- Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert’s odds have improved to -850 to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is the second choice at +550
- See updated odds to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, along with a betting analysis below
The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award is now clearly Justin Herbert’s to lose with three weeks remaining in the season.
2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
|Justin Herbert (Chargers)||-850|
|Justin Jefferson (Vikings)||+550|
|Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins)||+5000|
Odds taken Dec. 14 from FanDuel
Herbert’s odds have improved from last week when they were -500. Conversely, Jefferson’s have gotten longer after being +475 a week.
The only other player still being offered on is Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Herbert Shines in Clutch
Herbert led the Chargers to a 20-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at home on Sunday, Los Angeles winning on Michael Badgley’s 43-yard field goal as time expired.
It was a marked change for the Chargers. They have lost four games this season either when time expired in regulation or in overtime while going just 4-9.
Herbert completed 36-of-44 passes for 243 yards, two touchdowns and was intercepted once. He also directed the first game-winning drive of his young career.
Justin Herbert throws a DIME in crunch time! Here come the Bolts ? pic.twitter.com/mbaAkxX2y4
— ChargerNationCP (@charger_cp) December 14, 2020
With 30 seconds left and scored tied 17-17, the Chargers got the ball at its 26-yard line following Michael Davis’ interception of Matt Ryan’s pass intended for Calvin Ridley.
Herbert completed three of four passes, including a 25-yarder to Hunter Henry that got the Chargers to midfield and a 15-yarder to Tyron Johnson. That got Badgley in range to kick the game-winner
Quiet Day for Jefferson
Jefferson, meanwhile, had a quiet day as the Vikings fell 26-14 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a pivotal road game.
Jefferson had four receptions for 39 yards. The loss, just the Vikings’ second in their last seven games, dropped them to 6-7 and out of the third and final NFC wild card spot.
That came after Jefferson was featured on Fox’s pregame show.
[email protected] X @JJettas2
EA sits down with the @Vikings WR rookie sensation Justin Jefferson before his matchup down in Tampa against the Buccaneers! Catch the full interview on FOX NFL Sunday at 12PM ET / 9AM PT pic.twitter.com/wrvpi3ulWy
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 13, 2020
Using a ball-control offense that gave them 39:03 time of possessions, the Buccaneers were able to keep quarterback Kirk Cousins off the field and to 225 yards passing.
Cousins had thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in three straight games.
Jefferson had his chances as he was targeted a team-high eight times. Yet he wound up with his lowest receiving yardage total since Week 8.
Overall, Jefferson has 65 catches for 1,078 yards and seven touchdowns.
He leads the team in receptions and receiving yards after being drafted in the first round with the 22nd overall pick from LSU. He also stands seventh in the NFL in yardage and sixth in yards per catch with a 16.6 mark.
Justin Jefferson is the first Vikings rookie with 1,000 receiving yards in a season since Randy Moss ? @JJettas2 pic.twitter.com/nAlZn4u2Lw
— ESPN (@espn) December 6, 2020
Impressively, Jefferson is the third-ranked receiver in the league according to Pro Football Focus’ grading system. He trails just Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota teammate Adam Thielen.
Herbert has been a bright spot for the Chargers since replacing Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback in Week 2.
The sixth overall selection in the draft from Oregon, Herbert has completed 64.8% of his passes for 3,224 yards. He also has 23 touchdowns passes against nine interceptions.
rookie QBs with 25+ TDs:
Justin Herbert pic.twitter.com/A3mECRqPS1
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) December 13, 2020
Herbert’s 94.7 passer rating ranks just 19th among NFL quarterbacks, and PFF grades him 22nd at the position. However, he is ninth in TD passes and 11th in yards.
Can Jefferson Win?
While the odds are heavily in Herbert’s favor, it would be unwise to completely count Jefferson out.
For starters, the Vikings are still playing for something while the Chargers are not. That could hold some sway with the voters.
While the Vikings face a stiff test in Week 16 when they visit the Saints at New Orleans, they will be favored in their other two remaining games – at home against the Chicago Bears this Sunday and at the Detroit Lions in the finale in Week 17.
The Chargers’ last three games are at the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night, home against the Denver Broncos in Week 16 then the season finale in Kansas City against the Chiefs.
It might not the best idea to bet a large sum on Jefferson, but he still provides enough value to consider a smaller one.