Rashee Rice Super Bowl MVP Odds: 70-1 Bet to Make

Rashee Rice Super Bowl MVP Odds: 70-1 Bet to Make article feature image

Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Image. Pictured: Rashee Rice.

Rashee Rice Super Bowl MVP Odds: 70-1 Bet to Make

Prior to the Conference Championship games, my Predictive Analytics colleague Billy Ward identified Travis Kelce as value for Super Bowl MVP at 85-1 odds.

I was all over that Kelce bet, but now there's even better value available on one of his teammates to win Super Bowl MVP — Rashee Rice.

Billy correctly identified that Kelce is considered the Chiefs' top option in the passing game. But while that's been true in Kansas City's three playoff games thus far, if we look at a larger sample size that includes the latter half of the regular season, Kelce actually trails Rice.

Since Thanksgiving, Rice has outpaced Kelce in targets per game, explosive games (90-plus receiving yards) and touchdowns.

Targets per game9.07.4
Explosive games42

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The last two receivers to win Super Bowl MVP were Cooper Kupp (LVI) and Julian Edelman (LIII). If we look at their stat lines, it's clear 90 yards and eight catches is a solid threshold to target. Rice has hit that combination in 3-of-9 games since Thanksgiving — Kelce has done it just once.

Another reason I really like Rice is how he matches up against the 49ers.

Rice lines up out wide on the right side only around 20% of the time, where he'd face cornerback Charvarius Ward, who lines up on the defensive left side more than 90% of the time and allows just a 55% catch rate. Both Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir, San Francisco's other two main corners, allow a 70% catch rate and higher target shares in coverage.

As our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, points out, the Chiefs would be wise to scheme Rice away from Ward, meaning there's a chance Rice could be matched up against Ward at an even lower rate than 20%. That could make the Chiefs' offense Rice, Kelce and Isiah Pacheco focused.

Rice is 70-1 at FanDuel to win Super Bowl MVP, as is 49ers tight end George Kittle. Kittle's price makes sense, as he's at best a third or fourth option in the receiving game behind Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and some guy named Christian McCaffrey. Of course, Kittle also has to compete with Brock Purdy for MVP honors, should the 49ers win.

Rice has less internal competition than Kittle while being listed at the same price. Patrick Mahomes rightly should eat up plenty of that. Pacheco can be a factor as well. And, of course, Kelce, who is currently listed at 17-1. That's one less main mouth to feed in Kansas City's offense before we get to ancillary pieces than San Francisco.

The rookie wideout should be much closer to Kelce's price given that he's been a bigger part of the Chiefs' offense over the latter half of the regular season and playoffs.

Some back-of-the-napkin math shows that if Kansas City is around 45% to win (per the moneyline), and let's say Mahomes wins MVP 75% of the time the Chiefs win (which is above the 62.5% that's happened in the 2000s), then if it were an equal split between Kelce, Pacheco and Rice, then Rice should be around 25-1. Obviously, there's a non-zero chance other players win, but everyone else on the Chiefs is 140-1 or longer.

For me, that puts Rice for MVP more in the range of +3000 to +4500, so I'd bet this down accordingly.

Pick: Rashee Rice Super Bowl LVIII MVP (+7000; FanDuel)

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