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Back to the Futures: Best NFL Awards Values Entering Final Six Weeks

How are the NFL awards races shaping up entering the final six weeks of the regular season?

Week 13 of the NFL season is already upon us!

Since there are only six more weeks of regular season play, it feels like a good time to make some wagers. This is the fourth in a series of futures bets articles. Each week, I’ve examined the current odds and tried to find the best values for your money. That means I often won’t be taking any of the betting favorites.

Check Week 13 NFL Lines at SI Sportsbook

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Tampa Bay won 38-31.

MVP

Here’s where the odds stand today at SI Sportsbook.

Tom Brady +250
Josh Allen +500
Aaron Rodgers +600
Patrick Mahomes +900
Dak Prescott +1200
Kyler Murray +1200

A month ago, I believed Kyler Murray would earn this award. At +1200 odds, I’m sprinkling more on it today. I get it, he missed three games, but in the NFL our memories are short. The Seahawks are crashing, the Rams look like the Yankees with a big payroll that won’t pay off and Arizona has the NFL's best record. The Cardinals will upset the division and Kyler will come back and put on a show with a remaining schedule featuring the Bears, Lions and Seahawks. I love the odds here.

Aaron Rodgers is my other pick to win this award. Last year’s MVP is leading Green Bay to another dominant season, with a win percentage second only to the Cardinals. In the one game Rodgers missed, it was evident how important he is to the team. In defeating the Rams last week, Rodgers essentially kicked Stafford out of MVP contention. He continues to win even with a fractured toe, and he has perhaps the softest schedule ahead with matchups against the Bears, Browns, Vikings and Lions.

Offensive Player of the Year

With Derrick Henry’s season likely over, here’s what appeared in my last article:

(Cooper) Kupp has now vaulted up the leaderboard, and as the current favorite, you are only getting +120. It could be your last chance for plus money, but it’s not enough return for me. But a new guy has caught my eye: Jonathan Taylor +1400.

Taylor has been in beast mode as of late, and with Henry sidelined, he will soon lead the league in rushing yards. He has 821 rushing yards on the season, and he’s yet to top 20 carries. He’s averaging an incredible 5.9 yards per attempt. He’s also getting more involved in the passing game. As the Colts are getting healthier, Taylor will see more and more success. The Colts face the Jaguars twice in the second half of the season, including this week, as well as the Raiders and Texans, and that’s four games where I expect Taylor to run wild. Smash this bet now before it loses value.”

Here are today’s odds:

Cooper Kupp: +225
Jonathan Taylor +225
Deebo Samuel +1000

Well, you guessed it. Today, I am willing to take Kupp! Kupp has continued to ball out, even though the Rams are struggling. There’s still plenty of time for L.A. to turn the ship around, and the addition of OBJ should help remove some of Kupp’s double coverage while also helping you get better odds today.

I love the idea of Deebo Samuel at +1000, who has been an absolute stud, though the groin injury could cost him some games down the stretch. The window for any value on Taylor is surely closing this week after the Colts face the Texans and their generous run defense. I hope you took him at +1400, but if not, it’s last call for +225.

Nov 14, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) reacts before a game against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium.

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Offensive Rookie of the Year

Ja’Marr Chase was the favorite at -145 two weeks ago, but I suggested taking Mac Jones.

“If you like Chase, the fact that he hasn’t topped more than 50 yards in each of his last two games could actually work in your favor.I am finally willing to take this bet at -145.

Mac Jones is great value at +350. A quarterback has taken the award the last two years, and though his numbers may not be as flashy as Justin Herbert’s he’s quietly putting together a nice rookie season. Jones looks poised in Josh McDaniels’ offense, passing for 237.2 yards per game. Jones is on a three game win streak with plenty of soft matchups ahead: Atlanta, Miami and Jacksonville.”

A lot can change in two weeks. Here’s where the odds stand today:

Mac Jones -333
Ja’Marr Chase +250
Najee Harris +3300

Jones has indeed looked like the OROY, but he has a tough matchup this week vs. the Bills. If you’re interested in Jones, wait until after Monday in case you can get better odds. There’s too much juice on this one for me to take it today.

If you took Jones two weeks ago, hold that ticket!

Chase is finally coming with some great value, and if I’m betting today I’m taking the Bengals’ wideout. Chase has only seen nine targets for 71 yards over the last three games, but Cincinnati has not played any tight games. Chase is still on pace for a 1400-yard season, and he and Joe Burrow still have time for an AFC North upset.

myles-garrett-cleveland-browns

Defensive Player of the Year

Here’s where it stands at SI Sportsbook today:

Myles Garrett +160
Trevon Diggs +650
TJ Watt +650
Aaron Donald +1000

Myles Garrett is favored here, and I like this bet at plus-money. Garrett leads the league with 14 sacks, but I am taking Trevon Diggs. Ok, yeah, I’m a Cowboys fan, but Diggs had a defensive interception in each of the first six games, and he leads the league with eight. You can call me a homer, or you can say I love +650.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Here’s what appeared in my last futures article:

“Micah Parsons is the favorite at -125, and that’s a bet I am willing to make. Parsons has been a unicorn for the Dallas Defense. Quite simply, there’s no one like him. Parsons is the first player in NFL history to record 50 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and five sacks in his first eight games.”

The biggest change is that Parsons has gotten even better, and he is now favored at -654. There’s too much juice on this bet, and it looks like a one-horse (or one-unicorn) race, so I’m avoiding this one. Hopefully, you locked in Parsons early.

kliff-kingsbury

Coach of the Year

There has been a lot of movement in Coach of the Year.

Here’s where the odds stand today.

Bill Belichick +300
Kliff Kingsbury +350
Matt LaFleur +600
Mike Vrabel +1000
Zac Taylor +1000
Mike McCarthy +1600

OK, full confession: I advised taking both Brandon Staley and Sean McVay in previous articles. That’s not going so well, and they have both moved to +2800.

Arguments can be made for each of the top three on this list, but I am going to take Kliff Kingsbury. The reason is simple: This team wins even without Murray. It’s perhaps the most complete team in the NFL. Matt LeFleur’s team needs Rodgers, and I don’t know that the Patriots offense would be competitive without Jones.

Honestly, all three of these coaches have been fantastic this season.

Check the Latest Odds at SI Sportsbook

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