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The NFL season is only five weeks old, but a lot has changed in the betting market since futures odds were released over the summer. Especially when it comes to the Most Valuable Player.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (EVEN) remains the clear favorite to win the award. But he's now joined by three players who have seen their odds shorten significantly since the opening numbers were released: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (11-2), Carolina Panthers running Christian McCaffrey (10-1), and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (12-1).
Here are the latest odds for the NFL MVP, along with some of the biggest movers since odds were released in June:
|Player||Opening Odds||Current Odds|
Wilson's odds haven't moved as much as those of some other players, but the Seahawks quarterback is now the second favorite behind Mahomes after opening 14-1. Wilson is off to a sizzling start, completing 73% of his passes for 1,409 yards with 12 touchdowns and no interceptions through five games. The Seahawks aren't blessed with a ton of talent, especially on the offensive side of the football, but they overachieve thanks to Wilson and head coach Pete Carroll. If Seattle wins the tough NFC West and Wilson continues to play well, he'll be the biggest threat to unseat Mahomes as MVP.
Only one running back has won the MVP award since 2006: Adrian Peterson in 2012. Will McCaffrey be the second? Oddsmakers like his chances right now. McCaffrey is one of the board's biggest movers, going from 80-1 at open to 10-1. The Panthers are 3-0 without injured quarterback Cam Newton and McCaffrey is the main reason why. Over that three-game span, he's recorded 604 total yards, 19 receptions, and five touchdowns. Those are eye-popping numbers, but it's best to sell McCaffrey at 10-1. The odds are still against a running back winning the award, and it will be difficult for McCaffrey to maintain the 30-touch average he's posted in over the last three weeks.
Watson was initially undervalued at 60-1, but he's now overvalued at 12-1. This move is an overreaction to his 426-yard, five-touchdown performance against an awful Falcons defense last week; it's worth remembering Watson's thrown for 159 and 160 yards with a combined zero touchdowns in two of his five games. He's a good player, but Houston's offense is too inconsistent for him to beat out someone like Mahomes. There's also no more value at 12-1. The Texans QB was a much better option when his odds were 25-1 or longer.
The player who's seen his odds shorten the most since the opening numbers were released is Cook. Topping 100 yards rushing in four of five games and averaging a ridiculous 5.9 yards per carry, the Vikings running back has lept from a distant 200-1 into a tie for the sixth favorite at 20-1. Still, Cook is unlikely to take home the MVP award; he'll put up a few duds during games in which Kirk Cousins struggles. Grabbing Cook at odds of 50-1 or longer makes sense, but there's no value taking him right now at 20-1.
Think back to a time when the Cleveland Browns were going to compete for their first Super Bowl title and people were betting Mayfield to win the MVP. That time was two months ago. A lot has changed since then. Cleveland has stumbled out of the gate with a 2-3 record, while Mayfield is coming off the worst performance of his career after posting a 13.4 QB rating against the San Francisco 49ers. His current 100-1 odds are a bit of an overreaction to that game, but he's not going to win MVP. And the Browns aren't winning the Super Bowl. There's always next year.
Trubisky made summer headlines when his MVP odds moved from 200-1 to 60-1 mere hours after the opening numbers were released. You can never say never - except in this case. Go ahead and burn those Trubisky MVP tickets.
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.