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2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes Opened at 100-1

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes was named the 2018 NFL MVP. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)
  • On April 10, 2018 Patrick Mahomes’ average MVP odds were +10000, the longest they were all season
  • Mahomes closed the season as a -230 favorite after a 5,097-yard, 50-touchdown campaign
  • Take a look back at Mahomes’ 2018 Season and see what events impacted his odds of winning MVP.

The Kansas City Chiefs knew Patrick Mahomes was going to be special, but even they’d admit he’s wildly exceeded their expectations.

After trading up to steal him with the 10th overall pick in 2017, the Chiefs sat Mahomes for all but one game during his rookie season, before letting him dip his toes into the water in Week 17 against the Broncos.


Mahomes led a group of KC backups to a victory over Denver’s starters that day, giving head coach Andy Reid all the ammunition he needed to trade away Alex Smith and insert Mahomes into the starting role for 2018.

Fast forward a year, and Mahomes sets the NFL on fire, throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns. He was the odds-on favorite to win MVP, and Reid looks like a genius.

Closing Odds to Win 2018 NFL MVP

Team Pos Team Odds to Win NFL MVP at Bovada (12/26/18)
Patrick Mahomes QB KC -230
Drew Brees QB NO +145
Philip Rivers QB LAC +2500
Andrew Luck QB IND +5000
Russell Wilson QB SEA +5000

*Odds are from 12/26/18, the last time any online sports betting site had them available

Mahomes of course wins the award, becoming the youngest NFL MVP since Dan Marino in 1984, and the first Chiefs player to ever take home the hardware.

It’s been a wild ride for Mahomes to say the least, so let’s look back at the key moments in his breakthrough season.

Mahomes Opened 2018 at 100-1 to Win MVP

When online sportsbooks released their NFL MVP odds for the 2018 NFL season on April 10th, Mahomes’ average odds were +10000, well behind other long shot QB’s like Eli Manning (+3300), Marcus Mariota (+4000), and Joe Flacco (+5000).

Money comes in on Mahomes

By the start of August, training camp was in full swing and Mahomes’ MVP odds were shortened to +3500 ahead of the preseason.

Despite the drastic price change, 17 other quarterbacks still had shorter MVP odds at the time than Mahomes.

A Dazzling Season Debut

Mahomes rewarded his longshot backers with a spectacular Week 1 performance on the road against the Chargers. He picked apart the LA secondary for 256 yards and four touchdowns on just 27 attempts.

On September 12th, just three days after that game, Mahomes’ MVP odds were shortened again to +2000. The only players in the entire league after Week 1 with shorter odds to win the award, were Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees.

A Statement against the Steelers in Week 2

His Week 1 effort was special, but in Week 2 Mahomes took his play to a whole new level.

A six-touchdown outing, in Pittsburgh, gave the Chiefs their second straight win to open the season, and made fantasy football players everywhere regret not drafting the young phenom sooner.

The online sports betting sites were quick to react to Mahomes’ scorching start, and on September 18th they shortened his MVP odds to +1000, making him a top three favorite.

Mahomes Officially becomes the Favorite After Week 3

Mahomes’ record setting start continued in Week 3, with a 314-yard, 3-touchdown effort against the Niners in his home debut.

That performance, coupled with Rodgers’ lackluster game in a blowout loss to the Redskins, catapulted Mahomes into pole position in the MVP race on September 26th, with +330 odds to win the award.

Gurley Gives Mahomes a Midseason Run

By the time Halloween rolled around, KC was 7-1 and Mahomes had just racked up his seventh straight 300-yard passing game in a win over the Broncos.

Mahomes’ MVP odds were down to +100, but Todd Gurley was hot on his tail at +210. The Rams running back had racked up 15 touchdowns in his first eight games, and was eying the NFL record books.

Mahomes slips behind Brees after turnover-filled battle with Rams

Three weeks later, Gurley’s MVP campaign had stalled, but Mahomes had a new challenger to worry about. Drew Brees had thrown 11 touchdowns in his last three games, including eight combined in impressive wins over the Rams and Eagles.


The Saints had won nine straight, and not even another six-touchdown performance by Mahomes, in a losing effort against the Rams, could prevent Brees from emerging as the new MVP favorite when the updated odds were released November 21st.

Brees opened that day as a -260 favorite, while Mahomes’ odds were lengthened to +200.

Mahomes takes back over and doesn’t look back

While Brees’ production declined down the stretch, throwing only three touchdowns in the final five weeks of the season, Mahomes kept piling up big numbers.

By the end of Week 14, he’d already exceeded 40 touchdowns and was wowing us with no-look throws against the NFL’s top defense.

By December 12th, he was once again the MVP favorite, with -140 odds to take home the hardware, and those odds would only get shorter as the season wound down.

He punctuated his 2018 regular season with two 60+ yard touchdown bombs in a blowout win versus the Raiders, as chants of MVP echoed throughout Arrowhead Stadium.

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Chris Amberley has been obsessing over statistics since he was old enough to read. A 15-year veteran of the Sports Media industry, he believes diving deep inside the numbers is the key to unlocking profitable sports betting opportunities.