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We are now three weeks away from the annual Hall Of Fame game, which will pit the Chicago Bears against the Baltimore Ravens. This is always a big game for football enthusiasts as it means that we will see action on the NFL gridiron from then all the way to February. What a ride it will be this year, and with every season, there is always talk about who will be the MVP. Will it be Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or even Carson Wentz? Well, let’s dig into the odds and see who will walk away with the MVP trophy and who could be an excellent value play on the board.
Top 15 NFL MVP Odds (Via Bovada)
- Aaron Rodgers +550
- Tom Brady +800
- Carson Wentz +850
- Drew Brees +1500
- Jimmy Garoppolo +1500
- Russell Wilson +2000
- Cam Newton +2000
- Deshaun Watson +2000
- Matt Ryan +2200
- Kirk Cousins +2200
- Philip Rivers +2500
- Ben Roethlisberger +2500
- Derek Carr +3000
- Andrew Luck +3000
- Jared Goff +3000
- Matthew Stafford +3300
The Usual Suspects Are At the Top Of The List
Tom Brady is usually the favorite, but with the return of a healthy Aaron Rodgers, he has slipped to 2nd on the list. Still, Tom Brady is one of the best in the league and is coming off a very strong season that saw him throw for 4577 yards with 32 TDs and just eight INTs. This guy is a machine, but the talent level around him is not the same as it once was and he is getting up there in age. At some point, he will start to slow down. Could this finally be the year? We shall see. He has won three MVP trophies in his career.
Aaron Rodgers has been the MVP in the league twice in his career, and he is ready for a bounce-back season after playing just seven games a year ago. He did throw 16 TDs in his seven games last year and had 109 in his last three seasons. He is a freakish talent on the football field, but his receiving corps is not what it once was, especially with Jordy Nelson now catching balls from Derek Carr out in Oakland. Rodgers does have the ability to get the job done, especially if he is healthy, so it will be fun to see what he does after a very disappointing 2017 season.
It Gets Interesting After Brady & Rodgers
After Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, things open up a bit and we could very well see the MVP come from this "second tier." Last year, the MVP trophy would have gone to Carson Wentz had he not been injured in the 13th game of the year. Still, he was 11-2 as a starter, throwing for 3296 yards with 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions before going down. He way not be ready for the opener, but still, he is a bonafide threat to finish what he started last year, especially since he has a solid receiver corps to work with again. He must stay healthy though.
Drew Brees is always near the top of the list and with good reason. He needs less than 1500 yards to become the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards. That's a testament not just to his superior skills but also his ability to stay healthy. He did have a down year in 2017 as he threw just 23 TDs after tossing at least 32 touchdowns in each of his previous nine seasons. He also threw for "only" 4334 yards, which was his lowest total since 2005, when he was a member of the Lightning Bolts. He is 39 years old, but he is still in great shape, and he has a solid wide receiver group to work with, which should have him in the running for his first-ever MVP trophy.
Seeing Jimmy Garoppolo at number five on the odds list is very interesting. He has never been THE guy on a team, but he gets that chance for the San Francisco 49ers. Last year, after being traded to the Niners, he was 5-0 as a starter and threw for 1560 yards with seven TDs and five INTs in his six overall games with the team. He has an excellent group of wide receivers including Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, and Dante Pettis. With his arm and surrounding talent, he could very well sneak into the final MVP conversation.
One other quarterback to talk about in this section is Kirk Cousins, who is now tossing the pigskin around for the Minnesota Vikings after spending the first six years of his career in Washington. The Vikings have an excellent quarterback on their hands, and they also have plenty of weapons for him to get the ball to. Kirk has thrown 25 touchdowns in each of the last three seasons, and back in 2016, he threw for 4917 yards. Do not sleep on Cousins this year.
Other Notables To Watch
Last year, in a season cut short by a torn ACL, Deshaun Watson showed that he has the makings of being a great NFL quarterback. If he can stay healthy for the whole year, he could be in the mix… Philip Rivers showed last year that he still has it and with a solid group of receivers around him, he has a shot at a super season this year… Matt Ryan seems to be always in the mix, especially in a high-powered offensive system like that of the Falcons. Look for him to have a big year again… Ben Roethlisberger is still one of the best in the league, and he has a strong group of wide receivers around him. Do not count out Big Ben… Derek Carr has a new toy to play with in Jordy Nelson to go along with Amari Cooper, who is a big play threat. He has the arm and the weapons to make a run at the MVP.
So Who Will be The 2018 NFL MVP?
One thing for sure is that the MVP should come from the quarterback spot and there are a bunch of good ones on this list. Brady and Rodgers will have strong seasons again, but I don’t feel that either one will be crowned MVP at the end of the year. Carson Wentz is off a severe injury, and Jimmy Garoppolo is still unproven for a whole year. Drew Brees will have another solid season, but he is getting up there in age. My pick is Kirk Cousins. The Vikings have a star on their hands, and with a much more talented group of receivers than he had at Washington, he will have his best season yet.