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.