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Alvin Kamara’s MVP Odds Take a Major Hit with Ingram Back

Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints
With backfield mate Mark Ingram suspended for the first four games of the 2018 NFL season, Alvin Kamara figures to carry the load. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)
  • New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara was already a longshot to win the NFL MVP at odds of +1700
  • The return of Saints RB Mark Ingram saw Kamara’s odds jump to +2700
  • Only one RB has been named NFL MVP since 2007

Was Alvin Kamara’s new lot in life by design, or a sign of what the future holds? Monday’s 43-19 drubbing of the Washington Redskins by the New Orleans Saints demonstrated a different look to the Saints’ offensive scheme. 

In his first game back from a four-game NFL suspension for a positive PED test, Mark Ingram was the workhorse in the Saints’ backfield. He carried the ball 16 times for 53 yards.

Kamara had just six carries for 24 yards and three receptions for 15 yards, a total of nine touches for 39 yards. Through the four games without Ingram, Kamara averaged 22.75 touches and 152.75 yards per game.

Sportsbooks did the math too, and the result was that Kamara’s NFL MVP odds skyrocketed. He had been at +1700 through the first month of the season. View the “Top 10 Contenders” tab to see how his odds have fluctuated. 

Average NFL MVP Odds

Here’s how Bovada sees the NFL MVP race at the moment:

NFL MVP Odds at Bovada

Player  NFL MVP Odds at Bovada
Patrick Mahomes +333
Drew Brees +350
Jared Goff +400
Todd Gurley +900
Tom Brady +1000
Alvin Kamara +2700

*Follow the link in the table to see odds for all the contenders

It should be taken into consideration that Kamara went into that game nursing a knee injury and with the Saints on their bye week this week, they may have lightened his workload as a precautionary measure.

Was Kamara a Legit Contender?

In all honesty, you’d have to say no. Money wagered on a Kamara MVP ticket would be money wasted. Running backs just don’t win MVP awards, and when they do, it generally requires that they achieve something other-wordly. 

In 2012, when Adrian Peterson of the Vikings was the most recent RB MVP, he rushed for 2,097 yards, just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season NFL record.

In 2006, LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers was named MVP after breaking a 46-year-old NFL scoring record with 31 touchdowns.

If you were even to consider a wager on a running back, the only one that makes sense would be Todd Gurley of the Rams, who scored 19 TDs last season, and even he’s a relative longshot at +900.

Ingram is the Least of Kamara’s MVP Worries

There is a legitimate MVP candidate in the Saints’ backfield, but it isn’t Kamara or Ingram. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees figures to get a lot of MVP love if the Saints have a big year. 

Brees, who just shattered Peyton Manning’s NFL passing yardage mark, is fourth in passing yardage (1,658), first in QB rating (122.3) and owns an impressive 11-0 touchdown/interception ratio. 

If you are serious about playing a Saint to be MVP, Brees at +350 is the way to go.

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