Last season was a rough one for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, but it’s easy to forget that it was only one season prior when Barkley was contending for the Offensive MVP award as a rookie. Barkley was in the running to lead the league in rushing yards during his rookie season and while he didn’t win the rushing title or the award, it looked like something that was definitely in his future thanks to what he was able to do early on even while playing with subpar talent.
Then, injuries happened in 2019 and Barkley was thrown out of the running early on, missing a number of games and struggling after coming back until the last stretch of the season, when he started to look more like himself.
This season, though, if Barkley manages to come out with a hot start despite last season’s injury, he may just be one of the few running backs to have a shot at MVP this year. Vegas, at least, isn’t totally unconfident about that scenario playing out.
According to BetGM, Barkley has the 13th best odds to win the MVP award and is tied with Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey, who are also notable for being running backs in the conversation for an award dominated by quarterbacks. At +3300, Barkley’s odds are also better than Giants teammate Daniel Jones, who is sitting at +8000.
Of course, winning any awards this year depends on Barkley having a good bounce back season after last year was heavily disrupted by injury – that’s not guaranteed, but his performances towards the end of 2019 such as his two touchdown games against the Dolphins and Redskins show that he’s headed in the right direction once again and a good bounce back is more likely than not.