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Aaron Rodgers Still Heavy Favorite in NFL MVP Odds Following Week 18; Brady and Prescott Make Final Pushes

Bryan Thiel

by Bryan Thiel in NFL Football

Jan 10, 2022 · 6:48 AM PST

Aaron Rodgers signals at line of scrimmage, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers waits on the snap during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)
  • Aaron Rodgers went 14-for-18 for 138 yards and two TDs in the first half against Detroit to remain in top spot in the NFL MVP odds
  • Tom Brady shredded the Panthers, and Dak Prescott tossed five touchdowns on Saturday night to shake up the picture
  • See the updated NFL MVP odds following Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season

The 2021 NFL regular season is officially in the books. And that means the cases are closed when it comes to hardware and the NFL MVP odds.

While he only played a half against the Detroit Lions, Aaron Rodgers was in fine form. Despite trailing at halftime, Rodgers tossed a pair of touchdowns for the Packers. For the seventh-straight game, Rodgers finished with a clean TD to Interception ratio, capping the season at 37-4.

But the field did not go quietly. Tom Brady turned in another 300+ yard performance, mixing in three TDs. And Dak Prescott made one last push on Saturday night with five touchdowns of his own.

With the regular season over, it now comes down to the voters.

2021 NFL MVP Odds

Player Odds
Aaron Rodgers, GB -480
Tom Brady, TB +380
Joe Burrow, CIN +2500
Patrick Mahomes, KC +5000
Dak Prescott, DAL +8000
Cooper Kupp, LAR +8000
Jonathan Taylor, IND +10000
Josh Allen, BUF +10000
Justin Herbert, LAC +10000

Odds as of January 10th from FanDuel

After taking over the NFL MVP odds lead in Week 15, Rodgers hasn’t looked back. Up until that point, Brady had sat comfortably at the top of the table. What happened that week? Well Rodgers tossed three TDs in a win against the Ravens that came down to the last possession,  and Brady was shutout by the Saints.

Joe Burrow was the big winner of the last two weeks, but his decision to sit out Week 18 likely cost him in the MVP conversation. Obviously if the Bengals are prioritizing a deep playoff run, preserving their signal caller’s health is more important than an outside shot at MVP.

While their odds have fluctuated, there were also a pair of non-QBs in the mix. But after Sunday’s results they likely won’t factor into the final decision.

Kupp’s Rams, Taylor’s Colts Fall Flat in Week 18

Both Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor entered with an outside shot at NFL history.

Kupp came into Week 18 just 12 receptions back of the record set by Michael Thomas set in 2019. While the odds were lower on Kupp touching that one, he was also 136 yards back of the single-season receiving yards record.

Taylor came in 266 yards short of 2,000 for the season. While it was highly unlikely he was going to get there, the Colts had the 2-14 Jaguars. So anything was possible, right?

Cooper Kupp vs Jonathan Taylor: Week 18

Kupp
VS
Taylor
1 Rushing Attempts 15
18 Rushing Yards 77
0 Rushing TD 0
7 Receptions 3
118 Receiving Yards 18
1 Receiving TDs 0

Well anything was possible, and the Jags not only bottled up Taylor, but knocked the Colts out of the playoffs.

As for Kupp, he finished shy of both the receptions and yards markers. He did capture the receiving triple crown however, and he’s only the fourth player in 50 years to do that. While that may play well when it comes to Offensive Player of the Year, it’s not MVP-worthy.

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Prescott, Mahomes Ride Big Week 18s

While the peripheral characters have made some compelling cases, it’s still tough to look past the two names at the top.

But if any two names did enough to at least be in the conversation following Week 18, it was Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes.

Notable QBs: Week 18

Team Comp/Att Yards TD INT Rushing Yards Rushing TD Rating
Aaron Rodgers 14/18 138 2 0 7 0 135.6
Tom Brady 29/37 326 3 0 0 0 130.4
Patrick Mahomes 27/44 270 2 0 54 0 93.9
Josh Allen 24/45 239 2 0 63 0 83.5
Dak Prescott 21/27 295 5 0 0 0 151.8

Allen came into the week with far better odds than Prescott, so he should be included in any expanded conversation. While his Week 18 performance against the Jets was clean, his 15 interceptions will hurt his cause when it comes time to vote.

Prescott likely has the most obvious case among any of the candidates: the Cowboys went from 6-10 last year (4-7 without him), to 12-5 this year. In four of his 16 games though, Prescott had a TD:INT ratio of 1:1 or worse.

Mahomes, meanwhile, rebounded from a very bumpy start to the Chiefs’ season. From Weeks 9-18 he was electric, tossing 18 TDs and just three interceptions, but before that it was a messier 19:10.

NFL MVP Odds Come Down to Brady, Rodgers

Ultimately this will come down to the two that have dominated the top of the board, and that’s Brady and Rodgers.

Brady has six 4+ touchdown games to Rodgers’ three. He’s also got him in games with 350+ passing yards, notching seven to A-Rod’s one.

Rodgers has that pristine TD:INT ratio however, and he was able to lock up top spot in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. He also has the better QB rating (111.9 to 102.1) and a slight edge in completion percentage.

It’s almost splitting hairs when it comes down to comparing two of the all-time greats. But a popular refrain in this space has been to take the value. And with the NFL’s leader in passing yards and TDs sitting there at +380, it’s impossible to ignore.

The Pick: Tom Brady (+380)

 

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