MVP Odds: Mahomes Currently Favored

Mahomes Leads NFL MVP Race; Brees a Close Second

Have the major NFL awards already been decided? Let's take a look at the four candidates and their current odds. The four candidates are Chiefs' signal-caller Patrick Mahomes, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Philip Rivers of the Chargers and Comeback Player of the Year candidate Andrew Luck of the Colts.

With just two weeks left to go in the 2018 NFL regular season, BetOnline a top SBR sportsbook has Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes as the –125 favorite to win MVP honors, while New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley is a heavy –500 chalk for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Barkley (1,155 yards rushing, No. 3 overall) has a clear path to the podium; his only competition is Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield at +300.

Mahomes has a little more work to do. He’s one of four MVP candidates remaining on the NFL odds board at BetOnline, all of them quarterbacks, and the No. 2 favorite is right up in Mahomes’ grill. Here’s how the NFL MVP race looks at press time:

Patrick Mahomes (–125)

The Chiefs have put Mahomes in excellent position to win the MVP. They didn’t throw him directly into the fire last year as a rookie; instead, they gave Mahomes a one-year apprenticeship under Alex Smith, then traded Smith to Washington during the offseason. Kansas City’s offense was very good last year – now it’s the best in the league. The story practically writes itself.

It’s up to the 50 Associated Press panelists to decide who wins the MVP, and all 50 have had ample opportunity to see what Mahomes can do. The Chiefs earned themselves plenty of coverage in 2018 by winning the AFC West last year; Mahomes has shone brightly in the spotlight, performing better than any other player at the league’s highest-profile position. It’ll take something unusual at this point to knock Mahomes off his perch.

Drew Brees (+120)

Brees makes the unusual seem routine. The 11-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl 44 MVP is enjoying one of his finest seasons at age 39, leading the New Orleans Saints back to the top of the NFC South. From an efficiency standpoint, only Mahomes has arguably performed better this year; however, one of the reasons the Saints are playing so well is their newfound run/pass balance. For a change, Brees isn’t even close to leading the league in passing yards (Mahomes is No. 1 at 4,543 yards through Week 15). Brees will have to put up some big numbers over the last two games to win the league MVP award – and Brees might not even play in Week 17 if the Saints already have the No. 1 NFC seed locked up by then.

Philip Rivers (+800)

Rivers is another grizzled veteran having one of his career-best seasons at age 37. But he faces an uphill climb if he wants to win his first NFL MVP award. Rivers has long played outside of the national spotlight in San Diego; his profile should be higher now that he’s quarterbacking the Los Angeles Chargers, but they’re playing in front of sparse crowds in Carson until they move into their new stadium with the Rams in 2020. Rivers is also well behind Mahomes when it comes to those important counting stats, and third to Mahomes and Brees (or Brees and Mahomes) in efficiency. Better luck next year.

Andrew Luck (+3300)

Speaking of whom, Luck remains on the MVP board at BetOnline because he’s one of the most popular players in the NFL. He certainly deserves some sort of recognition for getting the 8-6 Indianapolis Colts back into the playoff picture after three years in the wilderness. How about Comeback Player of the Year? Luck doesn’t really have the efficiency stats to compete with the top MVP favorites, nor is his team among the top contenders on the Super Bowl 53 odds board. But it’s already a minor miracle the Colts have done this well after Luck missed all of 2017 with shoulder problems. If the voters don’t give Luck some of that silverware, maybe he can put the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his display case instead.

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