With OTAs in full swing around the NFL, let’s examine three bets to make in the award winner futures market.
We start with one of the most underrated head coaches in sports: Mike Tomlin.
Mike Tomlin Coach of the Year (+3000, FanDuel)
Tomlin continues to be undervalued, year in and year out. He is entering his 17th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and despite his decorated career and well-respected reputation, he has never been awarded with the highest honor for a coach: Coach of the Year. I would argue Tomlin did his best coaching job last season with limited weapons and a rookie quarterback, and somehow the Steelers were still in the playoff hunt until the end of the regular season with a 9-8 record. In fact, Tomlin has never had a losing record during his tenure. Currently, the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens are getting the most attention in the AFC North, and the Cleveland Browns are widely considered a “sleeper” team. The Steelers are flying under the radar yet again. With quarterback Kenny Pickett a year older, some added weapons, a strong draft class and a stout defense, I like Tomlin to finally get the recognition he deserves this season.
Joe Burrow to win MVP (+750, DraftKings)
I’m betting that Burrow and his Bengals are poised for a Super Bowl season. Burrow already has accrued seven playoff games over the past two seasons, including one trip to the Super Bowl, and he nearly made it back again last season. Patrick Mahomes and Burrow are the new age Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. With his postseason success already, it seems Mahomes is playing the part of Brady in this analogy. Let’s remember that as great as Brady was, Manning was always there as his nemesis, putting up all-time numbers in his own right. Manning was also able to power his way to a few Super Bowls during the Brady era. I believe Burrow fits that Manning narrative perfectly. Burrow is so gifted and has so many weapons in Cincy that he will get his share of MVPs and a few rings along the way. This year could be his first for both feats.
Anthony Richardson Offensive Rookie of the Year (+600, DraftKings)
After the NFL draft, Richardson was +900 to win this award, but his showing so far has changed that price drastically. The Colts already have one of the best running games in the league with stud running back Jonathan Taylor. With Richardson’s running ability to go alongside his dynamic arm, paired with the menial AFC South competition, Richardson should make an immediate impact on the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium.