As training camp gets underway around the league, projections are aplenty.
For the Detroit Lions, they face long odds at making the playoffs and aren’t projected to be any better than average—a familiar place they’ve found themselves in at season’s start for some time now. Not much is different in terms of the expectations for the individual players on Detroit’s roster.
BetOnline.AG released their odds for NFL MVP and NFL Rookie of the Year awards recently and two Lions players made the sportsbook’s posting. Matthew Stafford is set at 80/1 (+8000) to win the NFL’s MVP award, and Detroit’s top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, T.J. Hockenson, sits with 25/1 (+2500) odds to win the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
As he enters his 11th season as the franchise’s quarterback in Detroit, the spot Matthew Stafford inherited upon being drafted first overall isn’t a foregone conclusion moving forward—as it has been for over a decade. After a less-than-stellar season in 2018, and the team’s philosophical shift towards a run-heavy offense under Matt Patricia, it isn’t surprising to see the long odds Stafford faces to win MVP. What does come as bit of a surprise, though, is the list of names with better odds to capture the league’s most valuable player. Names like Mitchell Trubisky (33/1), Lamar Jackson (33/1), and Jameis Winston (50/1) all have better odds to win than Stafford.
Hockenson starts the season with what has to be considered pretty good odds for a tight end who is most likely his team’s fourth-best option on offense. His odds to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year are the same as DK Metcalf and Marquise Brown—two of the most prolific and highly coveted wide receivers during the draft process. Regarded as the best blocking tight end NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has ever evaluated, Hockenson certainly has the talent to make waves this year, but seeing as the last—and only—tight end to ever win Offensive Rookie of the Year was Mike Ditka in 1961, smart money might not be on the first year player from Iowa to win this award.