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Aaron Rodgers is Now the Favorite to Win NFL MVP

Aaron Rodgers is Now the Favorite to Win NFL MVP

The NFL season is just under two months away and some familiar quarterbacks top the oddsboard to win the 2018 NFL MVP Award.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (+550) has leapfrogged reigning NFL MVP Tom Brady (+800) as the odds-on favorite to take the hardware at online sportsbook Bovada. Carson Wentz (+850) comes in at third on the list and was the front-runner for the 2017 MVP before going down with a knee injury in Week 13.

Stars are Aligning for Aaron Rodgers

It may be hard for Pack Nation to contain its excitement for the upcoming season. Aaron Rodgers has made a full recovery from a broken clavicle and will be ready to ascend back to his throne as the best quarterback in the world. Green Bay made some roster adjustments that should only help the two-time MVP by acquiring tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis.

Those red-zone targets along with the emergence of wide receiver Davante Adams should allow Rodgers to top 40 touchdown passes for the third time in his career. Another factor that bodes well for No. 12 is the potential voter fatigue for Tom Brady. Analysts and fans may have a hard time arguing against TB12’s Mount Rushmore status but unless the Patriots go at least 14-2 with another sensational year by the Golden Boy, voters may give the edge to Rodgers, as he plays in what is viewed as a tougher conference.

However, there are some nitpicks for Rodgers’ candidacy and that’s who the Packers have to face this season. Ten of their 16 games are against teams that ranked in the top 10 in fewest passing yards allowed per game and a stretch from Week 8 to Week 12 has a murderers row of road opponents (Rams, Patriots, Vikings, Seahawks). That being said, Rodgers may be one of the few quarterbacks who is matchup-proof and at +550, the value is ripe to wager on.

Bettors should Only Consider Quarterbacks

Since 2001, skilled-position players have been virtually a non-factor in MVP consideration with only two running backs taking the prize (Shaun Alexander in 2005 and LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006). Those two backs were deserving of the award as they broke the single-season touchdown record in each of their respective runs but since then, only one running back has finished in the top three in voting for the award (Adrian Peterson in 2012). Those stats along with the shift of NFL teams’ focus to the passing game make it hard to endorse any tailback for this accolade.

So, by that logic, a quarterback pick should be the only wager in mind for this prop and the two players who jump out (based on the odds) are Jimmy Garoppolo at +1500 and Deshaun Watson at +2000.

DeShaun Watson had 18 touchdown passes in 6 games in 2017.

Both players had abbreviated success in 2017 with Garoppolo leading the 49ers to five straight wins to end the season while Watson exploded onto the scene in Week 2 and threw 18 touchdowns in six games before tearing his ACL. The Texans and Niners are equipped with up-and-coming rosters that could make some noise but Watson may have the edge vs Garoppolo mainly because of schedule. Watson gets to face the Colts (twice), Jets, Browns and Redskins, who all ranked in the bottom 10 in passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed in 2017.

On the flip side, Garoppolo will have to contend with the surging Rams (twice), the Packers (at Lambeau Field) and the Chargers and also opens the season in Minnesota, which had the stingiest defense in the league, only allowing 15.3 points per game. This isn’t a knock on Garoppolo but more of an endorsement for Watson, who may also have more of an impact with his legs than Jimmy G can, as he is viewed as a traditional pocket passer.

Odds to Win the 2018 NFL MVP Award

Odds as of July 10 at Bovada

  • Aaron Rodgers +550
  • Tom Brady +800
  • Carson Wentz +850
  • Drew Brees +1500
  • Jimmy Garoppolo +1500  
  • Russell Wilson +2000
  • Cam Newton +2000
  • Deshaun Watson +2000
  • Matt Ryan +2200
  • Kirk Cousins +2200
  • Philip Rivers +2500
  • Ben Roethlisberger +2500
  • Derek Carr +3000
  • Andrew Luck +3000
  • Jared Goff +3000
  • Matthew Stafford +3300
  • Dak Prescott +3500
  • Le’Veon Bell +4000
  • Marcus Mariota +4000
  • Todd Gurley +4000
  • David Johnson +4500  
  • Antonio Brown +5000
  • Case Keenum +5000
  • Eli Manning +5000
  • Ezekiel Elliott +5000
  • Jameis Winston +5000
  • Patrick Mahomes +5500
  • Alex Smith +6000
  • Kareem Hunt +6000
  • Leonard Fournette +6000
  • LeSean McCoy +6000
  • Saquon Barkley +6000
  • Alvin Kamara +6600
  • Blake Bortles +6600
  • Julio Jones +7000
  • Joe Flacco +7500
  • Mitch Trubisky +9000
  • AJ Green +10000
  • Andy Dalton +10000
  • DeAndre Hopkins +10000
  • Devonta Freeman +10000
  • JJ Watt +10000
  • Rob Gronkowski +10000
  • Sam Bradford +12500
  • Tyrod Taylor +12500
  • Nick Foles +12500
  • Dalvin Cook+12500
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