The offense has arrived.
Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles encountered offensive struggles at varying points last season.
The Steelers ranked dead last in rushing. The Eagles ranked 28th in the league in passing yards per game.
So perhaps it should be no surprise that both teams went right to work addressing those areas in last week’s NFL Draft.
The Steelers took another Alabama product, running back Najee Harris with pick No. 24.
So each team’s needs were targeted early. And addressed again with some other picks after that too. In this week’s installment of Penn Sportsbooks‘ Pick Play, we’ll take a look at some of the odds involving the draft picks and analyze how the new players could affect some of the betting lines this season.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence favorite Rookie of the Year
Odds for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year have been posted at DraftKings and No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence is the clear favorite. Lawrence is +300 at DraftKings Sportsbook with fellow quarterbacks Justin Fields and Trey Lance tied for second at +600.
Harris is a little farther down the board at +1000. Smith is listed at +1400.
Over at FOX Bet, odds are posted for prop bets on certain player totals. The over/under for Smith’s receiving touchdowns is set at 5.5. The over is priced at +110 with the under at -150.
Lines are available on fellow rookies Ja’Marr Chase, Kyle Pitts, Jaylen Waddle, and Kadarius Toney as well.
For Harris, FOX Bet has the total for his combined rushing and receiving touchdowns set at 9.5, with each option priced at -110. And the over/under for Harris’ regular season rushing yards is set at 915.5 yards.
FOX Bet has prop bet totals also listed for the top two picks Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson.
Will Steelers and Eagles rookies make the difference?
Perhaps the most pressing question concerning Pennsylvania’s pro football teams is whether or not all the combined draft picks will make a difference on the field.
The Eagles win total for next season is set at 6.5. Will the Alabama connection of Jalen Hurts, Smith, and new lineman Landon Dickerson push the Eagles higher?
And for Pittsburgh, will a little more offense with Harris and second round tight end Pat Freiermuth get the team over 8.5 wins?
Will either team make the playoffs? DraftKings has the Eagles “yes” priced at +260. The Steelers “yes” is priced at +154.
So the oddsmakers aren’t sold on the Eagles and Steelers just yet. But for bettors, when some see obstacles, others see opportunity.
Both teams might rely heavily on their rookies this seasons. That’s usually a risky proposition in the NFL and it certainly makes for some risky prop bets too. But if Smith and Harris become difference makers, their teams – and those who bet on them – will reap the rewards.
The offense has arrived.
We’ll soon see what difference it can make.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Tony Dejak