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Mahomes Enters 2020 NFL Season as Clear Favorite to Win MVP – Is He Worth Betting at +400 Odds

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Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes is well ahead of the pack in the 2020 NFL MVP odds, just as he was at this time last year. Photo from Pixabay (public domain).
  • Patrick Mahomes’ 2020 NFL MVP odds are as short as +400
  • He opened at +600 after the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl in February
  • Is Mahomes a good bet at a short price or is there value elsewhere?

At about this time last year, on the eve of the 2019 NFL Season, Lamar Jackson was roughly at +4000 to be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. At that time, Patrick Mahomes was the clear-cut favorite in the NFL MVP odds.

On the morning of the 2020 NFL season, reigning MVP Jackson is at a much shorter +700 at DraftKings, but Mahomes is again leading the pack at +400.

Is the Chiefs’ pivot a good bet to win his second MVP in three years or is there more betting value further down the list?

2020 NFL MVP Odds

Player Pos Team Odds at DraftKings
Patrick Mahomes QB KC +400
Lamar Jackson QB BAL +700
Russell Wilson QB SEA +800
Dak Prescott QB DAL +1400
Tom Brady QB TB +1600
Deshaun Watson QB HOU +2000
Drew Brees QB NO +2200
Kyler Murray QB AZ +2500
Carson Wentz QB PHI +2500
Cam Newton QB NE +3300

Odds taken September 9.

Averaging the MVP odds from multiple sportsbooks, Mahomes is a +420 favorite. Jackson is next at +788 followed by Seahawks QB Russell Wilson at +938.

What Happened to Mahomes Last Season?

Mahomes threw for a whopping 50 touchdown passes in his 2018 MVP season, which made his 2019 numbers tepid by comparison and it became quite clear by December that he wasn’t going to be in the MVP race. He had a stretch midseason where he threw one or zero touchdown passes six times in eight games.

While Mahomes was as short as -123 in October 2019, he was already beyond +1000 in early November.

Many people remember that he was injured (and missed about three games) but that only played a small part. The production after the first few weeks just wasn’t MVP-caliber and his odds kept slipping the rest of the way.

Is There Value Betting on Mahomes in 2020?

Mahomes opened as the favorite to win the MVP in 2020, starting off at +600 after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, and his odds have continued to shorten ever since.

Favorites have not been a wise investment the last few years. As mentioned, Mahomes was heavy chalk in 2019 and Lamar Jackson cruised to a win. Looking back to 2018, Drew Brees started as the favorite and Mahomes – who started out at +10000 – ended up winning in his first year as a starting QB.

At +420, or even at his opening odds of +600, there’s not much value here. Is he going to play like he did in the playoffs, when he threw for 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions in three games? Or will he perform like he did down the stretch of the regular season, finishing with just seven touchdowns and 244.6 passing yards per game in his final five contests?

The Chiefs are the champs and they might not be as hungry in 2020 as they were in 2019. Back then, they were fresh off a stinging loss in the AFC Championship Game. Now they might feel like they can put things on cruise control for a bit – especially with Tom Brady’s departure knocking the New England Patriots down a peg.

The expectation is so high on the Chiefs and Mahomes that, if either fall short, the quarterback’s chances for the MVP will go down the tubes. There’s too much downside risk here.

Which Player Is a Good Bet?

Looking in the mid-range of the list, someone like Dak Prescott could be a good option at +1400. While everyone fawns over Mahomes and Jackson, Prescott actually finished well above both with 4,902 passing yards (second in the NFL).

Prescott could be primed for another big season as he’s still hungry for a long-term contract. He also has more weapons to work this year after the Cowboys drafted WR CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma in the first round. If the Cowboys make the playoffs and Prescott has a similar campaign, he’ll be in the conversation.

Looking further down the board, consider someone like Matt Stafford at +3300. He was on pace for 4,998 passing yards and 38 touchdowns last season before a back injury landed him on injured reserve. If he can get back to those levels and the Detroit Lions rise to the top of the NFC North, he’ll have a shot.

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