There are a few constants when looking at the NFL Most Valuable Player. The award is primarily won by quarterbacks. The past seven NFL MVPs have played under center. It is also very difficult to repeat as the league MVP.
The last player to do so was Peyton Manning in 2008 and 2009 when he was with the Indianapolis Colts.
That brings us to 2020. Who will win the 2020 NFL MVP award? More importantly, where should bettors look for value?
Betting Odds: Mahomes the Favorite
Fresh off a Super Bowl MVP, former league MVP Patrick Mahomes is the overall favorite at +600 to win this year’s award. Remember, it was Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson that took home the award last year.
Mahomes won the award in 2018 when he became just the second player to throw for 5,000 yards-plus and 50 or more touchdowns in a single season (Manning is the other)>
Mahomes fits the bill as a quarterback and, since he didn’t win it last year, would not be a back-to-back winner (which doesn’t happen often). The Chiefs will return all of their weapons – TE Travis Kelce and WR Tyreek Hill – along with first-round draft pick RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. That will give Mahomes the opportunity to follow up last season’s heroics.
Betting Odds: Action Jackson
Baltimore’s Jackson established a new single-season rushing record for quarterbacks when he ran for 1,260 yards last season. He fundamentally changed the concept of the dual-threat quarterback in the NFL.
In addition to his threat as a runner, Jackson proved that he is equally capable as a passer completing over 66 percent of his passes for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns.
He’s likely to do it again in 2020, but unless the Ravens figure out how to get to a Super Bowl Jackson isn’t as likely to repeat. Remember, it’s been over a decade since Manning repeated as MVP. Still, Jackson (+750) is worthy of consideration right behind Mahomes.
Betting Odds: Real Value
Seattle’s Russell Wilson is always a threat to win the MVP and he checks in this year at +900. The Seahawks are in a tough spot though with San Francisco in their division. The Rams should offer some tough competition and the team to watch out West might be Arizona.
That brings us to the first real value pick – Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (+1000). Last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year will be even better in Year 2. One big reason why he will be better is new Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins was acquired in a trade with Houston and is one of the top five receivers in the game. Murray’s MVP odds dropped from +2000 betting odds to +1000 as a result of the move. Get in while you can. Arizona is a team on the rise and if Murray can get the Cardinals to the playoffs, the MVP is a real possibility.
The other interesting value choice is Tom Brady. Yes, Brady has won three MVPs already. His last MVP was won in 2017. His next could be 2020.
In New England, Brady was surrounded by a mediocre group of playmakers. Face it; Brady made them better. In Tampa, Brady will have a cast of playmakers that will make him look good.
Wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans both went over 1,000 yards last season. Tight end O.J. Howard is an excellent target and he will team with Brady’s former teammate in New England – Rob Gronkowski – to give Brady even more options.
With that type of talent around him, the statistics Brady puts up could be astronomical. Should he take Tampa Bay to the postseason for the first time since 2007, there will be plenty of hype for Brady to win his fourth MVP.
Betting Odds: Take the RB for +2500
A daring move in betting the NFL MVP would be to go off the board and select a non-quarterback. The last non-quarterback to win the award was Adrian Peterson (2012), a running back. In fact, the only two positions to win the NFL MVP since 1986 are quarterback and running back.
It just so happens that there is a pretty good running back in Carolina – Christian McCaffrey – who happens to be listed at +2500 betting odds to win the MVP. His skill set gives him a legitimate shot at winning. Last year, McCaffrey became just the third player in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.
He ran for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught passes for 1,005 yards and four more scores. Only Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk have done the same. Barring injury, McCaffrey should put up significant numbers again in 2020.