By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)
The season is less than 2 weeks away! Woohoo! As we currently stand, we are still looking good for a season. With that in mind, let’s get our betting war chests out and peruse over the ante post markets.
First up, let’s take a look at the MVP award. This is awarded for the regular season performance for the person deemed to have been the Most Valuable Player (hence MVP).
Let us know who your MVP winner is for 2020 by tweeting us @Full10Yards on Twitter. The Betting podcast will be back between your eyes very soon indeed so keep your #EyesPeeled for that. You can find some betting information in our Full10Yards NFL season guide which you can buy from our shop as a PDF or over on Amazon for those that like something physical to touch and flick through the pages of (which actually comes with a free PDF version)!
Back to the MVP talk, here are some interesting stats for you before we look at the odds.
Firstly, Russell Wilson has not received a single MVP vote…EVER. Since Wilson entered the league, here are a list of a few players that have:
- Carson Palmer,
- Derek Carr,
- Tony Romo,
- Bobby Wagner.
Not as mindblowing though, no surprises to see that Quarterbacks have won the last 13, with Adrian Peterson the last non QB to win the award.
- Running backs don’t get the love nor the volume like they used to.
- Wide Receivers don’t get it because it’s the Quarterback throwing them the ball.
With that background in our notebooks, let’s look at the last few winners:
- 2019 – Lamar Jackson
- 2018 – Patrick Mahomes
- 2017 – Tom Brady
- 2016 – Matt Ryan
- 2015 – Cam Newton
I find it amazing that none of these QBs won the Super Bowl in the year they won MVP. The last QB to do so? Kurt Warner in 1999.
The award has to be up there with the Madden Curse for those QBs winning it, wanting to go and win it all. There have been a fair few Super Bowl Losers that won MVP but you have to feel that the QBs winning this award would donate their trophy to the scrap heap in exchange for a Vince Lombardi trophy.
Let’s look at the betting for this year:
As expected, the list is dominated by the top signal callers of the NFL. The first non QB in the betting is Christian McCaffrey or Derrick Henry at 50/1.
So who is going to win?
Well if you are looking for a QB to win it for a multiple time, you’ll want to be aware just 9 players have won this award multiple times. For Tom Brady (or Cam Newton) backers, you’ll also want to know that only 1 person QB has won the award with 2 different teams and that of course is the legendary Peyton Manning (Colts/Broncos).
The big hurdle laying in front of the last 2 winners and current top 2 favourites in Mahomes and Jackson is that it’s very rare to win back to back, purely because to do so, you usually have to better the stats and the performances on the field that your winning year. As Mahomes and Jackson blew records out of the water in their MVP winning years, it’s hard to see either finding themselves back in the winners’ enclosure. If you make me pick either, I’ll pick Mahomes at the prices and is a further year removed from his MVP season. I can’t see Lamar Jackson repeating his 2019 performances and statistical achievements, let alone better them, so I am happy to pass him over. The last person to win back to back MVPs was Peyton Manning just over a decade ago. Patrick Mahomes staying injury free this season alone obviously puts him in the conversation, his level of play seems no signs of slowing down and showcased his talents in the post season last year, overcoming big double digits holes in multiple games. In fact, following that postseason run and Super Bowl, opinion of Mahomes has only grown in the offseason as his average odds to win this season’s MVP have only continued to get better.
Russell Wilson, who gets all the plaudits during the season for his play, isn’t able to manufacture that play in to any votes. Whilst he’ll continue to play at the levels of yesteryears and whilst he may get some votes (even if they are pity ones), I can’t see him taking the award away this season.
Dak Prescott is an interesting price and the Cowboys are in the spotlight just as much as they ever have been. Dak had a career year last year, earning him a couple of ticks in the MVP box for some voters and it’s possible that because he is now Jason Garrett-less, the stabilisers may come off and he could blow the doors off opposing defences. Not so fast though, as Dallas and Dak really struggled against any team last year who either had a winning record or made the playoffs so I feel that it’s could be a bit of a pipedream to feel that Dak takes home the bacon this year. Though in the plus column, the defence is still questionable, he has a shiny new WR weapon in Lamb and the last few years, Dallas alternates in double digit wins in a season and it turns on the good side of the coin for this year. He’d likely have to better his 4,902 passing yards on last year and that’s just for starters.
I get the feeling the voters could clamour to give Tom Brady his 3rd MVP award. As mentioned above though, only one other QB has achieved it but considering the historic old age “Is it Belichick or is it Brady” question, I think any indication of decent statistics from Tampa Tom combined with a first NFC South win since 2007 and a potential #1 NFC seed could see Brady add yet another trophy to his bulging cabinet.
Deshaun Watson is readily passed over considering he is now Nuk-less and I see the Texans struggling to win their division, let alone challenging for the top table in the AFC.
Like Russell Wilson, Drew Brees has never appealed to MVP voters. You get the sense that if he wins this year, it will feel a lot like when Ryan Giggs won Sports Personality of the Year award. In Drew’s defence, he has the talent and team around him to be able to win it himself, but i think there are too many other candidates with better chances. Like Tom Brady, it’s a tough NFC South so the mountain he has to climb is a little steeper than others.
Of the rest on the top table of odds, Kyler Murray doesn’t have the defence yet to enable the Cardinals to get to double digit wins so we can give him a miss. Carson Wentz was a season ending injury away from taking it in the Eagles’ Super Bowl winning year. He can give you a good run for the odds, but you have to feel his ship has sailed, especially with Dallas looking strong in that division. Aaron Rodgers…nah.
Looking deeper down the list Matt Ryan (50/1), please see re: Tom Brady and Drew Brees and the NFC South. Ben Roethlisberger (50/1) is more likely to take the comeback player of the year award home (similar comments apply to Cam Newton or Matt Stafford at 66/1 for MVP).
Jimmy Garoppolo (50/1), what’s a nice way of putting this…is not the prototypical QB type that will win the award. Josh Allen could give you a good run at decent odds (50/1) but you have to wonder whether the voters want a QB with his types of attributes and talents associated with the other decorated QBs on the roll of honour.
If the winner of the MVP award has not already been mentioned, I will be shocked, however if you want a realllll stab in the dark Drew Lock could come from absolutely nowhere to win it all. He has been given weapons, he has a defence and a team that could get to 10 wins but does find himself in the division that Patrick Mahomes resides in. 80/1 for his odds is a bit skinny however. I would want triple digits numbers to place a wager on him.
So if you’ve got this far, I hope you have your own selection in mind.
However, if you give me a £1 to put on 1 or 2 players, I’d be placing those little golden nuggets on Patrick Mahomes (4/1) and Tom Brady (18/1)