Chiefs’ Mahomes consensus favorite to win MVP

  • Joined ESPN in 2014
  • Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the consensus favorite to win the NFL MVP Award, with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on his heels.

At Caesars Sportsbook, Mahomes is 4-1 to win what would be his second regular-season MVP award in the past three years. Jackson, last season’s MVP, is 13-2 to win the award again this year at Caesars.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is next at 9-1, followed by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at 12-1.

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, at 40-1, has the shortest odds of any non-quarterback. Eleven quarterbacks have shorter odds than McCaffrey including: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (16-1), Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (16-1), New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (20-1) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (25-1).

The last non-quarterback to win the award was then-Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in 2012. Overall, 16 running backs have won the Associated Press NFL MVP, compared to 42 quarterbacks. No receiver has won the award.

“This is a very, very hard award for someone who doesn’t play quarterback or running back to win,” said Jeff Davis, director of risk for Caesars Sportsbook. “If a receiver has a big year, it’s generally given to the quarterback. Given the way the league has turned to a passing, quarterback-centric league, for a running back to win, it would take a Herculean effort.”

The NFL has had a run of long-shot MVPs, with four of the past five award-winners each having odds longer than 30-1, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Jackson won last year’s award after being 40-1 in the preseason, and Mahomes was 35-1 to start the year when he won the 2018 MVP.

New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham and Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick, are both 75-1.

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