Strategies to Bet the NFL Offensive ROTY

If you are betting on the NFL Offensive ROTY, you better know what you are doing. Otherwise, you are wasting your money by betting on a whim. The league’s best offensive rookie plays one of three positions and has certain attributes. We go through those and how to bet on this NFL season-ending award in this post.

Key Points

– Betting the NFL Offensive ROTY starts with a history lesson.

– ROTY candidates have certain characteristics.

The ROTY Pool

When placing a bet on the NFL Offensive ROTY, make sure the athlete is a wide receiver, running back, or quarterback. It is also a plus if the player participates in roughly 15 to 16 games per season. Playing in the majority of games will allow that player to put together the kinds of statistics that win season-ending awards.

The pool of players that are considered for the NFL Offensive ROTY are typically a first-year rookie starting QB, wide receiver, or running back. An offensive lineman or tight end has never won the award. 

Defining the NFL Offensive ROTY

The Associated Press NFL Rookie of the Year Award is given annually to the best offensive first-year player in the National Football League, according to its definition.

If you want the voters definition, it goes more like this: This award is given to the rookie quarterback, running back, or wide receiver who puts up the best statistical season — a statistical season that looks like it wasn’t from a rookie.

In other words, rookies that don’t have big-time stats do not win this award.


Previous Champions

Different players have come out on top recently. Six winners since 2009 had odds of +1200 or higher. For bettors, the timing is crucial. 

Because he wasn’t the Week 1 starter, Justin Herbert started the season at 30-1. After Tyrod Taylor was injured, Herbert stepped in, had a great season, and won the award. In 2014, Odell Beckham Jr.’s price dropped as a result of missing the first four games. Eventually, he won the award. The point is that you might have to bet on a player stealing someone else’s job before they actually do in order to get longshot prices. 

Up until the early 2000s, the ROTY was actually a running back-only honor.Then, rookie quarterbacks began to play more, and they have won nine of the previous 20 awards now. The remaining 11 have been won by wide receivers and running backs.

The last two winners were both receivers. Teams pass the ball more than ever and more receivers are being taken higher in the draft. As a result, they play earlier. Many of them are NFL-ready and it shows. Ja’Marr Chase and Garrett Wilson won the award in the last two seasons. 


Fifty Associated Press writers who cover the NFL are eligible to vote. The AP Rookie of the Year award is regarded as the NFL’s official honor. There are only 50 total votes with each voter selecting one player. 

Voting occurs after the final regular season game. There are typically two to five players that receive votes. Of those two to five, the winner is usually pretty evident. Rarely is there a disagreement on which player should have won the award. 

How many contestants are chosen? between 2 and 5. The top players are fairly concentrated, and the winner is usually rather evident. Rarely is there a disagreement on who ought to have won.

A Good Storyline Helps

Though not necessary, a positive narrative for a ROTY candidate is a plus. The media can push a story or stories about a player that can be quite compelling. However, the narrative is never the big reason why a player wins a ROTY award.

The player that needs a positive storyline the most is a rookie quarterback. Take Mac Jones of New England as an example. His stats were okay, but not eye-opening (67.6%, 3,810 yards, 22 TDs, 13 INTs). 

Compared to other positions, quarterbacks definitely need narrative the most. In terms of statistics, Mac Jones had a poor 2021 year (67.6%, 3,801 yards, 22 TDs, 13 INTs) statistically. However, he challenged Chase for the award because of his “story.”

Jones was stepping into a storied franchise to replace the best quarterback ever to play. He turned out to be the best rookie QB in a highly touted class and his Patriots did much better than expected. Some of that was attributed to Jones and it helped in his push for the NFL Offensive ROTY.

Pittsburgh rookie RB Najee Harris, on the other hand, finished fourth in the NFL in rushing with 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns. He didn’t get a single vote.

The Numbers

What really matters in ROTY voting are numbers. Raw data is important. Air yards and yards per catch are far less valuable than actual passing or rushing yards. Wide receivers and running backs typically need 1,300-plus yards. 

Strong candidates must have exceptionally strong statistical seasons that give the impression that they are not amateurs. Guys can’t come on in Week 9 or miss a bunch of games due to injuries. 

Consider these numbers. Since 2010, nine ROTY winners have played at least 15 games. Twenty-eight of the 39 players that received ROTY votes since 2010 played in every game. The only player to receive votes while not participating in at least 10 games was Deshaun Watson.

When betting this award, what’s more important is volume – big stat numbers – and opportunity. A guy needs to play early to log big numbers. Efficiency doesn’t matter as much as a rookie.

Speaking of numbers, when betting on the ROTY, you should always compare betting lines at different sportsbooks. Read more on that topic HERE.


Since 2010, the average number of wins for the ROTY has been 7.9. Some were on pretty awful teams (Saquon Barkley, 3-13), while others (Dak Prescott, 13-3) were on really strong ones. In the previous six seasons, just four of the winning quarterbacks had a winning percentage above.500.

This should make sense as bad teams often pick near the top of the draft. When an elite quarterback is available, teams take the player. A QB drafted early needs to play early too.

The Draft & More

Twelve of the previous 20 ROTY winners were selected in the top 10 of their draft. Players who are selected highly are likely to have more opportunities. 

The only position where non-first-round picks have won is running back. Offensive linemen have never won the award, but they have received a couple votes. Since 2010, six have been cast a vote.

When voting is tight, quarterback victories count. Dak Prescott defeated Ezekiel Elliott in 2016 despite Elliott having the second-best rookie RB season of all time. The Cowboys went 13-3, and Prescott threw just four interceptions.