One of the most fascinating aspects of football is that every part of a team has its role to play, and successful teams almost always feature contributions from all areas.
Still, there is no doubt that the biggest stars in the NFL have tended to be offensive players. Elite quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs regularly dominate the sports headlines and even the end-of-season awards. This year, thousands of fans will have a bet on the Offensive Player of the Year and there is always a lot of speculation about who will win the award.
AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year odds
The award for the Offensive Player of the Year (OPOY) is announced at the end of the season, but there are thriving betting markets associated with this award that run throughout the season. Betting on this award is a form of futures market, and some sports bettors prefer to specialize in this type of betting, as the odds can be extremely rewarding if you make the right pick early enough. The odds will also fluctuate from week to week and game to game based on how the games play out.
What exactly is the AP Offensive Player of the Year Award?
The AP Offensive Player of the Year Award is a prize awarded by the Associated Press to the offensive player who has had the most impactful season. The winner is chosen by a US-wide panel of sports writers. Over the years, it has been won by some of the most famous names in the NFL, including Tom Brady, Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Drew Breese and Payton Manning.
The award has been running since 1972 and the winner has often set an NFL record, such as Dan Marino, the 1984 winner, who was the first man to pass for 5,000 yards in a season. So far in the history of the award, 28 out of 49 winners have also been voted AP Most Valuable Player.
Who won the award in 2021?
The 2021 winner was wide receiver Cooper Kupp, of the LA Rams. The Rams won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2021/22 season and Kupp was a big part of their success, recording the wide receiver ‘triple crown’ having led the NFL for receptions, touchdowns and yards. Cupp didn’t win the season MVP award, but he did win the Super Bowl MVP after recording eight receptions, 92 yards and two touchdowns, as the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.
What position does the award winner typically play?
Although there have been 49 awards, only players from three positions have ever won it. Cupp was just the third wide receiver to win it, while quarterbacks have won it 20 times – Patrick Mahomes being the last to do so, in 2018. Running backs have dominated, winning the award 26 times.
There have been multiple dual winners, the most recent being Peyton Manning, who won it in 2004 and 2013, but only two players have won three OPOY titles, and both were running backs. Earl Campbell of the Houston Oilers won it for three consecutive years beginning in 1978 and Marshall Faulk of the Rams was the winner in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
Our pick for 2022 Offensive Player of the Year
Picking the OPOY winner can be tough but looking at recent trends can often be a good place to start. In the last 10 years, the balance seems to have shifted a little in favor of quarterbacks and wide receivers, who have won six times, reflecting the increasing dominance of the pass over the run.
Another factor to consider is that OPOY winners nearly always come from successful teams. That isn’t hugely surprising, but it does rule out elite players on mediocre teams. In fact, the average number of wins recorded by the last 10 OPOY winners is 12.
So, we’re looking for an elite player who is likely to put up huge numbers for a strong team. Cooper Cupp is once again prominent in the betting, along with Colts running back Jonathan Taylor and Justin Jefferson, who recently recorded a receiver triple crown.
However, our pick is the 2020 winner Derrick Henry. Before breaking his foot in Week 8 last season, he was on his way to earning back-to-back OPOY wins. This season, the Titans offense will go through Henry more than ever before due to the departure of AJ Brown, and he has a great chance to dominate offensively.
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Offensive Player of the Year Predictions | TooAthletic.com