Expert NFL player award predictions and best bets for the 2023 season from Prop Holliday: Trevor Lawrence ascends the AFC

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) scrambles with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at TIAA Bank Field.
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Prop Holliday - Bobby Stanley


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NFL and NBA props specialist for Pickswise. For "Prop Holliday" Bobby Stanley media enquiries, please email
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The 2023-2024 NFL season is upon us, and NFL Future Awards are one of the more fun markets you can bet on. These should be 0.25-0.50 unit bets in your bankroll and will be something you monitor throughout the season. Although these markets have a long list of options, we can use previous award winners to spot trends in the award process and narrow down our choices. Continue to shop around these markets all the way up until kickoff as lines will continue to fluctuate based on injury and preseason hype.

Make sure to check out our NFL futures guide for everything from our Super Bowl picks to team previews and more.

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Most Valuable Player

Favorite: Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars) +1600

Line available on all major sportsbooks.

The recipe for NFL MVP is crystal clear: Quarterback, top two team in their conference, All-Pro caliber play, and in some instances, a good story line. This approach has hit 11 years in a row and was broken by Adrian Peterson in 2011 when the Vikings were a Wild Card team as he scampered for 2000 yards. This is year 2 with head coach Doug Pederson, and Lawrence made a significant jump last season from his rookie year with Urban Meyer. In 2022, Lawrence through for 25 TDs 8 ints with 4,100 passing yards and 5 rushing TDs. He isn’t thought of as a dual-threat QB, but Lawrence has the legs to make plays inside the 20 as we saw last year with his 5 scores on the ground. The Jaguars are making a case to be a threat in a deep AFC after finishing the regular season on a 5-game win streak and upsetting the Chargers in the Wild Card round.

In one of the more discussed offseason additions, wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been reinstated and slides immediately in the WR1 role for Jacksonville. This could be the move that puts them over the top and jump into the conversation with Kansas City, Buffalo, and Cincinnati. Another thing working in Jacksonville’s favor is that all of their difficult games are at home this season: Kansas City, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and San Francisco are all in Duval. I have the Jaguars projected at 12 wins and Trevor Lawrence leading the way, at 16-1 we are getting really good value compared to the Josh Allen’s (+600) and Patrick Mahomes’(+700) of the world. 1U

Defensive Player of the Year

Favorite: Myles Garrett (Cleveland Browns) +800

Line available on DraftKings sportsbook at the time of publishing.

This is predominantly a sack award in the NFL. Nick Bosa, TJ Watt, and Aaron Donald are the last 3 winners of this award and their ability to rush the passer played a huge factor. Occasionally we see a cornerback steal DPOY, but it is a rarity. For Garrett, he’s been a favorite over the last 3 years to win and the addition of Za’Darius Smith should be what puts him over the edge. The 28-year-old Cleveland defensive end has led the league in double-teams from the edge over the last 3 seasons and finally gets a formidable counterpart in Smith who should free up some blockers from Garrett. He’s posted 16 sacks in back-to-back seasons and in 2023, I believe he will cross the 20-sack mark and hoist this trophy. This line is +600 on Fanduel, but still at +800 on DraftKings. 1U

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Offensive Rookie of the Year

Favorite: CJ Stroud (Houston Texans) +900

Line available on all major sportsbooks.

Is the trend our friend? Well, 9 of the last 20 OROY’s have been quarterback’s and we have 3 rookies starting Week 1 right out of the gate. I chose Stroud because I believe he is in the most favorable situation out of all 3 rookie QB’s. Outside of the Jacksonville, the AFC South looks desirable with Colts and Titans expected to be on the outside looking in come January. Stroud has quality left tackle in Laremy Tunsil, an above average tight end in Dalton Schultz, a battery ram of a running back in Dameon Pierce, and I believe a pathway to 7 wins. This award is heavily dominant on the success of the Texans being greater than the Colts and Panthers. Yes, you could go Bijan Robinson for this award, but at +350 on most books, I just don’t see the value. Stroud will show glimpses of what made him the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft and arguably the best pocket passer of the 3. He can make plays with his legs, but when we look up in December with Stroud approaching 3,700 passing yards, 20 TD’s, and 4 rushing TD’s, I think he will be the obvious choice. 1U

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Favorite: Nolan Smith (Philadelphia Eagles) +2000

Line available on all major sportsbooks.

Another award dominated by pass rushers, so let’s ride that trend. Three of the last 4 DROY’s have been pass rushers with Sauce Gardner being the exception. Since there aren’t any elite CBs in this year’s rookie class, I’m pivoting to a rookie edge rusher who will likely be on one of the best defenses in football. Nolan Smith sitting at 20-1 feels like good value to me. Jalen Carter is dominating headlines, but if he’s as good as advertised, he’s going to be victim of double teams and not make an impact in the stat sheet quite as much. Smith on the other hand can greatly benefit from this. He’s currently 2nd on the depth chart at SAM linebacker behind Haason Reddick.

Smith will likely start the season as a situational pass rusher until about mid-season when I believe the Eagles will make the switch after they see his elite level athleticism win out. Parson’s locked up this award with 13.5 sacks, Chase Young with 7.5 sacks, and Nick Bosa with 9 sacks. For me, I can see Smith crossing that double-digit mark with how often teams will be playing from behind against Philadelphia this season, allowing Smith to pin his ears back. It’s a talented rookie class on the defensive side of the ball, but Smith has the chance to really stand out in the sack category. Put me down at 20-1. 0.5U

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