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NFL MVP Odds: Mahomes Still Clear Favorite

We're one week in the 2021 NFL season and there has already been some significant movement on the NFL MVP odds board. 

Patrick Mahomes is still the favorite, but his odds moved down from +400 to +425 in newly updated 2021 NFL MVP odds at ​BetOnline Sportsbook. Tom Brady (+750), Dak Prescott (+800), Russell Wilson (+900) and Matthew Stafford (+900), Kyler Murray (+1000), and  rounding out the current top five heading into Week 2. The top non-quarterback in MVP odds is Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (+5000).

Here’s a look at the players with the best odds to win the 2021 NFL MVP Award. For a full list of the top places to bet on football, head over to our best NFL betting sites page.

Who Is Favored In NFL MVP Odds?

2021 NFL MVP Odds
PlayerOdds
Patrick Mahomes+425
Tom Brady+750
Dak Prescott+800
Russell Wilson+900
Matthew Stafford+900
Kyler Murray+1100
Josh Allen+1400
Jameis Winston+1400
Lamar Jackson+1800
Aaron Rodgers+2200
Justin Herbert+2500
Jalen Hurts+3300
Joe Burrow+4000
Baker Mayfield+4000
Christian McCaffrey+5000
Derek Carr+5000
Tua Tagovailoa+5000
Teddy Bridgewater+5000
Derrick Henry+6600
Ben Roethlisberger+6600
Mac Jones+6600
Jimmy Garoppolo+6600
Kirk Cousins+6600
Sam Darnold+8000
Ryan Tannehill+8000
Matt Ryan+8000

Odds as of September 16 at BetOnline Sportsbook

NFL MVP Odds Betting Strategy

What makes an MVP? If we look back at past MVPs, there are important commonalities among the winners that can help us narrow the list of potential candidates in 2021 NFL MVP odds before the season even starts.

Firstly, it’s going to be a quarterback. You can scratch Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey off the list now as only two non-QBs have won the award in the last 15 years and both of those were extreme outlier seasons (Adrian Peterson 2,000 yards rushing, LaDainian Tomlinson 31 touchdowns). Henry had more than 2,000 yards rushing last season and didn’t come close to winning the award.

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The other two major factors in determining the NFL MVP are team wins and passing touchdowns.  

Since 2010, Matt Ryan is the only player to win the MVP on a team that had fewer than 12 wins. And in that span, 10 of the 11 MVPs (Peterson being the outlier) finished either first (five times), second (three times) or third (twice) in passing touchdowns that season.

So, we’re looking for players who are going to be on one of the top couple of teams in the league and also have a chance at finishing in the top two or three in passing TDs.

These factors narrow the list considerably. Kirk Cousins? Don’t count on it. Tua Tagovailoa? Not going to happen.

So who ARE the legitimate candidates in NFL MVP odds? Let’s take a look at some options.

The Aaron Rodgers Factor

On the day of the NFL draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter dropped a bomb that shook up the NFL world when he reported “Rodgers is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he does not want to return to the team.” 

It was widely reported for much of the offseason that Rodgers, the 2020 NFL MVP, was adamant about not returning to Green Bay. And then, things changed. Camp started, the Packers traded for Rodgers’ old buddy Randall Cobb, and Rodgers reported to training camp.

Now it appears that this will be the final season for Rodgers in a Packers uniform, so does he stick it to the organization one last time with another sublime season? Or does he fall below the expectations set last year and fizzle out in his Packers swan song? 

No matter how you feel about the future Hall of Famer’s career moving forward, you are getting good value at +2200 considering how many players have no moved ahead of him on this list. 

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NFL MVP Odds Favorites

Tom Brady (+750)

Other than Kansas City, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the highest projected win total in the NFL. And if we follow our criteria for possible MVP candidates, Tom Brady quarterbacking possibly the top team in the NFC puts him squarely in the conversation.

Brady has one of the deepest groups of pass catchers in the league and an elite offensive line, so getting the requisite touchdown numbers shouldn’t be too much of an issue. 

And on top of that, the narratives surrounding Brady’s possible final season and run at a Super Bowl repeat write themselves.

It didn't take long for Brady's odds to change. A Week 1 win over the Cowboys and big statistical performance in that island game moved Brady from +1400 to +750. The value has completely vanished on the GOAT. 

Matthew Stafford (+900)

We were banging the drum on Stafford as MVP all offseason. The 33-year-old has plenty of good football left in his right arm and is now playing for a team with maybe the best weapons of his career and almost certainly the best coaching staff and defense of his career.

A big Week 1 performance moved Stafford from +1200 to +900.

He is a rightful favorite, but the value is slipping away quickly. 

NFL MVP Odds Players To Consider

Lamar Jackson (+1600)

The 2019 NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson had a similar season last year except his touchdown numbers dropped and his interception numbers rose. 

This year, Jackson gets some added weaponry in the form of first-round pick receiver Rashod Bateman and veteran Sammy Watkins. We know the rushing totals will be there, and it isn’t hard to imagine an uptick in Jackson’s passing touchdown total. 

The sticking point for me is how good the Ravens will be this season, playing in a division with Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Jackson would likely need a division title and first-round bye to win the MVP. And it wasn't a good start with a Week 1 loss in Vegas.

But Jackson's odds did not move. Oddsmakers know he has the talent to rebound and win this award as the Ravens are one of the top teams in NFL Win Totals. Jackson is solid value at +1600.

Ryan Tannehill (+8000)

The Titans were one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL over the last two seasons, ranking 29th in overall pass-to-rush attempt ratio in 2019 and 30th last season. 

This year, they have a new offensive coordinator and should almost certainly see an uptick in pass attempts. Tennessee’s defense is also projected to be pretty poor, and the team added All-Pro talent Julio Jones to the receiving corps. All of these things point to Ryan Tannehill throwing the ball a lot more this season.

But a Week 1 drubbing at the hands of the Cardinals (an ugly game for Tannehill, to be fair) have completely tanked his odds from +3300 to +8000.

Tannehill had 33 touchdown passes last year, tied for sixth, along with the third-best TD percentage in the league. He was second in TD percentage in 2019. 

It is frankly absurd that he now ranks behind the likes of placeholder QB Jimmy Garoppolo, dead-armed Ben Roethlisberger, potential bust Tua Tagovailoa and rookie Mac Jones in NFL MVP odds.

The Titans will need a big improvement on their Week 1 performance, but Tannehill is a screaming value at +8000.

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NFL MVP Odds Best Bet: Justin Herbert (+2500)/Jalen Hurts (+3300)

For the best bets in NFL MVP odds, we go with a pair of ascending quarterback talents.

Justin Herbert was quite impressive in a Week 1 win over the Washington Football Team that saw him post 337 yards, one touchdown and one interception against one of the league's best defenses on the road. 

After winning the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award last year, a step forward from Herbert could have him in the middle of the MVP conversation – if the Chargers can win enough games. L.A. has several cupcake matchups down the stretch this season that could boost his stats as well.

As for Hurts, it was huge Week 1 for him in a 32-6 road win over the Falcons. Hurts has the dual-threat ability and offensive line in front of him to have a big statistical year.

It might be difficult for the Eagles to win enough games for Hurts to compete with the favorites, but he's a worthy longshot bet at +3300 in the event he has a 2019 Lamar Jackson-type season.  


How To Bet On NFL MVP Odds

Popular NFL bets include point spreads and totals (OVER/UNDER). For those looking for something different, you can wager on which player will be named MVP. As the NFL season progresses, you’ll see the MVP action changing. To get in on the action, you can make a futures bet.

What Is A Futures Bet?

A futures wager is a bet on events that will take place in time, like the Most Valuable Player award in the NFL. At your betting site of choice, you’ll see NFL MVP odds listed like so:

Patrick Mahomes +400

Aaron Rodgers +700

Josh Allen +800

Dak Prescott +1300

Unlike a moneyline bet where favorites would be marked with the minus sign (-) and underdogs with the plus sign (+), the fave here would be the player with the lowest odds. In this case it’s Patrick Mahomes.

Let’s say you have $100 to spend and you decide that you like Mahomes for MVP. A winning bet would give you a payout of $500 – your original $100 is returned along with your loot of $400. The higher the odds, the more money you’ll see. But, don’t bet on a +5000 MVP candidate in September in the hopes that you’ll make bank at the end of the regular season. Oddsmakers don’t only look at current performance when setting the odds. They also look at past performance, offseason activities and training camp.

Our Odds Calculator can show you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount wagered.

With futures bets, it’s important to snag odds early. As we get closer to the Super Bowl, the lines will move. Oddsmakers update the odds as players up their production or are plagued by injuries. Keep in mind that if you were to back a player in the MVP race and he suffers a season-ending injury, most sportsbooks will give you your money back since you technically didn’t lose the bet and have no way of winning it.

As soon as the Most Valuable Player trophy is awarded to the winner, sportsbooks will update the betting results and you can cash out your bet.