Cam Akers’ Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds Steadily Improving, Now a Top 5 Contender

Sean McVay on the practice field.

Will Cam Akers be the lead dog in the Los Angeles Rams backfield in 2020? Photo by The 621st Contingency Response Wing (Wikimedia).
  • The Los Angeles Rams drafted Cam Akers with the No. 52 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft
  • The Rams have moved on from Todd Gurley, so there should be opportunity for Akers to pick up work in the backfield
  • Read below to find out if the Rams rookie is worth a wager for OROY

The Los Angeles Rams didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft but used one of their two second-rounders to nab running back Cam Akers.

Since the draft, his odds to win the NFL OROY odds have shortened as many people now feel that he has a legitimate shot at winning the award. He’s still as low as +2000 at some books, so should you invest?

2020 NFL Rookie Of The Year Odds

Player Odds
Joe Burrow +225
Clyde Edwards-Helaire +350
Cam Akers +900
Jonathan Taylor +1000
Tua Tagovailoa +1000
Ceedee Lamb +1500
Ke’Shawn Vaughn +1500
Jerry Jeudy +1600
JK Dobbins +2200
D’Andre Swift +2400

Odds taken June 12th

Akers’ Odds Too Long to Begin With

I made three bets on this Rookie of the Year prop right when the odds opened up and Akers was my long shot selection. He was in the +2400 range, which didn’t make sense because he could be a primary back in an offense that could be pretty good. Of course there are big question marks, but with this prop, I’m looking for opportunity.

As we see now, the odds have shifted down quite a bit as he’s as low as +900 at some books, which puts him in the Top 5 for this prop, and at +1450 on average. Clearly, some of the value has been sucked out of this line.

Akers Will Have Opportunity

Say what you want about the Rams backfield (that it’s crowded, that there are people ahead of Akers on the depth chart or whatever else), but here’s what we know: the Rams cut ties with Todd Gurley in the offseason. They had Malcolm Brown, who seems to be a decent backup, But he only had 69 carries last season.

Even though the Rams had Gurley and Brown last season, they still felt they needed a running back as they spent a third-round pick on Darrell Henderson in the 2019 NFL Draft. Henderson totaled just 147 rushing yards last season and didn’t really flash the explosive plays he showed in college. Henderson is also still nursing an ankle injury he suffered six months ago.

When you add it up, it appears that the Rams originally upgraded over Brown, then drafted Akers because they aren’t fully sold on Brown or Henderson. Could this light a fire under Henderson? Possibly. Could Brown end up being the guy? Of course. However, this is opportunity for Akers here – especially if he’s the real deal.

The other key here to point out is that Akers should be the most complete back. Henderson has issues with pass protection and Brown doesn’t look like a home-run hitter when he has the ball in his hands. Akers has upside as a three-down back, arguably with better athleticism than the two guys in front of him. That’s why I see opportunity here.

What’s the Best Bet?

If you can still get Akers at +2000, he’s worth a flier. While many people feel the running back position has become devalued in today’s NFL, the Rookie of the Year Award often goes to backs. A running back has won the award in two of the last three seasons and four of the last seven.

There are still lots of questions about this Rams team and offense – especially the offensive line – but Akers is worth a small flier at +2000. I see him being the lead dog in this backfield this season.

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