We are more than 25% of the way through the NFL regular season after Monday night’s Raiders-Chiefs game. The awards markets are starting to shape up and the contenders are emerging. This week I added to a couple of awards positions and opened some new ones.
Running total: $705
Week 6 bets
Seahawks 3 -120 (to win $500)
Geno Smith to win the MVP is still a very long shot, but for it to even become close to possible, the Seahawks are going to have to make the playoffs. That means winning games and winning games against division opponents. This weekend they’ll have an opportunity to beat the Cardinals and get to 3-3, which would keep them in striking distance of the 49ers while the Rams flounder and nurse their post-Super Bowl hangover. Plus the game this weekend is in Seattle, where the Seahawks still enjoy a home-field advantage with their very loud crowd. If you have not been to the Seahawks' stadium, it really lives up to its billing as one of the NFL’s loudest stadiums.
Micah Parsons 250-1 at DraftKings
It’s unlikely to see a winner come from off the pace to contend here. The “Old Guys” trio of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford have all drifted out to between 40-1 and 50-1. The only non-QB I’m interested in making a case for this week is Micah Parsons who’s available at DraftKings to win MVP at 250-1.
Parsons is tied for the NFL lead in sacks through 5 weeks and he’s consistently the best player on field on either side of the ball when he’s out there. Rams receiver Cooper Kupp didn’t win last year while setting receiving records and it's hard to see any wide receiver get consideration this season. This is still likely going to be a quarterback award and Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes will be hard to beat, but with the Cowboys playing the Eagles in prime time on Sunday a Cowboys upset propelled by a strong defensive performance anchored by Parsons should get this number moving. A loss to the Eagles and this is probably dead money.
Offensive Player of the Year
Travis Kelce 100-1 at BetMGM
Taysom Hill 150-1 at DraftKings
I was impressed watching Kelce score four touchdowns in a single game against the Raiders on “Monday Night Football.” Kelce is a future Hall of Famer and the No. 1 receiving option on one of the best offenses in football. He has scored eight touchdowns in five games and with Tyreek Hill gone, he doesn’t have much competition for targets from the rest of the Chiefs receivers. I think 100-1 is too high. I’d cut that number at least in half.
Hill is one of the most interesting players in the NFL to me because he can do so many things. Hill showed his versatility on Sunday, throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass and rushing nine times for 112 yards and three touchdowns, including a 60-yard TD run. It doesn’t seem like Hill is going to get a shot to start full-time at quarterback, but if he can continue to score touchdowns every week, he deserves consideration in the OPOY market.
Defensive Player of the Year
Parsons has jumped out as an even-money favorite in this market, and there’s not much of a case for voters to pick Aaron Donald, Myles Garrett or Rashan Gary et al. over Parsons.
I am a fan of 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga and I think he’s got a DPOY award in his future, and I’d love to see Chargers pass rusher Khalil Mack make a run since I’ve already bet on him. I’ve also had some sharp people tell me they bet on Bucs linebacker Devin White at 75-1 or higher. And there’s always Donald, who has drifted out to 14-1 at DraftKings. If the Rams get it together, Donald could always make a DPOY run. But this week I don’t see anyone I want to put money on against Parsons.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Drake London of the Falcons continues to grade the highest of the wide receivers each week. Romeo Doubs, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and George Pickens are all doing things as well, with Pickens getting a boost in Pittsburgh now that Kenny Pickett is the starting quarterback. Pickett’s promotion puts him on the inside track to the OROY award if he can lead the Steelers to some wins.
The Jets’ Breece Hall and Texans’ Dameon Pierce lead the running back candidates, but with Kenneth Walker taking over the starting job in Seattle with Rashaad Penny out for the season, he could make a move from his current 20-1. No additions for me in this market this week.
Micah Parsons 5-1
Adding some more Parsons most sacks at 5-1 this week. The only players I’ve played so far in this market are Mack and Parsons. Happy to add to Parsons this week at 5-1 with the Cowboys getting ready to play the Eagles and their banged-up offensive line on Sunday night.