Jeff Hanisch – USA TODAY Sports
- Aaron Rodgers is the MVP preseason favorite at 6-1 odds
- Reigning MVP winner Tom Brady is right behind him at 15-2
- Two young QBs may intrigue some bettors at 20-1 odds
The NFL offseason — and prop/future season — is off and running and we’re starting with a fan favorite … MVP odds.
Last season, Tom Brady took home the hardware for the third time of his career. Even though Brady ended up winning with ease on paper (earning 40 of the 50 votes), he may not have won at all if not for Carson Wentz’s injury.
Had Wentz won, his 100-1 preseason odds would have made him the biggest longshot to win in recent history.
Other than Matt Ryan and Adrian Peterson, the MVP has been won by mostly players near the top of the odds list. Six of the past nine winners were either Brady, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers. Speaking of Rodgers …
The Packers QB was unfortunately shelved for most of the 2017 season with a broken collarbone, but oddsmakers clearly expect him to return to form in 2018. One element of change that Rodgers will have to overcome will be the loss of Jordy Nelson. The offseason acquisition by the Raiders had been one of Rodgers’ favorite targets for the majority of his career, but perhaps the Green Bay signal-caller make a new friend in Jimmy Graham. Rodgers has never had an elite pass-catching tight end, and while Graham has declined in recent years, it’s possible the duo could mutually benefit each other.
Next up is the GOAT. Even though Brady is the reigning winner, you have to assume winning at 41 years old will be that much tougher than winning at 40.
Following Brady is the duo of Wentz and Drew Brees, both at 11-1. As I mentioned before, Wentz was on his way to winning MVP and even had odds posted as low as +100 during November.
Everyone always mentions Brady’s age, but Brees is no young buck either. Entering his age-39 season, Brees is defying time as well. Will he garner a lot of action at 11-1 or is the payout not great enough for the old Saint?
Most of the league’s middle-tier QBs can be found in the next group of players, ranging from 12-1 to 40-1. Two names that should get attention are Jimmy Garoppolo and Deshaun Watson.
Jimmy G had a great debut in San Francisco, leading the 49ers to 5-0 record in games he started. Now with a full season ahead of him, we’ll truly get to see just how good he is. A division title in the tough NFC West would go a long way in the minds of the voters, and it’s certainly not impossible despite the team’s lowly state just a year ago.
Though Watson wasn’t heading for an MVP season last year, his ACL tear definitely derailed what appeared to be an Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Reports recently surfaced that he’ll be ready for training camp, but there’ll of course be questions regarding how much his mobility will be affected. First, does he have the same quickness and explosiveness that he had before and will he make different decisions as his career progresses in order to stay healthy.
The first non-QB listed is David Johnson. The Cardinals RB suffered what ended up being a season-ending wrist injury in Week 1 last year after coming off a monster 2016 season. He’ll be back, but with another person handing and throwing him the ball following Carson Palmer’s retirement.
Several other RBs are listed in the 50-1 to 100-1 range, including Saquon Barkley. The Giants rookie is the only member of the latest draft class to have odds posted at this time.
Antonio Brown has the best odds for a wide receiver at 50-1, while Rob Gronkowski is the only tight end listed at 100-1.
Another player coming back from injury is J.J. Watt, who is the only defensive player listed with odds. Watt broke his leg in Week 5 and will be back looking for his fourth Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Check back throughout the offseason for updated odds, value plays, simulations and more.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates as he leaves the field after defeating the New York Giants in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports