Now that every team has played at least eight games, the season is to a point where we can safely say that some teams are going to be competitive this year—and some teams are not. For instance, it is safe to say that the Bengals, Dolphins, and Jets are not going to make the playoffs this year.
But teams like the Packers, Seahawks, Chiefs, Panthers, Ravens, Texans, and Saints could go far. A large part of the reason why is because they have a superstar playing at an MVP-level. One of them is more than likely going to win the league’s top individual honor this year.
The odds that those superstars have for NFL MVP, according to DraftKings, are as follows:
- Russell Wilson +250
- Lamar Jackson +350
- Aaron Rodgers +600
- Deshaun Watson +600
- Patrick Mahomes +1000
- Christian McCaffrey +1400
- Dak Prescott +1600
Now, some fans may wonder why Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Dalvin Cook, or Drew Brees are not included on this list. The Patriots are not winning because of Brady. Last week’s game against the lowly Cardinals was the first time the 49ers won because of Garoppolo this season. Dalvin Cook is having a great season, but it hasn’t been so good that it is award-worthy.
As for Drew Brees, when you miss as much time as he has this season, you don’t win awards like MVP. So—who is going to win it? First, let’s eliminate a few guys.
Dak Prescott is having a great season and will be compensated when it is done. But all he has done is prove that he can be why the team wins, and they don’t have to rely on Ezekiel Elliot. However, there have been times when they struggled because of him and even lost.
Patrick Mahomes was on track to repeat as MVP up until he dislocated his kneecap. His odds had already begun to slide some. But his chances still looked good. However, after being out of commission for a few weeks, it doesn’t look good for him anymore.
That leaves Christian McCaffrey, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, and Russell Wilson.
So—who should you bet on?
MVPs are allowed to have less than perfect games, but to get shut down like he did last week against the Chargers makes Rodgers less of a candidate. Watson has undoubtedly played very well and is a big part of the reason why the Texans are 6-3, but you can’t trust Bill O’Brien to continue to put him in a position to succeed.
If he didn’t have to cover for the play calling, Watson would be a good candidate. But since he does, you are better off passing on him.
Russell Wilson is deserving, and he has had an exceptional season that is only going to get better now that he has Josh Gordon to work with as well. Of the three, he is likely the safest bet. But with how he has exploded onto the scene this year, Lamar Jackson is going to be in contention. But until he can win a tough game with his arm, he does not deserve to be named MVP.
But if you put your money on anyone, put it on Christian McCaffrey. Voters for MVP tend to overlook the running backs. But the turnaround for the Panthers began when they took the ball away from Cam Newton and started featuring McCaffrey—and he has responded. He is producing on a record-setting pace and will be the reason why the Panthers make the playoffs.
At +1400, we are talking about a pretty nice payout, too.