Breaking down the best bet for NFL MVP
Before last season, when Aaron Rodgers was obviously on the NFL MVP radar after winning it in 2020, the award had some surprise winners.
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson were no close preseason favorites to win MVP honors in 2018 and 2019 as sophomores. Rodgers was bottom of the list to start the 2020 season, and he won the third MVP of his career.
Our Yahoo Sportsbook team has reviewed BetMGM’s odds and come up with our top picks for prize money (this is the first in a series of roundtables that will look at all the major NFL prize money ahead of the start of the regular season ):
BRAND DRUMHELLER: Longshots are always tempting but I like Justin Herbert at +850. Herbert threw for 5,014 yards last season and he hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential. Rewards are driven by stats and highlights – Herbert offers both. He leads the NFL in passing TDs over 55 air yards since entering the league in 2020. This season, he has a defense behind him to make LA one of the elite teams in a stacked AFC. The wins, monster stats and highlights will wow voters in only its third year.
PETER TRUSZKOWSKI: In April it fell to +850, so a lot of the value is gone, but it’s still my pick to win the prize. Herbert had better first two seasons in the NFL than Patrick Mahomes, statistically. The team’s lack of success has prevented Herbert from getting all the love he deserves. In a league filled with talented young quarterbacks, he might be the best. I expect a great year from the Chargers and Herbert will be a big part of it.
GREG BRAINOS: My most important position is on Lamar Jackson (+2000) but I also like the value on Kirk Cousins at +5000. The Vikings offense could go nuclear under former Rams OC Kevin O’Connell, whose new arsenal includes elite pass-through in Dalvin Cook, mega-elite alpha receiver in Justin Jefferson, area coverage red impossible to Adam Thielen, and two popular breakout candidates in the wide KJ Osborn and tight end Irv Smith. The Cousins could throw for 45 touchdowns this season. ?!
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I don’t see a ton of value on this board, and a lot of it is just plain unplayable (don’t let your friends bet Mac Jones at 50-1, and every receiver price is laughable considering no receiver never won). But if a non-Kansas City team wins AFC West, it will be a story with momentum. So color me interested in Justin Herbert at +850 or Russell Wilson (who never received an MVP vote, let alone a trophy) at +1400. Herbert could work on the story of the shiny new toy, while Wilson would get votes from the backclass and the story of the new kid in town. The two quarterbacks are surrounded by many talents. (I resisted the urge to dial Kirk Cousins at +5000, but I’ll surely punch more Minnesota tickets this fall.)
FRANK SCHWAB: Earlier this offseason, I caught Trey Lance at +5000. It’s at +3000, so I’m going to pick Lamar Jackson at +2000 as the best MVP bet. Jackson is 25 and theoretically still improving. He will lead a Ravens team that I am very excited about at the start of the season. He’s going to make big numbers and has already won an MVP. It’s weird that nine players have better MVP ratings.