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Can the Jets sweep NFL Rookie of the Year awards? Current odds, best bets

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Garrett Wilson of the New York Jets is a Rookie of the Year favorite
New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) has a pass broken up by Cleveland Browns cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. (23) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Heading into the season, we questioned whether the Jets would have a shot at claiming both the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards with Breece Hall and Sauce Gardner in town. Even with Hall going down with a season-ending knee injury, it seems the team is still the favorite to pull off the impressive achievement. 

While things may not be breaking right for the Jets in the standings of late, the future looks bright after this year’s rookie class. Two players in particular – Gardner and Garrett Wilson – seem to be standing above the rest of the pack. 

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Below we’ll break down the current odds for Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year and see if the Jets players are good bets to take home the trophies. 

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Player Position Team Odds
Garrett Wilson WR Jets -250
Kenneth Walker III RB Seahawks +700
Christian Watson WR Packers +800
Brock Purdy QB 49ers +800
Chris Olave WR Saints +1200

As of now, Garrett Wilson has become the odds-on favorite to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, as his odds improved from +150 to -250 after hauling in four catches for 98 yards against the Lions in Week 15. On the season, Wilson has 966 receiving yards and four touchdowns and seems like a near lock to win this award, so he’s not really worth a bet with these odds. 

The only thing that could hold Wilson back is the performance of quarterback Zach Wilson over these final three weeks. If the two can’t get on the same page, it could open up a chance for somebody to swoop in and steal the award. 

Kenneth Walker III had been in the lead in this race prior to missing Week 14 with an ankle injury, so it’s possible that he could reclaim the lead with a strong finish. The running back does have a good matchup with the Chiefs this weekend, but future games against the Jets and Rams could make things tough on him. However, that Jets-Seahawks game could decide this race if either Walker or Wilson has a huge game. 

Christian Watson has flown up the odds with his recent play but was a non-factor in Monday night’s win over the Rams and seems a bit too boom-or-bust to be a real threat, which means the only player who could be worth a bet here is 49ers’ quarterback Brock Purdy

Purdy is locked into the starting spot for the rest of the season and has seen his odds improve from +20000 just two weeks ago. In three games and two starts since becoming the starter, Purdy has compiled a 108.8 passer rating with a 69% completion rate, 612 yards passing, and six touchdowns to just one interception. San Francisco has three winnable games against Washington, Las Vegas, and Arizona to end the season, so there is some value in throwing a small bet on Purdy to swoop in for the win. 

Sauce Gardner Jets
Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner runs back an interception against Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills in Week 9. AP Photo/John Minchillo

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Player Position Team Odds
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner CB Jets -500
Aidan Hutchinson DE Lions +550
Tariq Woolen CB Seahawks +800
Kayvon Thibodeaux DE Giants +4000

Despite the performance of Giants rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux on national television, this is really a three-man race for Defensive Rookie of the Year. In fact, it’s really a one-man race with Sauce Gardner seemingly all but a lock. 

Gardner became the favorite after the Jets beat the Bills in Week 9, and he hasn’t looked back since. Aidan Hutchinson has climbed back into the race a bit during Detroit’s hot streak, but he has just 1.5 sacks and three tackles for a loss over his last four games. While he has performed well for the Lions on the field, it’s going to take lots of splashy plays to move Gardner out of the top spot. 

Tariq Woolen is capable of those kinds of plays since he leads the NFL in interceptions and defensive touchdowns. However, he’s too far behind Gardner right now, and an upcoming game against the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes doesn’t bode well for a standout defensive performance.

In the end, I think there are really no betting angles here unless you got some action on Sauce Gardner earlier in the season when the odds were not as restrictive. He seems like a sure thing at this point. 

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Kayvon Thibodeaux of the Giants is rising up the Rookie of the Year rankings
New York Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux celebrates a sack during overtime of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.AP Photo/John Minchillo