- Aaron Rodgers’ epic Week 1 performance gave his 2018 NFL MVP odds a big boost
- Will Rodgers be available for Green Bay’s Week 2 matchup?
- If Rodgers does play, how will he hold up against the Vikings’ D?
Like Leo DiCaprio’s character in The Revenant, Aaron Rodgers survived a brutal mauling by a Bear, only to shake it off and kick all the asses in the Packers Week 1 24-23 comeback victory.
Following that emphatic performance, much like Leo DiCaprio the actor, Rodgers has become an even bigger favorite to win the award for best in his craft, NFL MVP.
Average 2018 NFL MVP Odds for Top Contenders
But the NFL is a long, often dumb, season with many twists and turns. After one crazy week, is there any sense in laying a future that offers a worse return than the Browns’ Week 2 moneyline?
2018 NFL MVP Odds Top 5 Contenders
|Player||Odds to win the 2018 NFL MVP at BetOnline|
The Case for Rodgers as 2018 NFL MVP
If last season’s Brett Hundley disaster didn’t prove it, Deshone Kizer’s brief appearance Sunday did: this Packers team is dogsh*t without no. 12 on the field.
Khalil Mack takes what he wants!
(📍 NBC, 8:20pm ET)pic.twitter.com/i95v1lc3gb
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 10, 2018
With some iron man quarterbacks like Philip Rivers or Drew Brees, you have to imagine how bad their teams would be without them; Green Bay gave us a nine game stool sample last year.
Their 3-6 record with Hundley at the helm should’ve been worse too, but they were gifted wins over the lowly Bears, Bucs, and Browns.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 10, 2017
(Naturally, you reward a generous donation like that with employment.)
Thanks to that dismal season, every football fan has been reminded how impressive it is that Rodgers drags this sad-sack team to 10+ wins every year. Now after Sunday, he’s already gotten his iconic MVP moment out of the way in the first week.
All he needs to do is survive the season and he’s certain to win his third award.
Now let’s just see who is on tap for Week 2…
The Case Against Rodgers as 2018 NFL MVP
Obviously, durability is the biggest concern here. Rodgers’ status this weekend is already in doubt, after being diagnosed with a sprained knee in the aftermath of the Bears game.
It’s worrisome news for a QB that was already coming off a shoulder injury entering the year. If he plays against the Vikings, he’s going to get battered around by a fearsome front that hit Jimmy Garoppolo nine times on 36 dropbacks.
Vikings' Danielle Hunter: Jimmy Garoppolo was getting scared of us https://t.co/cMF3gGvnT1
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 10, 2018
If Rodgers doesn’t play, that’s going to hurt his case even more. Of the last 13 award winners, he’s the only one to collect MVP without starting all 16 games, sitting out a meaningless Week 17 contest in 2011.
Last year, Carson Wentz was a shoo-in to win the award, but three missed games after the Eagles had already clinched and his chances were shot.
Following Carson Wentz injury, odds have changed per @BovadaLV.
Tom Brady 1/5
Russell Wilson 15/2
Drew Brees 20/1
Ben Roethlisberger 20/1
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) December 11, 2017
Not to mention, in a loaded NFC, any missed start for Rodgers hurts the Packers’ chances of making the playoffs (currently at 62% according to Football Outsiders). If you like Rodgers to win and haven’t placed a wager yet, wait until next week. His odds won’t get shorter.
So Who is a Good NFL MVP Bet?
There’s a reason Brees’ odds also got shorter, despite getting beaten by the best beard in the league: 1) he was nearly flawless in that game and 2) the Saints run game and D looked bad.
The Mike Gillislee pickup was a complete bust, meaning this team will have no thunder to Alvin Kamara’s lightning until Mark Ingram returns in Week 5.
And since the offense favored using Kamara in the passing game (he had 12 targets vs eight carries on the day), New Orleans is basically not going to have a rushing attack for three weeks. That means more sexy stat lines for Brees.
Out of the @Saints 47 pass plays, 17 were out of an empty formation (Spoiler: It went well!)
Here are the numbers that @drewbrees put up in their empty sets:
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) September 11, 2018
As for the defense, the Saints were due for a regression this season anyway. Units that go from worst to first in a single season usually fall back to somewhere in the middle (see the Giants D of last year). They won’t be this bad all season (call it the curse of Week 1), but Brees and the offense should be asked to do more this season.
The Saints week 1 defense is the thing MVP QBs are made of. Here are the last passing stats from the last 8 week 1 games against the New Orleans defense: pic.twitter.com/hJG7qe4sEM
— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) September 9, 2018
The Saints are still a top-five Super Bowl contender in the NFC and Brees is durable and due for an award. Give him a look at +1200.