2022 Super Bowl MVP Odds Draft: Joe Burrow, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald Are Experts’ Top 3 Picks Based On Value
Getty Images. Pictured: Rams WR Cooper Kupp, Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Rams DT Aaron Donald
In anticipation of the Rams-Bengals showdown, we asked eight of our top NFL analysts to draft 2022 Super Bowl MVP odds.
The kicker? Picks are based on the betting value that was available at each point in the draft, not necessarily which players are most likely to actually win Super Bowl MVP — that means one of the two quarterbacks didn’t even come off the board until the final pick. Of course, betting value is still subjective, which is why our analysts also made supporting arguments for their picks.
Now let’s run through the draft results then dive into our staff’s cases for each player.
Note: Super Bowl MVP odds are via DraftKings at the time of the draft, so they may have moved before you read this story.
2022 Super Bowl MVP Odds Draft
1. Bengals QB Joe Burrow +225
Travis Reed: I knew I was going to take a Bengal, it was just a matter of which one.
My numbers have been higher than the market on the Bengals for much of the season, and that continues in the Super Bowl, where I have the spread closer to a pick’em rather than Rams -4. I expect Joe Burrow to win MVP in roughly 80% of all the Bengals wins, which means he should win the award 40% of all possible times. Getting +225 is plenty of value in for that estimate and was the best value on the board for the first overall pick.
2. Rams WR Cooper Kupp +600
Brandon Anderson: Among non-quarterbacks, Kupp is a significant MVP favorite, and that makes sense for a guy who could be looking at regular-season MVP votes.
Kupp had one of the biggest seasons for a receiver in NFL history, leading the league in all three receiving categories with 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. If he has an average game by his standards, that would be around nine catches for 118 yards. Even without a touchdown, that would put Kupp’s numbers in line with 2018 Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman and 2004 Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch as key volume possession receivers to win it.
Add in a few more catches or a touchdown, and Kupp would have a great chance of winning MVP in a Rams victory. And if he comes anywhere close to Jerry Rice’s 11 catches for 215 yards in the 1988 Super Bowl, it’ll be all she wrote.
3. Rams DT Aaron Donald +1600
Raheem Palmer: The logical choice here was Donald. Burrow was sacked nine times and pressured 19 times in the Bengals’ wild-card win over the Titans, then 16 times by the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Came. And while he was sacked on only one of this dropbacks, this Rams defensive line presents a far bigger challenge.
The Rams are first in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate and Donald is one of the best defensive tackles of this generation. While DTs typically don’t as many sacks as edge rushers, Donald has proven to have the ability to completely wreck a game.
While Super Bowl MVP is generally awarded to quarterbacks, defensive players have won it 10 times, including Donald’s teammate in Von Miller. Given Donald’s notoriety and status, a dominant performance gives him a good chance at winning this award.
4. Rams OLB Von Miller +4500
Samantha Previte: I picked Miller because I’m a glutton for punishment as a Panthers fan.
But actually, as far as odds go, quarterbacks are the obvious favorites given their historic frequency and relative impact: A QB has been named MVP 55% of the time since 1966 and 65% since 2000. Burrow was already off the board with decent +225 odds, and Matthew Stafford at +100 odds just doesn’t entice me.
Wide receiver is a distant second in terms of frequency, with wideouts winning 14% of the awards since 1966. Julian Edelman was the last non-quarterback to win the award at the end of the 2018 season. Cooper Kupp at +600 was already taken, though Ja’Marr Chase at +1800 and Tee Higgins at +4500 did intrigue me.
I went with Miller, who was the second-most-recent Super Bowl MVP winner who did not play quarterback. He isn’t the flashiest Rams defender (that distinction goes to Donald), but the 2011 No. 2 overall pick etched a poignant memory into my brain in 2016. He strip-sacked Cam Newton during the first quarter of Super Bowl 50, which was recovered for a touchdown. That play set the tone for the entire game for the Panthers. Miller forced another Newton fumble on the potential game-winning drive in the fourth quarter and was named Super Bowl MVP with six tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Miller has a great narrative, revered veteran status and has been an impactful addition to the Rams.
5. Bengals WR Tee Higgins +4500
Chris Raybon: Wide receivers have won Super Bowl MVP seven times overall, but four times in the last 17 years (23.5%). I love Higgins at long odds because (a) he is capable of a monster game and (b) he has a realistic path to winning the award over his more favored teammates, Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase.
If the Rams choose to focus on taking away Chase with bracket coverage, then it would also be tougher for Burrow to have a big game, as his and Chase’s monster stat lines have correlated. However, Higgins could still go off without Burrow doing so, as evidenced by Higgins racking up 103 of Burrow’s 250 passing yards (41.2%) in the AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs.
The Rams play zone coverage at one of the highest rates in the league, which gives Higgins a better shot of outproducing Chase. While Chase’s yards per route run splits skew heavily toward man (3.58) over zone (2.38), Higgins’ are nearly equal versus man (2.12) and zone (2.13). And if the Bengals are able to win without Burrow and Chase going off, it would likely mean a low-scoring game, which is notable because there’s precedent for a receiver winning without scoring a touchdown as Julian Edelman won the award with 10 catches for 141 scoreless yards against Sean McVay’s Rams in a low-scoring Super Bowl 53.
6. Rams CB Jalen Ramsey +10000
Stuckey: In Super Bowl history, we’ve seen 31 quarterbacks win MVP, so it’s no surprise that Burrow and Stafford are the favorites to take home the award this Sunday. But both are priced appropriately, and this is a draft based on betting value.
It’s an interesting market with two of the best receivers in the NFL who could each have enormous days, making the decision tougher for voters if it’s a high-scoring game. However, if the game is low-scoring and the favored Rams end up winning, it wouldn’t shock me to see one of their three defenders who have household name recognition and plenty of name value take home the hardware.
For reference, we have seen 10 defensive players win Super Bowl MVP in the past.
While Miller and Donald are two of the names most would look at first against a vulnerable Bengals offensive line, I decided to go with Ramsey at a very juicy price compared to much lower numbers for Miller and Donald. Normally, teams may avoid Ramsey in coverage, which would make it tough for him to see enough balls to make a play. However, the Rams play a lot of zone coverage and Ramsey has even lobbied to shadow Chase, which I assume Ramsey do at least some of the time.
Regardless, Burrow doesn’t come across as the type of quarterback who will avoid Ramsey in man or zone coverage, as has been alluded to over the past few weeks. Ramsey is going to have a shot to make a few game-changing plays. He’s also around the ball much more frequently than the past when he mans the star position. And if he turns one of those into six the other way (like he almost did against the 49ers), he could easily win this award if the Rams win a low-scoring affair.
I’ll take a flier on Ramsey with my selection since Raybon snagged Higgins the pick before me and that’s who I had queued up.
7. Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase +1800
Sean Koerner: When it comes to Super Bowl MVP, quarterbacks are the most likely to win the award. Over the past 20 Super Bowls, 13 have won the award (65% win rate). When pitting those odds with each team’s current implied win probability, Stafford’s fair odds would be +140 and Burrow’s would be +330.
That said, wide receivers have won the award in four of the past 20 years (20% win rate). And considering there are a few elite receivers featured in this game, it makes sense to target one in the MVP market. I’m projecting this spread closer to Rams -3, so I see value on the Bengals to cover +4.5 and their moneyline. Therefore, I’m keying in on Chase and Higgins as the top value plays in the Super Bowl MVP market.
Raybon stole Higgins right in front of me, so I pivoted to my second-favorite value with Chase. He has the upside needed for a huge game that could see him win the MVP over Burrow, in the event of a Bengals upset.
8. Rams QB Matthew Stafford +100
Simon Hunter: We all know the NFL is a quarterback league, so with the last of eight picks, I feel very lucky that Stafford dropped all the way to me. Thirty one of the last 55 Super Bowls MVPs were QBs, so based off value and odds, I would have taken him in the top four.