NFL Odds: Bryant among rookie favorites

By: Brad Young | Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant, the 24th overall pick, is among the Rookie of the Year favorites.

July is one of the slowest months on the sports betting calendar unless you are a fan of the Tour de France, Wimbledon or a Major League Baseball campaign that finds itself halfway through a marathon 162-game regular season.

The World Cup is adding some much-needed excitement for this time of year, but that event only happens every four years and is over July 11.

Thankfully the National Football League will begin camps later in July, meaning the best part of the sports calendar will soon follow.  There has been plenty of movement on team futures after the latest NFL Draft, and many changes can be directly attributed to how well teams did or didn't do in the NFL Draft.

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The St. Louis Rams acquired quarterback Sam Bradford with the first pick of the draft, and he has yet to sign on the dotted line.  However, the former Oklahoma signal caller is expected to ink a $50 million deal soon and be in camp. 

St. Louis was a 200/1 long shot when it won Super Bowl XXXIV behind then-unknown quarterback Kurt Warner. The Rams remain the team with the longest odds of winning this year’s Super Bowl at 150/1. 

St. Louis earned the league’s first pick by going a dismal 1-15 last season, getting outscored by an astonishing 261 points after scoring just 175 points and allowing 436.  It will take more than a first-year, franchise quarterback to get this team back into contention this season.

Detroit, just 2-14 last season, selected defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh with the second pick in an effort to bolster its defense.  The Lions surrendered a league-high 494 points last season, and the Nebraska run stopper figures on greatly improving the defensive line.  Suh figures on being a major factor in this year’s NFL Rookie of the Year balloting, especially if the defense improves at stopping the run.

Detroit selected QB Matthew Stafford with last year’s top pick, and the team is hoping an improved defense will get this franchise turned around.  Despite the solid selection of Suh, the Lions have seen their Super Bowl odds grow longer from 80/1 to a current 100/1.

Another preseason NFL Rookie of the Year candidate will be Kansas City safety Eric Berry.  The former Tennessee Volunteer was brought in to help a defense that allowed 424 points.  Berry was a lockdown cornerback in college, earning the Jim Thorpe Award along with being an All-American his last two seasons in Knoxville.

The Chiefs have seen their odds improve from 125/1 to 100/1 to win Super Bowl XLV.

Dallas also drafted well despite picking later in the draft, selecting wideout Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State with the 24th pick.  There is always a spotlight on this franchise, especially since Super Bowl XLV will be played at Cowboy Stadium on February 6, 2011.

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No team has ever played a Super Bowl in its home stadium, though there have been some close calls.  The then-Los Angeles Rams played Super Bowl XIV at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, but their home games were held at the LA Memorial Coliseum.  San Francisco won Super Bowl XIX in Palo Alto, just down the road from what was then called Candlestick Park.

Dallas has been missing a big-play receiver since Terrell Owens left town, but Bryant figures to fill that need with his playmaking abilities.  Bryant will wear Michael Irvin’s number 88, but the team is hoping he avoids the off-the-field issues that plagued the Hall of Fame receiver.

Dallas' Super Bowl odds have moved slightly from 15/2 to 8/1.

Bryant is the co-favorite at The Greek.com to win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.  He and Chargers  running back Ryan Mathews are both listed at plus 500.  Ben Tate, the Auburn running back selected 58th overall by the Houston Texans is next at plus 600 followed by the Lions' Jahvid Best (plus 650) and Bradford (plus 800).

Suh and Berry are listed at plus 500 for defensive honors. The field has the shortest price after that duo at plus 650.

 
 
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