If you can’t wait for football season to start, but you want to get involved in other betting options outside of the Super Bowl, there are a variety of other prop and rookie bets that you can make to get in on the action. Here is a look at some of those options.
Jadeveon Clowney – Total Sacks
Over 8.5 (+105)
Under 8.5 (-145)
With the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina, with the hopes that he would add to an already formidable defense that will include JJ Watt and Brian Cushing. Clowney was widely considered to be the top available choice for the Number One pick in the draft because of his physicality. However, his work ethic was continually in question after it appeared he wasn’t giving it his all during his last year at South Carolina. That said, Clowney is a physical beast and is expected to compete with NFL offensive linemen. Despite Watt and Cushing also commanding attention on defense, the odds are not in favor of Clowney getting more than 8.5 sacks this season.
Johnny Manziel – Games Started
Over 8.5 (-125)
Under 8.5 (-115)
While Clowney may have been considered the most-sure pick in the NFL Draft, Johnny Manziel may be the biggest wildcard with potential huge returns. The Cleveland Browns chose him with the 22nd pick in the draft and they certainly do have a need at quarterback. However, Manziel could be without Josh Gordon, due to the looming potential of a season-long suspension. Even if Gordon plays, there is no saying that Manziel will start over Brian Hoyer for enough games to cover this bet. On top of it all, the Browns are still in the same division as the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers, all of whom the Browns will have to play twice during the season. Much like Manziel’s draft day uncertainty, this bet is a wildcard that has huge potential written all over it.
Frontrunners for 2014 AP NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year
Sammy Watkins (4/1 odds) was regarded as the top wide receivers in the 2014 draft, after a stellar career at Clemson. Watkins was drafted by the Bills with the fourth pick in the draft, and he’ll get an immediate chance to be a star with the departure of Stevie Johnson. The success of Watkins could depend on EJ Manuel, who is entering his second season after an injury-plagued rookie campaign.
Mike Evans (6/1) was the second receiver picked in the draft, as Tampa Bay picked him up at seventh overall. Evans flourished at Texas A&M with Johnny Manziel throwing to him, as he achieved Freshman All-SEC honors in 2012 and First-Team All-SEC during his sophomore campaign. He was also a Consensus All-American in 2013. He’ll have Josh McCown throwing to him, though he may not be the go to receiver just yet, as Vincent Jackson is a proven wide out for the Bucs.
Odell Beckham Jr (8/1) may not have been the first receiver selected in the draft, but he may be the one that could flourish the most in his rookie season. After all, Watkins and Evans certainly don’t have the likes of Eli Manning throwing to them. Beckham Jr. won the Paul Hornung Award in 2013, and he was also a Third-Team AP All-American. Keep an eye out for Beckham Jr. on special teams as well, as he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine, so you know he can get big gains if he finds space.
Johnny Manziel is also listed at 8/1 odds for the AP Offensive Rookie Of The Award.
Jordan Matthews (10/1) will hope that Nick Foles can follow up his excellent first year, while also acclimating into Chip Kelly’s spread offense. Matthews will have room to get touches, considering the Eagles let go of DeSean Jackson this offseason. While at Vanderbilt, Matthews was a two-time First Team All-SEC selection, and the Eagles picked him 42nd overall this past April.
Eric Ebron (10/1) has the potential to get a lot of looks this season, as Calvin Johnson gets so many double teams in Detroit. Ebron played at North Carolina in college and the Lions selected him with the 10th overall pick in the draft. Ebron was also a Second-team All-American in 2013.
Other Offensive Rookie Of The Year Odds
Brandin Cooks : 12/1
Kelvin Benjamin & Cody Latimer : 15/1
Blake Bortles : 18/1
Jace Amaro, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, Marqise Lee & Austin Seferian Jenkins : 20/1.
Frontrunners for 2014 AP NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year
Jadeveon Clowney is the frontrunner at 2/1 odds.
Khalil Mack (4/1) was the fifth overall pick in this years draft, as the Raiders selected him to fill holes at the linebacker position. Mack was dominant at Buffalo, but he certainly didn’t go against the likes of Peyton Manning, Alex Smith or Phillip Rivers, which he’ll have to do on multiple occasions in the AFC West. That being said, Mack was the MAC Defensive Player of the Year this past season, as well as a First-Team All-American selection.
Aaron Donald (8/1) was a unanimous All-American in 2013, as well as the winner of the Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, and he was the ACC Defensive Player Of The Year. That is a host of accolades that he earned while at Pittsburgh, which he’ll hope his success continues over as a member of the St. Louis Rams.
Ryan Shazier (8/1) was one of the most dominant linebackers in the nation while at Ohio State, earning First-Team All-American and First-Team All-Big Ten accolades in his junior year. The Pittsburgh Steelers picked him up with the 15th pick in the draft, to add to a defense that includes Jarvis Jones, Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor.
Anthony Barr (10/1) was a Consensus All American and First-Team All-Pac-12 during his junior season while at UCLA. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the hopes of sprucing up a defense that was 31st in the league last year, allowing 287.2 yards per game.
Other Defensive Rookie Of The Year Odds
Justin Gilbert, Kyle Fuller, Dee Ford & CJ Mosley: 15/1
Darqueze Dennard: 20/1
Ha Ha Clinton Dix, Bradley Roby & Calvin Pryor: 25/1
Marcus Smith, Timmy Jernigan, Jason Verrett, Rashade Hageman, Kyle Van Noy, Stephon Tuitt: 30/1
Demarcus Lawrence, Deon Bucannon, Dominique Easley, Jimmie Ward: 40/1.