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Matt Ryan Re-Entering 2018 NFL MVP Race

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in NFL Football

Oct 25, 2018 · 9:30 AM PDT

Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons are installed as four-point underdogs in Philly for Week 1. The Falcons though have the highest win total at nine of any Week 1 underdog and could be primed for an upset. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License]
  • Matt Ryan’s NFL MVP odds have improved after leading Falcons to consecutive wins
  • The 2016 NFL MVP leads the league in passing yards
  • OJ Simpson is the last player to claim NFL MVP honors while playing for a non-playoff team

It has been a tough NFL season for the Atlanta Falcons. Hobbled by a rash of injuries, the Falcons stumbled to a 1-4 record out of the gate, and surrendered over 40 points per game during a three-game losing streak.

While a porous Atlanta defence has been regularly victimized in the early going, quarterback Matt Ryan has remained a steady presence. A pair of high-precision performances by the 33-year-old veteran has sparked the Falcons to two straight wins, and returned Ryan to contention to win a second career NFL MVP award with vastly improved +2000 odds on the NFL specials.

2018 NFL MVP Average Odds

Take a look at the “Top 10 Contenders” tab in the graph above to see Ryan’s 2018 NFL MVP odds.

Odds to Win the 2018 NFL MVP Award

Player Position Team Odds to Win 2018 NFL MVP
Patrick Mahomes QB KC +270
Drew Brees QB NO +500
Todd Gurley RB LAR +500
Jared Goff QB LAR +700
Aaron Rodgers QB GB +1000
Matt Ryan QB ATL +2000

Falcons Defence Decimated by Injuries

Impacted by long-term injuries to key defensive personnel, including safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, linebacker Deion Jones, and guards Brandon Fusco and Andy Levitre, the Falcons came up short in high-scoring clashes with New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. With the Falcons on the verge of freefall, Ryan saw his NFL MVP odds tumble dramatically to +6600, well back of the +2000 odds he sported on opening day.

But with Ryan at the helm, the Falcons have kept their playoff hopes alive with back-to-back victories. The 2016 NFL MVP found his groove in team’s 34-29 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, tossing for 355 yards and three touchdowns in the Week 6 victory as 3-point home chalk.

Ryan followed up with another stellar performance on Monday night, connecting on 31 of 39 passes including each of his last 18 attempts, to lead the Falcons to a 23-20 victory over the New York Giants as 4-point road favorites, and now enters Atlanta’s bye week leading all NFL pivots with 2,335 passing yards, along with 15 touchdown passes, but faces ferocious competition on the NFL MVP odds.

Spectacular Debut Lifts Mahomes to Top of NFL MVP Odds

Fresh off the Kansas City Chiefs’ most lopsided victory of the season, quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to lead the way as a +270 favorite, ahead of future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees, and rushing sensation Todd Gurley, who trail deadlocked at +500.

Mahomes has been a revelation during his first season at the helm of the Chiefs offence. The 23-year-old has powered Kansas City to a 6-1 record with a league-leading 22 touchdown passes and trails only Ryan with 2,223 passing yards.

Drew Brees has defied Father Time while rewriting the NFL record book this season

Brees has defied Father Time this season, rewriting the NFL record book while leading the 5-1 New Orleans Saints to the top of the NFC South standings, and fueling the squad’s climb to +800 on the Super Bowl odds.

Gurley Maintaining Value in MVP Betting

Gurley has also enjoyed the benefits of suiting up for one of the NFL’s top teams, and maintains plenty of value on the NFL MVP odds after scampering to an NFL-leading 686 yards.

The reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year has also outpaced all rushers with 11 TD runs this season, highlighted by a stunning 208-yard, two-TD performance in the undefeated Los Angeles Rams’ 23-20 win in Denver two weeks ago.

Falcons’ Playoff Bid Key to Ryan’s MVP Hopes

Other NFL stars standing between Ryan and the top of the NFL MVP odds include Jared Goff at +700, Aaron Rodgers at +1000, 2017 MVP Tom Brady at +1200, and Philip Rivers at +1600.

What sets all these MVP candidates apart from Ryan is their respective team’s strong position in the standings. Hope remains that Atlanta can climb out of their current position in the NFC South basement and return to the playoffs for a third straight season. However, it has been 45 years since an NFL MVP emerged from a non-playoff team, with OJ Simpson becoming just the second player in league history to pull off the feat following his record-setting 1973 campaign.

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