NFL MVP Odds 2023: Mahomes, Burrow, Allen Remain Popular

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Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) passes under pressure from New England Patriots safety Kyle Dugger (23) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Sep 19, 2023, 8:10 AM
  • Tua Tagovailoa MVP odds are down to +550 after Week 2, crowning him as an early-season favorite.
  • NFL MVP odds for 2023 are dominated by quarterbacks – particularly in the AFC.
  • Jalen Hurts’ MVP odds have emerged as a popular public target.
  • NFL MVPs are rarely given to running backs, but 2023 could have one key exception.

The NFL season is now underway, which means it’s the perfect time to start breaking down NFL odds and getting involved in NFL futures betting.

Fortunately, I write and analyze major futures markets like Super Bowl odds. I also closely follow (and write about) the week-to-week evolutions of the NFL MVP betting market, too.   

Here are some early notes and numbers that should give you a great baseline to bet your ticket.  

NFL Odds To Win MVP: History Matters, So Pick a Quarterback 

Any time you’re betting into an awards market for futures, it’s important to consider the nature and history of recent award winners. 

For both NFL MVPs and Heisman Trophy winners, the award has become heavily quarterback-centric over the last 10 to 15 years. (And by the way, I write about Heisman Trophy odds, too.)

For NFL MVP specifically, only one non-quarterback has won the award over the last 16 seasons. That was Adrian Peterson in 2012, when he returned quickly after an ACL tear and came eight yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season record. Peterson finished with 2,097 yards.

Other than that, it’s all quarterbacks. I’ve provided the full historical list dating back to 1957 at the bottom of this article, in case you want to review everything before betting into the market.

The history is clear, though. If you want to bet a skill player, head over to AP Offensive Player of the Year. AP NFL MVP, though – that’s become an award for quarterbacks.

NFL MVP Odds 2023

PlayerCurrent OddsOpening OddsHighest Finish
Tua Tagovailoa5501000T-9th (2022)
Patrick Mahomes650650Winner (2022)
Josh Allen9006502nd (2020)
Jalen Hurts90010002nd (2022)
Trevor Lawrence12001400T-7th (2022
Lamar Jackson12001600Winner (2019)
Joe Burrow16006504th (2022)
Justin Herbert1600900T-9th (2022)
Dak Prescott160014006th (2016)
Brock Purdy20002500N/A
Matthew Stafford35006600N/A
Deshaun Watson40003000N/A
Derek Carr40004000T-3rd (2016)
Jordan Love40005000N/A
Jared Goff40004000N/A
Micah Parsons400015000T-7th (2022
Kirk Cousins66005000N/A
Tyreek Hill 660010000T-9th (2022)
Justin Jefferson6600100005th (2022)
Christian McCaffrey660010000N/A

AFC Quarterbacks Dominate NFL MVP Odds for 2023

It’s not terribly surprising to see the three most popular AFC quarterbacks – Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen – at the top of the table here. NFL fans and bettors alike widely consider these three players to be among the best quarterbacks in football right now. 

Mahomes, who is the reigning MVP, is an understandably popular choice among both sharp and public bettors. As of Sept. 12 at the BetMGM online sportsbook, 9.4% of all NFL MVP tickets and 14.9% of all MVP handle are on Mahomes, which trails only other player. (More on that popular guy in a second!)

There may be some reticence to bet on a back-to-back MVP performance, but bettors with larger bankrolls are clearly unafraid to go back to the well with Mahomes. There is even precedent for repeat MVP performances, since Aaron Rodgers won the award in consecutive years as recently as 2020-21. 

Burrow is third in tickets (8.8%) and fourth in handle handle (8.9%). However, his odds have fallen down the board a few slots after the Bengals’ 0-2 start. (Before you panic, do remember that the Bengals also started 0-2 last season.)

Allen opened as a +650 co-favorite with Burrow and Mahomes but has slipped down just a bit after betting appetites were more moderate. His 3.7% of tickets is behind six other AFC quarterbacks alone, including Lamar Jackson and Trevor Lawrence.

Jalen Hurts’ MVP Odds Demonstrate Public Popularity

Few NFL players have had a better run these last 12 months than Jalen Hurts. A strong finish to his third NFL season netted an NFC Championship for his team and a massive contract extension for himself.

Whether or not the Eagles will continue to thrive with much of their salary cap now invested in Hurts is an open question. However, Hurts’ dual-threat nature, lower-body strength, and recent contract news has highlighted him as a clear public betting target.

There’s still a lot of time left in the market here, but Hurts has emerged as a clear betting favorite among ticket-holders, even if the odds don’t yet reflect that. With 14% of all bets, Hurts is the single most popular NFL MVP ticket at BetMGM. 

There is some logic to this. In MVP races across most sports, players often need an initial season to pop onto MVP radars, then a follow-up season to earn the award. With Hurts fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, he’s clearly proved he belongs in the conversation. 

There’s also his schedule to consider, which should provide plenty of opportunities for wins and stat accumulation in a top-heavy NFC. 

But since the Eagles match up against the AFC East this year, that means he’ll have head-to-head opportunities against Allen and Tua Tagovailoa – both fellow MVP contenders. 

There are also some downsides to consider. Hurts is +900, which is fourth in the table. That seems like an awfully steep price for someone who’s only really had one strong year of professional performance. A step back seems just as likely – if not more likely – than a step forward.

NFL MVP: Longshots To Consider For 2023

If you’re considering a position in the NFL MVP odds market for this year, it’s generally worth it to spend a dollar or two on longshot positions. If one of them works out, there can be some immaculate hedge opportunities down the line.

Generally speaking, I think there are so many good quarterbacks in the AFC that they’re all going to beat each other up. It’ll be hard for any one of them to stand out. With many priced at +2000 or lower, that makes it hard to bet on anyone but a prime candidate like Mahomes or Burrow.

One exception might be Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson at +4000. The Browns figure to have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL this year, which means Watson should have plenty of protection in the pocket. 

Cleveland is also likely to lean on that line and dial up some designed quarterback runs to make use of Watson’s athleticism.

Because of injuries on the field and deeply poor decisions off the field, it’s been several years since anyone has seen a full season of football from Watson. From a pure handicapping standpoint, that opens up quite a perception gap. A vintage season from Watson could certainly be MVP-caliber, which is not something bettors can say about every quarterback in the NFL.

On the other hand, relying on a pool of MVP voters to reward Watson with a major reward at season’s end could be a waste of your money.

Another strategy in the same range could be to lean toward an NFC quarterback that could pile up stats and wins against a manageable schedule. That could be Seattle quarterback Geno Smith (+8000), who PFF graded as a top-10 quarterback in 2022. 

Smith finished with higher PFF grades than Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert, Brock Purdy, Justin Fields, and Rodgers, among others. All five of those guys are 2023 MVP contenders whose odds are either equal to or above Smith in the table. 

The risk, of course, is that Smith is a journeyman with only one good year to his name. As is the case with Hurts, some regression is more likely than not. But on the off chance that he gets even better in Year 2 with Seattle, the ceiling for an improved Seahawks offense could be very high indeed. Did I mention he’ll have Jaxon Smith-Njigba now, too?

One last name I like is Christian McCaffrey at +6600, already far up the board from his opening position of 100-to-1. This is a true longshot, as I have already laid out the barren history of non-quarterbacks in this award market in recent years. 

But I think multi-use guys like McCaffrey offer unique X-factor qualities in an MVP race that traditional running backs and receivers do not. McCaffrey will play his first full season in 2023 under Kyle Shanahan’s powerful offense, which means he is likely to play the best season of his professional career.

On a team where a young, inexperienced quarterback is likely to run Shanahan’s offense quietly and efficiently, it’s a guy like McCaffrey who’s likely to pop as the true star of the offense. That’s different than most other teams, where this sort of cultural orbit nearly always centers around the quarterback by merit of the modern NFL. 

Because of his talent and his team circumstances, McCaffrey is absolutely worth a shot at such a lucrative payout.


YearAP NFL MVP WinnerPosition
2022Patrick MahomesQuarterback
2021Aaron RodgersQuarterback
2020Aaron Rodgers Quarterback
2019Lamar JacksonQuarterback
2018Patrick MahomesQuarterback
2017Tom BradyQuarterback
2016Matt RyanQuarterback
2015Cam NewtonQuarterback
2014Aaron RodgersQuarterback
2013Peyton ManningQuarterback
2012Adrian PetersonRunning Back
2011Aaron RodgersQuarterback
2010Tom BradyQuarterback
2009Peyton ManningQuarterback
2008Peyton ManningQuarterback
2007Tom BradyQuarterback
2006LaDainian TomlinsonRunning Back
2005Shaun AlexanderRunning Back
2004Peyton ManningQuarterback
2003Steve McNairQuarterback
2003Peyton ManningQuarterback
2002Rich GannonQuarterback
2001Kurt WarnerQuarterback
2000Marshall FaulkRunning Back
1999Kurt WarnerQuarterback
1998Terrell DavisRunning Back
1997Barry SandersRunning Back
1997Brett FavreQuarterback
1996Brett FavreQuarterback
1995Brett FavreQuarterback
1994Steve Young Quarterback
1993Emmitt SmithRunning Back
1992Steve Young Quarterback
1991Thurman ThomasRunning Back
1990Joe MontanaQuarterback
1989Joe MontanaQuarterback
1988Boomer EsiasonQuarterback
1987John ElwayQuarterback
1986Lawrence TaylorLinebacker
1985Marcus AllenRunning Back
1984Dan MarinoQuarterback
1983Joe TheismannQuarterback
1982Mark MoseleyKicker
1981Ken AndersonQuarterback
1980Brian SipeQuarterback
1979Earl CampbellRunning Back
1978Terry BradshawQuarterback
1977Walter PaytonRunning Back
1976Bert JonesQuarterback
1975Fran TarkentonQuarterback
1974Ken StablerQuarterback
1973OJ SimpsonRunning Back
1972Larry BrownRunning Back
1971Alan PageDefensive Tackle
1970John BrodieQuarterback
1969Roman GabrielQuarterback
1968Earl MorrallQuarterback
1967Johnny UnitasQuarterback
1966Bart StarrQuarterback
1965Jim BrownRunning Back
1964Johnny UnitasQuarterback
1963Y.A. TittleQuarterback
1962Jim TaylorRunning Back
1961Paul HornungRunning Back
1959Johnny UnitasQuarterback
1958Jim BrownRunning Back
1957Jim BrownRunning Back

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.