In a team sport like football, it is not fair to designate one player as the most valuable above all others. But that doesn’t stop us from doing so for every season and every championship game. With the two teams playing in the Super Bowl now decided, oddsmakers have given us early odds on who will win the MVP for Super Bowl LIV.
Some of the favorites are not surprising. Should the Kansas City Chiefs win, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, or Tyreek Hill will probably play a significant role in the victory. But where the odds seem to be a little off is with the 49ers candidates.
To be more specific, the defensive players. According to DraftKings, the odds on some of the players who could win Super Bowl MVP are as follows:
Superbowl 54 MVP Odds:
- Patrick Mahomes +110
- Jimmy Garoppolo +200
- Raheem Mostert +500
- Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce +1600
- George Kittle +2000
- Mecole Hardman, Damien Williams, Nick Bosa, Tevin Coleman +3300
- Sammy Watkins +4000
- Tyrann Mathieu, Deebo Samuel +5000
- Frank Clark +6000
- Arik Armstead, Matt Breida, Emmanuel Sanders, Richard Sherman, Fred Warner +6600
- LeSean McCoy, DeForest Buckner +8000
The list goes on to include guys like Emmanuel Moseleyat +10000 (the same as Robbie Gould), Kwon Alexander at +15000 (the same as Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker), and punter Mitch Wishnowsky at +50000.
The first one listed is defensive lineman Nick Bosa at +3300, the same as Mecole Hardman, Tevin Coleman, and Damien Williams. With how important the success of the 49ers has been on the defense, that comparison seems ludicrous.
A similar case can be made for comparing the contributions Richard Sherman, Arik Armstead, and Fred Warner make with that of Matt Breida and Emmanuel Sanders. The value which Sherman, Armstead, and Warner bring is significantly higher.
Now, with how he ran on Sunday, Raheem Mostert’s odds make sense (+500). But why on Earth does Jimmy Garoppolo have the second-best odds (+200)? That just doesn’t make sense. Then again, MVP awards do tend to favor offensive players and especially quarterbacks.
In the last 20 Super Bowls, a wide receiver has won MVP four times, including last year (Julian Edelman). Quarterbacks have won 12and defensive players have won four. The last defender to win was Von Miller in Super Bowl 50.
So—who should you bet on?
Quarterbacks win it more than anyone, so should you just go with Patrick Mahomes or Jimmy Garoppolo? If you think the Chiefs are going to win—absolutely. But with how the season and postseason have gone, it is highly unlikely Garoppolo wins it should the 49ers win.
After how well he ran against the Packers, Mostert is a good bet (certainly better than Garoppolo). But the 49ers have been wildly inconsistent with who carries the ball.
It is difficult for defensive players to make the kind of impact necessary to be worthy of MVP honors. But it is not hard to imagine Nick Bosa having a multi-sack game or Richard Sherman coming up with a couple of picks.
Should either do so and the 49ers win, they will be in the conversation, for sure.