- Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James is the even-money favorite to win NFL.com’s Checkdown Madden tournament
- James crushed Michael Vick in the final of EA Sports’ Madden Invitational. Can anyone beat him among the field of eight NFL players?
- Best bets, picks, prediction and analysis are all unveiled in the story that follows below
Derwin James is the NFL’s unofficial king of Madden. The Checkdown Madden Tournament could end all doubt that the Los Angeles Chargers safety is the league’s best at virtual football.
Reigning champion of the Esports @EASports Madden Invitational, James is among eight entrants in the Checkdown Madden Tournament that gets underway Wednesday night.
Sportsbooks think James will get the job done. He’s been established as the even-money chalk to win the event.
Odds to Win Checkdown Madden 2020 Tournament
|Derwin James||Los Angeles Chargers||EVEN|
|Tyreek Hill||Kansas City Chiefs||+170|
|Tyrann Mathieu||Kansas City Chiefs||+800|
|Deebo Samuel||San Francisco 49ers||+800|
|DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles||+1000|
|Jarvis Landry||Cleveland Browns||+1000|
|Denzel Ward||Cleveland Browns||+1000|
|Keenan Allen||Los Angeles Chargers||+2200|
Odds taken April 1st
Set up like March Madness, the single-elimination tournament will contest first-round games beginning at 6 pm EST on Wednesday.
The semifinals and final are slated to get underway at 6 pm EST on Thursday. All of the action will be live streaming at twitch.tv/eamaddenNFL, NFL.com, the NFL app and NFL’s YouTube page.
James Gangs Up On NFL-ers
James will be riding a hot streak into the Checkdown Madden tournament. He just walloped a field of seven other past and current NFL stars to capture the title in the first-ever Esports @EASports Madden Invitational.
That competition concluded on Sunday, and if you think there’s been some lopsided Super Bowls over the years, even the Denver Broncos believe that Michael Vick got embarrassed in the final.
Yessir ‼️‼️ https://t.co/SAHS89JbDq
— Derwin James Jr (@DerwinJames) March 30, 2020
James took Vick to the woodshed. Playing the Seattle Seahawks against Vick’s Baltimore Ravens, James ended up trashing the ex-NFL quarterback by a final count of 80-16.
Other tournament participants included Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, free-agent cornerback Orlando Scandrick and former NFLers Ahman Green, Matt Leinart and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Similar to the upcoming event, they were competing in a bracket-style , single-elimination tournament.
Y’all tune in winning this with ease🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/02Qs1gipzO
— Derwin James Jr (@DerwinJames) March 28, 2020
In the first round, James defeated Green. He toppled Houshmandzadeh in the semifinals by a 35-14 margin.
Prior to the tournament, a confident James even took to social media to talk smack about his opponents.
Checkdown Madden Round 1 Odds
Hill Will Climb
Hill and Mathieu both earned Super Bowl rings last season but only one will advance to the semifinals of the Checkdown Madden tournament. That’s a fact of life that Hill found to be somewhat unsettling.
They really put the 1 seeds up against each other first round 🤨
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) April 1, 2020
The Chiefs wide receiver is the sixth-best rated player in the Madden 2020 game. And he’s got some serious pull with the game’s designers, EA Sports.
Following Kansas City’s 31-20 Super Bowl 54 win over the San Francisco 49ers, Hill took to social media to request that the game creators incorporate a play that the Chiefs included in their Super Bowl gameplan. It was a pass play to Hill that went for 44 yards in the big game.
Coming soon to #Madden20…
— Madden NFL 20 #StayandPlay (@EAMaddenNFL) February 7, 2020
The folks at EA Sports were happy to accommodate him. The play, called Jet Chip Wasp in the Chiefs playbook, is now part of this season’s game playing experience.
The Mathieu-Hill tilt is one of three first-round matchups that pits a wide receiver against a defensive back.
According to the scouting reports, Hill is a pro-level Madden player who figures to be the biggest test for James in this group of eight.
Pick: Tyreek Hill over Tyrann Mathieu (-290).
Who Has Mad Madden Skills?
James would be the logical call considering his recent impressive showing in the previous Madden tourney. But the play here is Hill. Take the price and go with him.
— NFL (@NFL) April 1, 2020
In reality, everyone is a winner. Both of these Madden tournaments benefit COVID-19 charities.
Pick: Tyreek Hill (+170).
Let's have fun and keep it civil.