One of the most dramatic game changers that happened this offseason was the trade of New York Giants’ star wide receiver Odell Beckham to the very improved Cleveland Browns, who with the magic touch of third-year general manager John Dorsey, have turned into one of the bigger AFC threats in 2019.
Adding a much-needed deep threat receiver to their already talented receivers’ room automatically gives the Baker Mayfield led Browns not just league-wide attention but a legitimate chance to make the postseason for the first time in well over a decade.
Oddsmakers, of course, have jumped all over this news and have set the odds and predictions of Beckham’s 2019 production, including total receiving yards and touchdowns, and here we take a look at all that, including OBJ’s amazing football journey and an analysis of his chances to beat the overs and unders of his upcoming season.
Quick Bio: who is Odell Beckham Jr.?
Odell Cornelius Beckham Jr. (OBJ) is an NFL wide receiver who was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1992 to athletic parents: his mother, Heather Van Norman, was a former LSU track star and national relay champion and his father, Odell Sr., was a Marshall High School running back who was mentioned in the famous Friday Night Lights book written by Buzz Bissinger.
OBJ was a four-sport athlete in high school (football, basketball, track and soccer) and became a four-star recruit who eventually played football for three seasons at LSU, where in his final year as a junior he caught 59 passes for 1,152 yards and 8 touchdowns as well as returned 19 punts for 160 yards and 21 kickoffs for 845 yards.
Beckham was selected by the New York Giants in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft (12th pick overall), the third receiver to be selected that year, but missed the majority of training camp and the first four games of his rookie season due to a hamstring injury.
How good is Beckham really?
OBJ is consistently ranked as one of the top-five receivers currently in the NFL after five seasons in the league, having been selected to the Pro-Bowl three times and as a Second-team All-Pro twice.
Over that time, Beckham has caught 390 balls for 5,476 total yards and 44 touchdowns, averaging 14.0 yards per reception and 92.8 yards per game.
A fractured ankle severely limited OBJ’s playing time during the 2017 season, but in 2018 he returned healthy and with the struggling New York Giants, Beckham caught 77 passes for 1,052 yards and 6 touchdowns, and that’s despite having to sit out the last four games due to a quadriceps injury.
How many NFL records does OBJ hold?
Beckham currently holds fourteen New York Giants franchise records, all of them broken during his rookie season in 2014, including most receiving yards in a rookie season (1,305 yards) and receptions in a rookie season (91).
Beckham has also set two dozen various NFL records, including fastest to reach 5,000 career receiving yards (54 games) and most games with 10+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards in a rookie season (4).
OBJ is the only rookie in NFL history to have 10+ receptions in consecutive games and the only player ever in the NFL to have 1,300+ receiving yards while playing in 12 or fewer games during that season.
Is Beckham a decent kick returner?
When he is healthy, OBJ can run back kicks with the best of them.
During his twelve games in 2018, Beckham returned 8 punts for 34 yards and 1 kick return for 26 yards, but his most active kick return year was his rookie season in 2014, when he returned 21 punts for 171 yards, averaging 8.1 yards per return.
In his three seasons at LSU, OBJ returned 68 punts for a total of 557 yards and two touchdowns while returning 42 kickoffs for 1,044 total yards.
As Beckham has become more valuable as a receiver in the NFL, his kick returns have obviously been limited in order to prevent him from being injured.
Why is OBJ playing for the Cleveland Browns now?
That’s the question that a lot of New York Giants fans were asking as soon as the trade happened back in March, and interim general manager David Gettleman’s skills (and sanity) were definitely questioned immediately after, but those who had been following OBJ’s NFL journey more closely weren’t quite as surprised by the move.
Bottom line, over the last couple of seasons, Beckham started letting it be known that he felt like he was limited in New York, especially given that the starting quarterback there, Eli Manning, seemed past his prime in a lot of ways and that the team was being rebuilt around a different star player, running back Saquon Barkley.
In exchange for arguably one of the top receivers now playing in the league, the Giants got a former first-round safety, Jabrill Peppers, plus a first-round pick and a third-round pick in the 2019 draft.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns got the surprise of a lifetime when it became public that their general manager, John Dorsey, had pulled of the miracle trade of the century and had gotten a true star to come to suit up in northern Ohio.
What is OBJ’s main role for the Browns in 2019?
Ever since the Browns traded away their troubled receiver Josh Gordon last year, who couldn’t seem to stop breaking the NFL’s marijuana policy and getting suspended as a result, the franchise had been lacking a true deep threat receiver who would draw the defensive double-teams that free up everyone else on the field.
Now with Beckham as a proven deep threat (as well as a sure-handed mid-field and quick out threat), the Browns’ offense, led by quarterback Baker Mayfield, will be able to use the imminent danger of OBJ to balance off of slot receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end David Njoku and Nick Chubb out of the backfield.
Having a game-changer like Beckham in the offensive lineup spreads out the opposing defense and forces them to game plan around his presence, freeing up the run game and every other receiver because opponents are now forced to make choices that Mayfield and his laser arm can easily exploit.
Is it true Beckham held the one-handed catch world record?
OBJ, known for his signature one-handed grabs, did hold the record for the most for a brief moment back in 2015, but then it was quickly broken.
On January 29, 2015, live from the location of Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale Arizona, Beckham and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees attempted to set the world record for the most one-handed catches made in a single minute.
The previous record was 23, which the OBJ-Brees combo quickly broke by ten as they posted 33 one-handers in sixty seconds for the new world’s record, but shortly thereafter, a receiver from the Canadian Football League named Andy Fantuz shattered Beckham’s record by double one-handing 50 catches in a minute, though it apparently wasn’t verified by Guinness Worlds Records.
The Guinness World Record holder for most one-handed catches has gone to various athletes since then, but currently, the honor belongs to OBJ’s new Browns (and old LSU) teammate, Jarvis Landry, who in February of 2019 and with quarterback Brady Quinn throwing caught 48 balls with his left hand only.
Here are the current odds and predictions listed for Odell Beckham Jr.’s 2019 total receiving yards and touchdowns.
These are interesting bets because Beckham is now on a new team after playing for the same franchise for five straight years, now with a second-year quarterback, Mayfield, playing under the leadership of a first-time head coach, Freddie Kitchens, and a brand new offensive coordinator, Todd Monken.
As much talent as OBJ possesses, it is tempting to bet the over across the board here, but given his entirely new situation in Cleveland, there is no telling how that will affect his overall numbers.
But Beckham did well on a struggling Giants team, and given the Browns’ incredible roster re-vamping and Mayfield’s accurate, young rifle-arm and the depth the team has at receiver and running back and tight end, chances are OBJ will be a major part of the Browns game plans and (if healthy) will get every opportunity in the world to put up big numbers in 2019.
Odell Beckham Jr. Total Receiving Yards
|Sportsbook||Over 1300.5||Under 1300.5||Link|
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One look at Beckham’s career numbers and it is obvious that 1,300 total receiving yards are entirely possible for the sixth-year player, but only if he can stay healthy, since the two times he didn’t exceed that number were in the last two seasons, the result of Beckham suffering a bad ankle and then a quad injury.
In his first three seasons, a healthy OBJ posted 1,305, 1,450 and 1,367 yard totals, with his catching percentage during that time at 63.9, but with those injuries during the last two seasons he was limited to just 4 games in 2017 and 12 games last year, and in that time his catching percentage dropped to an average of 61.6.
But Beckham is playing for the Browns now, and quarterback Mayfield isn’t a rookie anymore plus the team has been starving for a receiver like OBJ to anchor their offense, so it stands to reason that he will be fed the ball often, and with an accurate and forceful passer finally tossing dimes to him, the master of the one-handed grab should experience his most impressive season to date.
Odell Beckham Jr. Total Receiving Touchdowns
|Sportsbook||Over 10||Under 10||Link|
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Basically, the same points made above apply to this bet since Beckham posted 10+ touchdowns in all three of his first three healthy seasons but just 3 in his injury-laden 2017 season and 6 in his injury-shortened 2018.
Besides injury, the other concern (in terms of this bet) is whether OBJ will get the number of targets he ultimately desires given how playmaker rich the Browns roster has recently become.
OBJ is now competing for touches with fellow standout receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard ‘Hollywood’ Higgens, and Antonio Callaway, as well as soft-handed tight end David Njoku and backup running back Duke Johnson Jr., who can all catch the ball and run hard afterward with it.
Then, after his suspension is up after Week 8, add in star running back Kareem Hunt and it appears to be no given that OBJ will be the automatic go-to man, although his high-level skills and ability to get open should guarantee a lot of chances to make big plays and touchdowns next season.