The NFL MVP conversation is ramping up as we enter Week 9 and cross the halfway point of the 2021 season. So who are the NFL players with the most favorable odds? What does history tell us about selecting the MVP, and what do the NFL odds tell us about who will likely be crowned the National Football League Most Valuable Player?
Exploring the Odds for NFL MVP
The BetMGM Sportsbook has Josh Allen as the current betting favorite for the NFL MVP Award at +250. Five quarterbacks follow behind Allen with odds that suggest they are getting serious attention:
- Tom Brady +400
- Kyler Murray +500
- Matthew Stafford +600
- Dak Prescott +650
- Aaron Rodgers +900
How Does The Past Inform the Present?
It is essential to understand the past to make sense of the future. For example, by exploring the last ten NFL seasons, we can get a sense of the criteria for this award and the voting trends we have witnessed.
The last time a player won back-to-back NFL MVP awards was in 2008 and 2009 when Peyton Manning won with the Colts. Before that, only three players had back-to-back MVP seasons.
Having only four back-to-back MVPs in 64 NFL seasons suggests that winning the MVP in two straight seasons is a rarity. This would cast some doubt on last year’s MVP, Aaron Rodgers, a great value selection right now at +900.
MVP: Player and Team Success
The NFL MVP strikes a balance of a team’s success and personal success, often of historic proportions. Aaron Rodgers’ 2020 MVP campaign had the second-best quarterback rating of all time (121.5), second only to his record of 122.5 from his 2011 MVP season. The Packers were tied for the second-best record in the league at 13-3.
In 2019, MVP Lamar Jackson became the first NFL player to ever throw for 3,000 passing yards and rush for 1,000 rushing yards in a season. The Ravens were 13-2 in his 15 starts. In 2013, MVP Peyton Manning set the single-season record for passing yards (5477) and passing touchdowns (55), carrying the Broncos to a 13-3 record, tied for best in the NFL.
2021 MVP Outlook
Entering Week 9, Tom Brady leads the league with 2,650 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. Comparatively, betting favorite Josh Allen has 678 fewer passing yards and eight fewer touchdowns, albeit in one less game. Both Brady and Allen are leading their divisions with only two losses.
Murray, Stafford, and Rodgers have their team at 7-1, the best in the league, with Dak Prescott and the Cowboys close behind at 6-1. Prescott and Murray lead the league in completion percentage, at 73.1% and 72.7%, respectively, while Stafford leads the league in yards per attempt with 9.1 and a QBR (Quarterback Rating) with 77.4.
2021 MVP Prediction
Despite the Packers’ success, Aaron Rodgers is having a statistically inferior year compared to MVP standards. Being that Rodgers won MVP last year further suggests that he is an unlikely winner. Likewise, Dak Prescott’s recent calf injury, coupled with the team’s focus on the running game, projects Prescott as an unlikely winner at this point in the season.
With Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray in the same division, rarely, an MVP doesn’t win their division. In the last ten years, every quarterback who won MVP won their division as well. On BetMGM, the Cardinals are slight betting favorites to win the division at -120, and with Kyler’s head-to-head victory in Week 4, it would seem he has the advantage over Stafford.
This leaves Josh Allen and Tom Brady, the two betting favorites for MVP. Entering Week 9, bettors are getting great value at Brady +400. He is putting up league-leading numbers, and the Buccaneers currently have the 5th easiest strength of schedule (.448 opponent win percentage) remaining.
Place Your Bets on the NFL MVP Race Today
Look to Week 14 as a critical week to revisit the NFL MVP odds, when Josh Allen and Tom Brady, as well as Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford, go head to head. These two games could have a powerful impact on the outcome of the MVP race, as the MVP odds will likely be a roller coaster of changes over the final ten weeks of the year.
Who do you think will win this year’s NFL MVP race? Sign up for an account with BetMGM’s online sports betting site and place your bets today.
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