showing; outperforming Patriots QB Tom Brady in leading the Jets to their first win in nine tries at home against New England.
Sanchez has settled right in and performed well beyond his years. He is the talk of the town and after two games looks like he has the tools to be an impact player – but yes, it is still early.
Online sportsbook SPORTSBETTING.com reported solid action coming in on Sanchez after his pre-season performances, but the betting really heated up the last two weeks.
The Lions QB Mark Stafford was also listed at 8-1 NFL odds and has shown flashes of his gifted ability, but he unfortunately plays for the Lions. Stafford and the Lions have lost their first two games, making it 19 straight for this sad-sack franchise dating back to last year. Stafford has the luxury of throwing to Calvin Johnson who is one of the top five receivers in the game. They hooked up in Week 2 for Stafford’s first career touchdown pass and they will become a dynamic duo over the next few seasons. Stafford has his work cut out for him with the Lions, and in the rookie contest against Sanchez.
Going into the season, the odds on favorite at 3-1 to win the award was Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno. Running backs have won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award 10 out of the last 16 years and Moreno was the top back drafted out of Georgia.
In his first game against the Bengals on the road he found the going rough, gaining only 19 yards on carries. In Week 2 against the porous Browns defense he rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries. He is splitting time with former Eagle Correll Buckhalter, Peyton Hills and former Jet Lamont Jordon. He will get his touches as he is also an above average receiver out of the backfield but there are a lot of Broncos clamoring for the ball so his numbers might not be as gaudy as others.
The Cardinals drafted Chris Beanie Wells with their first round pick looking to bulk up their running game. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is a fan of the smash mouth running game and Wells is a perfect addition to slasher Tim Hightower. Wells unfortunately had two fumbles in Week 2 against the Jaguars. He had fumbling issues in college so he will need to sort that issue out if he has any chance of hanging with the top rookies.
The Colts Donald Brown is thought to be a perfect compliment to Joseph Addai, giving the Colts a dynamic one-two punch out of the backfield. He was listed at 7-2 but the Colts are going to be a pass first team again this year as their offensive line is a work-in-progress and isn’t opening any holes for the rushing game. Brown will be counted on to catch passes out of the backfield and as the season moves forward he will start to put up more all-purpose yards.
The Vikings look to have struck gold with Florida Gators rookie Percy Harvin who is listed at 12-1. He had a nice game against the Lions catching five balls for 41 yards and his second touchdown of the young season. He could have the best chance of beating Sanchez because he has Brett Favre throwing him the ball and Adrian Peterson running the ball, which requires defenses to play tighter at the line of scrimmage. Harvin also has the speedster Bernard Berrian on the outside, which will free up Harvin for more opportunities. Favre already seems to like getting him the ball.
The Giants Hakeem Nicks listed at 18/1 suffered a foot injury in game one and is out until week four. He caught two balls in his debut before spraining his foot. The Giants are a well-balanced team so Nicks will get opportunities to make plays once back but missing three games will hurt his chances.
After Week 2 Sanchez is the clear-cut favorite but Percy Harvin will keep this contest honest. Harvin is an explosive part of an explosive offense that will give him chances to make some highlight reel plays this year.
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