The Steelers may have found another wide receiver gem outside of the first round.
Pittsburgh began its preseason against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, and it was a strong showing for its rookies. First-round pick Kenny Pickett led a game-winning drive, sparking hope he can develop into a starting-caliber quarterback.
But it was second-round pass-catcher George Pickens who shined with the starters. The Georgia product got work in with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph and caught a touchdown pass from the former. The receiver finished the game three catcher off five targets for 43 yards.
The performance may have came against the lowly Seahawks back-up defense, but it didn’t stop the hype train for Pickens. The 6-foot-3 pass-catcher’s Offensive Rookie of the Year odds went from +5000 odds at some sportsbooks all the way up to +1000 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM. Many sportsbooks still have his teammate Pickett as the favorite to win the award, but PointsBet has Pickens as their favorite at +700.
At DraftKings Sporstbook, Pickens’ odds are tied with Tennessee Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks and Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Skky Moore. They are the second-shortest odds behind Pickett and New York Jets running back Breece Hall, who have +800 odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
For context on the three receivers in line for the award, Burks was taken with the No. 18 pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Pickens was taken at No. 52 — two picks after the New England Patriots took Tyquan Thornton in the second round — and Moore was taken two picks after Pickens at No. 54.
Pickett is unlikely to be named the starter for Week 1, despite his play in his preseason debut, which leaves Pickens with a solid shot at winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. But if you’re taking the bet now, you’ve lost a lot of value. A bet on Pickens’ odds before his preseason debut (+5000) would have paid out $5,100, and now, that bet would pay out $1,100.
It’s situations like this that show why it’s important to be early on bets than wait for the hype to roll in.
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