As the NFL season draws closer, one of the tightest preseason races that the sportsbooks are trying to figure out is who will walk away as the league’s most valuable player. Five quarterbacks sit with odds ranging from +700 (bet $100 to win $700) to +1000. Four more have odds ranging from +1200 to +1400. At some point you have to pick your favorite, stick to your guns and make your prediction. Let’s dive in.
Josh Allen +700
The Bills captain is the frontrunner in the MVP race with the best odds on the board. Every NFL prognosticator is expecting an unforgettable run and Josh Allen is a big reason why. A dynamic stud that can make any throw his team needs while also being a threat to run over the sturdiest of linebackers — the tea leaves seem to be set for a magical season.
As we mentioned in our Super Bowl preview, the loss of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll could hinder Allen’s chances at nabbing this award. Daboll was prolific in calling pass plays over run plays and felt comfortable trusting Allen to get the job done. That freedom led to extreme growth by the young QB but also enlarged individual stats. The Bills kept winning and the passes kept coming, even at the behest of a head coach who wanted a more ground and pound approach.
Can the new OC follow the road to success led by his predecessor or will he want to establish a rushing attack to balance out an offense that sputtered against top tier opponents last season?
Aaron Rodgers +1000
Since the Packers spent a first round draft pick on quarterback Jordan Love, the drama in Green Bay has been at an all-time high. Conversations about Rodgers’ loyalty, his playing future and his potential decline in ability were at cacophonous decibel levels. Rodgers answered these questions, and more, by winning the MVP award in back-to-back seasons.
This year, however, will be quite different. The Packers traded away one of the best vertical threats in the league in Davante Adams and let secondary wide receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling walk in free agency. They hope to replace over 50% of last year’s passing targets with young receivers finally getting their chance and low-end free agency pickups like Sammy Watkins.
The last person to win the NFL’s MVP for three straight seasons was the man Rodgers replaced, Brett Favre, who won in ‘95, ‘96 and ‘97. Favre, however, didn’t have to win the third with an entirely new cast of characters.
Derek Carr +2500
Speaking of Davante Adams… Last season, the Raiders faced many tumultuous off-the-field issues. Yet somehow, they won enough games to survive and advance as one of the final AFC wild card teams. Mostly thanks to the leadership and fantastic play of their eighth-year gunslinger.
This offseason they added Rodgers’ favorite target, a man that Carr set multiple NCAA passing records with at Fresno State, Mr. 99 Club himself, Adams. The college buds who have a very close relationship could set the world on fire, much like when Randy Moss joined the already potent Patriots offense in 2007. The addition of Adams could take Carr’s MVP chances from longshot to close favorite and at +2500 odds it is juicy enough to stake your claim.