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Early 2020 NFL MVP Value Bets – 3 Players to Jump On & 3 to Avoid

Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz is not worth backing for NFL 2020 MVP at his current odds. Photo by Keith Allison (Wikipedia).
  • Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to win NFL MVP in 2020, but he’s also good value
  • Baker Mayfield is one QB to watch coming off a terrible season
  • Old stand-bys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees should be avoided this time around

The Chiefs are favored to win next year’s Super Bowl as well and on the way, their quarterback leads the 2020 NFL MVP odds. Sure, it’s Patrick Mahomes’ world that we’re all just renting space in, but there are a couple other players that are worth a wager for league’s best next season.

Here’s three players to bet now and three to avoid.

Players to Bet

Patrick Mahomes

Go figure, the reigning Super Bowl MVP and newly anointed face of the NFL is worth a bet to win the league MVP? What an outlandish pick!

But there really is some value here, considering Mahomes opened last season as a +400 favorite to win the honor. Currently, the reason there will be a massive spike in births in western Missouri in nine months is only +600 to win MVP in 2020.

That’s significant, considering his average odds didn’t drop below +500 last year, until his knee popped out on a Thursday night in Denver.

Fans and pundits across the sporting world are all ready to crown Mahomes as one of, if not the greatest, to play the QB position, which is great for his MVP chances next year and beyond. During the 2000s, whenever there wasn’t a runaway candidate for the award, it always seemed to find its way into Peyton Manning’s hands.

For this next era, an average Mahomes season could be the default winner when no other player separates themselves. And if he performs way above average, well … who even knows if we’ve seen what that looks like yet?

Baker Mayfield

The Browns crumbled under lofty expectations in 2019 (which for them, is any prediction that has them not coming dead-last in the AFC North) and no one’s reputation took a bigger hit than Mayfield’s.

Opening last year at +1400 to win MVP, this time he’s fetching +4000. But now might be the time to capitalize on Cleveland’s QB.

Much like San Francisco was the hot playoff pick before the 2018 season only to disappoint, sometimes we’re a year too early on predictions. Now, with Kevin Stefanski taking over the offense, Mayfield will benefit from the same play-calling that made Kirk Cousins look like a top-tier passer.

As a young QB with room to improve, getting Baker at the same odds as Cousins and old guys like Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger seems like a steal.

Ryan Tannehill

There’s actually a few intriguing options way down the MVP odds, but at +10000, nestled between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Sam Darnold, is the reigning Comeback Player of the Year. Few people think he can replicate his level of play that made the Tennessee Titans legitimately fun to watch, but perhaps all he needed to succeed was to not be in Miami?

While Tannehill is also a free agent, there’s almost no way he walks away from this situation. With A.J. Brown, a good offensive line and presumably a handsomely paid Derrick Henry, the Titans offense should be able to pick up right back where they left off next season.

Players to Avoid

Carson Wentz

After four seasons, it’s still unclear what Wentz is. There are flashes of brilliance, stretches of shakiness and seemingly always an injury to end it.

PFF ranked him 16th among passers in 2019, yet the Eagles QB is getting the fifth-best MVP odds at +1800. Last year he opened around +2000, but climbed into the top three just before the season kicked off in the wake of Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement. He never came close to backing that hype and was off the odds board by December.

It’s hard to get excited about a rebound in 2020 just yet. The Eagles will be looking to overhaul their unreliable receiving corps and until they can make a splashier addition than ancient speedsters like DeSean Jackson, it’s not worth buying Wentz shares.

My best guess for the continued respect Wentz gets is that people remember that MVP he almost won in 2017 save for injury and still give him credit as a top tier guy. But Derek Carr almost won an MVP a year before and he doesn’t even have odds this season. Eventually, you’ve got to learn to move on.

Tom Brady

I don’t want to sound ageist, but old people aren’t a good bet to win MVP. Especially not at +2800.

You know who the oldest person to win NFL MVP is? Well actually, it was Brady, in that aforementioned 2017 season. Two whole years ago, he needed the prohibitive favorite to tear his ACL in Week 14 to get the honor. Now, in a league full of young stars, it will likely take something truly extraordinary to get Brady in the conversation.

His numbers have steadily declined since that 2017 season and though some will point to a decline in the weapons around him, he also had a lot of uncharacteristically bad throws.

The solution to TB12s lack of weapons might be a change of uniform. And while a change of scenery might get bettors to buy in on Brady at +2800 for MVP, I don’t think a change in offensive scheme this late in his career will lead to another award.

Drew Brees

The same age arguments against Brady work for Brees, except instead of finding a new team, bettors have to worry that this guy might outright retire.

Should he come back there does seem to be a desire for people to give Brees recognition, considering he’s never won before. But over the past few years, old man Brees showed signs of decline in the second half of the season.

The only reason he avoided it in 2019 was that he missed most of the first half due to injury. I wouldn’t trust him with a full 16 game slate.

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