Videos by OutKick
All-time great Jerry Rice is the only wide receiver to win the NFL Offensive Player of the Year (OPOY) from the 1st year of the award, 1972, to 2019. Over the last four seasons, three WRs have won NFL OPOY.
Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson is the reigning NFL OPOY. Jefferson led the league in catches (128) and receiving yards (1,809) but only had 8 receiving TDs.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp and New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas were the other two receivers to win NFL OPOY since 2019. This recent run on WRs makes this position a little pricey in the 2023 NFL OPOY futures market.
Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase (+1100) is the odds-on favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. Jefferson is 2nd by the odds to repeat (+1300). Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill (+2000) is 4th by the odds to win the 2023 NFL OPOY.
The point is I’m zagging on this trend of wide receivers winning this award with my three …
NFL Offensive Player of the Year 2023 Best Bets
- Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts (+3000)
If a quarterback wins NFL OPOY he usually wins the MVP as well. The last three QBs to win NFL OPOY (Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton) also won offensive player of the year.
At DraftKings, Hurts has the 4th-best odds to win the NFL MVP. Considering how stacked the QB position is right now in the league, Hurts will have to put up crazy numbers to win either award.
Yet Hurts has 40-TD potential. In 2022, Hurts scored 35 TDs (22 passing and 13 rushing) in just 15 games. He was the favorite to win NFL MVP last season before getting injured and was on pace for 40 TDs.
The Eagles have a war chest of weapons including two stud WRs (A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith), an elite tight end (Dallas Goedert) and Pro Bowl-caliber RB (D’Andre Swift). Philly’s offensive line is the best in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus (PFF).
Hurts’ completion rate, TD-rate, INT-rate, QB Rating, and QBR have all improved in each of his 1st three seasons in the NFL. Hurts would’ve won Super Bowl MVP last year if the Eagles beat the Chiefs so he is trending up.
Kansas City TE Travis Kelce (+4000)
While WRs have broken through to win the NFL OPOY recently, a tight end has never won offensive player of the year. If there was a TE to do it, why not the best or 2nd-best TE in league history coming off a career-year?
Last season, Kelce had career highs in targets (152), receptions (110), and receiving TDs (12) and his 2nd-most receiving yards (1,338) ever. In 2022, Kelce was the most targeted pass catcher inside the red zone as well.
Furthermore, I don’t see Kelce’s usage regressing next season. The Chiefs have a below-average WR corp and their most productive wideout from last year, JuJu Smith-Schuster, left in free agency.
Kelce plays with the best QB-coach combo in the NFL. Mahomes is the reigning NFL MVP and Andy Reid is an all-time head coach. Reid finds creative ways to get Kelce involved and Mahomes can make any throw in the playbook.
For the record, Kelce’s path to winning the NFL OPOY is a tough one. He needs to set career highs in TDs and yards in 2023. Mahomes throwing 40+ TDs would hurt Kelce’s chances. But, there is a world where Kelce wins this award.
Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones (+10000)
I gave out Jones to win 2022 NFL OPOY at 40-to-1 odds so 100-to-1 is a great number. The increase in odds for Jones suggests he’s worse off now that Aaron Rodgers took his talents to the Big Apple.
However, Packers QB Jordan Love gets the keys to Green Bay’s offense this season. They say a “good running game is a quarterback’s best friend”. So I expect Jones has a ton of usage this season.
Jones is one of the best dual-threat RBs in the league. Last year, Jones had career bests in rushing yards (1,121) and catches (59). Jones averaged 5.3 yards per rush in 2022, which ranked 2nd among RBs.
PFF graded Jones the 6th-best halfback in the NFL last season. Plus, PFF ranks Green Bay’s offensive line 8th entering 2023 and it has a top-five ceiling for sure.
Jones plays nine games against defenses ranked 25th or worse in Football Outsiders’ schedule-based efficiency (DVOA) in 2022. The other three NFC North teams were 27th or worse in defensive DVOA last year.
Other NFL 2023 betting previews
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.