2015 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Several months ago, a number of prominent offshore sportsbooks posted odds for the 2015 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. San Diego’s first round pick, running back Melvin Gordon, opened as a +650 favorite but was quickly leapfrogged by Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston. The top overall pick in April’s draft, Winston is listed as high as 4/1 to win the award at Bovada.

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Earlier this week, the square offshore oddsmakers at BetOnline became the first prominent sportsbook to post odds for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Dante Fowler (#3 to Jacksonville) was the first defensive player selected in the draft; however, the former Florida Gator suffered torn his ACL and will miss the entire 2015 season.

The second defensive player selected was DE Leonard Williams, who went to the Jets with the 6th overall pick. Despite being the highest drafted healthy defensive player, Williams (+600) actually has longer odds than two later draft picks. This is likely because Williams is recovering from a shoulder injury and is less likely to record a high sack total due to the Jets 3-4 scheme.

Vikings LB Eric Kendricks and Saints LB Stephone Anthony, the 45th and 31st overall picks respectively, are the currently listed as +400 co-favorites despite their relatively low draft position. This is likely because 21 of 43 Defensive Rookie of the Year winners have been linebackers. The table below displays the historical Defensive ROTY odds for the past six winners. (Data from SportsOddsHistory.com)

Year Player (Team) Position Odds
2014 Aaron Donald (STL) DE +900
2013 Sheldon Richardson (NYJ) DE +2000
2012 Luke Kuechly (CAR) LB +450
2011 Von Miller (DEN) LB +400
2010 Ndamukong Suh DE +175
2009 Brian Cushing LB +1200

Linebackers have dominated this award historically, but that trend has been amplified over the past years. Defensive linemen have won this award in each of the past two seasons, but 11 of the last 15 Defensive Rookie of the Years have been linebackers, including a stretch of seven straight from 2003-2009.

The table below displays the current Defensive Rookie of the Year odds at BetOnline and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Player (Team) BetOnline (7/23)
Eric Kendricks (MIN) +400
Stephone Anthony (NO) +400
Leonard Williams (NYJ) +600
Vic Beasley (ATL) +900
Landon Collins (NYG) +1200
Bernardick McKinney (HOU) +1200
Randy Gregory (DAL) +1400
Shaq Thompson (CAR) +1600
Denzel Perryman (SD) +2000
Preston Smith (WSH) +2000
Owamagbe Odighizuwa (NYG) +2000
Jake Ryan (GB) +2000
Marcus Peters (KC) +2500
Paul Dawson (CLE) +2500
Bud Dupree (PIT) +2500
Shane Ray (DEN) +2500
Arik Armstead (SF) +2500
Trae Waynes (MIN) +3300
Damarious Randall (GB) +3300
Mario Edwards Jr. (OAK) +3300
Hauoli Kikaha (NO) +3300
Jalen Collins (ATL) +3300
Markus Golden (ARI) +3300
Danny Shelton (CLE) +3300
Byron Jones (DAL) +5000
Kevin Johnson (HOU) +5000

Earlier in the offseason, NFL.com posted their list of the top five Defensive ROTY candidates. These players included (in order): DE Leonard Williams (+600), LB Randy Gregory (+1400), CB Marcus Peters (+2500), LB Bud Depree (+2500) and LB Landon Collins (+1200).

No cornerback has won this award since Charles Woodson in 1998 and only six CB’s have won in the 43-year history of the award. When you also consider the fact that draft experts stated that there were no elite cornerbacks in this draft, it’s tough to advise betting on any defensive back.

One interesting name to watch is the aforementioned Randy Gregory. Though projected as a high-first round pick, Gregory plummeted on draft day after testing positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine.

At 6’5″ and 235 pounds, Gregory ran the 40-yard dash in only 4.6 seconds giving him an ideal blend of size and athleticism. In two seasons at Nebraska, Gregory tallied 17.5 sacks, 25.5 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions — one of which he returned for a touchdown. Currently listed at +1400, Gregory would be a solid value pick if he’s able to earn a starting role.

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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.

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David Solar

David Solar has been the Content Manager at Sports Insights for over four years. He specializes in sports betting analytics and has created several popular data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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