Watt, Elliott betting favorites for 2016 NFL Awards at Sportsbooks

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Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt has seen limited action at the team’s Offseason Team Activities after undergoing offseason surgery, but the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year remains a strong favorite to maintain his crown in 2016 at +275 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Watt endured an injury-plagued campaign in 2015 but remained an important part of Houston’s drive to the AFC South title, leading the NFL with 17.5 sacks, and is expected to be 100% ready for the club’s Week 1 matchup with the Chicago Bears at NRG Stadium.

Linebacker Von Miller of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos is currently Watt’s closest competition, pegged at +600 odds to win the award.

Miller failed to duplicate his strong numbers from the 2014 regular season in last year’s campaign, racking up just 35 tackles, but played a pivotal role in the Broncos’ victory at Super Bowl 50, earning game MVP honors.

Khalil Mack (+700) is the only other DPOY candidate sporting odds under +1000. The Oakland Raiders lineman has tallied 153 tackles over his first two NFL seasons, and earned Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 14 of last season.

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly picked up the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013 and is a +1000 bet to do it again, alongside the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald, while Seattle’s Richard Sherman trails at +1500.

On the opposite side of the ball, running back Ezekiel Elliott has seen his odds of being named Offensive Rookie of the Year steadily climb of late, and he is now perched as the heavy -125 betting favorite at the sportsbooks.

Selected by the Dallas Cowboys fourth overall at the 2016 NFL Draft, Elliott enjoyed a stellar college career at Ohio State, earning Offensive MVP honors following the Buckeyes’ victory in the national championship game and running for 23 touchdowns last season.

This first overall pick, quarterback Jared Goff, sits back of Elliott in OROY betting at +650.

Selected by the freshly relocated Rams, Goff threw for 43 touchdowns and a Pac-12 conference record 4,714 yards for the California Golden Bears last season, and has been a focus at the Rams’ OTAs in the absence of veteran pivot Nick Foles.

Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Doctson follows at +1200 on those NFL betting props, joined by Minnesota’s Laquon Treadwell, while reigning Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry is pegged at +1600, deadlocked with receivers Corey Coleman and Sterling Sheppard, and rushers Kenneth Dixon and Jordan Howard.

Drew Brees, Le’Veon Bell Favorites in NFL Season Leader Props

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When it comes to betting props on NFL individual leaders, the tried-and-true works for picking a passing yards leader while rushing and receiving leaders are a little more random.

With training camps set to open in a matter of days, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a +300 favorite to lead the NFL in passing yards at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Brees has led (or co-led) the NFL in aerial yards five times in the last six seasons, with the lone exception coming in 2013 when Peyton Manning complied a NFL-record 5,477.

Brees will still have Willie Snead and Michael Thomas as outlets for his passes and, assuming the Saints’ defense stays near the bottom of the league, will have the opportunity to get into a few offensive shootouts.

The Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan (+400) and New England Patriots’ Tom Brady (+500) are the next two on the board. Ryan and the Falcons are likely to face a tougher schedule than what it turned out they had in 2016. Brady has only led the NFL in yards once, in 2007, and would be the oldest player to do so if he succeeds this season.

Based on 2016 won-loss records, the Indianapolis Colts and QB Andrew Luck (+1400) have the easiest schedule in the league, which could lead to Luck putting up some big numbers against softer competition. Another valid darkhorse play is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston (+1600), since he will have a 1-2 punch at receiver with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson and a team that still relies on being pass-heavy.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell (+300) and Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott (+350) are tightly bunched atop the NFL rushing champion futures board. Bell will no doubt be among the leaders in yards from scrimmage per game, but he’s only played 16 games once in four seasons. While there hasn’t been a back-to-back rushing leader in 10 years, Elliott will be running behind an excellent Dallas offensive line.

The Los Angeles Rams’ third-year workhorse Todd Gurley (+2000) will be in a new offensive system and, hopefully for the Rams, will be better complemented by second-year QB Jared Goff in the passing phase. That would give Gurley a fairer shot at breaking big runs on the regular.

Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown (+400) and Atlanta’s Julio Jones (+400) are co-favorites on the odds to tally the most receiving yards, with the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham (+500) also coming in highly touted. Brown had two fewer targets per game in 2016 than in ’15, meaning he might be a less high-volume receiver now that he is 29. Jones has a receiving title from 2015, but last season the Falcons were most efficient when they spread the ball around.

Last year, the Indianapolis Colts’ T.Y. Hilton (+1200 this year) led the league in yards after being listed at +3300 in the preseason. Among the potential 2017 replicants are New England’s Brandin Cooks (+3300), who is expected to be the field-stretching target the Patriots have managed to do without since the Randy Moss days a decade ago. The aforementioned Mike Evans (+1200) is also close to a sure thing to get 11-12 targets per game in Tampa Bay and the continued development of Winston could make him a 1,500-yard receiver.

The last 12 league leaders in receiving yardage have been less than 30 years old at the start of the season. That trend has been consistent dating to the mid-1990s, with 19 of the last 21 receiving leaders being players who were no older than 29 at the start of the season.

Internet reacts to O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing

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In case you weren’t aware, O.J. Simpson was granted parole and the internet went crazy.

Cue hilarious tweets.