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Lamar Jackson’s 2020 NFL MVP Odds Offered as Long as 14-1 After Loss to Chiefs – Is There Any Value?

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in NFL Football

Updated Sep 29, 2020 · 1:03 PM PDT

The 2019 NFL MVP saw his odds plummet after a career-worst passing performance against the Chiefs on MNF. But should bettors completely fade Lamar Jackson? Are Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson too far ahead of the field? Is there a darkhorse candidate we're overlooking? We handicap the field here.
  • Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s MVP odds are as long as 14-1 after finishing with a career-worst 97 yards passing in a 34-20 loss to the Chiefs on Monday Night Football
  • Jackson is 21-1 against the rest of the league in the regular season — but 0-3 vs KC
  • Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes are the MVP favorites at +175 and +250 respectively. Which QB offers the best betting value right now?

Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson saw his odds to repeat as league MVP plummet to 14-1 after Baltimore lost to Kansas City 34-20 on Monday Night Football.

Now, Seattle’s Russell Wilson (+175) and KC’s Patrick Mahomes (+250) have emerged as the clear-cut favorites for the award.


Player Odds
Russell Wilson (SEA) +175
Patrick Mahomes (KC) +250
Aaron Rodgers (GB) +700
Lamar Jackson (BAL) +1400
Josh Allen (BUF) +1600

Odds taken September 29 on DraftKings

The Ravens had their 14-game regular season win streak snapped by the Chiefs thanks to that 34-20 MNF loss. Jackson finished with a career-worst 97 yards passing in the defeat and said after the game the defending Super Bowl champions were Baltimore’s “kryptonite”.  Jackson would appear to be correct. He’s 21-1 against every other team in the regular season — but 0-3 against the Chiefs.

Meantime, he entered the game as the second-favorite for MVP behind Wilson at +500 — but is now fourth on the depth chart at +1400. And while Jackson, Mahomes and Wilson have been the top three candidates dating back to February according to the NFL MVP odds, it’s Wilson and Mahomes who have now emerged as the betting favorites.

So, can Jackson bounce back to go back-to-back — something that hasn’t been done since Peyton Manning did it in 2008-09? Or are Wilson and Mahomes simply too hot to bet against? We analyze the field of contenders and make the call.

Head-to-Head, Dead?

On the surface, you might think Jackson’s chances for winning MVP would be sunk by his lackluster outing at home in prime time. How did it get so bad? The Chiefs blitzed Jackson on 35% of his dropbacks — compared to 29% by all other teams, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. And while it was a tough play, if Jackson’s normally reliable tight end Mark Andrews makes a third quarter catch for a touchdown, Monday night’s outcome may have been different.

Bottom line: the 34-20 was a team-wide debacle. You can’t pin the loss solely on Jackson. He didn’t throw an interception and he rushed for a team-high 83 yards. Kansas City simply played better.

Not unlike Week 3 of last season. The Chiefs beat the Ravens 33-28 in 2019. Mahomes got the better of Jackson in that game, too. The then-reigning league MVP was 27-of-37 through the air for 374 yards passing and threw three touchdowns, while Jackson went 22-of-43 for 267 yards and had zero touchdown passes. He did rush for 46 yards on eight carries and a score though.

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Baltimore actually lost the following week to Cleveland — but then Jackson lit the NFL on fire, winning 11 in a row. And he won the MVP. Even with a head-to-head loss, Jackson’s chances aren’t completely dashed.

Next Level

While Jackson is still a contender, there appears to be a certain quarterback on a mission in the Pacific Northwest.

While leading the 3-0 Seahawks to another come-from-behind win — this one a 38-31 victory over the Cowboys — Russell Wilson broke Mahomes’ TD record through the first three games of the season. All Wilson has done so far is throw for 925 yards, 14 touchdowns (against only one pick) — all with a completion percentage of 76.6%. That is what we call next level.

Wilson was in the MVP conversation in 2019 prior to Jackson’s incredible second half. And there’s long been a sentiment by AP voters (see: Matt Ryan over Tom Brady in 2016) to give the MVP to someone new. That means Wilson is firmly in the drivers’ seat right now over Mahomes and Jackson.

Anyone Else?

In keeping with the “new blood” theory, the intriguing player to watch in this spot is Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen.

Allen is definitely someone to watch as Buffalo marches on in 2020. Sure, the Bills may have been aided by some questionable officiating in their 35-32 Week 3 victory over a very talented Rams team, but a win is a win. And with 16-1 odds right now, Allen — not Jackson — is the player I’d be investing in.

And Allen will have opportunities — in Week 6 against the Chiefs and Week 9 against the Seahawks (with both game in Western New York) — to prove he’s in Mahomes’ and Wilson’s company. How the 24-year-old quarterback and his team perform in those games could very well decide who wins the 2020 NFL MVP.

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