The NFL season hasn’t kicked off yet, but there’s now a new contender for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Dameon Pierce.
The rookie running back’s candidacy comes after the Houston Texans cut veteran Marlon Mack on Tuesday to get their roster down to 53 players. The moves sets up Pierce as the first-string tailback with Rex Burkhead, Dare Ogunbowale and Royce Freeman behind him.
The market has quickly caught up with not just the news, but Pierce’s impressive play in the preseason. The fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft rushed for 37 yards on six carries and scored a touchdown in Houston’s preseason finale against the San Francisco 49ers on Friday.
Pierce has jumped to tied with the second-shortest odds (+900) to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, along with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett and wide receiver George Pickens, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. New York Jets running back Breece Hall is the favorite at +850 odds.
Pierce is in the same position on FanDuel Sportsbook but at +1100 odds, tied with New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave. Pickett and Pickens are the co-favorites at +900 odds. The 22-year-old running back has the same odds at BetMGM, but he has the fifth-shortest odds behind Pickett, Pickens, Hall and Olave.
On BetMGM, Pierce’s odds opened at +2000 and his odds were +1600 before the Texans started making cuts, according to Data Specialist Drew O’Dell. He had been bet on 5.5% of tickets with 5.4% of the handle. This is in contrast to Pickens, who is the biggest liability on BetMGM with the Steelers receiver on 13.2% of the tickets and 15.2% of the handle, both the highest at the sportsbook.
However, it’s clear the public is buying into Pierce and his likely role as the starter throughout the season.