2021 nfl awards best bets nfl josh allen
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Could Bills quarterback Josh Allen take that next step and hoist the NFL’s top individual award during his fourth season?

The NFL won’t be announcing the winners of numerous prestigious awards for months.

But do you think people are just going to wait to bet money on the potential recipients of those honors? Do you understand how impatient some individuals are?

Bettors are already placing wagers on the 2021 league awards, including the Coach of the Year along with the annual MVP.

Given the number of current candidates for each piece of hardware, it could be challenging to decipher who to open your wallet for.

Luckily, ESNY has you covered.

Bills QB Josh Allen to win MVP (+1400, BetMGM)

This is the year in which Josh Allen takes that next step and wins the league’s top individual award.

With incredible upside, a great coaching staff, and all the intangibles, the star Bills quarterback is only going to improve, just like he did during his phenomenal 2020 campaign.

The arm strength; the enhanced decision-making; the mobility; the size — he looks like a quarterback that was built in a lab. And with further growth still to come mentally, Allen should continue to ascend up the quarterback rankings in this league.

With +1400 odds at BetMGM, betting Allen to win MVP should be a superb value play.

Bet Josh Allen to win the NFL MVP at BetMGM by clicking here.

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Jets QB Zach Wilson to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (+900, BetMGM)

Trey Lance and Justin Fields may not be playing the entire season due to the 49ers and Bears starting Jimmy Garoppolo and Andy Dalton, respectively.

Trevor Lawrence is a generational quarterback but may undergo a rough rookie season due to the lack of talent around him in Jacksonville.

As for Zach Wilson and Mac Jones, I just believe the former will raise more eyebrows given the obvious upside.

Also, none of the non-quarterbacks intrigue me as much as Wilson does in regard to this specific award.

Wilson has the tools to succeed both through the air and on the ground while Jones is really only capable of producing via the former route. The Jets‘ quarterback situation is more inclined to produce oohs and aahs than the Patriots’ one.

Taking that into consideration, along with the fact that Wilson doesn’t possess a half-bad supporting cast (Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Michael Carter are expected to be reliable weapons), betting Wilson +900 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year could be a beneficial play.

Bet Zach Wilson to win OROY at BetMGM by clicking here.

Colts DE Kwity Paye to win Defensive Rookie of the Year (+1200, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Kwity Paye turned heads in the preseason and racked up a pair of sacks through two exhibition games.

Opposing offensive lines focusing heavily on DeForest Buckner could lead to Paye finding a number of opportunities to record sacks in his inaugural NFL season. His immense talent as a first-round draft pick will additionally assist with this development.

I’ve always been higher on Paye than Cowboys rookie linebacker Micah Parsons, who owns the highest odds (+600) to win this award at DraftKings Sportsbook. Given that, along with the value for Paye (+1200), this choice wasn’t all that difficult for me.

Bet Kwity Paye to win DROY at DraftKings Sportsbook by clicking here.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara to win Offensive Player of the Year (+2000, PointsBet)

I love Jameis Winston, but he still isn’t an elite quarterback.

Head coach Sean Payton and the offensive weapons in New Orleans will need to make life easier for the veteran signal-caller, which means Alvin Kamara could have an enormous role and see more opportunities to produce than he’s ever had.

Kamara earned 187 carries and 107 targets last season — expect either of those numbers to increase, especially the latter given Michael Thomas’ PUP list placement.

The offense may need to run through the fifth-year running back following the retirement of Drew Brees, which could lead to Kamara becoming 2021’s most productive back and overall offensive player.

Bet Alvin Kamara to win OPOY at PointsBet by clicking here.

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Steelers EDGE T.J. Watt to win Defensive Player of the Year (+800, FOX Bet)

T.J. Watt could very much take that next step this year and earn the Defensive Player of the Year.

The Steelers outside linebacker is arguably the top edge rusher in the league after he racked up 13.0, 14.5, and 15.0 sacks respectively from 2018-20.

He’s still young at the age of 26 and will seemingly only improve, which is great news for both him and the Steelers.

Watt has earned a first-team All-Pro selection each of the last two years, so he’s already on the path to winning this prestigious award.

Bet T.J. Watt to win DPOY at FOX Bet by clicking here.

Giants RB Saquon Barkley to win Comeback Player of the Year (+700, DraftKings Sportsbook)

If Saquon Barkley can just remain healthy, he could return to his 2018 rookie-year form. For context, Barkley led the league with 2,028 scrimmage yards that season and additionally won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Returning to that type of production could lead him to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Remember, this award is based on a dramatic turnaround from one year to the next. Going from missing 14 games due to an ACL tear to being a prime asset of this Giants offense would definitely be deemed a “dramatic turnaround.” And since Barkley is capable of doing that, betting on him to win this award at +700 could be beneficial for your wallet.

Bet Saquon Barkley to win CPOY at DraftKings Sportsbook by clicking here.

Chargers HC Brandon Staley to win Coach of the Year (+1400, FOX Bet)

In his inaugural year as an NFL head coach, Brandon Staley could be part of the Chargers returning to the postseason for the first time since the 2018 campaign.

This would be a tremendous look, and it’s also worth noting how possible it is.

Los Angeles employs an up-and-coming star quarterback in Justin Herbert and a reliable supporting cast around him. Not to mention, the defense was 10th in yards allowed last year.

Taking a 7-9 team from a year ago to the playoffs as a rookie head coach is a great achievement and is something that would intrigue the award voters.

The long odds of +1400 are also interesting — a $100 wager at FOX Bet would earn you a profit of $1400 if it were to occur.

Bet Brandon Staley to win COY at FOX Bet by clicking here.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.