The San Francisco 49ers are less than two weeks away from training camp. One of the most interesting position battles will be at quarterback, with all eyes being on incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo and No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have said they plan on keeping Garoppolo for at least next season. The pair have said they plan on having Garoppolo as the starter for Week 1 against the Detroit Lions, but that could change if Lance outperforms the veteran during training camp.
According to BetMGM, bettors are putting their money on the latter. Most of the money coming in on which player will win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has been on Lance.
Lance has received 15.8% of the bets and 22.6% of the money — the most in both categories. His odds have moved from +1600 up to +700, the third-best on the board. Lawrence, who went first to the Jacksonville Jaguars, is the betting favorite at +300, but it’s Lance who bettors see as a better investment.
Lance has all of the physical tools to be a top NFL quarterback. He is a dual-threat option who did a great job taking care of the ball during his collegiate career at North Dakota State.
After a disastrous, injury-plagued 2020 campaign, the 49ers are projected to be among the title contenders next season. San Francisco has a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, and if it can stay healthy, it should be back in the playoff picture.
If Garoppolo gets hurt once again and is forced to miss some significant time, the odds that Lance could win the award increase exponentially. With players like George Kittle, Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk leading the offense, Lance won’t face the pressure most QBs taken No. 3 pick would when entering the league.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how this all plays out. When healthy, Garoppolo has been very good for the Niners, winning 72.7 percent of his total starts. But Jimmy G has missed 23 starts since 2018, and when he hasn’t been on the field, the 49ers have struggled mightily.
If Garoppolo can stay healthy and plays up to the level he did in 2019, Lance will likely get limited snaps. But as has been pointed out before, Jimmy G has only made it past Week 3 once in the past three seasons.
There’s no doubt that Lance is San Francisco’s QB of the future, but whether or not he will be a significant factor in his year rookie year remains to be seen.
Here are the odds for the NFL Rookie of the Year Award:
Offensive Rookie of the Year odds
Trevor Lawrence: +300
Najee Harris: +600
Trey Lance: +700
Justin Fields: +800
Kyle Pitts: +800
Zach Wilson: +900
Mac Jones: +1200
Who would you put money on to win the award for the 2021 season?