A friend of mine bought a futures ticket at a Las Vegas sportsbook recently.
A futures ticket means – a wager that something will happen in the future.
The futures bet is – Jameis Winston to win the NFL Most Valuable Player award in 2021.
So, Rich Bremer (oops, I just identified my friend) took a picture of his futures ticket. Then, he posted it on Facebook. That's when the laughter and heckling began.
"Light your money on fire!"
Those were just a few of the (printable) comments.
Fact is, Jameis Winston at 100-1 is a phenomenal value. And anyone who thinks otherwise has no grasp of sports gambling and probabilities. None.
Does this mean I think (or Rich Bremer expects) Jameis Winston will win MVP? Nope. It's a longshot. But the odds are certainly a helluva' lot better than 100-1.
Let me list a few reasons why this is a terrific value. There's a lesson here to be learned which deals with identifying outliers, and going against the grain of public perception.
No doubt, Winston was much maligned as the starter quarterback at Tampa Bay. But he's in New Orleans now. And, he's been named the starter:
 If the Saints do well--and there's no reason to think they shouldn't contend for the NFC South division title, and also be just as strong as they've been the last ten years--Winston automatically becomes a candidate for MVP, assuming he stays healthy and continues as the starter for most of the 17-game regular season.
 Winston posted appalling numbers as a turnover machine in Tampa Bay. But he was also playing from behind in a majority of his games. When new head coach Bruce Arians was hired in his final season with the Bucs, the offensive game plan was basically to throw every down and toss caution to the wind. Winston was responsible for a record number of pick-sixes, but he also threw for 33 touchdowns and 5,100 yards in his first year with a new offense.
 Now, Winston gets his second year in New Orleans under a coaching staff known to produce explosive offense. He's also surrounded with a much better team than the struggling Bucs (one of the NFL's worst teams) 2015-2019.
 Winston also had lasik eye surgery in the offseason. Michael Lombardi, the NFL personnel guru said this might seem like a small thing, but for a nearsighted quarterback, eyesight is critical.
 Drew Brees in 2020 was not a good quarterback. He suffered his worst season in 13 years, partially due to being hobbled by injuries. Nonetheless, the Saints finished 12-4, and they won the NFC South (the Super Bowl winning Bucs were a wild card). Assuming New Orleans plays to that level again, Winston doesn't need to win every game with his arm. A solid pass-run threat will be enough to keep the Saints in contention. If they somehow end up at 13-4 or better, Winston is almost automatically in the MVP conversation.
So, what are Winston's actual odds to win MVP? I don't know. But they are surely much better than 100-1.
By the way, this ticket was purchased a week ago. The odds have dropped down to 41-1 at SPREADS.CA and are in that range elsewhere. So, other bettors clearly saw value and drove this number down to something far more realistic.
Is Jameis Winston at 100-1 a steal? You bet!
Here's the latest MVP odds: