With NFL training camps set to begin later this month, the excitement is starting to build for football. July will be the last month of the year without American pigskin action as preseason games will get underway in a few weeks’ time.
As bettors start to look at futures, odds to win the Super Bowl, and regular season win totals, one prop to handicap is the Most Valuable Player award now that the odds have been released. Let’s take a closer look at that prop and the best options on the board:
NFL MVP History
When you’re evaluating who to bet, it’s worth taking a look back at the history. A quarterback has won it five straight seasons and 10 of the last 11 times. That’s why the top 17 players on the NFL MVP odds board this year are all quarterbacks. Three running backs won from 2000-2006 but the game has become more passing oriented since.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the reigning NFL MVP and will be among the favorites to win the award once again in 2018 at +800 odds. However, Brady isn’t the outright favorite to win. That title belongs to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is listed at +550. Rodgers has unfinished business to address after his 2017 season was cut short by a broken collarbone. He will also have some new weapons to work with after Green Bay added tight ends Jimmy Graham and Lance Kendricks.
Brady will also be motivated to win one more ring but remember that he lost a number of key weapons (Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola) and will be without Julian Edelman for the first four games of the season.
There are only three other players inside of 20/1 and those are Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (+850), New Orleans Saints signal caller Drew Brees (+1500) and San Francisco 49ers budding start Jimmy Garoppolo (+1500).
Wentz was the favorite to win the award when he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 14 last season. Brees finished fourth in passing last year and led the league in completion percentage (72%), even though the Saints shifted to run the ball more. As for Garoppolo, he had 1,560 passing yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions as the 49ers won their final five games of the year. Extrapolated over a full season, that’s nearly 5000 yards passing. If he keeps that up and the 49ers rise as a contender, he’ll be in the conversation.
If you are looking to consider a potential sleeper pick to win NFL MVP, there are some quarterback and non-quarterback options you might want to take a long look at. Kirk Cousins (+2200) joined the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason and could be in line to put up massive numbers in his debut season. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan (+2200) will try to carry the Falcons back to the Super Bowl as one of the NFC favorites and the offense should get a shot in the arm with the addition of first-round pick Calvin Ridley.
The top non-quarterback options are Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (+4000) and Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (+4000). David Johnson (+4500) and Ezekiel Elliott (+5000) are deemed to be top running back options as well with MVP potential, but keep in mind that recent history shows running backs are a long shot.