New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is the betting favorite to win the 2022 NFL Comeback Player of the Year at -130 odds, but quarterback Geno Smith from the Seattle Seahawks emerged as a legitimate contender at +125 odds.
The Carolina Panthers traded running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers and he already made an impact with his new squad. McCaffrey was the second favorite on the MVP board before Smith emerged as Barkley’s closest competition. McCaffrey is now the third favorite at +700 odds.
2022 NFL COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
|Saquon Barkley (Giants)||-130|
|Geno Smith (Seahawks)||+125|
|Christian McCaffrey (49ers)||+700|
|Derrick Henry (Titans)||+1400|
|Nick Gates (Giants)||+1400|
|Travis Etienne (Jaguars)||+2000|
|Daniel Jones (Giants)||+3500|
|Marcus Mariota (Falcons)||+6000|
Due the severity of injuries in the NFL, the Comeback Player of the Year has a significantly more prestige than winning the CPOY in other major sports leagues. Joe Burrow from the Cincinnati Bengals won the 2021 NFL Comeback Player of the Year last season after recovering from knee surgery, and he was the fourth-straight quarterback to win the honor.
Saquon Barkley -130
A couple of weeks ago, Barkley was a popular pick to win the Comeback Player of the Year after a hot start with the Giants. After missing 21 games in the previous three seasons due to numerous injuries, Barkley has not missed a game this season.
In eight games this season, Barkley rushed 163 times for 779 yards and five touchdowns. He’s the NFL’s second-best rusher and averages 4.8 yards per carry.
Barkley could also become the victim of the success of the Giants (6-2) this season. He also has stiff competition from two other teammates.
Quarterback Daniel Jones thrived under new head coach Brian Daboll after struggling in his first three seasons with the Giants. Jones completed 65% of his passes for 1,399 yards and six touchdowns. He also put his mobility skills on display with 363 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
If you’re looking for a feel-good story, then Nick Gates is your guy. The offensive lineman returned to the Giants after recovering from a fractured fibula and tibia injury that happened in Week 2 of last season. After seven operations and a health scare where he almost lost his leg, Gates just wanted a chance to play again.
The versatile Gates started 21 games for the Giants in four different positions on the offensive line including 17 at center. The Giants recently activated Gates off the PUP list.
Geno Smith +125
A lot of people laughed when Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks were cool with promoting backup quarterback Geno Smith to replace Russell Wilson as the starter after the Seahawks traded Wilson to the Denver Broncos.
At the time, the San Francisco 49ers considered trading Jimmy Garoppolo and the Seahawks were among the favorites to land Jimmy G. The Seahawks ignored the trade rumors and stood pat with Smith as their starter.
The Seahawks/Browns deal for Wilson has been lopsided so far with the Seahawks coming out on top. Wilson struggled with the Broncos, who lost five out of their first seven games including an emotional 17-16 loss against the Seahawks in Week 1 in Seattle.
In the first half of the season, Smith completed 72.7% of his passes for 1,924 yards and 13 touchdowns. He threw only three interceptions in 249 attempts this season. He also added 158 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Smith had been relegated to backup duty ever since he lost the starting job with the New York Jets in 2015. He bounced around the league playing for the Giants, Los Angeles Chargers, and Seahawks. He patiently waited for a second chance to start, and did not waste this opportunity to revitalize his career with the Seahawks.
Oddsmakers lacked faith in the Seahawks after they traded Wilson. The Seahawks were projected to win five games this season as one of the worst teams in the NFL. After winning three games in a row, the Seahawks improved to 5-3 on the season. The Seahawks seized first place in the NFC West, and hold a one-game edge over the 49ers. If the Seahawks can win the division, Smith should win the Comeback Player of the Year and even get some MVP votes.
Geno Smith for MVP?
It’s not a surprise that the three best teams in the NFL — the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City Chiefs — also have the shortest odds to win Super Bowl LVII. Meanwhile, the starting quarterbacks from the top three teams also have the best Most Valuable Player odds.
Josh Allen from the Bills is the consensus betting favorite to win the MVP at +120 odds, followed by Jalen Hurts from the Eagles at +330 odds, and Patrick Mahomes from the Chiefs at +400 odds.
Although Smith is still a long shot to win the Most Valuable Player, his odds vastly improved over the last month. Smith is now the seventh-highest player on DraftKings’ NFL awards board at +2800 odds to win the 2022 MVP.
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