Three Non-QB Super Bowl 53 MVP Picks
It’s been three years since a non-quarterback won the Super Bowl MVP award. In the last 12 title games, a quarterback won the Super Bowl MVP nine times. That said, the non-quarterbacks have bigger payoffs so which non-signal callers could take home Super Bowl 53’s MVP? Here are three considerations.
101 New England Patriots at 102 Los Angeles Rams
6:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, February 3, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Patriots are 2.5-point favorites to beat the Rams. The total, meanwhile, sits at 56.5 points. As of this writing, 73% of the public betting tickets are on the Patriots to cover the point spread.
Sony Michel 12/1
Michel had a solid rookie season for the Patriots, rushing 209 times for 931 yards and six touchdowns for a 4.5 yards-per-carry average. During the regular season, Michel averaged 16.08 attempts, 71.62 yards and 0.46 touchdowns per game. His usage has spiked in the postseason, however. Against the Chargers in the Divisional round, Michel rushed 24 times for 129 yards and a whopping three touchdowns. Against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, Michel rushed 29 times for 113 yards and two scores. The Patriots’ power running game will be a focal point in tonight’s Super Bowl and Michel figures to factor into the game plan. If the Pats win and Michel goes off, his 12/1 odds offer plenty of value to bettors.
James White 20/1
Even though Tom Brady orchestrated the Patriots’ infamous comeback from down 28-3 in the second half against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, White should have won MVP that year. He finished that game with 29 yards rushing and two touchdowns on six carries but also caught 14 passes for 110 yards and an additional score. He scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime but it was Brady who was handed the award. If White has a similar performance tonight against the Rams as he did versus the Falcons, perhaps MVP voters will rectify the decision to not give the running back MVP two years ago.
Aaron Donald 15/1
Let’s go back to Super Bowl LI. While White should have won MVP over Brady, had the Falcons held on to beat the Patriots, Matt Ryan wasn’t a shoo-in to win the MVP that night. It was defensive tackle Grady Jarrett that tied Willie McGinest for most sacks in Super Bowl history with three. He harassed Brady throughout the night until Atlanta’s defense got gassed in the fourth quarter and fell apart. Donald just took home NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors and if the Rams win, there’s not many scenarios in which the defensive tackle doesn’t have a big game. Donald can be a one-man wrecking crew at times and while his MVP odds make him a long-shot, it’s a long-shot that could pay off if he has multiple sacks and the Rams do what the Falcons couldn’t, which is pull off the upset.