Any time you can successfully fade the top two favorites in a betting market, you’re well on your way to finding some value. That’s exactly what we’re going to do with this year’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. The icing on this value cake is that BetMGM is offering the longest odds of any sportsbook on many of these players.
Fading the favorites
Tennessee Titans wrecking ball Derrick Henry sits atop the field as a +300 favorite to win the award. I’m passing up on the running back for a plethora of reasons. First of all, he already made his comeback from a right foot fracture at the end of last season when he returned for Tennessee’s home playoff loss to the Bengals.
Henry is a machine, but he’s a machine that has taken a pounding. His 900 carries over the last three seasons leads the NFL by a healthy margin. Dalvin Cook ranks second with 811 totes, despite playing two more games. Henry often finishes his runs in the field of play, and all those hits add up over time. I’m not saying he’ll be a dud this season; I just don’t think there’s enough value at +300 for the kind of numbers he’ll need to post to get this award.
The other favorite who I’m fading is Deshaun Watson (+650). Even if Watson dodges a suspension this season and puts up MVP numbers, I can’t see a majority of writers voting for him to win any honors. When Mike Vick was named Comeback Player of the Year in 2010, he had already served time, expressed remorse for his actions and sat through an entire season on the bench in 2009.
This is going to seem like one of us is having a stroke when you read this next part, but it’s true: Winston was enjoying an MVP season last year before tearing his ACL. Famous Jameis threw 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions as the Saints went 5-2 in the seven games he started. New Orleans went 4-6 without him and missed the playoffs, but at least we know that the LASIK surgery worked.
Quarterbacks have won this award the last four years and 10 of the last 14 times. Of the previous eight winners, seven players were returning from injuries. BetMGM’s +750 price on Winston is currently the longest odds offered by any sportsbook.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (+900)
It’s impossible to know which version of Thomas will return from his ankle injury and general malaise, but I’m willing to wager a small amount that the NFL’s single-season receptions record holder still has some gas left in the tank.
The target tree in New Orleans only has a few branches and Thomas is the biggest one when he’s healthy. A return to dominance could make him the first wide receiver to win the award since Keenan Allen in 2017.
Star power goes a long way when it comes to this trophy. If you’re not overcoming a life-threatening injury or illness like Alex Smith in 2020 or Eric Berry in 2015, it helps to be a household name. The top pick in fantasy football drafts over the last few years definitely has that.
In 2019, McCaffrey became only the third player in NFL history to gain 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. He’s an unbelievable talent.
The Panthers’ front office, unfortunately, isn’t so talented. Their decisions to rush McCaffrey back to action through his injuries in 2020 and 2021 were borderline negligent.
The Rams ranked fifth in passing yards last season, throwing the ball on 60% of their offensive plays. Robert Woods is gone and Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t been re-signed, opening the door for football vacuum Robinson to see a ton of volume.
It’s fair to question whether Robinson still has the ability to separate like he used to, but he’s still blessed with incredible hands and should get plenty of opportunities in the red zone while the defense have their own hands full with Cooper Kupp. A double-digit touchdown campaign following his 12-game, one-touchdown season could be enough to win Comeback Player of the Year.
There are a number of perfect landing spots for Fuller, who missed most of 2021 with a broken thumb. The speedster would fit right in with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
Maybe the best fit, though, would be a reunion with Watson in Cleveland. The two torched the league when they were together in Houston, with Fuller catching 10 touchdowns in their first seven games together and then eight touchdowns in their last nine games as a duo. Cleveland finally has a quarterback who can throw an accurate deep ball and Fuller would give them a receiver who can catch it.
WWE always tells fans that the card is subject to change so it’s always possible that someone who is advertised for a show might not actually appear.
When WWE sent word out about Money In The Bank heading to Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders, several major names were advertised. SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, Charlotte Flair, Bobby Lashley, and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns were all advertised to appear but that is no longer the case.
The original ad listed Reigns, Lesnar, Rousey, Lashley, Flair, Becky Lynch, Drew McIntyre, and Bianca Belair. The new ad features Belair, Matt Riddle, Cody Rhodes, The Miz, Rhea Ripley, The Street Profits, and Drew McIntyre.
Flair is getting married soon and she is taking time off to be with her husband Andrade El Idolo. Rousey being pulled is surprising since she is looked at as a draw and Reigns is also surprising because, as reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there were three major matches planned for him this summer. Reigns was reportedly scheduled for matches against Riddle, Randy Orton, and Drew McIntyre. One of those matches may have to wait until a later date if Reigns doesn’t appear at MITB.
After missing 31 months with two major lower leg injuries, Thompson is understandably excited to be back on the big stage. If the Warriors can close out the Mavericks in Game 5, the three-time NBA champion can shimmy all night long.
Dub Nation is certainly enjoying the Warriors’ Western Conference finals performance against the Dallas Mavericks, but they might be having just as much fun getting into it with Charles Barkley ahead of home games.
Now, his fellow TNT analysts are joining in on the fun.
Before Game 5 of the series at Chase Center on Thursday, Shaquille O’Neal helped the crowd poke fun at his “Inside the NBA” co-host, who has been subjected to “Chuck you suck” chants whenever he steps foot near Thrive City.
With his microphone in hand as a makeshift baton, O’Neal honked on a Golden State-colored plastic horn as he encouraged the Barkley chant from the “Inside the NBA” outdoor set.
In another clip, O’Neal can be seen pumping his fist along to the chant and encouraging the crowd to yell even louder.
Along with O’Neal’s antics, Kenny Smith laughed that he was seated next to San Francisco’s “Public Enemy No. 1” during the pregame show — a title well-earned after Barkley called the city “hell” and has openly rooted against the Warriors throughout the West finals.
And after picking the Mavericks to advance to the NBA Finals over Golden State, Barkley on Thursday picked the Boston Celtics to win the championship. The Celtics currently hold a three-games-to-two lead over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.