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Opening 2021 NFL MVP Odds List Mahomes as the Favorite, Stafford a Top 5 Contender

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NFL Football

Feb 9, 2021 · 6:23 PM PST

Patrick Mahomes pointing while on the run with football in right hand
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) points out to a receiver during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
  • Patrick Mahomes tabbed as the early favorite for 2021 NFL MVP
  • New Rams QB Matt Stafford pegged with fifth-best odds
  • Read below for odds of the top candidates and our best value predictions

The sting of getting dominated in Super Bowl 55 has only really settled in for the Kansas City Chiefs and already, we’re onto the next one.

Which is probably what Patrick Mahomes and company want to get to anyways. Mahomes, the 25-year-old wunderkid and consensus best player in football, has already been anointed the betting favorite in the 2021 NFL MVP odds.

2021 NFL MVP Odds

Player Team Odds
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs +500
Aaron Rodgers Packers +800
Josh Allen Bills +1300
Russell Wilson Seahawks +1300
Matthew Stafford Rams +1500
Tom Brady Buccaneers +1600
Lamar Jackson Ravens +1600
Dak Prescott Cowboys +1700
Deshaun Watson Texans +1700
Justin Herbert Chargers +1800
Kyler Murray Cardinals +1800
Ryan Tannehill Titans +2500
Derrick Henry Titans +3300
Christian McCaffrey Panthers +3300
Baker Mayfield Browns +4000
Carson Wentz Eagles +4000
Jameis Winston Saints +4000
Joe Burrow Bengals +5000
Kirk Cousins Vikings +5000
Tua Tagovailoa Dolphins +5000

Odds taken February 9th from DraftKings

If the first two names on the board look familiar, that’s because it’s the exact 1-2 combo that started this off a season ago. Mahomes was the opening +600 favorite, while newly minted MVP Aaron Rodgers started at a tantalizing +2200. Buffalo’s Josh Allen, ranked third on the current list, was a distant fourth last February, checking in at +6600.

Mahomes Above All

Any realistic list has to have Mahomes at the top of the charts. He’s the most talented QB in the NFL, and would be the overwhelming first choice of every NFL team is there was a redraft. He’s coming off another stellar year, where he completed better than 63% of his passes for 4,740 yards to go along with 38 touchdown passes to just six interceptions.

Mahomes was spectacular in leading the Chiefs to a 14-1 mark before sitting out the last game of the season.

Entering his fourth season as the starter, he’s already won an MVP, thrown for more than 5,000+ yards and 50+ TDs in a season, and captured a Super Bowl title and a Super Bowl MVP award, before eating a heaping helping of humble pie in Super Bowl 55.

But even in defeat, for a guy that threw for 270 yards and two picks, a lot of the chatter afterwards was about the plays Mahomes was able to manufacture while facing the most pressure any QB has faced in Super Bowl history. Name another time we’ve raved about a guy’s incompletions  as highlight worthy.

He’s in the rare air of the greats at such a young age, where Mahomes could conceivably be the favorite and outright winner of the award each year, like LeBron James.

The Main Competitors

It appears that Aaron Rodgers’ run isn’t that close to being over. In his 16th season, with his apparent successor drafted that same summer, the Packers legend set career highs in completion percentage (70.7%), touchdown passes (a league-leading 48) and QBR (84.3).

There may have been sentimentality for the 38-year-old to win, but make no mistake: Rodgers earned this year’s MVP trophy. Can he do it again? Aside from Davante Adams, Green Bay is notoriously frugal with seeking out top-end offensive weaponry for their QB. Which is sort of the opposite strategy employed by the Buffalo Bills, who loaded up at the skill spots and watched Josh Allen explode onto the MVP scene.

Allen would have legit won MVP in any other year. He threw for more than 4,500 yards, with 37 TD passes to 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 421 yards and eight scores, and also had a TD reception. Better yet, he’s just unearthing how dominant he is and that could mean a mega 2021.

And what about Matt Stafford? He’s always had the physical tools, but now he’ll have an offensive maestro in head coach Sean McVay, who will put him in position to unlock the next level — if it’s in him. Despite a 5-11 mark with the Lions a year ago, Stafford threw for over 4,000 yards at a 64% completion clip, with 26 TDs and 10 picks. It will be the best situation of his career.

What’s The Best Bet?

Get used to Mahomes on these season-starting lists — the kid is just too talented. These might be the longest odds you’ll get on him all year, and that’s even with him undergoing surgery this offseason for a toe injury that hobbled him through the playoffs. I think his main competition is in the AFC in Allen, who has the potential to be lights out in 2021 with a team and situation that is one of the best in the NFL.

Looking for value deeper down the board? While it depends on where DeShaun Watson gets dealt, the disgruntled Texan is statistically on the same tier as the NFL elite pivots. At the same +1700 mark is Dak Prescott, who should be back to his former self after that gruesome broken leg. He was on a torrid statistical pace before going down in Week 5.

The pick: Mahomes (+500)

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