2023 Super Bowl MVP Draft: Odds, Picks, Predictions for Mahomes, Hurts, More
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes.
Action Network’s brightest NFL minds came together for a special draft on potential Super Bowl 57 MVP winners.
In an order randomly predetermined, each of our betting analysts made their favorite MVP picks using FanDuel odds. These are not official bets by our experts, but they are an idea of where value might be found on the MVP board.
Here are our staff’s favorite MVP picks for Super Bowl LVII between the Chiefs and Eagles.
Patrick Mahomes (+130)
1) Stuckey: With the first overall pick, I didn’t think twice about selecting Mahomes since I bet the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, in addition to the over.
It’s hard to envision anybody else winning this award if Kansas City wins in a high-scoring affair, especially when you consider the team’s wide distribution of touches at both running back and receiver (where there are also injury concerns).
It might take a Herculean, historical effort from Travis Kelce to keep Mahomes from the trophy. Even then, Mahomes might still get it. Look no further than the previous Super Bowl MVP he won despite Damian Williams finishing with 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score.
Pick: Patrick Mahomes SB MVP
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Jalen Hurts (+130)
2) Chris Raybon: Quarterbacks are the most likely players to win this award, and Hurts is more likely to win than the typical quarterback due to his elite rushing production.
Hurts’ dual-threat capabilities allowed him to account for 71% of the Eagles’ total yardage and 62% of their touchdowns in the 17 games he started this season. His single-game highs in each of the relevant stat categories – 357 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, 157 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns – give him multiple avenues to win the award even if a fellow teammate has a big game.
This is a pretty unique market in that two players (Hurts and Mahomes) account for roughly 70% of the win probability, while every other player has long odds.
Savvy bettors who think the Eagles are going to win would do well to not take Hurts as their only selection, but instead pair him with at least one of his teammates. For instance, if you place a $100 bet on Hurts at +130 on FanDuel, Action Network’s Hedging Calculator indicates you would only need to place an additional $12.11 on A.J. Brown at +1800 to lock in a profit if either wins.
Pick: Jalen Hurts MVP
DeVonta Smith (+3100)
3) Brandon Anderson: Normally, quarterbacks are overwhelming Super Bowl MVP favorites, and Mahomes (+130) should be, but I don’t buy Hurts (+130) as a strong candidate.
Hurts has eight games with fewer than two passing touchdowns, including just two total his last four games. He’s thrown for only 275 yards in two playoff games combined.
Hurts isn’t flashy. He doesn’t make electric, highlight plays and probably won’t have overwhelming stats. I project him with something like 190 passing yards and a score, plus 40 more yards and another touchdown on the ground. Those don’t look like MVP numbers, which means the MVP field is ripe for the picking if the Eagles win the Super Bowl.
I think Hurts wins MVP, at most, half the time in the scenario of a Philadelphia win, making him a terrible bet at his number. Instead, I want one of Philly’s weapons or defenders.
DeVonta Smith tops my list. A.J. Brown gets all the hype, but Smith has quietly become Philly’s go-to receiver down the stretch. He had at least 61 receiving yards in seven consecutive games before the Eagles barely had to pass in the NFC Championship Game, averaging 6.4 catches for 92.6 yards per contest in that stretch, with five TDs.
The Chiefs are bottom five by DVOA against opposing WR1s, and that’s Smith now. They’re also terrible against slot receivers. One of the reasons Smith has become so valuable is that he’s a good run blocker and versatile player who plays almost every snap and moves both outside and into the slot.
Two of the last four Super Bowl MVPs have been receivers. I like Smith to find the end zone, and if he busts a long one or makes another highlight catch, he could be Philadelphia’s starriest star in a balanced, team effort.
If you follow the Action Network Podcast, I’ve been recommending Smith for Super Bowl MVP for weeks. We grabbed him at +7500 initially and added more at +5000, and I’ll play again now. I make Smith the most likely non-QB MVP at around 8-9%, making him the best value on the board at an implied 3.7%.
Pick: DeVonta Smith MVP
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (+6000)
4) Sean Koerner: MVS for MVP!
Last season, my main MVP bet was on Tee Higgins and he likely would have won it if the Bengals held on for the win. I think MVS has similar upside in this spot because he’s one of the few healthy Chiefs receivers at the moment.
There is a chance Mecole Hardman, JuJu Smith-Schuster and/or Kadarius Toney miss the game or are limited by their injuries. MVS is an excellent receiver down field – which gives him a massive ceiling – and is coming off of one of his best games of the season (6/116/1) against the Bengals.
He has yet to have a game this year that would get him the MVP award, but I think the chances of it happening are definitely worth it at 60/1.
Pick: Marquez Valdes-Scantling MVP
Miles Sanders (+2500)
5) Sean Koerner: Sanders, who I like to lead the Super Bowl in rushing yards, has real potential for an MVP-worthy performance.
His upside was capped this season due to the amount of Eagles blowout wins. Sanders’ rush attempt share among Eagles RBs was 79% when Philly trailed or was winning by fewer than seven points. It fell to 61% when the Eagles were up by at least seven. With the Eagles likely to be involved in a close game and this being the Super Bowl (no reason to limit usage), he should finish closer to his ceiling.
There is a clear path for Sanders to have a 18/150-type game on the ground with a couple rushing TDs in an Eagles win. That could be enough for him to win MVP.
Sanders has had three games this season which would have had him in discussion:
Week 4: 27 rushes, 134 yards, 2 touchdowns; 2 catches, 22 receiving yards
Week 12: 21 rushes, 143 yards, 2 touchdowns; 3 catches, 17 yards
Week 14: 17 rushes, 144 tards, 2 touchdowns; 1 catch, 11 yards
Pick: Miles Sanders MVP
Haason Reddick (+3400)
6) Brandon Anderson: I like the Eagles to win with a balanced effort, spreading the stats and the wealth amongst many players, much like they have in both playoff games and throughout the season. I also like them to win with defense, and history tells us defenders can win Super Bowl MVP, with 10-of-57 winners (17.5%).
Reddick is unquestionably the star of Philly’s defense, and he was the best player on the field in the NFC Championship Game. Reddick has 19.5 sacks thus far this year, with at least a half-sack in nine of his last 10 games and a full sack in eight of them (80%). He has two or more sacks in four of his last six games (67%) and led the league with five forced fumbles in the regular season before adding another in what was effectively the winning play against San Francisco, stripping and injuring Brock Purdy with a ferocious hit.
Reddick has been a monster, and I’m looking to back him multiple ways. He’s +185 to record a sack in an Eagles win at FanDuel, and he’s +500 to record multiple sacks.
He’ll probably have to do that and more to win MVP, but if we get a balanced Eagles game with no offensive players at 100 yards or multiple scores, maybe Reddick gets a look.
For years, the NBA Finals MVP went to either LeBron James or the guy defending him. Maybe Reddick can be the MVP if he leads the unit that shuts down Patrick Mahomes.
Pick: Haason Reddick MVP
Travis Kelce (+1600)
7) Chris Raybon: A tight end has never won this award, but a pass catcher has won it in two of the past four years and five of the past 18. And with all due respect to A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, Kelce is the best receiver in this game.
Kelce is also one of the greatest postseason pass-catchers of all time. In 17 career postseason games, he’s averaged 7.5 receptions for 86.3 yards and 0.88 touchdowns. He has found the end zone at least once in each of his last five postseason contests and 11 of his past 14, with multiple scores in two of his past seven and three of his past 11.
If there were ever a game in which Kelce and Mahomes simultaneously go off, it’s this one. The Eagles defense is No. 1 in DVOA against the pass and features one of the best cornerback tandems in the game, which could limit Kansas City’s banged-up, Tyreek Hill-less wide receiver corps.
It also doesn’t hurt that going up against his All-Pro brother, Jason Kelce, gives him prime real estate on #NarrativeStreet, which could be the differentiator if it comes down to a close call among voters.
Pick: Travis Kelce MVP
Chris Jones (+5000)
8) Stuckey: Considering I can’t see anyone else other than Mahomes (and maybe Kelce) winning, I went outside the box with the final selection.
If the Chiefs win in a low-scoring, defensive battle, Chris Jones would likely have a lot to do with that particular outcome after a dominant season as one of the league’s best interior pass rushers. He’d need some luck (fumble recovery, interception) or a key touchdown or record-setting sack performance in an unlikely game script, but that’s why this is a long shot. Who knows, you could have a key injury along the Eagles’ offensive line, or maybe Mahomes re-injures his ankle early and can’t continue, causing the entire game plan for K.C. to change.
It’s a narrative award and Jones has the name recognition if the Chiefs win in a low-scoring defensive battle.
Pick: Chris Jones MVP
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