We are inching closer to the start of the regular season. All of the preseason exhibitions have been played, teams have trimmed their rosters to 53, and now we wait until Sept. 7 when the Chiefs and Lions get the 2023 season underway. Before they do, however, we're going to call our shots on various awards for the upcoming season.
Below, you'll find our staff predictions for some of the notable season-long awards, including MVP. You can also find many more futures picks in SportsLine's NFL Futures Betting Guide, which includes picks on every team total and more betting strategy for the 2023 NFL season, as well as the full futures portfolio for SportsLine's top NFL expert R.J. White, which includes several longshot plays with odds as long as 500-1.
Before we get started, here's a rundown of the staff members making the picks: Pete Prisco, Will Brinson, Eric Kernish, John Breech, Ryan Wilson, Jordan Dajani, Jared Dubin, Josh Edwards, Tyler Sullivan, Bryan DeArdo, Cody Benjamin, Garrett Podell and Jeff Kerr.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
Key MVP odds
- Patrick Mahomes (+600)
- Joe Burrow (+700)
- Josh Allen (+750)
- Jalen Hurts (+900)
- Justin Herbert (+950)
- Lamar Jackson (+1400)
- Aaron Rodgers (+1500)
- Trevor Lawrence (+1800)
- Tua Tagovailoa (+2200)
- Justin Fields (+2500)
- Dak Prescott (+2500)
Prisco: Trevor Lawrence (+1800). He will roll up big numbers and they will win 13 games to be the top seed in the AFC. The schedule and the division are favorable. They might score 500 points, and he will throw for 37 touchdowns and 4,800 yards.
Benjamin: Patrick Mahomes (+600). Boring, but there just isn't anyone as automatic under center. Give him any combo of WRs, and he'll ball out.
Dubin: Patrick Mahomes (+600). I see no reason to pick anybody else when he's very obviously the best and most valuable player in football.
Edwards: Joe Burrow (+700). There may be voter fatigue with Patrick Mahomes so this could be the year Burrow is crowned. There is a tremendous amount of respect for Burrow around the league and establishing themselves as an AFC contender for the third straight year should be enough to impress voters.
Wilson: Justin Herbert (+950). If history is any guide, Herbert and the Chargers will have to win the division before there can be any MVP talk, coach Brandon Staley is in a make-it-or-break-it year and this team has shown glimpses of being really, really good. Herbert is the key to it all and he's already one of the best players in the league. If he -- and L.A., by extension -- can put it all together, the team will be celebrating more than its franchise quarterback's MVP award.
Kernish: Justin Herbert (+950). The switch to Kellen Moore at OC should not only open up the team's air attack, but set Herbert up for career numbers and a real shot at his first MVP.
Sullivan: Trevor Lawrence (+1800). Love the value we're getting with Lawrence, who is primed to have a career year as he enters his second season with Doug Pederson at the helm. Oh, and he also has a new No. 1 wide receiver in Calvin Ridley to help boost his stats. The Jaguars have a chance to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC thanks to their soft division and that should only bolster Lawrence's MVP chances.
Dajani: Joe Burrow (+700). It's Joe Burrow's time. The 26-year-old is hitting his prime, as is his No. 1 wideout Ja'Marr Chase.
DeArdo: Jalen Hurts (+900). Hurts was the front-runner to win it before an injury sidelined him late last season. He should win it this year unless Mahomes or Joe Burrow has something to say about it.
Kerr: Jalen Hurts (+900). Like the value, as he can throw for 30 TD and run for 10 TD. If Eagles win 12 to 14 games again, Hurts should win this.
Podell: Justin Herbert (+950). Herbert is historically prolific: his 14,089 passing yards are the most in NFL history through three seasons and his 94 passing touchdowns are the second-most through three seasons in league history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (98). With a legit offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore, plus the addition of first-round receiver Quentin Johnston to an offense already teeming with weapons, Herbert has a shot to become of the NFL's clear-cut elite quarterbacks by powering the Chargers past Patrick Mahomes and the Super Bowl champion Chiefs.
Brinson: Josh Allen (+750). After an offseason of nothing but doubt for the Bills and hype for the division-rival Jets, Allen comes into this season somehow under the radar. When the Bills go nuclear off his right arm, he'll finally earn his first MVP award.
Breech: Dak Prescott (+2500). Dak finally has two top receivers who can both put up big numbers and if you combine that with the fact that the Cowboys running game is a giant question mark this year with Tony Pollard coming off an injury, I think we could see a career year from Prescott.
Offensive Rookie of the Year best bets
Prisco: Bryce Young (+450). The only knock on him is his size, and it is a concern. But I think he can step in and play like a veteran as a rookie, which is why he will win this award.
Dubin: Bijan Robinson (+275). Just because it's probably not the best use of resources to take a running back in the first round, doesn't mean that running back won't be immediately awesome.
Edwards: Anthony Richardson (+650). Passing is going to be a chore for most rookies so the added element of Richardson's rushing pushes him over the edge.
Wilson: Bijan Robinson (+275). This is an unremarkable choice, yes. Not because Robinson isn't a truly special talent, but because choosing him to win OROY couldn't be more obvious. But he's the most important player on Atlanta's offense after second-year QB Desmond Ridder; more important than Drake London, more important than Kyle Pitts. He'll be Ridder's best friend, both as a true runner, and as a safety valve in the pass game.
Kernish: Bijan Robinson (+275). The talented rookie landed in a perfect spot to showcase his skill set in Atlanta and will have no problem churning out yards and production in this young, up-and-coming offense.
Sullivan: Jordan Addison (+2200). Like the long-shot play with Addison here. He's impressed throughout the summer and if he adopts Adam Thielen's 107 targets from last season, he'll have plenty of opportunities to put up numbers in a pass-happy Vikings offense.
Dajani: Bijan Robinson (+275). Chalk? Sure, but I think Arthur Smith has found his dual-threat Derrick Henry, if you will. Plus, I'm not overly confident in the rookie quarterbacks.
DeArdo: Zay Flowers (+1600). Flowers just edged out Bijan Robinson, largely because Flowers is on a better team with a former league MVP throwing him the ball.
Kerr: Bijan Robinson (+275). Behind that Falcons run-blocking offensive line? Enough said.
Podell: Bryce Young (+450). Bijan Robinson may not put up massive numbers right away with both Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson threatening to take touches away from him in Atlanta. Without Jonathan Taylor, Anthony Richardson may struggle in Indianapolis. Bryce Young is the best positioned for immediate success with veteran pass-catchers and a solid coaching staff around him.
Brinson: Bryce Young (+450). Quarterbacks don't have to win a ton of games to take home this award, so Bryce fits perfectly, even if he's one of the top favorites (around 5-1). The Panthers will either improve their offensive line play or scheme up stuff to keep Bryce from taking too many shots. The weapons are better than you think.
Breech: Bryce Young (+450). If Young can lead the Panthers to seven or eight wins, I think that will be enough to earn him rookie of the year and I think that could happen. His biggest competition will likely come from Bijan Robinson, but I'm rolling with young because I think voters seem to like quarterbacks a little more when it comes to this award.
Defensive Rookie of the Year best bets
Prisco: Emmanuel Forbes (+1500). Hey a corner won it last year. This kid has all the tools to be a dominant player outside on what will be a good defense.
Dubin: Will Anderson Jr. (+500). This award usually goes to a guy with a high sack total, and Anderson seems like the best bet to rack up takedowns.
Edwards: Christian Gonzalez (+1000). Gonzalez is the prototypical man coverage cornerback in Bill Belichick's scheme. I have little confidence in anyone being able to put up monster statistics so Gonzalez may have the opportunity and coaching to rise to the top.
Wilson: Emmanuel Forbes (+1500). Forbes is a long shot for DROY when compared to Jalen Carter or Will Anderson, but here's the thing: a year ago, Sauce Gardner won the award, and over the last eight years, cornerbacks have earned the honor three times (Marshon Lattimore in '17, Marcus Peters in '15). And Forbes arrived in Washington with legit DROY pedigree; he had 14 career interceptions at Mississippi State from 2020-2023, including six last season -- and six career pick-sixes. And turnovers translate from one level to the next; typically, players who get a lot of interceptions in college end up getting a lot in the NFL, which is potentially good news for the Commanders and bad news for the rest of the NFC East.
Kernish: Will Anderson Jr. (+500). A monster defender ready to take down quarterbacks at a high clip. Texans paid a premium to draft him, and he will not disappoint in the slightest.
Sullivan: Christian Gonzalez (+1000). Gonzalez has been a plug-and-play starter for the Patriots on the outside dating to the spring. Bill Belichick and the rest of the staff clearly believe he can take on a sizable role early and should be able to produce out of the gate. He'll also have plenty of high-profile matchups this season, which could make or break his candidacy.
Dajani: Emmanuel Forbes (+1500). Forbes is a ball hawk who can rack up interceptions and is a willing participant in run support despite his smaller frame. If one of these EDGE guys doesn't go wild with sacks, we could see a cornerback win DROY again.
DeArdo: Jalen Carter (+500). It didn't take long for Carter to impress his teammates, and it won't take long for him to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
Kerr: Jalen Carter (+500). Saw enough of Carter in camp to know he'll be a force in 2023. Hard for DTs to win this however.
Podell: Will Anderson Jr. (+500). Will Anderson Jr. led all of college football in quarterback pressures (207), quarterback hits (71), tackles for loss (58.5), and sacks 34.5) across his three-year Alabama career. He could lead his rookie class in those figures under the tutelage of head coach DeMeco Ryans, one of the best Texans defenders in franchise history.
Brinson: Jack Campbell (+1200). The toughest award to figure out, so I'll take the first-round tackling machine on a Lions team that's expected to be good for the second time in the last 500 years. Campbell's a Dan Campbell type of guy.
Breech: Jalen Carter (+500). The Eagles rookie is joining a stacked defense in Philadelphia, which I think gives him the best chance to win. Philly's opponents likely won't be paying much attention to him, which should give Carter a chance to put up some impressive numbers.
Offensive Player of the Year best bets
Prisco: Christian McCaffrey (+1100). He's going to be a 1,000-1,000 guy. He's going to rush for 1,500 yards and catch passes for over 1,000. He's the best combo back in the league, which is where numbers get accumulated for backs to win the award.
Dubin: Josh Allen (+3000). Recently this award has gone to a non-quarterback, but I think there's room for it to go to whomever proves themselves second behind Mahomes.
Wilson: Justin Jefferson (+1200). Yeah, he won it last year but in three NFL seasons he's improved his total receiving yards by roughly 200, and receptions by about 20 -- he went for 88 and 1,400 as a rookie, 108 and 1,616 in Year 2, and 128 and 1,809 last year. Which means I fully expect him to rack up 150/2,000 in 2023 and win OPOY in back-to-back years for the first time since Marshall Faulk did it in back-to-back-to-back years from 1999-01.
Kernish: Ja'Marr Chase (+1100). The Bengals star WR is entering Year 3 and, barring injury, should continue to improve with Joe Burrow throwing him the ball on a very potent Cincy offense. I expect a career year from Chase, and that would translate to monstrous numbers.
Sullivan: Nick Chubb (+1800). Arguably the best pure running back in football and he now has the backfield largely to himself. The Browns decided against bringing back Kareem Hunt, which should only give Chubb more opportunities to put up numbers. He'll lead the league in rushing and if he has the right touchdown production could lock this award up.
Dajani: Tyreek Hill (+1800). Tyreek Hill finished second in the NFL in receptions and second in receiving yards last season despite not having Tua Tagovailoa for what was really five games. That's incredible. He says 2,000 yards is a realistic goal in 2023.
DeArdo: Tyreek Hill (+1800). Hill was seriously chasing the NFL's first 2,000-yard receiving season before injuries at QB led to him having "just" 1,710 yards. A healthy Tua Tagovailoa should lead to a monster season for Hill.
Kerr: Justin Jefferson (+1200). He'll get his catches and yards in a Kevin O'Connell offense. Might get 2,000 yards receiving.
Podell: Christian McCaffrey (+1100). The San Francisco 49ers offense didn't skip a beat going from Jimmy Garoppolo, a nine-year NFL veteran and Super Bowl starting quarterback, to Brock Purdy, the last player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, last season in large part because of Christian McCaffrey. His presence as both a rusher and receiver in the starting lineup beginning in Week 8 following a midseason trade from the Carolina Panthers helped power San Francisco to a perfect 10-0 record to finish the regular season. A full season in Kyle Shanahan's offense could provide CMC with the opportunity to put up big numbers.
Brinson: Christian McCaffrey (+1100). The betting favorite, CMC is still too cheap (you can find him around 15-1) given his skill set combined with Kyle Shanahan's play-calling and Brock Purdy's target preferences. Extrapolate his 49ers stats across a full season and you're closing in on a 2K-scrimmage-yard season.
Breech: Tyreek Hill (+1800). This award has gone to a receiver in three of the past four years, so I might as well go with the trend by picking the most explosive receiver in the NFL.
Defensive Player of the Year best bets
Prisco: Micah Parsons (+450). With him now being a full-time rush player, his sacks number will be close to 20. Parsons has the type of ability to take over a game with his pure speed and athletic ability off the edge.
Benjamin: Haason Reddick (+2200). He might be freed up for even more straight-line pass-rushing under new DC Sean Desai.
Dubin: Micah Parsons (+450). He's finished second in each of his first two seasons. This is the year he breaks through and leaves no doubt.
Wilson: T.J. Watt (+700). Yes, he won the award after the 2021 season, when he had 22.5 sacks, but he's primed to win it again following an injury-plagued '22 campaign that limited his effectiveness (and limited him to just 10 games). He's the second-most important player on the roster after Kenny Pickett, and depending on the day, he might be the most important. He's a game-wrecker, not just because of his ability to get to the quarterback, but heading into '23, he also has six career interceptions and 37 passes defended to go along with 23 forced fumbles and, of course, 77.5 sacks.
Sullivan: Micah Parsons (+450). He's the favorite and for good reason. Parsons has finished second in each of the last two seasons and I expect this to be the year for him to take that next step up. Dallas has a strong secondary, which should force opposing QBs to hold the ball even longer, thus giving Parsons plenty of time to attack and pile up sacks.
Dajani: Maxx Crosby (+1000). Crosby is an elite competitor who appears to just be getting better. He will have a career year in 2023.
DeArdo: Micah Parson (+450). Something just tells me that this is the year Parsons adds this award to his bona fides. Parsons has been one of the league's best defenders since he was a rookie, and he enters his third season as arguably the league's top defensive player.
Podell: Micah Parsons (+450). The Cowboys have led the NFL in takeaways in each of the last two seasons while also ranking inside the top five in scoring defense. Micah Parsons has earned First-Team All-Pro selections in each of his first two seasons, but he can still take his productions to higher and higher levels. He does so in 2023.
Brinson: Aaron Donald (+2600). I prefer Donald from a betting perspective (he's 25-1) but I'm also just happy to be the only person on the planet picking him to win, because I'll look like a genius when the Rams go 9-8, Donald has 20+ sacks and everyone says "wow of course Aaron Donald is Defensive Player of the Year."
Breech: Micah Parsons (+450). I already picked Dak Prescott to win MVP, so I might as well go all in on the Cowboys.
Comeback Player of the Year best bets
Prisco: Calvin Ridley. After basically missing two seasons, Ridley is back and will put up big-time numbers for the Jaguars offense. He was the talk of the summer in Jacksonville during camp.
Benjamin: Calvin Ridley. Trevor Lawrence and Doug Pederson could revert him to peak Falcons form for a playoff contender.
Dubin: Damar Hamlin. If he appears in a single game, I don't see a way anyone else can win.
Edwards: Damar Hamlin. Comeback Player of the Year is so often given to the best story and Hamlin is the runaway favorite this year.
Wilson: Mac Jones. Bill O'Brien could end up being the best offseason acquisition the Pats have made in a few years, and Mac Jones will be the chief beneficiary. Put another way: it's amazing how far a young QB can progress when a defensive coordinator isn't calling plays.
Kernish: Damar Hamlin. It's a feel-good story that will make the Bills player a surefire pick to take home the award, especially if he stays healthy, plays well and helps Buffalo win.
Sullivan: Damar Hamlin. It's an inevitability at this point.
DeArdo: Tua Tagovailoa. Miami's quarterback has proven that he can play at a high level. He physically built himself up this offseason to help his odds at getting to the finish line this season.
Kerr: Damar Hamlin. Don't need the odds.
Podell: Damar Hamlin. This man almost died on a football field last season, and he is miraculously not only alive this season, but he's also ready to play ball again. No one else can win this award.
Brinson: John Metchie III. Understandably most of the choices here will be Damar Hamlin but I think by the end of the season Metchie's production on a decent Texans team -- plus beating leukemia to get back on the field a year later -- could warrant winning this award.
Coach of the Year best bets
Dajani: Robert Saleh (+1600). I think Saleh is a solid bet if I have the Jets winning the AFC East with Rodgers under center.
Podell: Matt LaFleur (+1400). Matt LaFleur didn't get his flowers for helping Aaron Rodgers regain his MVP form in 2020 and 2021 as his Packers teams won 13 games for three years in a row from 2019-2021, the only team to do that in NFL history. In 2023, he gets the praise he is worthy of after helping lead Green Bay back to the NFC North mountain top in Jordan Love's first season as an NFL starting quarterback.
Sullivan: Mike Tomlin (+1800). It's wild that Tomlin hasn't won this award yet and I think he has a good chance of finally adding this to his résumé this season. The Steelers have an ascending offense with second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett at the helm and a sturdy defense that will give even the elite quarterbacks in the conference fits. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they squeak into the playoffs, but it'd still be a remarkable feat within a loaded AFC. If they get there, Tomlin should be in the running.
Breech: Robert Saleh (+1600). Yes he has Aaron Rodgers on his team, but if Saleh leads the Jets to their first playoff berth in 13 years, which I think is going to happen, then he becomes a serious favorite to win this award.