The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Longshots To Win The NFL MVP

  • Full betting odds are available for who will win the NFL MVP award in 2020, with Patrick Mahomes sitting as the preseason favorite at +400 odds.
  • The betting board is full of great value, with quarterbacks Deshaun Watson (+2500), Drew Brees (+2500), and Jimmy Garoppolo (+3000) all coming in over +2500 odds.
  • Outside of a quarterback, Christian McCaffery (+5000) and Derrick Henry (+5000) provide the best chance for a playmaker to steal the crown.

LAS VEGAS – As the NFL prepares for the kickoff of its 2020 season, sportsbooks around the world are assembling their betting boards.

This week, we take a look at the NFL MVP futures odds and try to find the players with the best value further down the board.

For this selection, we only considered players with +2500 odds or longer to win MVP, as we believe the field is vast enough to warrant a dive into the longshots.

2020-21 NFL Regular Season MVP Winner:

  • Patrick Mahomes +400
  • Lamar Jackson +700
  • Russell Wilson +850
  • Carson Wentz +1400
  • Dak Prescott +1400
  • Tom Brady +1400
  • Cam Newton +1500
  • Aaron Rodgers +2000
  • Kyler Murray +2000
  • Baker Mayfield +2500
  • Deshaun Watson +2500
  • Drew Brees +2500
  • Phillip Rivers +2800
  • Jimmy Garoppolo +3000
  • Matthew Stafford +3500
  • Josh Allen +4000
  • Ben Roethlisberger +5000
  • Christian McCaffery +5000
  • Derrick Henry +5000
  • Drew Lock +5000
  • Matt Ryan +5000

Pat Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are two of the best football players on the planet right now. That is just a known fact that the world paid witness to over the course of last season.

If either plays up to the level they are capable of, is important to distinguish the fact that it will be their award to lose.

Behind Mahomes and Jackson is where the value sits, however. In order to maximize value on a future bet like this, it is important to consider the odds each player is getting versus their chance of actually winning MVP.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five names on that betting board that have a great shot to win NFL bettors some big cash.

DeShaun Watson +2500

The Good: DeShaun Watson has been one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL over his three years with the Houston Texans. People like to undermine the Texans’ success and are quick to forget that this was a team that was up 21-0 on the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs. Watson has been tremendous over the last two seasons and could be ready to take a step forward in 2020.

The Bad: Watson still plays for the Texans, and under Coach Bill O’Brien, leading many to believe that his ceiling is limited. While the Texans have performed well in recent years, they made one of the most heavily-scrutinized moves of the offseason when they traded away star receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a box of scraps. In order for Watson to put up MVP numbers, he will need to find a new favorite target.

The Ugly: DeShaun Watson’s biggest hurdle will be overcoming his surroundings and lifting his team to succeed around him. If he can do that, and dominate a weak AFC South, he could put himself in MVP contention. If he struggles, he might be lost to obscurity forever.

Drew Brees +2500

The Good: It’s Drew Brees. We know what the man can do. Not only is the Saints defense looking stronger, but the offense returns a number of important players including league-leading receiver Michael Thomas.

The Bad: Drew Brees is 41 years old. At some point, the wheels will fall off and Brees will no longer be able to produce. In 11 games last year, Brees threw for 27 touchdowns and had a 74.3 completion rate. Drew can certainly still play at an MVP level, but the biggest question remains, for how long.

The Ugly: Brees missed six games last year after he tore a ligament in his right thumb, his throwing hand. While Brees has been rather durable throughout his career, but any throwing hand injury at age 41 is cause for concern. The only way Brees can have a shot at MVP is if he remains healthy.

Jimmy Garoppolo +3000

The Good: Jimmy G absolutely shined in his first full season as a starting quarterback, throwing for 27 TDs and 3978 yards. Garoppolo led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl and could easily be in MVP conversation if he repeats his campaign from 2019.

The Bad: While Garoppolo did lead the Niners to the top of the mountain, it is what happened once there that drew criticism. Jimmy was under fire for potentially missing some key throws in the game, and drew some “game-manager” labels in the process. The Niners were also able to win the NFL championship despite Garoppolo throwing for only 77 yards.

The Ugly: The ugliest point here goes to the media, who have unfairly trounced the great name of Jimmy G all the way to the point of him getting +3000 MVP odds. The fact of the matter is, Jimmy played a spectacular season at quarterback that was ended with some high-profile mistakes. Mistakes that any QB should be forgiven for making in his first important post-season minutes. If Garoppolo can come out in 2020 and dominate from the start, he will be popping up in MVP conversations sooner rather than later.

Christian McCaffery +5000

The Good: McCaffrey emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate in 2019 when he led the league in yards from scrimmage. McCaffrey dazzled fans with his elusive speed and flexible positioning, on the way to becoming one of the most versatile and dangerous players in the league. Now, with a new head coach and OC, the sky is the limit to see what LSU’s Joe Brady can do next with CMC.

The Bad: Christian McCaffrey plays for the Carolina Panthers, a team in a state of rebuild that is just focused on fielding a competitive team. It will take a monumental effort to bring the MVP spotlight to Christian if the Panthers can’t do better than their 5-11 record from 2019.

The Ugly: A running-back hasn’t won the MVP since Adrian Peterson ran for 2000 yards in 2012. Not only does McCaffrey have to shine in every opportunity, but the Panthers also have to be good enough to get him considered as a real MVP candidate. He was able to generate buzz in the early weeks of 2019, but the hype faded as the season went on and the Panthers collected the L’s. Nevertheless, +5000 odds are well worth the value for CMC.

Derrick Henry +5000

The Good: Derrick Henry led the league in rushing last year and became a national phenomenon when he could not be stopped during the Tennessee Titan’s deep playoff run. If Henry is able to repeat his performance, he will be directly in the middle of MVP contention from the start of the season.

The Bad: Like McCaffrey, running backs have a tough hill to climb when it comes to the MVP race. The NFL is a pass-happy league and is trending away from the days of bruisers like Henry. Henry will have to be spectacular in order to build enough hype behind his campaign.

The Ugly: The Tennessee Titans had a terrific run last season, but the jury is not yet convinced if that success is sustainable. Ryan Tannehill played out of his mind down the stretch, and his performance in 2020 will determine if this team has what it takes to be in the spotlight once again. If Tannehill and the defense can take some pressure off of Henry, he will have the freedom to bulldoze through defenses once again and maybe win an MVP in the process.

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