It’s a two-man race to win 2021 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

Entering the first-ever Week 18 in NFL history, there’s no drama as to whom will win the regular-season MVP Award as Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the -375 heavy favorite to repeat and win it for the fourth time in his Hall of Fame career. That would leave Rodgers just one MVP shy of the league record of five set by Peyton Manning.

It used to be that the NFL MVP often won the Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year Award as well, but nowadays voters generally separate those because the MVP has become a quarterback-only award and running backs/receivers have almost no chance. In the past four years, two running backs and a receiver have won Offensive Player of the Year.

It’s a two-man race this season on the NFL futures odds between Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp (-110) and Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (-110). You can bet Rodgers on this prop, but he’s a +5000 long shot.

Rare Triple Crown For Kupp?

While Rodgers may not play much if it all in Week 18 because the Packers have clinched the top seed in the NFC playoffs, both Kupp and Taylor will be in action.

The Rams are in the playoffs regardless but would win the NFC West with a victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Los Angeles also would win the West with an Arizona Cardinals loss vs. Seattle, but those games kick-off simultaneously.

Kupp is going for the rare receiving Triple Crown as he leads the NFL with 138 catches, 1,829 yards, and 15 touchdowns. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the only players to win the receiving Triple Crown were Jerry Rice in 1990, Sterling Sharpe in 1992, and Steve Smith in 2005. No one is catching Kupp in any of those categories, and he could break the single-season record of 149 catches set by the Saints’ Michael Thomas in 2019 and the single-season receiving yardage record of 1,964 by the Lions’ Calvin Johnson in 2012.

If Kupp breaks both marks, he’s almost a lock to win Offensive Player of the Year. In Week 10 when the Rams lost 31-10 at the 49ers, Kupp had 11 catches for 122 yards. He is an MVP option at +2500.

Taylor leads the NFL with 1,734 yards rushing and 20 total touchdowns. He might have to become the ninth player in league history with a 2,000-yard season to beat out Kupp for this award. Indianapolis is at Jacksonville on Sunday and needs a win to clinch a wild-card spot. In Week 14 when the Colts beat the Jaguars 23-17, Taylor had 116 yards rushing and a touchdown. Taylor is +1000 to win MVP.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year and might have been on his way to repeating before being injured in Week 8.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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