Published on: November 5, 2022, 11:57 am.
Last updated: November 5, 2022, 11:57 AM.
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 Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith has emerged as a legitimate contender at +125 odds.
The Carolina Panthers traded running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, and he’s already made an impact with his new team. McCaffrey was the second favorite on the MVP board before Smith became Barkley’s closest competition. McCaffrey is now third favorite at +700 odds.
2022 NFL PLAYER OF THE YEAR RETURNS
|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 to the severity of injuries in the NFL, Comeback Player of the Year carries significantly more prestige than winning CPOY in other major sports leagues. Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals won the 2021 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after recovering from knee surgery, becoming the fourth consecutive quarterback to win the honor.
Saquon Barkley -130
A few weeks ago, Barkley was a popular pick to win Comeback Player of the Year after a hot start with the Giants. After missing 21 games over the past three seasons due to numerous injuries, Barkley hasn’t missed a game this season.
In eight games this season, Barkley has rushed 163 times for 779 yards and five touchdowns. He is the NFL’s second leading rusher and averages 4.8 yards per carry.
Barkley could also fall victim to the Giants’ (6-2) success this season. He also has stiff competition from two other teammates.
Quarterback Daniel Jones has thrived under new head coach Brian Daboll after struggling through his first three seasons with the Giants. Jones completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,399 yards and six touchdowns. He also flashed his mobility skills with 363 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
If you are looking for a the good story, then Nick Gates is your guy. The offensive lineman returned to the Giants after recovering from a fractured fibula and tibia suffered in Week 2 of last season. After seven surgeries and a health scare where he nearly lost his leg, Gates just wanted a chance to play again.
The versatile Gates started 21 games for the Giants at four different positions on the offensive line, including 17 at center. The Giants recently activated Gates from the PUP list.
Geno Smith +125
Many people laughed when Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks agreed to promote backup quarterback Geno Smith to replace Russell Wilson as the starter after the Seahawks traded Wilson with the Denver Broncos.
At the time, the San Francisco 49ers were considering trading Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Seahawks were among the favorites to land Jimmy G. The Seahawks ignored the trade rumors and backed Smith as the 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 of their first seven games, including a thrilling 17-16 loss to the Seahawks in Week 1 in Seattle.
In the first half of the season, Smith completed 72.7 percent of his passes for 1,924 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has thrown just three interceptions in 249 attempts this season. He also added 158 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Smith has been relegated to backup duty since losing his 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 didn’t waste this opportunity to revitalize his career with the Seahawks.
Oddsmakers didn’t trust the Seahawks after they traded Wilson. The Seahawks are 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 have taken first place in the NFC West and have a one-game lead over the 49ers. If the Seahawks can win the division, Smith should win Comeback Player of the Year and even get some MVP votes.
Geno Smith for MVP?
It’s no surprise that the top three teams in the NFL — the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs — also have the lowest odds to win Super Bowl LVII. Meanwhile, the starting quarterbacks on the top three teams also have the best MVP shares.
The Bills’ Josh Allen is the consensus betting favorite to win the MVP at +120 odds, followed by the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts at +330 and the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes at +400.
Although Smith still has a long shot to win the Most Valuable Player, his odds have improved considerably over the past month. Smith is now the seventh-highest player on DraftKings’ NFL draft board with +2800 odds to win the MVP in 2022.