NFL Comeback Player Of The Year Odds: Saquon Barkley, Geno Smith Among Favorites For CPOY

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Geno Smith's shocking rise could lead to him winning Comeback Player of the Year (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez).

As the 2022 NFL season nears the midway point, it is time to reexamine Comeback Player of the Year odds (CPOY). Derek Henry opened as the betting favorite and is still in contention, but a different running back has moved to the top of CPOY betting boards—New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley.

However, while Barkley appears to have bounced back well from the injury that ended his 2021 season, there are a few other players that could have even more compelling stories than Barkley– like Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith.

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The subjectivity of the award makes it easy for opinions and the betting odds at sportsbooks to vary. As always, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best odds before betting, which also allows you to take advantage of generous welcome bonuses offered by online sportsbooks.

Updated NFL Comeback Player Of The Year Odds

The following table contains a list of players with odds at DraftKings and their corresponding odds at DraftKings, BetMGMCaesars, and FanDuel (as of November 2):

Comeback Player Of The Year Odds-- 2022DraftKingsBetMGMCaesars:
Promo Code TodayFull
FanDuel
Saquon Barkley-155-155-170-155
Geno Smith+225+225+240+200
Christian McCaffrey+700+750+600+800
Derrick Henry+1200+1200+1400+1400
Nick Gates+1600+1200+1500+1400
Travis Etienne+2000+1800+5000+2000
Daniel Jones+3500+3000+2500+3000
Marcus Mariota+6000+6600+6000+10000
Gus Edwards+6000+10000
JuJu Smith Schuster+6000+6600+6000+5000
J.J. Watt+7500+8000+10000
Raheem Mostert+10000+10000+10000+10000
Cam Akers+10000+15000
Carl Lawson+10000+10000+10000+20000
Chris Godwin+10000+15000+20000
DeAndre Hopkins+10000+10000+10000
Robert Woods+25000
Michael Thomas+15000+20000
Marlon Humphrey+15000+20000
Jaycee Horn+15000
Jameis Winston+15000+10000+20000
Danielle Hunter+15000+20000
Baker Mayfield+15000
Allen Robinson III+15000+20000
Jeffrey Okudah+25000
Julio Jones+25000+20000

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Henry got off to a slow start with sub-100-yard performances in his first three games, including a 25-yard outing in Week 2 against Buffalo. But since then, he has rattled off four consecutive 100+ yard games highlighted by a 219-yard effort against the Houston Texans in Week 8.

Barkley only has three 100+ yard games, but the Giants running back has overcome more than just the injury that ended his 2021 season. After two injury-plagued, poor seasons, the market was not looking good for Barkley with free agency approaching following the 2022 season. But if he can remain productive and healthy, someone will pay him if the Giants don’t.

Christian McCaffrey was having a lackluster season with the Panthers, but in his second game with the 49ers he accounted for 149 yards from scrimmage, two touchdowns, and a 34-yard passing touchdown. If this kind of outing becomes his new norm, McCaffrey could still have an award-worthy season.

But even if such outings do become the norm, it may not be enough to convince voters he deserves CPOY honors over Geno Smith. Smith had become a career backup after two lackluster seasons as the starter for the New York Jets in 2013 and 2014. Few took the Seahawks seriously when Seattle named him the starter for this season.

Fast forward eight weeks into the season and the Seahawks are in first place in the NFC West with a 5-3 record, thanks in large part to Smith who is completing 72.7% of his passes for 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

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Comeback Player Of The Year Odds: Notable Movers And Shakers

Since betting odds were released, the odds have changed for a few players (odds via BetMGM):

Geno Smith Not Listed to +225

Players returning from serious injuries usually win CPOY, but Smith had become an afterthought. He had played in just 15 games the last six seasons and appeared to be well on his way to a career as a backup QB. But with how he is playing this season, he could have the Seahawks in the playoffs (and a division title).

Derrick Henry +400 to +1200

With a trio of lackluster outings to start the season, Henry’s odds got longer. But with how he has played the last few weeks, he is the second leading rusher in the NFL (44 yards back of Saquon Barkley). Barkley may have a better story, but if Henry ends up running away with the rushing title he could steal the award away from Barkley/Smith.

Saquon Barkley +1600 to -155

With how the last two injury-plagued seasons played out for Barkley, confidence was not high for him entering the season. But if he could regain the form that dazzled fans his first two seasons and stay healthy, he could have a shot. So far, it looks like he does.

Christian McCaffrey +1800 to +750

McCaffrey’s talent and his ability to make an impact on the game are unquestionable. But with the Panthers, it was unlikely he’d have an award-worthy season. But with the 49ers….the sky could be the limit for McCaffrey.

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Nick Gates Not Listed to +1200

Who the heck is this guy? Gates is an offensive lineman for the New York Giants that played in Week 8 for the first time in over a year. Why is that a big deal? Well, because over 400 days ago, he went down with a fractured tibia and fibula. Seven surgeries later and a whole lot of rehab, he is back on the field once again.

Does that make him award-worthy? We’ll see how much he plays going forward,  but his injury and recovery are reminiscent of former Washington quarterback Alex Smith. Smith didn’t play much when he returned, but just the fact that he did was enough to earn him CPOY honors that year.

CPOY Odds Betting Analysis: Barkley, Smith, or McCaffrey?

No one would fault you for betting on Barkley or Smith (but if you bet on one, go with Smith). If Smith continues to play well and leads the Seahawks to a playoff berth, he’ll probably win CPOY. But with how explosive McCaffrey can be, now that he’s with a solid offensive team like the 49ers, he may be a strong candidate for CPOY honors.

However, if you are interested in betting on a sleeper or two, give these players some thought:

Marcus Mariota, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Mariota, much like Geno Smith, was on the fast track to becoming a career backup, but he has made the most of his opportunity in Atlanta. His numbers are not as good as Smith’s in Seattle. But if he can lead the Falcons (who lead the NFC South after Week 8 with a 4-4 record) to a division title, he’ll be in the conversation.

Nick Gates, OL, New York Giants

Offensive linemen never get the credit they deserve, and it is unlikely Gates gets credit here. But his injury and recovery will remind some voters of Alex Smith. Enough for him to win COPY? Eh…

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

While he did get off to a slow start this season, he has come on strong for the last four weeks and is now third in the league in rushing behind Nick Chubb and Saquon Barkley. Should he win the rushing title with an impressive total (based on his production for the last four weeks, he’s on track for a 2000+ yard season), he could win CPOY (or maybe OPOY).

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NFL Comeback Player Of The Year Betting History

Since the AP started handing out the award in 1998, 15 quarterbacks, one running back, one tight end, and three wide receivers have won it. Nine of the last 12 were returning from severe injuries. As for the other three:

  • Ryan Tannehill (2019): His career appeared to be over when the Dolphins traded him to the Titans. But once he got the chance to play, he made the most of the opportunity and resurrected his career.
  • Philip Rivers (2013): Rivers had played poorly the two seasons prior to the year he won but regained his Pro Bowl form and had a stellar year in ’13.
  • Michael Vick (2010): Vick took over as the starter for most of the 2010 season and had one of the best statistical years of his career (the only one with a 100 rating).

The table contains a list of the CPOY winners dating back to 1998 (odds via SportsOddsHistory.com):

YearPlayerPositionTeamPreseason Odds
2021Joe BurrowQuarterbackCincinnati Bengals+800
2020Alex SmithQuarterbackWashington Football Team+300
2019Ryan TannehillQuarterbackTennessee TitansNot Listed
2018Andrew LuckQuarterbackIndianapolis Colts+450
2017Keenan AllenWide ReceiverLos Angeles Chargers+900
2016Jordy NelsonWide ReceiverGreen Bay Packers+600
2015Eric BerrySafetyKansas City Chiefs+500
2014Rob GronkowskiTight EndNew England Patriots+1000
2013Philip RiversQuarterbackSan Diego ChargersNA
2012Peyton Manning QuarterbackDenver BroncosNA
2011Matthew StaffordQuarterbackDetroit LionsNA
2010Michael VickQuarterbackPhiladelphia EaglesNA
2009Tom BradyQuarterbackNew England Patriots NA
2008Chad PenningtonQuarterbackMiami DolphinsNA
2007Greg EllisDefensive EndDallas CowboysNA
2006Chad PenningtonQuarterbackNew York JetsNA
2005Teddy Bruschi and Steve Smith Jr.Linebacker / Wide ReceiverNew England Patriots / Carolina PanthersNA
2004Drew BreesQuarterbackSan Diego ChargersNA
2003Jon KitnaQuarterbackCincinnati BengalsNA
2002Tommy MadduxQuarterbackPittsburgh SteelersNA
2001Garrison HearstRunning BackSan Francisco 49ersNA
2000Joe JohnsonDefensive EndNew Orleans SaintsNA
1999Bryant YoungDefensive TackleSan Francisco 49ersNA
1998Doug FlutieQuarterbackBuffalo BillsNA

How To Bet On NFL Comeback Player Of The Year Odds

  • Choose a sportsbook to place your bet with. Most states with legal sports betting have numerous options. Along with looking for the book with the best odds for your wager, pay attention to the book’s welcome offer.
  • Register for an online account and make your first deposit. When you register, enter the promo code for the welcome bonus (if required).
  • Navigate to the NFL section of the app/webpage and locate the odds for CPOY.
  • Find the player you are interested in betting on and click on his name. When the betting slip appears, enter how much you want to bet in the appropriate spot.
  • Click on ‘place bet.’

How to Read NFL Comeback Player Of The Year Betting Odds

Odds can be tricky to understand if you do not know what you are looking at. They can be expressed in various forms, including decimal, fraction, or American (+/-). Books in the U.S. typically list American odds. Some sportsbooks allow you to select how you want the odds listed.

If the book does not list them with American odds, you can convert them using our odds converter.

Anything with -100 odds or shorter (i.e., -200…) has at least a 50 percent implied probability of winning. Odds of +100 or longer (i.e., +200…) imply no more than a 50 percent chance of winning.

For example, Derrick Henry’s odds at DraftKings are +300. Using the odds converter, we can see that his odds translate into ‘3/1’ or an implied probability of 25 percent. If he dominates the competition for the first half of the season, his odds could drop to -300. Should that happen, his implied probability would be 75 percent.

When the odds are positive, bettors will win that number if they bet $100. So, if you bet $100 on Henry now and he wins, you win $300. But if you wait and don’t bet on him until they are -300, you win a lot less. When the odds are negative, the number listed is how much you have to bet to win $100. At -300, you need to risk $300 to win $100

Where to Bet on NFL Comeback Player Of The Year

Sports betting is legal, either online, at retail, or both, in the following states/ locales: New York, Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Nevada, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Wyoming, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Ontario.

There are also some states where you can bet in-person at retail sportsbooks. These states include Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Washington.

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NFL Comeback Player Of The Year Odds — FAQs

How do you become a Comeback Player of the Year in the NFL?

There are no official criteria for the award, but unofficially, a player needs to show perseverance in overcoming adversity. What qualifies as ‘adversity’ is up to the voter.

How does someone become a CPOY in the NFL?

Players showing perseverance in overcoming adversity stand out in voters’ eyes. What qualifies as ‘adversity’ is up to the voters. Many candidates missed most or all of the previous season due to an injury. Others have had stellar histories but are coming off substandard seasons.

What date is the NFL CPOY announced?

The CPOY will be awarded at the same time as the rest of the regular season awards, during the NFL’s award ceremony the night before the Super Bowl. Super Bowl 57 is scheduled for Sunday, February 12, 2023.

Who is the current favorite to win CPOY?

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is the current betting favorite, but Seattle QB Geno Smith is not far behind.

About the Author
Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver

Writer and Contributor
Travis Pulver is a Senior Writer for Gaming Today and a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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