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Rodgers Leading the Way in Early NFL MVP Futures

With Week 1 of the NFL campaign in the books, oddsmakers are already starting to adjust the futures market. When it comes to which man will garner the highest individual honor – the MVP Award – it’s no surprise to see who’s topping the list.

At Bovada, Aaron Rodgers is the +300 favorite to win the hardware. Tom Brady (+500), Derek Carr (+1000), Matt Stafford (+1000), Dak Prescott (+1200), Russell Wilson (+1600), Matt Ryan (+1600), Ben Roethlisberger (+2000), Jameis Winston (+2000) and Carson Wentz (+2000) comprise the rest of the top 10.

Rodgers’ numbers in the season opener won’t leap off the page at you, but considering it was against a tough Seahawks defense, he fared well in a 311-yard, one-touchdown effort. The Packers star is perennially in the MVP race, and Green Bay’s high-octane offense is once again shaping up to be one of the best in the NFL.

It was the opposite story for Brady and the New England Patriots. Any talk of an undefeated season for the defending Super Bowl champs was quickly quieted as the Kansas City Chiefs dominated the Pats on their home turf in a 42-27 effort. Alex Smith looked like the real star in that game, as the Chiefs used a 21-point fourth quarter to embarrass New England in front of their hometown fans.

But considering what we’ve seen from the Patriots in the Brady-Belichick era, there’s no reason to worry. While it’s true Brady wasn’t able to manufacture a touchdown in the contest, don’t expect that trend to continue. “Touchdown Tom” has proven he’s immune to Father Time so far and I’m not expecting a decline any time soon.

Last year’s MVP Ryan started things out as a lucrative +5000 long shot, so his +1600 price is understandably smaller this time around. The Falcons narrowly escaped the Chicago Bears in Week 1, a game where Ryan threw for 321 yards, including a single touchdown. We still haven’t fully seen how the loss of ex-offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will impact the club, but Steve Sarkisian’s debut could’ve gone better, to say the least.

Take a look at the shop’s full list of odds:

2017 NFL MVP Betting Odds
PlayerOdds
Aaron Rodgers+300
Tom Brady+500
Derek Carr+1000
Matt Stafford+1000
Dak Prescott+1200
Russell Wilson+1600
Matt Ryan+1600
Ben Roethlisberger+2000
Jameis Winston+2000
Carson Wentz+2000
Le'Veon Bell+2500
Cam Newton+2500
Sam Bradford+2500
Marcus Mariota+3300
Ezekiel Elliott+3300
Antonio Brown+3300
Alex Smith+3300
Kareem Hunt+3300
Drew Brees+5000
Philip Rivers+5000
Marshawn Lynch+6600
Joe Flacco+7500
Julio Jones+10000
Eli Manning+10000
Kirk Cousins+10000
Odell Beckham Jr.+10000
J.J. Watt+10000
Rob Gronkowski+10000
Khalil Mack+10000
Von Miller+10000
LeSean McCoy+10000
Blake Bortles+10000
Dalvin Cook+10000
Leonard Fournette+10000

Odds as of September 13 at Bovada

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The NFL is a passing league and there may be no more skilled passer than Tom Brady. The New England Patriots quarterback continues to spit in the face of Father Time and cement himself in the conversation of greatest ever.

Of course, that means that Brady rightfully finds himself as an early favorite to win the NFL MVP award for the upcoming season. The MVP has gone to a signal-caller in each of the past four seasons, with those winners averaging a collective 65.9 completion percentage, 4660 passing yards and a 41.5/6.8 TD/INT ratio. All of those numbers roughly fall in line with Brady’s averages across a 16-game season during that same span. Then you add in a legit No. 1 receiver in Brandin Cooks and there is no telling what Brady could do in 2017.

Of course, the smart money is always going to be a quarterback. Since the 2006 season, QBs have claimed the MVP award every year but one – with Adrian Peterson in 2012 being the lone non-quarterback. The top odds feature all the expected faces with Aaron Rodgers (+700), Ben Roethlisberger (+1000), Russell Wilson (+1200) and Matt Ryan (+1600) all in the hunt. Of course, there is plenty of value in some other QBs down the list, with Marcus Mariota (+3300) and Jameis Winston (+5000). 

If you do feel like taking the risk on backing a rusher, you need to think Ezekiel Elliott (+2000) has the best shot. In order for a running back to win the MVP, he will likely need to rush for at least 1800 yards and 12 touchdowns to even be considered. Considering that Elliott rushed for 1631 yards and 15 TDs as a rookie, the Dallas Cowboys running back could be the one to break the QB winning streak.

2017 NFL MVP Betting Odds
PlayerOdds
Tom Brady (NE)+450
Aaron Rodgers (GB)+700
Derek Carr (OAK)+900
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)+1000
Dak Prescott (DAL)+1200
Russell Wilson (SEA)+1200
Matt Ryan (ATL)+1600
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)+2000
Cam Newton (CAR)+2500
Andrew Luck (IND)+2500
Drew Brees (NO)+2500
David Johnson (ARZ)+3300
Marcus Mariota (TEN)+3300
Le'Veon Bell (PIT)+3300
Antonio Brown (PIT)+5000
Julio Jones (ATL)+5000
Carson Palmer (ARZ)+5000
Sam Bradford (MIN)+5000
Matthew Stafford (DET)+5000
Eli Manning (NYG)+5000
Philip Rivers (LAC)+5000
Adrian Peterson (NO)+5000
Jameis Winston (TB)+5000
Kirk Cousins (WSH)+5000
Alex Smith (KC)+6600
Ryan Tannehill (MIA)+6600
Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)+6600
JJ Watt (HOU)+6600
Rob Gronkowski (NE)+6600
Khalil Mack (OAK)+6600
TY Hilton (IND)+10000
Von Miller (DEN)+10000
Andy Dalton (CIN)+10000
Carson Wentz (PHI)+10000
Joe Flacco (BAL)+10000
Marshawn Lynch (OAK)+10000
LeSean McCoy (BUF)+10000
Blake Bortles (JAX)+10000
DeMarco Murray (TEN)+10000

Odds as of June 26 at Bovada

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The race for the 2016 NFL MVP is as close as it’s been in quite some time, and a man who was the longest of long shots at the start of the season has been crowned the new favorite with the campaign in the books.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was a huge -1000 favorite to garner the hardware at Bovada as of January 16. On January 3, Ryan was listed at +125 and on January 10 he was -300. Ryan put on an MVP-worthy performance in Week 17 against the New Orleans Saints, finishing the day with four touchdowns, 331 passing yards and a sparkling 139.9 quarterback rating.

The signal-caller broke his own franchise record for yards in a season (4,944) in the dominant display. At the start of the year, Ryan was a ridiculous +6600 to win the award.

Aaron Rodgers (+325), Tom Brady (+375), Ezekiel Elliott (+3300), Derek Carr (+3300), Dak Prescott (+6600) and Le'Veon Bell (+7500) are also available to wager on at the shop.

In late December, Elliott was tabbed as the MVP favorite, but huge days from Ryan, Rodgers and Brady caused his odds to slip at the end of the season. The rookie running back has been sensational in his first year in the league, but past trends aren’t exactly working in his favor. No rookie has ever become MVP, and running backs have won just twice in the last 10 years (Adrian Peterson in 2012 and LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006).

Rodgers, the 2014 MVP, put on a second-half effort for the ages. With the Green Bay Packers down and out at 4-6 and critics jumping all over him for his inconsistent play, Rodgers declared that the Packers would “run the table” and that’s exactly what they did. Six wins and an NFC North championship later, Rodgers and the Packers are looking primed for yet another deep playoff run.

The 33-year-old threw 15 touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over once in the Packers’ six-game winning streak, ending the year with 4,428 passing yards and an NFL-best 40 touchdowns. He’ll have some stiff competition with Ryan, Brady and Elliott in the conversation, but don’t be surprised if the California native gets the nod once again.

2016 NFL MVP Betting Odds
PlayerOdds
Matt Ryan (ATL)-1000
Aaron Rodgers (GB)+500
Tom Brady (NE)+900
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)+3300
Derek Carr (OAK)+5000
Dak Prescott (DAL)+5000
Le'Veon Bell (PIT)+10000

Odds as of January 16 at Bovada

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Ezekiel Elliott has been the best running back in the NFL and it hasn’t even been close. Despite being a rookie, Zeke leads the league in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, rushes of 20-plus yards and first downs. Elliott has been a big reason why the Dallas Cowboys went from 4-12 with the 22nd-ranked offense in 2015 to 13-2 and the fifth-best offense this season.

Elliott has cemented himself as the favorite to win the NFL MVP, as the running back is currently +275 to claim the prize. This line is down slightly from +190 entering Week 16 but Zeke still retains the top spot for the fourth consecutive week.

The two closest players to Elliott are Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers, who both enter Week 17 at +300.

Ryan sits in the top three in the NFL in passing yards, completion percentage, yards per attempt, passing touchdowns and quarterback rating. Without him, there is no doubt that the Atlanta Falcons are not remotely close to a playoff team.

Rodgers looked anything but an MVP during portions of this season, but the Green Bay Packers quarterback has been on a tear to close out the season. During the Packers’ current five-game winning streak, Rodgers has completed 71.4 percent of his passes while throwing 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. 

The real dark horse is Le’Veon Bell. In all honesty, Bell may be the most dominant player in the NFL when he is fully healthy and on the field. In Bell’s 12 appearances for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season, he is averaging 157 yards of offense. His low number of touchdowns (9) and games played make it hard to justify Bell winning the MVP, but he dominates like few other players in recent memory.

2016 NFL MVP Betting Odds
PlayerOdds
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)+275
Matt Ryan (ATL)+300
Aaron Rodgers (GB)+300
Tom Brady (NE)+400
Dak Prescott (DAL)+1000
Le'Veon Bell (PIT)+2500
Derek Carr (OAK)+3300
Russell Wilson (SEA)+3300
Matthew Stafford (DET)+5000

Odds as of December 28 at Bovada

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The annual discussion about who is the NFL’s MVP is heating up, but this season features a group of players with plenty of imperfections. Through all the imperfections, one must look at the player who has done the most to improve these faults and lead his team forward. That player is Matthew Stafford.

Stafford has always been a gunslinger with a rocket arm, but his decision-making was routinely questioned. For years, he had Calvin Johnson to lean on and get him out of some bad spots, but the Detroit Lions quarterback has flourished without the six-time Pro Bowler.

Stafford’s numbers are basically on course to finish the same as last season in every category except interceptions. The signal-caller has realized that his receiving corps isn’t full of sure things like Johnson (a trio of Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin isn’t exactly terrifying) and has learned to protect the football instead of just heaving it. Through 13 games, Stafford has thrown seven interceptions, which puts him on pace to throw just nine this season. Stafford has never thrown fewer than 12 picks in any season he has played, outside of 2010 when he made just three appearances. 

Stafford has also accomplished this with an anemic rushing game that provides him next to no support. This lack of runners has meant that teams have been able to pin back their ears and rush Stafford, which has been a huge mistake. Stafford has a 63.6 completion percentage with seven touchdowns and no interceptions while being blitzed this year.

Maybe the most pivotal number? Eight. Stafford has led the Lions to eight fourth-quarter comebacks this season. Detroit has nine wins. When the game is on the line and you need someone to put the team on his back, Stafford is above everyone else.

The theoretical MVP field basically consists of quarterbacks and Ezekiel Elliott, which means that attention could be diverted away from Stafford, as voters who prefer QBs could be split between the likes of Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, etc.

Personally, I believe no quarterback is more important to his team's success than Stafford. We have learned that this is not necessarily what some define “MVP” as, but it should be.

2016 NFL MVP Betting Odds
PlayerOdds
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)+250
Tom Brady (NE)+275
Matthew Stafford (DET)+400
Matt Ryan (ATL)+450
Aaron Rodgers (GB)+750
Derek Carr (OAK)+900
Russell Wilson (SEA)+3300
Dak Prescott (DAL)+3300
Kirk Cousins (WSH)+4000
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)+4000

Odds as of December 14 at Bovada

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There’s still a month left in the 2016 NFL season, but oddsmakers have already made up their minds when it comes to which player should win the Most Valuable Player Award.

At Bovada, Ezekiel Elliott is a +240 favorite to garner the hardware. Derek Carr (+350), Tom Brady (+750), Matthew Stafford (+750) and Matt Ryan (+1000) round out the top five likeliest candidates.

If you’ve watched Elliott at all this year, you already know why he’s the front-runner in this regard. The rookie leads the league in rushing yards (1,285) and is second in touchdowns (12). He’s single-handedly revitalized the Dallas backfield and, with the help of fellow newcomer Dak Prescott, has guided the Cowboys to a shining 11-1 record.

Matt Ryan was playing like an MVP candidate in the middle of the year, but his odds have fallen off a cliff in the last few weeks. Ryan was +350 just a week ago, but a shaky performance against the Chiefs has seen him drop to fifth on the list.

Does Zeke have the award in the bag? Who are you putting your money on? Let us know in the comments.

2016 NFL MVP Betting Odds
PlayerOdds
Ezekiel Elliott+240
Derek Carr+350
Tom Brady+750
Matthew Stafford+750
Matt Ryan+1000
Russell Wilson+1000
Dak Prescott+1200
Aaron Rodgers+3300
Drew Brees+3300
Kirk Cousins+3300
Julio Jones+5000

Odds as of December 7 at Bovada

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Ezekiel Elliott is in the middle of one of the most prolific rookie seasons in NFL history and he may even cap that off by becoming the first rookie to win the NFL MVP in the modern era, if odds are correct. Zeke is a slight +300 favorite to win entering Week 13.

Elliott leads the NFL in rushing and sits second in rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry, easily the most by a runner with 200-plus carries. The Dallas Cowboys rookie has also developed a nose for the end zone, as Elliott has scored seven touchdowns in the past four games compared with five TDs in his first seven.

Close behind Elliott is Matt Ryan. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback is in the top three in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage and yards per attempt. The Falcons also sit atop the NFC South standings and Ryan could be a real threat to win the MVP if Atlanta claims the division crown.

Despite plenty of people calling for Derek Carr to receive more recognition, the Oakland Raiders quarterback sits fifth on the oddsboard at +800. Carr is in the top 10 in every major statistical category for a quarterback, but it’s his stats in the fourth quarter that make the best case. The Raiders signal-caller has thrown for 946 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception in the fourth quarter this season.

2016 NFL MVP Betting Odds
PlayerOdds
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)+300
Matt Ryan (ATL)+350
Tom Brady (NE)+400
Dak Prescott (DAL)+600
Derek Carr (OAK)+800
Russell Wilson (SEA)+1200
Matthew Stafford (DET)+1200
Aaron Rodgers (GB)+2000
Drew Brees (NO)+2500
Kirk Cousins (WSH)+3300
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)+5000
David Johnson (ARZ)+5000
Julio Joes (ATL)+6600
Eli Manning (NYG)+6600

Odds as of November 30 at Bovada

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