NFL Rookie of the Year – Defensive ROY Odds

NFL Rookie of the Year

Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds - MyBookie

We’ve all heard that saying growing up as football fans in America.  “Defense wins championships.”  The Tampa Bay Buccanneers of the early 2000’s, the Steel Curtain, and Orange Crush are all remembered vividly and affectionately by anyone who loves the game and it's for good reason.  While there is no doubting thevalue of defense, earning any NFL accolade on the defensive side of the ball is a surprisingly difficult task. With so much attention on offenses in the current pass-happy NFL, the defenders of the league rarely get the credit they deserve. Fortunately for the league’s rookies, first-year players do get their own award and defensive players get their share of the accolades.  The “best” defensive rookie takes home Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.  For those into NFL prop bets and NFL futures, this is one of the more fun things to bet on when looking at a full season.  One of our top online sportsbooks has taken a shot at offering wagers for the season's action.

One of the things that separates online sportsbooks from each other and Las Vegas is their available odds.  Offshore sportsbooks aren’t governed by the Nevada gaming commission, which means they can offer props on anything and everything without approval.  For the purposes of this article, that means DROY odds!

MyBookie has taken advantage of the Nevada Gaming commissions lag time.  While it isn’t our top rated online sportsbook, they are our #2 choice for USA friendly offshore betting and are a wonderful choice for those looking to wager regularly.  They’re even available on your mobile device.

Our top sportsbook choice BetOnline doesn’t offer DROY odds.  Neither does Las Vegas. This is another example of why leveraging two to three online sportsbook players is a good idea.

Let’s dive right in to the odds from MyBookie.  These Defensive Rookie of the Year contenders have been deemed the favorites to take home the DROY award this season.

Bradley Chubb - Broncos

Defensive End, Denver Broncos (Round 1, Pick #5)

Odds to Win DROY: +140

Chubb should make an instant impact for Denver's Defense.

The second highest defensive pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Bradley Chubb was deemed far and away the best defensive player available heading into the event. And while Chubb was passed over by one team for a player that we will get to later, there is no question that Chubb is projected to have a massive impact on the Denver Broncos defense in 2018.  

Chubb, a defensive end from NC State, is a seasoned veteran.  He is the rare 4 year senior and will be expected to make an immediate impact based on his maturity.  He joins Von Miller in a Broncos pass rush that is sure to be the strength of the team.

As evidenced by their Super Bowl appearance in 2016, the Broncos can certainly win a title when their pass rush is firing on all cylinders, and drafting Chubb is a sign that getting the pass rush back in order is a top priority for Denver this season.  The Broncos fell off of the pace the league had come to expect of them in 2017 finishing 22nd in both points against and sacks. They largely suffered from field position woes as the defense ranked 3rd in total yards against, 5th is rushing yards against, and th in passing yards against.

Chubb showed in college that he can bring down ball carriers with 72 total tackles, 23 of which came for losses.  With Miller on the field, defenses will simply have less blockers to use on compensating for Chubb. He imposes a sizable threat on the opposite side of the pass rush.  If Chubb shows the impact that he had in college at NC State, we could be looking at double digit sack totals that Chubb has been no stranger to putting up. Chubb finished each of the last two seasons with 10 sacks as he anchored the Wolfpack in the ACC.

With all of the impact Chubb could have, it’s important to remember that the Defense is somewhat reliant on offensive improvement this season.  The Broncos were massively let down by both their offense and special teams last year which cost them time on the field and tired out the unit as a whole.  During the Broncos 8 game 2017 losing streak, the team rarely lead which isn’t too surprising. The team finished 27th overall in the league in offensive production giving their defense just 18.1 points on average in support which led to a -17 turnover differential that ranked 31 in the league.

Offensive woes massively hurt Von Miller’s ability to impact the game through the pass rush.  Teams relied on more consistent and safer ground games to keep the Broncos defense at bay from causing turnovers and sacks.  Von Miller and all defensive ends in the league are largely measured by sacks. If the Broncos offense puts up another stinker again in Denver this year, Chubb could suffer from the same type of issue in terms of game impact.  They’re hoping the addition of Kase Keenum will change all of that after their quarterback dumpsterfire last year.

If the offense is better and effective and health isn’t a problem, Chubb has a great shot to win this award.  Expect the team to perform better against the aerial attacks of opposing teams and get their overall defense closer to the top-five than the top-ten this season making $1.40 and 1.4 to 1 odds pretty decent value here from MyBookie.

Chubb to Win DROY +140?

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Roquan Smith - Bears

Inside Linebacker (Round 1, Pick #8)

Odds to Win DROY: +400

This is the closest Roquan Smith has gotten to the field in the NFL.

There are a few ways to make winning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award easy for a player. That player needs to rack up a high number of interceptions, a high number of sacks, or a high number of tackles. With Roquan Smith expected to be the anchor of the Bears defense from the linebacker position, he will certainly have the chance to put up sky high tackling numbers in his first year.

Roquan Smith finished his Junior season at Georgia with 6.5 sacks and 137 total tackles.  14 of his tackles came at a loss of yardage for the ball carrier. Smith was the #8 overall selection in the draft and the first overall linebacker taken.  He adds to a Bears defense that was fairly serviceable last year. It ranked in the top 10 for total points against and total points against and only gets better if Smith is right.

For Smith and the Bears, getting him into camp has been a problem that could derail his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign before it even gets started. Due to contract disputes with the Bears, Smith is holding out of training camp. Holdouts are not nearly as detrimental to linebackers as they are quarterbacks or more complex defensive positions, but Smith is still missing valuable time to get used to coverage schemes, blitz packages, and other intricacies of the Bears’ defense.  If he’s expected to be an anchor, he’s missing time where he could progress as a leader than more seasoned pros. If nothing else, it lowers his grade as a teammate.

With the holdout, we could see the Bears hold Smith out of games once he does come back or until they are satisfied with Smith’s knowledge of the defensive playbook.

At 4-to-1 odds, Roquan Smith would be a very good value to win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors if he was in camp and signed for the season.  With his current situation we think that there are definitely better bets to be had.

Roquan Smith to Win DROY +140?

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Denzel Ward - Browns

Cornerback (Round 1, Pick #4)

Odds to Win DROY: +650

Ward has undeniable talent, but will the Browns losing culture hold him back?

The selection of Denzel Ward came as a surprise at the fourth spot in the draft for the Cleveland Browns. Bradley Chubb was still on the board, but the Browns weren’t expected to take him due to the drafting of Myles Garrett last season. Instead, Cleveland went with Ward instead of other highly-rated defensive backs Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick who would have been the alternatives.

Reports out of Browns training camp suggest that Ward has looked good during his time practicing with the team. Veteran corner Demarious Randall has even said that Ward has the potential to be an elite corner in the league for the Browns.

The one thing that makes us hesitant is that big brown elephant in the room...the Browns.  The fact that Ward plays for the Browns could get in the way of Ward’s Defensive Rookie of the Year candidacy.  The Browns ranked terribly in nearly every defensive category with the exception being their defense against the run.  While Ward was drafted to help the Defenses #31 ranking in interceptions, he’s not going to fix the fact that they were #31 in points against, at least not instantaneously and without help.  Much like Derwin James who appears next on this list, Ward will have to be disciplined. “Denzel Ward targeting” is one of the most popular searched terms on Google.

It could always work the other way too.  Perhaps Denzel Ward will be the hero behind the underdog story of the year in a playoff run.  Maybe the Browns turnaround story will be both on offense and defense. It’s possible, and there’s a reason these aren’t longer odds.

Generally, players who win the league’s Rookie of the Year honors tend to play for teams that win a decent number of games in a season. While the Browns are expected to improve from their 0-16 season last year, they still have a long way to go to win enough games for consideration for postseason awards and for that reason Ward seems like a longer shot that 6.5 to 1 odds that could be worth taking if you’re bullish on the Browns this year.

Denzel Ward to Win DROY +650?

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Derwin James - Chargers

Odds to Win DROY: +800

Derwin James plays like his facemask looks....scary.

Derwin James was the anchor of a great defense at Florida State.  A game changing safety, James strikes fear into opponents with some ball hawking skills but his main ability comes in run support as he crushes ball-carriers who make their way to the second level.    

James has been drafted into a great situation in Los Angeles, where he should have the chance to make plays for a defense that might be one of the best in the NFL.  That bodes well for the defender with such long odds. The Rams were the #3 defense in the NFL against the pass and forced the 6th most interceptions in the league last year.  Their main weakness came in the running game where they gave up 131 yards per game. James is a fantastic start to shoring that up while also adding to an already stacked secondary.

Los Angeles has a pass rush that should force quarterbacks into some mistakes this season.  Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram should get after quarterbacks on a regular basis. That should prompt rushed throws, overthrows, and underthrows.  If James is on the right end of things and is able to capitalize on his opportunities, there is value in taking James as the Defensive Rookie of the Year and a cornerston of the Chargers defense.  We could also so James move into the box as a hybrid linebacker giving him more opportunities for TFL and sacks.

We like James, but bettors should know of his status as a longer shot.  Safety’s need a lot to go right for them to win this title, and for James to have a successful season, he will have to make the most of the opportunities that his defensive teammates will create for him.  

James will have to play incredibly well all while remaining disciplined.  Given the NFL’s new rules on lowering the helmet, James will need to make sure that he plays fundamentally sound football when making hits as safetys have the highest rate of suspendable hits. If his Florida State football career is evidence, there will certainly be some hits coming from Derwin James throughout his time as a pro with the Chargers.

While James is a risk, we like this as a small bet if you’re feeling like taking a roll on a longer shot.  8 to 1 is a lot of juice.

Derwin James to Win DROY +800?

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NFL Rookie of the Year Free Pick - Defense:

Chubb has the best setup of any rookie to recapture college dominance.

Bradley Chubb - Broncos

Odds to win DROY:+140

Derwin James is a good value play at the +800 odds he’s been given to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and that should be noted, but there is a better bet here.  Bradley Chubb should run away with this award given how fearsome the pass rush of the Broncos projects to be. Chubb and Von Miller are set to tee off on quarterbacks and offensive lines.  Opponents have a lot to handle when looking at the Broncos as an opponent on the schedule.

Chubb could have a season that puts him in contention with guys like Miller and JJ Watt as one of the top defensive linemen in the game.  Given that an offensive line can only commit so much attention to two players, we think Chubb +140 offers great value heading into the 2018-19 season.

Make sure to check out other NFL futures and picks as well as our daily MLB picks which are in full swing.  

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Chubb to Win DROY +140?

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