After a few wild weeks of upsets, injuries, and controversies, the NFL's Most Valuable Player race is now wide open
Betting on the NFL's MVP award just got really crazy.
Some of the favourites have fallen (stick a fork in Matthew Stafford--he's done!), others have been hit with injuries (better luck next year, Russell Wilson), and one moron risked his own health and his team's future prospects when he willingly lies and broke league rules on COVID policy (oh, how the mighty have fallen, Aaron Rodgers).
After week 10, here's the updated MVP odds at SPREADS.CA. Note these odds are very volatile and will change from week to week:
So, where's the betting value?
Here's our thoughts on the favourites (all those players listed at less than 99-1):
Josh Allen (Buffalo) – The Bills' star QB did himself no favors when he put up just 6 points in an awful effort against Jacksonville a few weeks ago. However, Josh Allen bounced back with a strong performance against the NY Jets. It remains to be seen if Allen can keep up the high level of play against better competition. Much will depend on his two upcoming games versus the rising New England Patriots. We like Allen's chances to win, but not at this (inflated) price.
Tom Brady (Tampa Bay) – It's unfathomable that a 44-year-old QB is even in the conversation about league MVP. This is Superman stuff. Nonetheless, Brady is that once-in-a-generation player who defies all expectations. He's enjoyed a stellar season, though the Bucs have lost 3 games. Still, those losses weren't necessarily Brady's fault. Even in defeat, Brady's offense produced an average of 24 PPG. With the highest scoring offense in football, plus his reputation, Brady deserves serious consideration in the 5-1 range. It also helps that Brady is one of the few on this list who hasn't missed a game yet.
Dak Prescott (Dallas) – This might be the steal on the board right now, at 9-1. Prescott is the new Russell Wilson – his performance is more important to his team than any player in the NFL. Right now, Prescott is delivering on offense, putting up awesome numbers. He did miss one week (versus Minnesota) and played a clunker (against Denver. Nevertheless, Prescott leads and offense that's electrifying and capable to producing sick numbers. If the Cowboys end up with the NFC's top seed – which is certainly possible – Prescott probably wins MVP.
Matthew Stafford (LA Rams) – It's baffling that Stafford is anywhere in the top dozen after his dismal efforts the last two weeks. Not only was the Rams' quarterback non-productive, he cost his team points with bad turnovers. Stafford will continue to put up impressive stats, but he's not known as a big-game quarterback and his awful showing on Sunday and Monday night games these last two weeks should have removed him from any consideration for MVP. Stafford would have to play off the charts and the Rams have to close 6-1 to even be in the conversation (which won't happen).
Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) – Rodgers is certainly an MVP-caliber QB, having won the award multiple times previously. He's also enjoying another strong season, even though he missed a game. It remains to be seen if voters will penalize Rodgers for his dumb decisions regarding the COVID vaccination controversy. We think that's enough of an issue to possibly sway a few votes in a close contest, so Rodgers probably deserves to be listed below some others. Like the Prescott situation, if the Packers end up at 14-3 and enjoy home-field advantage in the playoffs, Rodgers might have enough to squeak out yet another MVP award.
Lamar Jackson (Baltimore) – When Jackson plays his best, he's spectacular. But when he has an off-game, as has happened multiple times this season (at Detroit, at Miami), Jackson looks totally lost. Jackson was progressing nicely as a passer, and will have to put up better numbers the second half of the season to leap above the others who are at shorter odds. Conclusion: Jackson should be more of a longshot than 17-1.
The Field – Regarding the others listed among favourites, this doesn't look to be Patrick Mahomes' year. Kansas City hasn't played well enough for Mahomes to get the nod as MVP, though if the Chiefs run the table and score lots of points, there remains a slight possibility he could win. Kyler Murray (Arizona) was having an MVP season until a few weeks ago, then he missed two games. That might knock him out of the race. Justin Herbert will probably win an MVP award sometime, but it won't be this season the way the Chargers have played. Cooper Kupp (LA Rams) is enjoying a stellar season (85 receptions, 10 TDs) and deserves to be a favourite among non-QBs – however, playing on the other side of the Matt Stafford duo won't help him in voting....no chance. Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee) deserves far more consideration and should be better than 34-1 odds, especially given how the Titans are playing and how important he is to the team now that RB Travis Henry's season is finished. Tannehill his a steal at this price. As for Derek Carr, Joe Burrow, and Teddy Bridgewater, allow me to catch my breath after laughing so hard. If you want to bet on either of these three, it would be more entertaining to flush you money down a toilet.
Best Bet: Tom Brady at 4.5 to 1
Best Value: Dak Prescott at 9 to 1
Best Longshot: Ryan Tannehill at 34 to 1