The NFL MVP award has basically become an award that goes to the quarterback with the best season. The last time a non-quarterback won the MVP was in 2012. Adrian Peterson took the honor home that year. This year’s early odds are reflecting this trend with quarterbacks being the first 15 players on the board.
No surprise that the first two players on the board for MVP are the NFL’s last two MVPs, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes is the considerable favorite at +400. That is nearly double Jackson’s odds, who comes in at+700.
The Chiefs are returning most of their offensive fire power, even with Damien Williams opting out, and all of their coaching staff. That and the fact that their is such a shortened offseason makes me think Mahomes could be in for a monster year. While +400 is not a great number, it is fair for the possibility of what Mahomes could do in 2020.
The other player with single digit odds is Russell Wilson. He comes in at +800. My biggest worry here would be whether or not Wilson can put up big enough numbers in their run heavy offense. He is a tremendous player and the second best QB in the NFL, but doesn’t play in a favorable offense.
Dak Prescott and Tom Brady are next in line at +1400 and +1600 respectively. These are both really interesting numbers. Prescott is going to be under a new head coach and playing for a new contract. Brady is now with Tampa Bay and surrounded by his best supporting cast since he had Rnady Moss and Rob Gronkowski in New England. I don’t mind either of these numbers for these players at all.
In the 20’s range there is Carson Wentz, Drew Bress, Deshaun Watson, and Kyler Murray. Murray’s number when it first came out was 50 and it got hammered all the way down to 28. The 50 number seemed like great value, the 28 not as much. Wentz is my favorite in this range at +2000. He put up good numbers last year with a supporting cast that basically had no starters left. Eagles could be sneaky good this year and that could help Wentz’s case, as he would likely be a large reason why they would be.
The 30-50 range has some very interesting names in it, including, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield, Matt Stafford, Josh Allen, Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey.
Roethlisberger comes in at +4000 and is my favorite bet in that range. The Steelers somehow went 8-8 without him last year. If he is healthy, this team could be a force in the AFC. He is also surrounded by some talented weapons on the outside. Big numbers plus wins is an easy way for a quarterback to win MVP. The story of him coming back from injury also helps.
There has been a lot of steam for Josh Allen in the media and while I think the team will be solid, I don’t see him putting up good enough passing numbers to make a real run at MVP, especially at his +5000 number. He has never been a great passer, even through college. He rushing numbers also could regress. It just doesn’t make sense.
The players that start to come in at +6000 and lower include a lot of wide receivers and running backs. For one of these positions to win MVP they would have to put up one of the best seasons in history. It is just something very difficult to do.
The Watt brothers, Nick Bosa and Khalil Mack are the first defenders on the board and are all +10000. Of all these guys I would take Bosa if I had to chose a defender. Bosa was a stud in the Super Bowl and could have another great year. It would take a monumental effort to take home the MVP, however.
The deep bomb that I like the best is Tua Tagovailoa at +15000. The Miami Dolphins finished the year strong in 2019 and had a very good offseason and draft. They should be even better in 2020 and play in a weak AFC East division. Tua has the skillset and weapons around him to have a great year. If he plays well enough to get them into the playoffs he could be a darkhorse to hoist the MVP. There are injury concerns there, but he was cleared to practice in full recently, so he should be ready to go.
The only bets I would make for MVP are quarterbacks. It is just too difficult for other players to do enough to get the recognition.
Here are my favorite bets so far:
Patrick Mahomes +400 – not a great number, but you are paying for the best player in the NFL being in the best situation
Carson Wentz +2000 – keep everyone healthy and he has the talent to be in the mix
Ben Roethlisberger +4000 – must be fully healthy and if his could make some serious noise
Tua Tagovailoa +15000 – complete bomb, but has a lot of upside