Odds are already up at many sportsbooks for the bets on the 2020-21 season, including a full list of favorites for the NFL MVP award.
Lamar Jackson was unanimously voted MVP last season after setting rushing records for a QB and leading the NFL in TD passes, but he’s not the favorite heading into next season.
2020 offseason NFL MVP odds report
Patrick Mahomes: With the Chiefs (+600) opening as betting favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champs, Mahomes is also the favorite to win his second AP NFL MVP award. He would’ve been in the mix last year if his season didn’t hit a snag in Week 7 when he badly sprained his knee. In his first full season, Mahomes tossed 50 TDs with 12 INT and led the league in passer rating. With mastermind Andy Reid calling the shots and a slew of weapons at his disposal, it’s entirely possible he posts gaudy numbers again if he stays healthy.
Russell Wilson: Wilson is a decent bet to challenge either of these top QBs simply because of his team situation. The Chiefs and Ravens both have great pass defenses and are more complete teams than the Seahawks. Seattle’s defense could be vulnerable all year and several of their tailbacks will be coming off big injuries. Much will be placed on Wilson’s shoulders, and he proved capable of carrying the team during the first half of last season, when he was neck and neck with Jackson in the MVP race.
Lamar Jackson: Perhaps we’ll see some regression from Jackson as a passer after he completed 66% of his passes with 36 TDs and 6 picks last season. However, we’re unlikely to see much of a dip in his rushing totals after he set an NFL record with 1,206 rushing yards as a QB. He averaged 6.9 YPC last season and was only sacked on 6.3% of dropbacks. If mobility is king in the new NFL, Jackson is sitting on the throne.
Deshaun Watson: Like Wilson, Watson could get into some shootouts next year since Houston’s secondary is below average. He’s another dual-threat who has rushed for 964 yards and thrown for 7,907 yards over the past two seasons. As more of a traditional pocket passer than Jackson or Wilson, Watson could sneak into the conversation if AP voters become fatigued at the idea of voting for a QB that does most damage with their legs.
Aaron Rodgers: Volume was way down for Rodgers in his first season under Matt LaFleur. He still managed 26 TD passes and was once again the master of avoiding turnovers (4 INT), marking the ninth straight year he’s thrown single digit picks. Rodgers won MVP in 2011 and 2014 when he pushed the ball downfield and averaged at least 8.4 yards per attempt. If LaFleur installs a more aggressive approach this season, A-Rod could be right back in the mix.
Dak Prescott: Prescott had a fantastic and efficient 2019-2020 season with 30 TDs, 11 picks and a whopping 4,902 passing yards. The problem was that the Cowboys finished 8-8 due in part to some coaching issues. With Mike McCarthy at the helm now, Prescott could turn in another efficient season and earn consideration this time around if the Cowboys win their division.
Christian McCaffrey: The Panthers could enter the season as the worst team in the NFL on paper. With Luke Kuechly gone, their already porous rush defense should be truly horrific. That opens even more opportunities for McCaffrey, who logged the highest snap rate (98.4%) with the highest opportunity share (91.5%) amongst RBs last season. His unmatched opportunity will likely make him a Fantasy Football MVP, but the Panthers should finish below .500, sapping his chances at the NFL MVP award.
Matt Ryan: We’re passing over Carson Wentz (+2000) as a potential favorite despite his higher odds, because the Eagles’ team situation is simply not appealing. Ryan won an MVP in 2016 with some lofty numbers (4,944 yards, 38:7 TD:INT ratio) under OC Kyle Shanahan. The Falcons will still have plenty of dangerous personnel if they can re-sign TE Austin Hooper to pair with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Atlanta’s poor defense forces Ryan to throw a ton and he got hot during the second half while steering the Falcons towards a respectable record.
Ben Roethlisberger: The Steelers nearly made the playoffs last year thanks to an elite defense that featured the best pass rush in the NFL. Since we just saw the 49ers make the Super Bowl due to a strong pass rush and running game, it’s reasonable to project success for the Steelers if they can settle their QB situation. Roethlisberger, 37, should return from an elbow injury and steer the offense towards success. If the Steelers post one of the top records in the AFC, he could have an outside chance at MVP consideration.
Derrick Henry: The Titans will need to re-sign their workhorse RB and try to retain OT Jack Conklin as well if they want to maintain their elite rushing attack. Henry was an absolute beast during the second half of the season and early playoffs, setting a new bar with 1,273 rushing yards and 11 TDs at 6.27 YPC over an 8-game span. If he can sustain that ridiculous production over the course of a full season, the oversized RB could run past the QBs and earn the award.
Saquon Barkley: Compared to a combination of Barry Sanders and Jim Brown, Barkley flashed limitless potential during his rookie season before injuries derailed his sophomore campaign. Now that the Giants have settled their QB situation, it will be easier for Barkley to find consistency as a runner and receiver. He’s capable of putting up 1,000 yards on the ground and through the air, which would give him consideration if the Giants are competitive.
Michael Thomas: Those who want to put a small bet on a true longshot could consider Michael Thomas at these long odds. A wideout has never won MVP, but Thomas broke new ground last season with an NFL record 149 receptions with a ridiculous average of 107.8 receiving YPG. He did it all with two different QBs throwing him the ball and would be a threat to the MVP candidacy of Drew Brees since he’s so vital to the Saints passing attack.
Patrick Mahomes 4-1
Lamar Jackson 7-1
Russell Wilson 8-1
Dak Prescott 14-1
Tom Brady 16-1
Carson Wentz 20-1
Drew Brees 25-1
Kyler Murray 25-1
Deshaun Watson 25-1
Cam Newton 30-1
Aaron Rodgers 30-1
Baker Mayfield 35-1
Jimmy Garoppolo 40-1
Josh Allen 50-1
Saquon Barkley 50-1
Derrick Henry 50-1
Christian McCaffrey 50-1
Ben Roethlisberger 50-1