Each season the NFL awards the Comeback Player of the Year Award to an individual who has overcome adversity to achieve at the highest level. This adversity could include a serious injury, poor performance or personal matters, and has been presented every year since 1963.
Last season, Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry completed one of the most remarkable and inspiring comebacks in recent memory. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2014, Berry underwent offseason chemotherapy and returned to the field after being declared cancer free.
Simply returning to the field just months after this potentially life-threatening diagnosis would have been an incredible achievement, but Berry quickly re-established himself as one of the premier safeties in football. Following the 2015 season, Berry was named to the Pro Bowl, the All-Pro team, and was named the 2015 Comeback Player of the Year.
It’s worth noting that although this achievement seems completely improbable, many sharp bettors believed that Berry would return to form. During the 2015 NFL offseason, Berry’s odds of winning the Comeback Player of the Year Award jumped from 20/1 to 5/1. He may have entered the summer with the seventh-best odds, but he actually entered Week 1 as the front-runner.
Back in early August, 5Dimes posted odds for the 2016 Comeback Player of the Year with Jamaal Charles, Jordy Nelson and Le’Veon Bell (+600) listed as the co-favorites. Bell’s inclusion at the top of this list was fairly surprising considering that he was suspended for the first three games of the season after violating the league’s drug-testing policy.
Over this past weekend, BetOnline posted updated odds for the Comeback Player of the Year Award with Nelson listed as the odds-on favorite at -600. After missing the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL, Nelson returned to form with 97 receptions, 1,257 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
The table below displays the latest odds at 5Dimes and BetOnline. It will be updated as more information becomes available.
|Player||BetOnline (1/30)||5Dimes (8/1)|
|Steve Smith Sr||N/A||+2000|
|Robert Griffin III||N/A||+2500|
The section below was originally published on August 1st:
One surprising omission from this list is Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. The two-time Pro Bowler played in just nine games last year after suffering a foot injury in the season opener. During the 2014 campaign, Bryant hauled in 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a franchise record 16 touchdowns. Assuming he’s fully healthy, Bryant is a strong contender for the Comeback Player of the Year.
In terms of value, I really like Andrew Luck at +700. According to oddsmakers, Luck is one of the top five quarterbacks in the league and this may be the perfect opportunity to buy low. Last season the 26-year old signal caller battled a variety of injuries and finished the season with just 1,881 passing yards and a 15:12 touchdown to interception ratio. The Colts (+140) are the favorites to win the AFC South, and I fully expect Luck to play a huge part in the team’s resurgence.
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