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Kyler Murray Becomes the New Favorite in NFL MVP Odds After Week 4, Allen on the Rise

Bryan Thiel

by Bryan Thiel in NFL Football

Oct 4, 2021 · 6:37 AM PDT

Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
  • Kyler Murray beat Matthew Stafford head-to-head in Week 4, taking over top spot in the 2021 NFL MVP Odds
  • Josh Allen sits alone in second place, Patrick Mahomes is tied for third
  • See the updated odds tracker and how the board sits after Week 4

After the dust had settled on Week 3, the attention turned to two premiere matchups in Week 4.

One was, of course, the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick reunion. But the other was for supremacy of the NFC West.

We discussed in this same space following Matthew Stafford’s win over the Buccaneers, that it was looking like the winner of the Week 4 showdown between the Cardinals and Rams would take over top spot on the board. And that’s exactly what happened.

2021 NFL MVP Odds

Player Odds
Kyler Murray, ARZ +500
Josh Allen, BUF +600
Justin Herbert, LAC +800
Patrick Mahomes, KC +800
Dak Prescott, DAL +900
Aaron Rodgers, GB +900
Tom Brady, TB +1200
Matthew Stafford, LAR +1200
Derek Carr, LVR +2000
Russell Wilson, SEA +2500
Lamar Jackson, BAL +2500
Baker Mayfield, CLE +4400
Jameis Winston, NO +4400
Joe Burrow, CIN +5000
Sam Darnold, CAR +8000
Ryan Tannehill, TEN +8000
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF +8000
Derrick Henry, TEN +8000
Jalen Hurts, PHI +10000
Nick Chubb, CLE +10000

Odds as of October 4th from FanDuel

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Week 3 ended in a ridiculous six-way tie for top spot. As the season has progressed, it has gone from Patrick Mahomes being alone atop the 2021 NFL MVP odds, to a constantly evolving picture with a few key players.

Josh Allen continues to make waves as his team continues to win big, while Derek Carr, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson slip back in the picture. Derrick Henry remains the top non-QB on the board.

 

Kyler Comes Out on Top

Murray’s big move came at the expense of Stafford and the Rams. Going into it, the Rams were actually 3.5-point home favorites, which isn’t surprising considering the fact they had faced the stiffer competition.

Either way, the game was a chance for an MVP candidate to shine. And it didn’t disappoint.

Kyler Murray vs Matthew Stafford: Week 4

Murray
VS
Stafford
24/32 Comp/Att 26/41
75.0% Comp% 63.4%
268 Yards 280
2 TD 2
0 INT 1
11.2 Y/Comp 10.8
120.3 Rating 89.5

For Stafford, it was his second-straight game facing an MVP-level foe. He faced off with, and got the better of, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 3. This week he got the Rams out to 3-0 and 10-7 leads, but back-to-back touchdown drives from Murray buried LA for good.

While Murray has been spectacular through the air, he’s been just as good on the ground. He had logged a rushing score in each of the first three weeks, giving him 12 total TDs for the season.

Murray’s time at the top may be short lived, however. While the Cards had no trouble with the Rams defense, they’ve got the 49ers and Browns up next. They’ll also play the Packers, San Fran again, and the Panthers before their bye week in Week 12.

Mahomes’ MVP Case About to Get Stronger

It’s hard to talk about Patrick Mahomes and not sound hyperbolic. Positive or negative, it’s just understood that he seems to push things to the extreme.

And after coming up with a dud at home against the Chargers, people were genuinely interested in KC’s Week 4 matchup with the Eagles.

Patrick Mahomes Through Four Weeks

Team Comp/Att Yards TD INT Rushing Yards Rushing TD Rating
Week 1 vs CLE 27/36 337 3 0 18 1 131.4
Week 2 @ BAL 24/31 343 3 1 3 0 131.5
Week 3 vs LAC 27/44 260 3 2 45 0 81.6
Week 4 @ PHI 24/30 278 5 1 26 0 131.0

The loss against Baltimore was out of his hands, literally, as it was Clyde Edwards-Helaire who fumbled away a possible win in the dying minutes. But if you switch the ‘L’ out for a ‘W’, there’s a chance Mahomes was still the sole favorite last week.

Either way, after a date with the Bills in Week 5, the Chiefs’ schedule softens up. They travel to Washington and Tennessee, and host the Giants. Then there’s three interesting games with the Packers, Raiders and Cowboys before the bye.

Other Notable Performances: Week 4

Team Comp/Att Yards TD INT Rushing Yards Rushing TD Rating
Tom Brady 22/43 269 0 0 3 0 70.8
Aaron Rodgers 20/36 248 2 0 2 1 95.6
Dak Prescott 14/22 188 4 0 35 0 130.3
Russell Wilson 16/23 149 2 0 26 1 116.0
Josh Allen 20/29 248 2 1 41 0 103.8

Allen’s results, outside of a four-TD, 358-yard performance in Week 3, haven’t been the most electrifying of the group. In fact he’s thrown for 270 yards or less and five total TDs in his other three games.

Despite that, he’s stuck around in the race, likely because the Bills have posted big numbers in their wins. Brady got the win in his Foxborough homecoming, but there wasn’t much to write home about from a personal perspective.

The biggest mover and shaker among the rest of the pack is likely Dak Prescott. Last week he was +1600, but since those odds dropped (before the Week 3 Monday nighter), he’s thrown for 426 yards, seven TDs and no interceptions in two games. Because he gets to beat up on the NFC East, Dak should have the numbers and the wins to contend.

Keeping Up with Kyler and Mahomes

While Mahomes has the edge on Murray in total TDs, Murray is rightfully at the top of the board through four weeks. He’s been that good.

And if Murray makes it through his pre-bye stretch, then there’s going to be an interesting conversation about weapons, and wins and losses, and everything else we use to dissect potential MVPs.

But that’s for another day. Murray is eyeing a tough stretch that will either cement his MVP status, or flush him back into the constant shuffle of names.

Given his recent slide down the board, Mahomes is a great buy low candidate with a softer schedule coming up.

The Pick: Patrick Mahomes (+800)

 

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