Last week, we wrote how bettors at Caesars Sportsbook were down on incumbent Washington Commanders starting running back Antonio Gibson. Gibson has had issues in preseason and rookie Brian Robinson Jr. has largely shined. Gibson’s season over/under rushing yardage total had dropped from 850.5 yards to 750.5 with heavy action on the Under. The love for Robinson has continued at the book — he’s taking tons of action for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Since last Tuesday, Robinson leads all players with 30.6% percent of tickets sold on that prop to drop the third-round pick from +10000 to win OROY to +3500. Houston’s Dameon Pierce, a fourth-round pick from Florida who according to some reports has stolen the Texans’ featured back job, is second at 12.4%. Robinson is also first in money over that span at 27.7%, with Steelers second-round receiver George Pickens next at 17.0%.
For what it’s worth, Robinson started Washington’s second preseason game last Saturday, a 24-14 loss in Kansas City. He carried eight times for 31 yards. Gibson, who fumbled in the preseason opener (and six times in the 2021 regular season) to draw the wrath of coach Ron Rivera, actually returned the opening kick for 17 yards – he didn’t play on special teams in either of his first two NFL seasons. Gibson finished with two carries for 3 yards and three catches for 37 yards. He was first a return specialist and receiver at Memphis.
How Gibson was used as a receiver in space vs. Kansas City harkened back to his Memphis playing days.
“He’s a guy who has that type of skillset. Catching the ball out of the backfield is something that’s a strength for him, so we’ve got to get the ball in his hands, in space to make those things happen,” Rivera said afterward. “He just shows you who he is in space with the ball. We have to create space for him on kickoffs because he’s too talented for us not.”
The Athletic’s Ben Standig wrote this week he still believes Gibson remains Washington’s “best bet” for backfield touches this season, but that Robinson appears the more consistent of the two. Peter Hailey of NBC Sports Washington wrote that Gibson’s days of 20-plus carries may be over. He had six such games last year.
The last Washington player to win OROY was quarterback Robert Griffin III in 2012. The team has another potential candidate in first-round receiver Jahan Dotson out of Penn State. He’s +2500.
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