Lamar Jackson was the unanimous MVP of the 2019-2020 NFL season, but Patrick Mahomes was clearly the most valuable player in the playoffs while leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl title. NFL MVP odds for the 2020-21 season have been up for months, including a full list of favorites for the Most Valuable Player award, and it should come as no surprise that those talented young QBs are atop the board.
Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Tom Brady, and Deshaun Watson are also high on a list that is dominated by QBs per usual. The last non-QB to win MVP was Adrian Peterson in 2012 when he ran for over 2,000 yards.
NFL MVP odds 2020
2020 NFL MVP odds report
Patrick Mahomes: Rarely do you see a player with +300 odds to win NFL MVP so early in the season. Yet that is the hype that surrounds Mahomes, a breathtaking talent in a perfect situation with Andy Reid calling the plays and speedy receivers to target all over the field. If he stays healthy and wins matchups against other high-profile QBs, Mahomes should grab his second award.
Lamar Jackson: The Ravens were so impressive in Week 1 that they’re now tied with the Chiefs as the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl with +550 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. Jackson remains an efficient passer with dynamic rushing ability and he’s fully capable of winning consecutive MVP awards.
Russell Wilson: The most likely player to overtake Mahomes and Jackson in the MVP race is Wilson. If the Seahawks coaching staff simply lets him throw early and often, Wilson has proven that he’s one of the most efficient and clutch passers in the game, and demonstrated it again by completing 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and 4 TDs in a Week 1 win.
Aaron Rodgers: His numbers dropped precipitously last season, but Rodgers still has MVP-caliber talent. If Matt LaFleur allows him to throw 40-plus times each time the Packers are challenged, Rodgers could push for his third MVP.
Kyler Murray: Beating the mighty 49ers in his season debut has thrust Murray into the MVP conversation with +1400 odds at DK. That seems a bit hasty considering he completed 14 of his 26 passes to DeAndre Hopkins, who himself would deserve Offensive POY and MVP votes if he keeps up that pace.
Dak Prescott: Prescott had a fantastically efficient 2019-2020 season with 30 TDs, 11 picks and a whopping 4,902 passing yards. The Cowboys dropped their opener, though, causing his odds to drop from +1400 to +2000 at DK Sportsbook.
Cam Newton: The Patriots Week 1 game plan catered to Newton’s strengths and gave him ample opportunities to finish drives, which he did twice with rushing touchdowns. Keep up that pace on a team with the toughest schedule in the NFL, and you’ve earned consideration in the MVP race.
Tom Brady: We’ve seen Brady bounce back with vengeance before, and the Bucs will look to do just that after getting beaten soundly by the Saints in Week 1. That said, Brady has now thrown a Pick Six in three straight games going back to last season and it’s fair to wonder if he’s washed at age 43.
Deshaun Watson: Playing without DeAndre Hopkins will put more on Watson’s shoulders and it might lead to a diminished statistical output. The Texans would prefer to be a run-first team and that makes it hard for him to put up gaudy numbers.
Josh Allen: Aside from two fumbles and two missed throws in the red zone, Allen was spectacular in his season debut. Granted it came against the lowly Jets, but his potential as a dual threat QB on a top 10 team gives him an outside shot at MVP.
Matt Ryan: The Falcons posted the highest pass-play percentage (66.97%) last season and their porous defense should force them into more shootouts this season. That scenario played out in Week 1, forcing Ryan to throw for a whopping 450 yards. Of course, he’ll have to win those shootouts to earn any hardware.
Derrick Henry: The reigning rushing champ enters the season with the best MVP odds among non-QBs. Tennessee posted the third-highest rush-play percentage (48.8%) last year and will look to ride Henry into the playoffs once again.
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 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 predicted Mahomes to repeat as MVP this season at those odds would 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 2019 as an example. Based on the purest “most valuable player” definition, a strong case could have been made for other players besides Jackson.
How far would the Titans have gotten without Ryan Tannehill? How far would the 49ers have gotten without Jimmy Garoppolo? And how far would the Packers have gotten without Rodgers?
However, stats are usually the tie-breaker. In Jackson’s case, his 4,333 total yards and 43 total touchdowns rightfully held tremendous sway with the voters. And, combined with Jacksons’ unquestioned value to his team, it was enough to carry him to the award.