NFL MVP Odds 2020

Futures, Favorites, And How To Bet

The 2019-2020 NFL season concluded with an exciting finish in Super Bowl LIV, as the Kansas City Chiefs came back late for three unanswered TDs to down the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Odds are already up at many sportsbooks for the bets on the 2020-21 season, including a full list of favorites for the NFL MVP award.

Lamar Jackson was unanimously voted MVP last season after setting rushing records for a QB and leading the NFL in TD passes, but he’s not the favorite heading into next season.

In this betting guide, we will compare the current odds at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook and attempt to predict which players have a shot at MVP in 2021.

NFL MVP odds 2020

MVP Winner

Game
02/01/2020
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Patrick Mahomes
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+400
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+380
Lamar Jackson
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+600
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+600
Russell Wilson
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+700
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+600
Dak Prescott
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+1200
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+1200
Tom Brady
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+1600
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+1800
Deshaun Watson
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+2500
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+1700
Drew Brees
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+1600
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+1600
Carson Wentz
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+3000
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+1700
Kyler Murray
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+3000
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+2600
Aaron Rodgers
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+3300
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+2300
Baker Mayfield
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+3300
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+2900
Matt Ryan
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+4000
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+4400
Derrick Henry
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+4000
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+5000
Christian McCaffrey
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+5000
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+5000
Jimmy Garoppolo
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+5000
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+3500
Saquon Barkley
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+5000
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+5500
Josh Allen (Bills)
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+5000
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+5000
Matthew Stafford
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+5000
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+4400

OTB: Currently off the board

2020 offseason NFL MVP odds report

The Favorites

Patrick Mahomes: With the Chiefs (+600) opening as betting favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champs, Mahomes is also the favorite to win his second AP NFL MVP award. He would’ve been in the mix last year if his season didn’t hit a snag in Week 7 when he badly sprained his knee. In his first full season, Mahomes tossed 50 TDs with 12 INT and led the league in passer rating. With mastermind Andy Reid calling the shots and a slew of weapons at his disposal, it’s entirely possible he posts gaudy numbers again if he stays healthy.

Russell Wilson: Wilson is a decent bet to challenge either of these top QBs simply because of his team situation. The Chiefs and Ravens both have great pass defenses and are more complete teams than the Seahawks. Seattle’s defense could be vulnerable all year and several of their tailbacks will be coming off big injuries. Much will be placed on Wilson’s shoulders, and he proved capable of carrying the team during the first half of last season, when he was neck and neck with Jackson in the MVP race.

Lamar Jackson: Perhaps we’ll see some regression from Jackson as a passer after he completed 66% of his passes with 36 TDs and 6 picks last season. However, we’re unlikely to see much of a dip in his rushing totals after he set an NFL record with 1,206 rushing yards as a QB. He averaged 6.9 YPC last season and was only sacked on 6.3% of dropbacks. If mobility is king in the new NFL, Jackson is sitting on the throne.

Deshaun Watson: Like Wilson, Watson could get into some shootouts next year since Houston’s secondary is below average. He’s another dual-threat who has rushed for 964 yards and thrown for 7,907 yards over the past two seasons. As more of a traditional pocket passer than Jackson or Wilson, Watson could sneak into the conversation if AP voters become fatigued at the idea of voting for a QB that does most damage with their legs.

Aaron Rodgers: Volume was way down for Rodgers in his first season under Matt LaFleur. He still managed 26 TD passes and was once again the master of avoiding turnovers (4 INT), marking the ninth straight year he’s thrown single digit picks. Rodgers won MVP in 2011 and 2014 when he pushed the ball downfield and averaged at least 8.4 yards per attempt. If LaFleur installs a more aggressive approach this season, A-Rod could be right back in the mix.

Dak Prescott: Prescott had a fantastic and efficient 2019-2020 season with 30 TDs, 11 picks and a whopping 4,902 passing yards. The problem was that the Cowboys finished 8-8 due in part to some coaching issues. With Mike McCarthy at the helm now, Prescott could turn in another efficient season and earn consideration this time around if the Cowboys win their division.

Longshots

Christian McCaffrey: The Panthers could enter the season as the worst team in the NFL on paper. With Luke Kuechly gone, their already porous rush defense should be truly horrific. That opens even more opportunities for McCaffrey, who logged the highest snap rate (98.4%) with the highest opportunity share (91.5%) amongst RBs last season. His unmatched opportunity will likely make him a Fantasy Football MVP, but the Panthers should finish below .500, sapping his chances at the NFL MVP award.

Matt Ryan: We’re passing over Carson Wentz (+2000) as a potential favorite despite his higher odds, because the Eagles’ team situation is simply not appealing. Ryan won an MVP in 2016 with some lofty numbers (4,944 yards, 38:7 TD:INT ratio) under OC Kyle Shanahan. The Falcons will still have plenty of dangerous personnel if they can re-sign TE Austin Hooper to pair with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Atlanta’s poor defense forces Ryan to throw a ton and he got hot during the second half while steering the Falcons towards a respectable record.

Ben Roethlisberger: The Steelers nearly made the playoffs last year thanks to an elite defense that featured the best pass rush in the NFL. Since we just saw the 49ers make the Super Bowl due to a strong pass rush and running game, it’s reasonable to project success for the Steelers if they can settle their QB situation. Roethlisberger, 37, should return from an elbow injury and steer the offense towards success. If the Steelers post one of the top records in the AFC, he could have an outside chance at MVP consideration.

Derrick Henry: The Titans will need to re-sign their workhorse RB and try to retain OT Jack Conklin as well if they want to maintain their elite rushing attack. Henry was an absolute beast during the second half of the season and early playoffs, setting a new bar with 1,273 rushing yards and 11 TDs at 6.27 YPC over an 8-game span. If he can sustain that ridiculous production over the course of a full season, the oversized RB could run past the QBs and earn the award.

Saquon Barkley: Compared to a combination of Barry Sanders and Jim Brown, Barkley flashed limitless potential during his rookie season before injuries derailed his sophomore campaign. Now that the Giants have settled their QB situation, it will be easier for Barkley to find consistency as a runner and receiver. He’s capable of putting up 1,000 yards on the ground and through the air, which would give him consideration if the Giants are competitive.

Michael Thomas: Those who want to put a small bet on a true longshot could consider Michael Thomas at these long odds. A wideout has never won MVP, but Thomas broke new ground last season with an NFL record 149 receptions with a ridiculous average of 107.8 receiving YPG. He did it all with two different QBs throwing him the ball and would be a threat to the MVP candidacy of Drew Brees since he’s so vital to the Saints passing attack.

NFL MVP picks and predictions

MVP futures betting

NFL MVP bets are among the most popular in the futures betting market every year, and now it’s becoming easier than ever to plunk some money down on your best bet to win the award in 2019.

All player markets currently offered are at plus-money in terms of odds. This means bettors correctly pegging the eventual award winner will make several times their original wager.

One trend will be very apparent as we delve into this year’s top candidates: it’s highly probable the MVP award ultimately goes to a quarterback. Eleven of the last 13 MVPs have been QBs. Running backs LaDainian Tomlinson (2006) and Adrian Peterson (2012) are the only ones to break the grip over that span. It took both monumental, career seasons to do it.

Then, of active signal-callers, there have been only two repeat winners during that span – Tom Brady (2007, 2010, 2017) and Aaron Rodgers (2011 and 2014).

How to bet NFL MVP futures

Maximizing a wager on any future outcome pertaining to a sporting event — or in the case of the NFL MVP award winner, an end-of-season occurrence – is heavily predicated on timing. By their very nature, odds on futures wagers are subject to varying degree of fluctuation. In the case of player-level futures like NFL MVP, a number of different factors can influence the trajectory of his futures odds as the games unfold week to week.

Any multi-week injury to the player naturally will cause odds to get much longer. Any serious MVP candidate essentially must play as close to 16 games as possible in order to accrue the kind of numbers necessary to have a realistic chance at the award. A player that begins the season considerably underperforming or goes into an in-season, multi-game funk will also see their odds drop.

Naturally, a reverse effect is seen if a player begins to significantly outperform preseason expectations. Another factor that can particularly shoot quarterbacks up the ladder is when a supporting offensive cast turns out to be even better than expected. Such a development often helps the candidate’s own numbers to an appreciable degree.

Where can you bet on MVP futures?

NFL MVP futures markets are available at all legal, regulated sportsbooks. NFL MVP futures are located behind the NFL tab in online sportsbook platforms, under a specific Futures tab. Typically, NFL MVP futures may often be found behind a “Player Futures” or “Awards” tab.  Within that section, bettors will find a listing of all of the “wagerable” players in that betting market, along with their corresponding odds at that point in time.

As alluded to earlier, futures wagers are often listed at “plus-money”. All NFL 2019 MVP player markets currently offered are at plus-money in terms of odds. This means bettors correctly pegging the eventual award winner will make several times their original wager.

Take the example of the preseason pacesetter at both FD and DK sportsbooks — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The third-year star’s odds opened at +400 at DraftKings Sportsbook. Those who accurately predict Mahomes to repeat as MVP champ this season will win $400 for every $100 they bet at that price.

How is the NFL MVP award typically decided?

The officially recognized NFL MVP award – the one that NFL MVP futures wagers are graded on – is that which is awarded by the Associated Press. A panel of 50 sportswriters conduct their vote at the conclusion of the regular season and prior to the beginning of the playoffs. The timing ensures that the regular season is the sole performance sample that is considered when the vote is conducted. The announcement of the MVP award winner occurs the day before the Super Bowl.

Despite the “spirit” of the term “most valuable player” – specifically, the characterization bestowed on a player whose absence would have the greatest negative impact on his team – that in itself is usually not enough without sufficient accompanying statistical reinforcement. Look no further than 2018 as an example. Based on the purest “most valuable player” definition, a strong case could have been made for other players besides Mahomes.

How far would the Colts have gotten with Jacoby Brissett instead of Andrew Luck under center? The Saints without Drew Brees? Or, perhaps the most obvious example – the world champion Patriots without Brady?

However, raw numbers are usually the tie-breaker. In Mahomes’ case, his 5,369 total yards and 52 total touchdowns rightfully held tremendous sway with the voters. And, combined with Mahomes’ unquestioned value to his team, it was enough to carry him to the award. In comparison, runner-up Brees, pivotal as he undeniably was to his own team’s fortunes, threw for 1,105 fewer yards and 11 fewer touchdowns than Mahomes.

Curiously, both players finished up their seasons in the same way – with losses in their respective conference championships.