NFL MVP ODDS: Lamar Jackson Entering Mix As Joe Burrow & Josh Allen Square Off
We’ve almost arrived at the midway point of the season, and NFL MVP odds continue to be a fascinating rollercoaster. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has entered into the picture after he’s throttled opponents the last two weeks. Let’s look at current odds in and some of the biggest movers at the best sports betting sites.
2023 NFL MVP ODDS
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Lamar Jackson ()
The biggest mover in NFL MVP odds over recent weeks has been Jackson after the Ravens’ impressive victory over the Lions in Week 7. However, I’m not certain he should be in the mix for this. Their two losses thus far have come to Gardner Minshew and Kenny Pickett. Baltimore has benefited from ideal situations when it comes to the quarterbacks they’ve faced.
- Week 1: vs. CJ Stroud in his first NFL start
- Week 2: vs. an injured Joe Burrow
- Week 4: vs. Dorian Thompson-Robinson
- Week 6: vs. Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis
- Week 7: vs. Jared Goff
- Week 8: vs. Josh Dobbs
Although the wins are somewhat unimpressive, Lamar is on pace for one of his best seasons as a passer. Barring injury, he’s on pace for over 3,700 passing yards and 19 passing touchdowns this season. The yardage mark reflects a nice leap under first-year OC Todd Monken; however, it’s nothing close to Tua Tagovailoa, who is on pace for over 5,000 passing yards. If he’s not going to compete through the air, he needs to notch some impressive rushing performances.
Jackson isn’t operating in the same offense that won him MVP in 2019. That year, Jackson logged over 1,200 rushing yards, which broke Michael Vick‘s record of 1,039 in 2006. Under Monken’s heavier air attack, he’s unlikely to repeat that performance. In fact, his 5.1 yards per carry this year is his lowest mark since 2018. Baltimore has a difficult schedule with Seattle and Cleveland on deck, with defenses ranking in the top 10 in EPA per play and dropback EPA.
The Ravens can only play who is on the schedule in front of them, but if Lamar has a shot here, he needs to stay healthy and knock off some quality teams and quarterbacks.
Ravens Upcoming Schedule
Tua Tagovailoa ()
Although Tua’s odds haven’t shifted much, he’s worth mentioning because Miami plays Kansas City in Germany on Sunday. The Dolphins have developed quite the profile this season; they pummel the bad teams and lose to the good ones. If they fall to Patrick Mahomes on Sunday morning, Tua might be bounced from the MVP race. He’ll have a loss to Allen, Hurts, and Mahomes, all of whom are squarely in the MVP race. A win on Sunday is crucial for his MVP resume.
Another problem with Tua’s MVP chances is that Tyreek Hill and head coach Mike McDaniel are frontrunners for other awards, OPOY and COY. I find it hard to believe that Miami will sweep the MVP, OPOY, and COY awards. The last time that happened was 1999 when the Rams did so; Kurt Warner won MVP, Marshall Faulk won OPOY, and Dick Vermeil won Coach of the Year. Vermeil’s squad finished with a record of 13-3, one win shy of the Jaguars for the best in the NFL. Their 526 points scored were the most in the NFL, as Washington came in second with 443. It’s a different league now, and the voters won’t overlook these losses against quality opponents at the season’s end.
Dolphins Upcoming Schedule
Joe Burrow vs. Josh Allen This Week
This is the last chance to buy into Burrow or Allen for MVP if you still want to do so. Whoever wins this matchup will see their odds shortened, and their MVP case will begin to build steam. Should Allen win, he’ll have beaten both Tua and Burrow. Regarding advanced metrics, Allen is putting together an impressive season, ranking second in EPA per play and first in CPOE.
From a statistics standpoint, he’s on pace for 47 total touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The interceptions are glaring; however, the touchdown number will be impressive. My hesitation with Allen is that his defense may falter and cause them to lose a few games. Since Week 5, they rank 29th in overall EPA per play and 27th in Dropback EPA. The quarterbacks faced during this stretch were Trevor Lawrence, Tyrod Taylor, Mac Jones, and Baker Mayfield. With three losses already, the defense has little room for error the rest of the way.
Best available Allen MVP odds: ()
On the other hand, Burrow came off the bye looking better than he has all season. His six carries for 43 rushing yards add an element to the Bengals offense that has been missing up to this point. Through the air, he had one of his best games of the year against what has been a top-10 defense for the 49ers.
If Burrow wins this showdown on Sunday against Allen, he’ll firmly place himself in the MVP conversation and have a chance to gain ground in Week 10 when the team faces the Texans. For reference, the Texans’ defense ranks 24th in Pass DVOA, and that’s with the team facing Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Derek Carr, and Bryce Young in the past four games. His chance to close in on this award is further aided by the Chiefs and Dolphins on their bye in Week 10.
Best available Burrow MVP Odds: ()
FINAL THOUGHTS ON NFL MVP
This is shaping up to be an exciting weekend in the NFL MVP market, with four of the front runners facing off against one another. We didn’t even cover Jalen Hurts and the Eagles squaring off against the Cowboys this weekend. At this point in time, Hurts is the only quarterback in the NFC in the running for MVP after Purdy’s poor stretch. The final thing worth mentioning is that the Ravens, Bengals, Bills, and Dolphins have the toughest remaining strength of schedule in the NFL. Perhaps that is why Mahomes remains the favorite at most sportsbooks after a few duds against the Broncos. If you bought in on any of these quarterbacks at long odds, this is a crucial weekend for your ticket. Best of luck betting on NFL MVP odds!
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