If quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers can win the NFL MVP award in 2016, he would tie Hall of Famer Brett Favre with three for his career. The 32-year-old Rodgers is the +400 favorite (bet $100 to win $400) at online sportsbook Bovada and hopes to have a full arsenal of offensive weapons to help him out this season.
Last year, Rodgers played without top target Jordy Nelson, who missed 2015 with a torn ACL. Nelson had a career-high 1,519 receiving yards and scored 13 touchdowns in 2014, emerging as the team’s best receiver. Without Nelson, Rodgers had his lowest passer rating since 2006 at 92.7 and threw for 3,821 yards with 31 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a career high-tying eight fumbles. He previously won MVP honors in 2011 – when he set the single-season passer rating record with 122.5 – and 2014.
A quarterback has won the last three NFL MVP awards along with eight of the past nine. So it’s no surprise to see six others who play the position listed at +1200 or less as well.
Reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is tied with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers as the +750 second choice, followed by Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks (+800), Tom Brady of the New England Patriots (+900), Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts (+1200) and Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals (+1200) .
After them, there is a huge drop-off to Eli Manning of the New York Giants and defensive end J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, who are both +2500.
Running back Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings was the last non-quarterback to win NFL MVP in 2012, and he is next in line with Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, each listed at +3300. Peterson won his third NFL rushing title last season and has a solid shot to win MVP if his Vikings can top Rodgers in the NFC North again.
With the retirement of five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning, Brady is the only other active multiple-time winner besides Rodgers and may have a difficult time taking home his third award considering he is suspended for the first four games of the season. However, it would be hard to deny Brady if he plays with a chip on his shoulder as expected and leads the Patriots to the top record in the AFC when he returns.
Wilson may be the most intriguing name among the favorites because he has not had much to work with offensively in his first four seasons besides running back Marshawn Lynch. Since Lynch retired in the offseason, Wilson will be counted on more than ever to be a difference-maker following the best statistical season of his career in 2015.
Roethlisberger is in a similar boat with running back Le’Veon Bell facing a four-game suspension to start the year. If the Seahawks or Steelers can earn the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences, look for them to emerge as the frontrunners to win MVP.