NFL MVP update: Mahomes still favored, but don't overlook Elliott
With Andrew Luck’s sudden and shocking retirement last weekend, the odds to win the NFL MVP award reflect an unquestioned fact of life in the league—it’s Patrick Mahomes’ world, and we’re just living in it.
2019 NFL MVP Odds
|Player||NFL MVP Odds|
Patrick MahomesNow the prohibitive favorite at +400, it’s likely the supremely talented Chiefs quarterback will once again leave all of us in disbelief, as we witness a dude do things we’ve never seen on the football field—left-handed passes and no-look dimes like he was Magic Johnson or Steve Nash.
And with the lightning-quick Tyreek Hill fully available, it’s hard to argue with anyone who takes the former Texas Tech gunslinger to repeat. However, if you’re willing to think outside the box with me—often a dangerous and yet sometimes thrilling proposition—I’ve got a few ideas on how we can break the bank and possibly cash a big price.
Ezekiel ElliottIt starts with a guy who has been in Mexico for the past month, as he pulls an Emmitt Smith and forces one of the most storied franchises in the game to realize he's the key to its Super Bowl aspirations. Let’s put Ezekiel Elliott's young career into perspective. There have been three guys in the history of the NFL who have led the league in rushing yards per game in their first three seasons—Jim Brown, Earl Campbell and Elliott.
Jerry Jones says there’s no deadline in his mind for Zeke deal.— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) August 28, 2019
In a battle of egos, no one is going to beat out Jerry Jones. If we are to believe the Cowboys owner and his recent comments about the season being a marathon, then our bet may be over before it even starts. However, if cooler heads prevail and Elliott does suit up for all 16 games, I love him to have a MVP season behind perhaps the best offensive line in football, especially with All-Pro center Travis Frederick back healthy. So don’t be afraid to lay down a few bucks on Zeke at +5000 at BetAmerica.
But it’s important that we keep one fact in mind. Quarterbacks have won the award in 11 of the last 12 seasons, with Adrian Peterson the only exception in 2012, when he came up nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. If he miraculously plays all 16 games this year, I’m convinced Zeke can have a similar season. If he does hold out, here’s a few more guys to watch out for.
Alvin KamaraI’m also going to take a gamble on Alvin Kamara at +5000. Dude is Saquon-like in terms of his strength, and with the backfield all to himself now that Mark Ingram is gone, the sky is the limit for a player primed to have the best season of his young career.
Baker MayfieldIf we’re going to keep things sensible and go with a quarterback, let’s roll with Mr. Mayfield at +1400. Everyone and their mama has bet on the Browns to win the Super Bowl and the hype is completely out of control, but call me Mr. Joe Public, because I love what the best general manager in the game, John Dorsey, has done for a franchise that is only a season removed from a two-season stretch where Cleveland went 1-31.
The days of hopeless Hue Jackson are long gone, and Mayfield is surrounded by elite talent at the skilled positions. With Odell Beckham Jr. and his former LSU sidekick Jarvis Landry on the outside, Baker has perhaps the best set of hands in the league (outside of DeAndre Hopkins) to throw to. Not to mention the underrated Nick Chubb in the backfield and then, just for fun, the Browns add one of the best backs in the league after an eight-game suspension in Kareem Hunt.
There are still huge question marks in terms of chemistry and the unproven Freddie Kitchens, but the Browns should be a ton of fun this year, and with Baker playing maestro, big things could be in store for the former Heisman winner.