One of the most difficult awards to bet on is the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year.
That is because this award usually goes to the most outstanding statistically-inclined non-quarterback, whereas the NFL MVP has historically been a quarterback-centric award.
However, we’ve recently seen some quarterbacks take home this award in addition to MVP honors (Patrick Mahomes in 2018, Matt Ryan in 2016, Cam Newton in 2015, etc.). It’s a tough award to forecast, but this is one that a skill position player can actually win.
To help guide you in our NFL predictions series, here are our Offensive Player of the Year predictions and betting tips.
NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award Odds
All NFL odds are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook and are current as of Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at 12:30 p.m. ET.
- Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (+1000)
- Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (+1000)
- Christian McCaffrey, RB, San Francisco 49ers (+1400)
- Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (+1800)
- Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders (+2000)
- Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears (+2000)
- Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins (+2000)
- Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (+2200)
- Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (+2200)
- Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (+2200)
- Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (+2200)
- Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts (+2200)
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills (+2200)
Considering how frequently quarterbacks win the Offensive Player of the Year award, it’s shocking that we don’t have a passer with lower odds.
Justin Fields, the NFL’s rushing yards leader among quarterbacks last season, is the first quarterback to appear at (+2000). He’s followed closely by Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson (+2200), who have similar profiles to Fields but better passing resumes thus far in their careers.
These odds are dominated by running backs and wide receivers, though, as they have taken home the award in four of the last five seasons.
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NFL Offensive Player of the Year Prediction
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (+1000)
Wager: 1 Unit
Ja’Marr Chase is a certified stud who plays for the most potent passing offense in the NFL. If he had stayed fully healthy last year, he and Jefferson would have been battling it out for this award all season.
In 13 games last year, he averaged 10.3 targets per game. When averaged out to a full 17-game season, that totals 175.2 targets. That’s nine fewer than Jefferson’s total last season, but Chase can sometimes act as more of a downfield threat than Jefferson.
With a contract extension sure to be looming on the horizon for Chase as he enters his third NFL season, look for him to be extra motivated to have an incredible season this year.
Best NFL Offensive Player of the Year Sleeper Bets
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears (+2000)
Wager: 1 Unit
Fields just put up 1,143 rushing yards last season, which ranked second all-time behind Lamar Jackson’s record-setting 2019 season, where he totaled 1,206 yards. The problem was that the Bears were not interested in passing the ball that much, ranking at the bottom of the NFL in pass attempts by a healthy amount.
- Check out our NFL Defensive Player of the Year Predictions
This year, however, the Bears looked to upgrade things. They drafted Darnell Wright to play right tackle in the NFL Draft, acquired D.J. Moore in the draft pick trade with the Carolina Panthers, get Darnell Mooney back healthy, and maybe Chase Claypool steps up in his second year with the team.
The Bears’ investment in Fields is very apparent, and there is definitely some value to be had betting on Fields to take home the OPOY this season.
Deshaun Watson (+4500)
Wager: 1 Unit
Watson signed the biggest guaranteed money contract in history last offseason, but it didn’t help him put up massive numbers, as he struggled after coming back from his suspension and looked rusty all-around. However, things could be looking up this season.
The Haslam’s invested in their offense, bringing in wide receivers Elijah Moore and Cedric Tillman through a trade and the draft. We could see a resurgence from Watson this season between them and the existing cadre of weapons like Amari Cooper, David Njoku, and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (+3000)
Wager: 1 Unit
Barkley is the ultimate possibility here, as he has a few possible outcomes for this season. Given that the team has placed the franchise tag on him (which he did not like) and doesn’t seem intent on giving him a long-term contract, he may receive the Josh Jacobs treatment this season.
In this first outcome, he could rush for an outlandish amount of rushing yards while simultaneously being “run into the ground", as one could say about Jacobs’ 2022 season. He could also choose to hold out, asserting his leverage.
I believe he plays, and the Giants play the card of “he won’t be here in 2024", so they use him as much as possible. While this could be detrimental to Barkley’s future, he has a strong chance to win OPOY in this scenario.
NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award History
List of Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award Winners
|1972||Larry Brown||RB||Washington Redskins|
|1973||O. J. Simpson||RB||Buffalo Bills|
|1974||Ken Stabler||QB||Oakland Raiders|
|1975||Fran Tarkenton||QB||Minnesota Vikings|
|1976||Bert Jones||QB||Baltimore Colts|
|1977||Walter Payton||RB||Chicago Bears|
|1978||Earl Campbell||RB||Houston Oilers|
|1979||Earl Campbell||RB||Houston Oilers|
|1980||Earl Campbell||RB||Houston Oilers|
|1981||Ken Anderson||QB||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1982||Dan Fouts||QB||San Diego Chargers|
|1983||Joe Theismann||QB||Washington Redskins|
|1984||Dan Marino||QB||Miami Dolphins|
|1985||Marcus Allen||RB||Los Angeles Raiders|
|1986||Eric Dickerson||RB||Los Angeles Rams|
|1987||Jerry Rice||WR||San Francisco 49ers|
|1988||Roger Craig||RB||San Francisco 49ers|
|1989||Joe Montana||QB||San Francisco 49ers|
|1990||Warren Moon||QB||Houston Oilers|
|1991||Thurman Thomas||RB||Buffalo Bills|
|1992||Steve Young||QB||San Francisco 49ers|
|1993||Jerry Rice||WR||San Francisco 49ers|
|1994||Barry Sanders||RB||Detroit Lions|
|1995||Brett Favre||QB||Green Bay Packers|
|1996||Terrell Davis||RB||Denver Broncos|
|1997||Barry Sanders||RB||Detroit Lions|
|1998||Terrell Davis||RB||Denver Broncos|
|1999||Marshall Faulk||RB||St. Louis Rams|
|2000||Marshall Faulk||RB||St. Louis Rams|
|2001||Marshall Faulk||RB||St. Louis Rams|
|2002||Priest Holmes||RB||Kansas City Chiefs|
|2003||Jamal Lewis||RB||Baltimore Ravens|
|2004||Peyton Manning||QB||Indianapolis Colts|
|2005||Shaun Alexander||RB||Seattle Seahawks|
|2006||LaDainian Tomlinson||RB||San Diego Chargers|
|2007||Tom Brady||QB||New England Patriots|
|2008||Drew Brees||QB||New Orleans Saints|
|2009||Chris Johnson||RB||Tennessee Titans|
|2010||Tom Brady||QB||New England Patriots|
|2011||Drew Brees||QB||New Orleans Saints|
|2012||Adrian Peterson||RB||Minnesota Vikings|
|2013||Peyton Manning||QB||Denver Broncos|
|2014||DeMarco Murray||RB||Dallas Cowboys|
|2015||Cam Newton||QB||Carolina Panthers|
|2016||Matt Ryan||QB||Atlanta Falcons|
|2017||Todd Gurley||RB||Los Angeles Rams|
|2018||Patrick Mahomes||QB||Kansas City Chiefs|
|2019||Michael Thomas||WR||New Orleans Saints|
|2020||Derrick Henry||RB||Tennessee Titans|
|2021||Cooper Kupp||WR||Los Angeles Rams|
|2022||Justin Jefferson||WR||Minnesota Vikings|
Winners by position
- Running back (26)
- Quarterback (20)
- Wide receiver (5)
- Tight end (0)
Who votes for the NFL Offensive Player of the Year?
Three organizations give out NFL Offensive Player of the Year awards: the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers of America, and The Sporting News. The Associated Press’s award for the most outstanding offensive player is the award given out at the official NFL Honors ceremony. Sportswriters are selected by the AP to vote each year.
Who has won multiple NFL Offensive Player of the Year awards?
Eight players have won NFL OPOY more than once. Earl Campbell (1978, 1979, 1980) and Marshall Faulk (1999, 2000, 2001) both won three times and in consecutive years. Jerry Rice (1987, 1993), Barry Sanders (1994, 1997), Terrell Davis (1996, 1998), Tom Brady (2007, 2010), Drew Brees (2008, 2011), and Peyton Manning (2004, 2013) each won the award twice.