With his five Super Bowl rings and four Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards from the big game, Tom Brady is by far the most decorated quarterback in the history of professional football.
As such, it’s only natural to see Brady as the big favorite to win his fifth MVP award at Super Bowl 52 when his Patriots take on the Eagles. According to the latest lines posted by online sportsbook Bovada, Brady leads the field at (-110), followed by his counterpart under center Nick Foles (+350).
From there, the Super Bowl MVP race is wide open, as only New England’s oft-injured tight end Rob Gronkowski (+900) offers odds under 10 to 1. Gronk suffered a concussion midway through the AFC Championship Game, but he’s back to practice and expected to play this Sunday.
Interestingly, despite his close association with the Patriots dynasty, Gronkowski has only appeared in two Super Bowls – catching a combined eight passes on 13 targets for 94 yards and one touchdown.
Moving past Gronk’s name brings bettors to a trio of (+1800) longshots on the offensive side of the ball. The running backs for both teams (Dion Lewis for New England and Jay Ajayi for Philadelphia) join Pats slot receiver Danny Amendola as 18 to 1 underdogs in the MVP race.
Tight end Zach Ertz (+2000) and wideout Alshon Jeffrey (+2200) are up next for Philly, followed by Patriots pass-catcher Brandin Cooks (+2200), and Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount (+3300).
The last defensive player to take home Super Bowl MVP honors was Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith, whose pick-six, fumble recovery, and 10 tackles helped spark a 43-8 rout over Denver in Super Bowl 48.
Smith’s closest competition for that distinction this year is Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox at (+3300). Cox will need to bring Brady down early and often if the Eagles are to score an upset, and a few sacks in a Super Bowl win might be the perfect recipe for a defensive MVP.
Speaking of Brady, he’s a heavy favorite in every head-to-head passing game prop bet offered by Bovada.
Despite spotting Foles a full 25.5 yards in the “Most Passing Yardage” prop, Brady is a (-155) favorite to (+125) for the big-time backup. That may be because bookmakers expect Brady to attempt more passes, as evidenced by the (-4) tagged to his “Most Passing Attempts” props. And again, even with four freebies to work with, Foles is the (+120) dog to the G.O.A.T. at (-150).
Margins on the “Most Touchdown Passes” prop are a bit slimmer, but Brady is still giving 0.5 TDs at (-150) against (+120) for Foles.
Those two will be throwing the passes, but it’ll take a cadre of capable receivers to haul them in.
Gronkowski is tabbed as a (+300) favorite to record the most receiving yardage in Super Bowl 52, even as a pair of teammates led the Pats in that regard during the team’s two postseason wins. As noted above, Gronk was injured in the AFC Championship Game, allowing Cooks to lead the way with 100 yards. But a healthy Gronkowski still trailed Amendola 81 to 112 in New England’s divisional round win over the Titans.
Cooks can be had for (+400), while Amendola is a (+700) longshot along with teammate Chris Hogan.
On the Philly side, Ertz (+400) is the favorite, followed by Jeffrey (+500), Nelson Agholor (+700), and Torrey Smith (+700).
As for the folks toting the rock, the “Most Rushing Yards” prop is led by the punishing Jay Ajayi of Philly at (-140). Running with a chip on his shoulder after a midseason trade from Miami, the London-born bruiser put up 54 yards on 15 carries in the divisional round, and 73 on 18 in the NFC Championship Game. But given a pair of 200-yard outbursts for the Dolphins last season, and two more 100-yard games for the Eagles, Ajayi is always capable of hitting triple digits.
He’ll be up against Lewis (+150) for the Pats, along with his backfield partner Blount (+700), while Patriots backups James White and Rex Burkhead are both (+1200) longshots.