2021 ESPY Awards Odds, Nominees, Picks and How to Find the Best Value Betting on Best Athlete

2021 ESPY Awards - Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Trevor Lawrence

Simone Biles waits her turn to compete on the balance beam during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, in this Friday, June 4, 2021, file photo. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the -400 odds-on favorite to be named male athlete of the year at the ESPY Awards on Saturday, July 10th, 2021
  • Tennis star Naomi Osaka is the +100 choice to win as female athlete of the year
  • Brady’s Bucs are the -150 chalk to earn team of the year

The initial ESPY Awards were held in 1993. It only seems like Tom Brady was an award nominee that year as well.

Brady is old, but he’s not that old. However, as he nears his 44th birthday, the quarterback for the Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the betting choice to walk away with the 2021 ESPY as male athlete of the year.

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The ESPYs recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the calendar year preceding the annual ceremony. Nominations come from the ESPY Select Nominating Committee. Online fan balloting determines the winners.

The 29th annual ESPY Awards are scheduled to be handed out Saturday, July 10th at The Rooftop at Pier 17 in New York City. Actor Anthony Mackie is hosting the event.

 ESPY Best Male Athlete Odds

Athlete Odds
Tom Brady -400
Nikola Jokic +300
Connor McDavid +300
Lewis Hamilton +700

All odds as of July 8th

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A GOAT Without An ESPY

Brady has won everything there is to win in the NFL. He owns a record seven Super Bowl titles, five Super Bowl MVPs (also a record), and three NFL MVPs.

You know what, though? He’s never won the ESPY as best male athlete. Over the years, while receiving three nominations, Brady has never been the recipient of the honor.

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Going to Tampa and leading the Bucs to Super Bowl glory in his first season away from New England, Brady couldn’t have plotted out a better storyline. He’ll win the ESPY, even though it might be more about career achievement recognition than his 2020 NFL campaign.

It’s actually a bit insulting that the winningest player in the history of America’s most significant sport has been overlooked for so long.

Pick: Tom Brady (-400)

 ESPY Best Female Athlete Odds

Athlete Odds
Naomi Osaka +100
Simone Biles +200
Amanda Nunes +200
Breanna Stewart +600

Simone’s Time To Shine

Sports fans tend to compartmentalize Olympic athletes. They put them out of sight and out of mind for three out of every four years.

Then, in an Olympic year, those athletes are placed front and center and worshipped with a nationalistic fervor that grips the country.

Bet on Simone Biles to Win Best Female Athlete at SBD Play

It’s an Olympic year. That means it’s Simone Biles’ time to shine. She is to Olympic gymnastics what Brady is to the Super Bowl. All others bow before her legend.

Pick: Simone Biles (+200)

 ESPY Best Breakthrough Athlete Odds

Athlete Odds
LaMelo Ball -125
Justin Herbert +200
Chase Young +300
Crystal Dangerfield +700

Justin Credible Season

LaMelo Ball put up splendid numbers while winning the NBA Rookie-of-the-Year award. Justin Herbert, though, did stuff that no other rookie QB in NFL history accomplished.

The #3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Ball was solid for the Charlotte Hornets. His per-game averages were 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds.

Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers threw for the most touchdown passes and the most 300-yard games ever by an NFL rookie. He was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in a landslide.

Pick: Justin Herbert (+200)

 ESPY Best Male College Athlete Odds

Athlete Odds
Trevor Lawrence -110
DeVonta Smith +150
Luke Garza +200
Gloire Amanda +800

Trevor Takes This One

Alabama’s DeVonta Smith won the Heisman Trophy and the College Football Playoff National Championship. However, it’s Trevor Lawrence who is winning the hearts and minds of the American public

Football fans are anxiously awaiting what NFL first overall pick Lawrence will deliver for the Jacksonville Jaguars during his upcoming rookie season.

Maybe he didn’t lead Clemson to a title last season but winning can’t buy the type of hype that surrounds this kid.

Pick: Trevor Lawrence (-110)

 ESPY Best Female College Athlete Odds

Athlete Odds
Odicci Alexander +125
Paige Bueckers +175
Jaelin Howell +400
Madison Lilley +450

Alexander The Great

Leading James Madison on an improbable run in the College Softball World Series, Oddici Alexander gained national notice.

She pitched the Dukes to wins over #1 Oklahoma and #5 Oklahoma State.

A spectacular putout by Alexander also found its way into the SportsCenter plays of the day. Female athletes aren’t often given that level of attention.

Pick: Oddici Alexander (+125)

 ESPY Best Team Odds

Team Odds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -150
Los Angeles Dodgers +200
Alabama Crimson Tide +250
Baylor Bears +600
Oklahoma Sooners +1000
Seattle Storm +1200
Stanford Cardinal +1200

All Eyes On This Team

The Buccaneers were a wonderful story. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers completely dominated baseball during the 2000 campaign.

Both offensively and defensively, the Dodgers were the best on the diamond. They crushed homers at a record rate.

The difficult task of being the Alabama football program is that the Crimson Tide are just expected to win every year. Any other outcome is disappointing.

Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (+200)

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Robert Duff

Sports Writer