2020 NFL MVP Predictions & Picks: Why We’re Betting On Matthew Stafford & More
Leon Halip/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Stafford
Lamar Jackson opened as a longshot to win 2019 NFL MVP and, well, we know how that story ended.
So who are some value picks for 2020 NFL MVP? Our staff highlights three players with 50-1 odds or longer.
2020 NFL MVP Predictions & Picks
Click the pick to skip ahead to that analysis.
New to betting? Matthew Stafford’s +6600 odds mean a $10 bet would net a $660 profit. Convert more odds with our Betting Odds Calculator.
Sean Koerner: Ben Roethlisberger +5000
The MVP market is more subjective than other futures, therefore it’s critical to understand what type of player typically wins.
Over the past 20 seasons, there have been only two positions that have won MVP: Quarterbacks (17) and running backs (three). With the NFL continuing to become more pass-heavy league and favoring running back committees over workhorses, I would set the odds of a QB winning the award closer to 90-95% this season.
Another important factor for this award is the player’s final team record — five of the last seven winners were a QB on the team with the best overall record.
I want to direct my focus on identifying a QB who is capable of putting up huge numbers on a team that could end up having the best overall record. That’s why I think Big Ben is offering value at 50-1.
The Steelers might possess the best defense in all of football. They finished first in Football Outsiders’ Weighted DVOA, which reflects how teams were playing at the end of the season. And with the Patriots coming off an offseason full of turnover, the Ravens cutting Earl Thomas and the 49ers parting ways with DeForest Buckner, I’m treating this Steelers as the best defense heading into 2020.
Big Ben is more than capable of putting up big numbers through the air. He has a great mix of pass-catching options in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron.
Roethlisberger’s surgically repaired elbow is apparently “really good,” too. He revealed he had been playing with pain in it for 13 straight seasons. Now that pain has gone away completely.
Of course, the main concern when it comes to Big Ben is always whether he’ll play all 16 games. It’s a fair concern, but betting on this market is all about betting on his upside.
Finally, another thing I want to do when betting a market like MVP is to make correlated bets. That’s why it would be sharp to also bet on him to win Comeback Player of the Year at +350 [bet now at BetMGM] and for the Steelers to finish with the most regular-season wins at +2200 [bet now at BetMGM].
If Big Ben wins MVP, it’s very likely the other two bets hit. If not, they act as a potential safety net.
Mike Randle: Josh Allen +6000
At this time last year, Lamar Jackson was 50-1 to win MVP.
When picking an MVP future, I look for three things:
- A quarterback: Twelve of the past 13 MVPs have been signal-callers.
- On a quality team: Of those 12 quarterbacks, their teams have a combined record of 151-31.
- With rushing upside: Offensive trends have made mobile quarterbacks more valuable.
Josh Allen hits all of those qualifications.
The Bills project for 9 wins with one of the easiest schedules to start the season. They open vs. the Jets, at the Dolphins, vs. the Rams and at the Raiders, all of which are very winnable games. The Bills also played close games against the division-dominant Patriots, losing both games last season by seven or fewer points. With Tom Brady out of the AFC East, the time is right for the Bills to end the Patriots’ 11-year division reign.
Allen’s weakness is accuracy, particularly deep ball accuracy. To address this, Buffalo added explosive wide receiver Stefon Diggs to start alongside speedster John Brown. Allen also has reliable slot target Cole Beasley and a pair of versatile running backs in Zack Moss and Devin Singletary.
With 1.131 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns since 2018, Allen is also one of the NFL’s top true dual-threat quarterbacks.
While it’s a longshot, this is within Allen’s range of outcomes. If Buffalo can overtake New England in the AFC East en route to 11 or 12 wins, the +6000 value makes this very enticing. I would bet it down to +5000.
Josh Allen could very well be this season’s Lamar Jackson.
Travis Reed: Matthew Stafford +6600
I like the Lions’ odds to make the playoffs and win the NFC North, so this bet should have some correlated value. Other quarterbacks clearly have more talent and are more likely to win, but I like Stafford as a longshot.
While NFL nerds (like me) can look at stats like Expected Points Added or Net Yards per Attempt, the voters of the MVP award tend to look at the traditional stats of yards, touchdowns and wins.
Stafford has shown the ability to rack up stats as he’s already eclipsed 4,000 passing yards in seven of his eight 16-game seasons. And before getting hurt in 2019, he was on pace for 5,000 yards and had his highest career passer rating of 106. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell returns this season, so I think it’s fair to assume similar rate stats for the 2020 season.
Health is always the biggest concern, but the price is good enough to take on that risk. I would bet Stafford at +5000 or higher.