In the second of TheLines’ NFL betting series for futures markets, our staff discusses their favorite bets on 2022 NFL MVP odds. Aaron Rodgers has taken the hardware twice in a row, but the markets actually favor Bills QB Josh Allen this year.
Which plays have the staffers locked in or have at least begun considering? We’ll take a look after a brief rundown of recent winners and their odds, and what that can tell us. Click on any of the odds anywhere below to place a wager.
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2022 NFL MVP Odds
These are the best available prices for NFL MVP for each player in your state.
NFL MVP Odds: Betting History
|Year||Winner||Team (Position)||Approximate Odds||Previous Season Finish|
|2021||Aaron Rodgers||Packers (QB)||+1000||1st|
|2020||Aaron Rodgers||Packers (QB)||+2500||DNP|
|2019||Lamar Jackson||Ravens (QB)||+4000||DNP|
|2018||Patrick Mahomes||Chiefs (QB)||+3500||DNP|
|2017||Tom Brady||Patriots (QB)||+400||2nd|
|2016||Matt Ryan||Falcons (QB)||+7500||DNP|
|2015||Cam Newton||Panthers (QB)||+5000||DNP|
|2014||Aaron Rodgers||Packers (QB)||+600||DNP|
|2013||Peyton Manning||Broncos (QB)||+600||2nd|
|2012||Adrian Peterson||Vikings (RB)||+4000||DNP|
Immediately, a couple of things jump out. Obviously, quarterbacks have dominated the award. That comes as no surprise considering the rules changes over the past couple of decades — as well as analysts’ understanding of the game — have continued to increase the role and credit given to QBs. Stretching back further into history, in fact, no non-QB aside from Peterson has won since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006. Somewhat shockingly, no wide receiver has ever won. So, we probably need to narrow our focus to QBs.
However, for an award often considered predictable and chalky, several surprise winners have emerged in recent years. In addition to Peterson, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson came basically out of nowhere to win the award. Even Rodgers’ re-emergence in 2020 came after a down season when it looked like his days of elite play were waning.
So, we want to look at QBs and we don’t necessarily have to limit ourselves to chalk. In fact, two staffers concurred on a longer odds play.
Staff NFL Futures Discussions From TheLines
I typically like to bet a longshot for less than a unit before the season starts and then hope he builds some equity as the season continues. I don’t see a ton of value near the top of this board right now. In late April, I bet Jalen Hurts 55-to-1 right when the team traded for AJ Brown.
Do I think Hurts is going to be an elite passer, or that the Eagles will be pass heavy? No. Do I think it’s in the range of outcomes that he could have a Lamar Jackson-type MVP season with a loaded roster around him? Yes, and it appears I’m not alone. His price has shortened as low as 20-to-1 but remains available at 30-to-1.
From Week 8 onward after a 2-5 start, the Eagles ranked fifth in EPA/play and seventh in success rate. Philly was also seventh in dropback EPA in this sample, showing that on a per-play basis, the pass game was still strong. The run game was also elite, which Hurts will again contribute to in 2023. The Eagles rushing offense ranked fourth and first in rush EPA and SR, respectively, after Week 7.
In the back half of the season (Week 8 on), Hurts improved as a passer on a per-play basis, posting a positive completion percentage over expectation and ranking top 10 in adjusted EPA/play while posting the third-highest average depth of target. He ranked behind only Justin Fields and Russell Wilson. Did I mention he did all that without Brown, and the Eagles have a 2022 schedule that ranks as one of the three easiest by opponent win totals?
I consider the NFC East to be wide open, with the Eagles having as good of a chance as anybody to take it down (and perhaps by wide margin). Hurts will play behind PFF’s No. 1 offensive line headed into the 2022 season, with the fourth-rated receiving corps.
He was already in the upper half of the league in short- to mid-range passes, and the youngster should get better on the deep ball with more NFL experience. From a pure numbers standpoint, the acquisition of AJ Brown, the second-year leap of DeVonta Smith, a very underrated Dallas Goedert, and the sneaky-good addition of Zach Pascal should have Hurts set up to significantly increase his passing yardage and touchdown numbers. And we must also remember he’s going to add another 750-1,000 rushing yards to his overall stat sheet as well.
If all this wasn’t enough to make you want to back Hurts, let me throw in that the Eagles have the second-easiest schedule in the NFL. If the team as a whole can play to its talent, then I believe Hurts will find himself with short MVP odds come January.
MVP voters love narrative, and what better narrative is there in the NFL this year than the Russell Wilson revenge tour? Wilson’s odds (+1400 at DraftKings, seventh lowest) could be cut in half early on in the season as the 33-year-old faces his old team, the Seahawks, in primetime in Week 1 and then gets a layup at home the following week against the Texans.
Yes, the Broncos do play in the most rugged division in football – but it’s not exactly a murderers’ row when it comes to their non-division foes. Denver plays the aforementioned Seahawks and Texans, as well as the Jets, Jaguars and Panthers. All told, it’s the 17th “easiest” schedule in the league per Sharp Football Analysis. A motivated Wilson, owning arguably the best surrounding cast he’s had on offense in his career, should be able to rack up wins against that average schedule and should be able to put up gaudy numbers.
It’s been a few years since Patrick Mahomes hasn’t entered the season as the MVP favorite. Everything seems to be working against him.
According to Football Outsiders, during this offseason the Kansas City Chiefs endured one of the biggest net losses of skill position players since the turn of the century. Tyreek Hill is gone, and KC went the route of “moneyballing” their receiving corps for the 2022 season with cut-price veterans like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marques Valdez-Scantling.
Meanwhile, the rest of the AFC West loaded up on talent (Russell Wilson, Davante Adams, Khalil Mack, etc.), creating one of the great football groupings we’ve seen in a long time.
There’s a lot to overcome here, but football writers will take notice if Mahomes strolls to another division title. He’s still the best football player on the planet in my book, but he’s not being treated that way in the markets.
And now for something completely different. Remember when I said we needed to focus on quarterbacks? And that a wide receiver has literally never won an NFL MVP award? Well, everyone here has highlighted some of the more interesting QB plays. So, let’s throw all that out the window and examine a potential longshot, a way outside-the-box pick.
Generally speaking, it makes some sense that a wide receiver has never won the award. If a receiver has a huge year, then most likely, his passer has a huge year as well and will hog most of the credit for himself. But, one scenario for 2022 does catch my eye and make me wonder.
In the case of the Raiders, should they have a huge year, wouldn’t Davante Adams get the lion’s share of the credit? He’s the clear new piece of the equation. And we’ve seen what he can do with an admittedly far better QB. But I feel like the narrative could get behind him much more so when he moves to a lesser situation, but one that still has the potential for big numbers. Derek Carr finished fifth and 11th the past two years in total passing yards. We’ve never seen Adams without Rodgers as a pro but he has been the best receiver in football for the past few years and it’s reasonable to think he can still do big things in his new digs.
Obviously, you’re getting a monstrous price on these NFL MVP odds, 250-to-1. I think if you want to consider a non-QB, Adams makes some sense.