Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has overtaken Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and is now the +125 favorite to be NFL OROY. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

  • Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is now the +125 favorite to win the NFL OROY
  • He’s overtaken Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, who’s at +260
  • See updated NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds and analysis below

The naysayers who scoffed when the Los Angeles Chargers selected Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert with the sixth overall selection of the 2020 NFL Draft have gone silent.

Herbert was taken five notches below first overall choice, Joe Burrow, on draft day but today, it’s Herbert who is #1. Well, at least in terms of the odds to win the NFL OROY he’s moved to the front of the pack.

Following an outstanding performance on Monday Night Football, Herbert is now the +125 chalk in the NFL OROY odds. He moved past Cincinnati Bengals QB Burrow, whose betting line slipped to +260.

2020 NFL OROY Odds

Player (Team) Odds
Justin Herbert (Chargers) +125
Joe Burrow (Bengals) +260
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Chiefs) +700
CeeDee Lamb (Cowboys) +1500
James Robinson (Jaguars) +1500
Jonathan Taylor (Colts) +1500
Justin Jefferson (Vikings) +1500

Odds as of Oct. 13th

Just two of the last seven NFL OROY were QBs.

Herbert’s Monday Magic Show

Declared the official starting QB for the Chargers by coach Anthony Lynn – he’d previously be given the job following an injury to Tyrod Taylor – Herbert stepped up and showed everyone that he deserved the role.

Facing the Saints, one of the NFC favorites to go to the Super Bowl, Herbert lit it up. He posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating in a clean pocket during the game. 

At 22 years and 216 days old, Herbert became the youngest QB with four passing TDs in Monday Night Football history. The other three QBs 23 and younger to pass for four TDs in a MNF game? Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and Dan Marino. Herbert is the only rookie to throw four TD passes on MNF.

Through his first four NFL games, Herbert has passed for nine TDs against three interceptions. He’s accounted for 1,195 yards through the air while posting a 107.1 QB rating and 68.8 completion percentage.

Prime Time Glitter?

Herbert opened at +1400 in the NFL OROY future book and drifted steadily. By Sept. 15, he’d peak at +2900.

The last two weeks, his odds have shortened in quantum leap fashion. He was at +1000 when he took the field for Monday’s game.

Is this sudden surge to the top of the NFL OROY betting line nothing more than the fact that Herbert put on a passing clinic in prime time? Well, it’s happened before this season.

In Week 1, Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown in KC’s 34-20 win over the Houston Texans. He moved into the favorite’s role ahead of Burrow in NFL OROY odds at +175.

Edwards-Helaire hasn’t duplicated that performance since. He’s now the third betting choice at a distant +700.

Then again, in successive weeks Herbert’s gone toe-to-toe with the QB who’s passed for more yardage and TD passes than any NFLer (Drew Brees) and the QB who’s won the most Super Bowls (Tom Brady). Yes, his team lost both games. But he also threw for seven TDs the past two weeks.

Burrow In A Hole?

While Herbert was slicing and dicing the Saints, the Baltimore Ravens were welcoming Burrow to his nightmare. He was limited to 19-of-30 for 183 yards, one interception, and one lost fumble as the Bengals were dumped 27-3.

However, the week prior, he posted his first NFL win. Burrow became the first rookie to throw for 300 or more yards in three straight games. In other words, don’t count him out yet.

Joe Burrow vs Justin Herbert

1-3-1 W-L 0-4
6-3 TD/INT 9-3
260.8 Passing Yardage Per Game 298.8
86.3 Passer Rating 107.1
43.1 QBR 71.6
6.3 Average Yards Per Attempt 8.5
65.2 Completion Percentage 68.8

Herbert is silencing doubters who suggested he was soft and immature. He’s displaying a powerful arm and the ability to complete any type of pass. His presence is providing an entirely new look to the Chargers offense.

In the NFL OROY, though, often to the steady goes the race. Herbert has faced just one top-10 defense (Tampa Bay) and one top-10 pass defense (Carolina). And at some point, he’s got to win a game if he wants to be NFL OROY.

Herbert’s been impressive but this is still Burrow’s race to lose.

Pick: Joe Burrow (Bengals) (+260)

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