Super Bowl MVP Award Prediction
Will Tom Brady win Super Bowl 52 MVP? Unsurprisingly, he is the favorite but is he the best bet on the board?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Patriots are currently 4.5-point favorites to knock off the Eagles in Super Bowl 52 tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET. Philadelphia opened as a 6-point underdog before the number was driven down to 4, then back up to 4.5. As for the total, the number opened at 47.5 but is now up to 48.5 at most sportsbooks.
As of this writing, just over 50% of the betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Eagles to cover the spread. That said, 55% of the money wagered at online sportsbooks is on the Patriots.
Meanwhile, Brady is the favorite to take home the MVP award at 10/13 odds. Nick Foles has the next-best odds at 3/1 while Eagles' defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is a 10/1 long shot. Rob Gronkowski is 12/1, Jay Ajayi is 15/1 and Danny Amendola is 18/1. Dion Lewis is 20/1, Brandin Cooks is 25/1 and Alshon Jeffery, LeGarrette Blount and Zach Ertz are all 40/1, respectively.
First, some history. Twenty-eight quarterbacks have won the Super Bowl MVP award, most by any position in football. Running back has the second-most at seven, while a wide receiver has been named Super Bowl MVP six times. The other positions break down like this: Linebacker 4, Defensive end 2, Safety 2, Cornerback 1, Defensive Tackle 1 and kick returner/punt returner 1. A quarterback or linebacker has been named MVP in nine straight Super Bowls.
So what is the best MVP bet for Super Bowl 52? I'll give you two options: One for if you believe the Patriots will win, and one for if you believe the Eagles will win.
If You Believe the Patriots will Win: Tom Brady (10/13)
Is there value in this play? Absolutely not. If you want to take a gamble on someone like Gronk, Amendola or Lewis to capture the honors, be my guess. But if you truly believe New England will walk away with yet another Super Bowl victory, Brady is the most-likely option to win the MVP. And after all, it's not about which player will get you the best payout, it's about getting a payout, period.
Brady was named Super Bowl MVP in every one of the Patriots' Super Bowl victories since 2002, except, ironically, in 2005 when Deion Branch won the award in New England's victory over Philly. He's a great bet to win the award again tonight because even if Gronk, Amendola or Lewis has big games, who will be at the center of their production? That's right: Brady.
If you Believe the Eagles will Win: Jay Ajayi (15/1)
This is where you can take your shot. If you firmly believe the Eagles will pull off the upset tonight then yes, there is value in taking Foles at 3/1 to win the MVP. But unlike with the Patriots winning, Foles could simply manage the game with the Eagles leaning on their running game and their defense.
This is where Ajayi comes in. He has to be a focal-point in Philly's offense because if the Eagles are going to keep Brady and Co. on the sidelines for long stretches, Philly will have to run the ball and use the screen game as an extension of their rushing attack. If Ajayi gets into the end zone a few times and the Eagles, win, he offers a nice payout at 15/1.
What about the long-shots? Who's the best bet?
Okay, okay…so you want to roll the dice on a long-shot. No problem. Let's be smart about it though. Here are some options.
Rob Gronkowski (12/1)
Gronkowski suffered a concussion against the Jaguars in the AFC title game but he's probable to play tonight. The Eagles had the third-best fantasy defense against tight ends this season so Gronkowski will have his hands full with Philadelphia. That said, we know Brady loves to target Gronkowski and the tight end won't be left out of the game plan. He has some value at 12/1.
Zach Ertz (40/1)
This is one of the better plays on the board because of what Ertz did in the NFC Championship Game. Had Foles not thrown for over 300 yards with three touchdowns, Ertz may have won MVP of the NFC title game after posterizing Minnesota safety Harrison Smith. If anyone is going to have a big game in the Eagles' passing game, I'll bank on Ertz because of his involvement in the short passing game.
Brandin Cooks (25/1)
I love the matchup here. If the Eagles have a weakness on defense, it's at the cornerback position, especially Jalen Mills. (Philly ranks 23rd against fantasy wide receivers this season.) Brandin Cooks is the ultimate deep threat and if he winds up catching a few long passes and finds the end zone, there's a chance he could cash as the MVP. He's a long shot but then again, that's what we're looking for in this section.