In the National Football League (NFL), a team needs every member of the 40-man roster to contribute if it hopes to win the Super Bowl.
But more often than not, the performance of one elite superstar can elevate everybody around him en route to football’s promised land. To wit, four of the last five Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards have gone to quarterbacks who led their teams to a Super Bowl appearance.
Tom Brady did the deed last season, capturing his third career MVP award while taking the New England Patriots to an unprecedented eighth Super Bowl appearance during his tenure. But like Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, and Peyton Manning in 2016, 2015, and 2013, respectively, Brady’s MVP status didn’t translate into a Lombardi Trophy.
In fact, the last NFL MVP winner to claim a Super Bowl title in the same year was Kurt Warner, who capped the “Greatest Show on Turf” season in 1999 with a championship.
That 18-year trend may change this year though, as online sportsbook Bovada has eight quarterbacks helming playoff-caliber squads topping its futures betting board for the 2018 NFL MVP award.
Interestingly enough, it’s Aaron Rodgers (+550) leading the way over Carson Wentz, despite the former’s Green Bay Packers finishing 7-9, while the latter’s Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl 52. And in another twist of fate, both Rodgers and Wentz suffered season-ending injuries in 2017, so both signal-callers will be returning with revenge on their agenda.
Rodgers already has two MVP trophies (2011 and 2014) on his mantle, so his status as the betting favorite is certainly understandable. And with a roster that doesn’t exactly match up with the loaded Eagles, if Rodgers is able to propel the Packers on a deep postseason run, he’ll certainly deserve the “most valuable” moniker.
Brady will defend his MVP award at (+800) to earn a fourth, making him the only other player priced under 10 to 1.
From there veteran Super Bowl champion Drew Brees and second-year phenom Deshaun Watson share the same (+1500) odds. It seems like an impossibility, but over his 17 years as one of the best passers on the planet, Brees has never won the MVP. He did finish as runner-up in the race on two occasions (2006 and 2009), however, and with the Saints fresh off of an 11-5 season and an NFC South title, he makes for the perfect dark horse pick.
As for Watson, he showed flashes of brilliance in Houston last year, before his stellar rookie season was cut short by injury. The Texans get Watson and three-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner J.J. Watt back in 2018, and if they reclaim their position atop the AFC South, a playoff run could put Watson in the MVP discussion.
|Player||Odds to Win 2018 NFL MVP Award|