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Dak Prescott and Baker Mayfield Seeing Early Money to Win 2020 NFL MVP

Dak Prescott
Is Dak Prescott a legitimate 2020 NFL MVP contender? Photo by @BigtunaBBS (Twitter).
  • Both Dak Prescott and Baker Mayfield’s 2020 MVP odds have been shortened
  • Prescott is now +1800 after opening at 20-1, and Mayfield is now +3300 after opening at 50-1
  • Do either present value at their current price?

After watching Lamar Jackson literally run away with the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player award, and Patrick Mahomes carve up the competition en route to Super Bowl MVP honors, it’s hard to imagine anyone else winning an MVP trophy in the next decade.

But players make drastic leaps from year-to-year and long shots winners pop up all the time. Kurt Warner didn’t have an NFL start on resume prior to his MVP season in 1999, and two years ago Mahomes was 100-1 to win the coveted award before the 2018 campaign started.

This offseason, early money is coming in on both Dak Prescott and Baker Mayfield to win the 2020 NFL MVP, and although their odds aren’t as long as Mahomes’ two seasons ago, they could still net bettors a juicy payday.

2020 NFL MVP Odds

Player Odds
Patrick Mahomes +600
Lamar Jackson +650
Russell Wilson +900
Deshaun Watson +1200
Carson Wentz +1800
Dak Prescott +1800
Kyler Murray +2200
Aaron Rodgers +2200
Drew Brees +2200
Christian McCaffrey +2500
Baker Mayfield +3300

All odds taken Feb. 10th

When the 2020 NFL MVP odds were released on February 5th, Prescott was +2000 and Mayfield was +5000. Fast forward five days, and Prescott is down to 18-1, while Mayfield’s price has been slashed to 33-1.

Of the two, Prescott has the more appealing MVP case and it’s not particularly close.

Prescott Poised to Succeed

Dak is fresh off a year in which he set career highs in passing yards, touchdown passes and yards per completion. He flashed an enormous ceiling at times, eclipsing the 400-yard plateau on three separate occasions, and tossing 9 TDs in the first three games of the season.

Of course that opening three game stretch was against some very soft competition, but next year’s Cowboys schedule isn’t particularly daunting. Dallas will play seven games against teams that ranked bottom ten in total defense in 2019, and four more against teams that ranked in the bottom 14.

He plays behind an elite offensive line, and assuming the Cowboys lock up Amari Cooper, he’ll once again have one of the best wide receiver duos in the league to throw to. Much like Mahomes, and to a lesser extend Jackson, Prescott is also dangerous as a rusher. In the past four seasons, including playoffs, he’s racked up 23 TDs on the ground. Not many quarterbacks have 40 touchdown pass and 10 touchdown run upside, but Dak certainly does.

He’s one of the few players in the league who can single handedly take over a game. The same cannot be said for Mayfield.

Mayfield Was a Mess in 2019

The Browns signal caller finished 31st in 2019 in both completion percentage and passer rating among starting quarterbacks. He threw five fewer touchdowns last season compared to 2018, despite playing two more games. He also led the AFC with 21 interceptions and his INT rate jumped from 2.8% in 2018 to 4% in 2019.

His average yards per attempt dropped, as did his total passing yards per game, and he took 15 more sacks than he did the prior season. You’d be hard pressed to find a QB who regressed more than Mayfield in 2019 and he did so while throwing to Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.

Now he’ll have to learn a new offense for the third consecutive season and is stuck with a coach who desperately wants to establish the run. Under Kevin Stefanski in 2019, the Minnesota Vikings ran the ball at the league’s fourth highest clip and attempted fewer than 30 passes in 38% of their games.

To make matters worse for Mayfield’s MVP case, Cleveland just happens to boast the NFL’s second leading rusher in Nick Chubb. It’s hard to imagine a world where Stefanski and the Browns don’t rely heavily on Chubb and ask Mayfield to assume more of a game manager role.

Is There Any Value Left?

I wouldn’t bet Mayfield for MVP at +5000 let alone +3300. At no point has he ever shown he belongs in the MVP conversation and it will be hard for him to rack up the kind of stats he’ll need playing for a run first coach, in one of the toughest divisions in football.

Prescott is a much easier sell, but just know you’re getting the worst of the number. The days of being able to buy him at +2000 are over, and if you do believe in his MVP prospects you better act quickly because his odds are likely to shorten.

He’s in a much better position to succeed than Mayfield and his new coach Mike McCarthy loves to throw the football. Expect Dak to experience an uptick in all major passing categories next season, which could lead to him being a serious player in the MVP race.

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