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Opening Super Bowl 54 MVP Odds: Lamar Jackson Favored, Mahomes Listed at +500, Garoppolo at +800

Lamar Jackson running with football
Oddsmakers have improved the Super Bowl odds on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens to +200. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire.
  • Wide receiver Julian Edelman won the last Super Bowl MVP Award (Super Bowl LIII)
  • Quarterbacks have won the Super Bowl MVP award 29 times in 54 Super Bowls
  • No running back has won the award since 1998 – read below for our best bet heading into the playoffs

Now that the NFL’s regular season has come to a conclusion, the focus now shifts to the postseason. Although there are Wild Card Weekend lines on the board for this weekend’s games, the Super Bowl MVP odds have also opened up. Let’s see if we can get a jump on the early value – if there is any.

Super Bowl LIV MVP Odds

Player Odds
Lamar Jackson (BAL) +275
Patrick Mahomes (KC) +500
Drew Brees (NO) +800
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) +800
Aaron Rodgers (GF) +1400
Tom Brady (NE) +1600
Alvin Kamara (NO) +2000
Michael Thomas (NO) +2000
Aaron Jones (GB) +2500
Mark Ingram (BAL) +3300
Russell Wilson (SEA) +3300
Travis Kelce (KC) +3300
Tyreek Hill (KC) +3300
Carson Wentz (PHI) +4000
Damien Williams (KC) +4000
Julian Edelman (NE) +4000
Sony Michel (NE) +4000
Dalvin Cook (MIN) +5000
Davante Adams (GB) +5000
Jared Cook (NO) +5000

Odds taken Dec. 30th

Lamar Jackson is the Early Favorite

There are really four players who stand out from the pack and one player who stands above that foursome. The quartet of Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees and Jimmy Garoppolo are the only four players on the board who have odds shorter than 14/1.

From those four, Jackson is the clear-cut favorite as he’s at +275 while everyone else on the board is at 5/1 or longer. It’s not surprising to see Jackson as the lead dog for this prop as he’s expected to be named the league’s regular season MVP.

With the Ravens being the Super Bowl favorite and Jackson being such a big part of their success, it makes sense that he’s the top choice. Overall, it’s quarterbacks who dominate this board: the top seven picks are quarterbacks. There is no other position player that is inside 20/1.

Quarterbacks Traditionally Dominate

Traditionally, this is an award where quarterbacks tend to cash in more than any other position. Taking a look at the overall numbers, a quarterback has won the award 29 times in 54 Super Bowls, which translates to 53.7% of the time. The next closest position is a tie between running backs and wideouts, which have each won seven times.

All of the defensive positions combined have only claimed the award 10 times with linebackers leading the way with four MVP’s. Desmond Howard is the only special teamer to win it as he claimed it 1997 as a return specialist.

The award winners have been a little more diverse in recent years as wide receiver Julian Edelman won it in 2019, linebacker Von Miller won it in 2016 and linebacker Malcolm Smith won it in 2014. That means quarterbacks have won just three out of the last six, although that’s still close to the historical percentages.

Prior to 2014, though, quarterbacks had won four times in a row and six of seven. With NFL becoming more pass-oriented over the last decade, the importance of quarterback play has increased, as well as wide receivers. Meanwhile, the value of running backs has decreased. We can see that trend with this prop as well.

Running backs have won the Super Bowl MVP award seven times in 54 years but four of the wins came from 1974 to 1984. We actually haven’t seen a running back win the Super Bowl MVP award since 1998, so it’s been a while.

It’s also interesting to note that the top running back on the board is Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints. He actually finished the year 23rd in rushing with just 797 yards but he caught 81 passes, so he’s a dual-threat out of the backfield. Even when a running back is viewed as being in the running, he’s not even a traditional back.

As for wide receivers, they’re trending in the opposite direction as passing has become the focal part of most offenses. Three wide receivers had won Super Bowl MVP awards from 1967 to 2004; we’ve now seen a wideout win in four of the last 15 Super Bowls.

All in all, your best bet is to pick a quarterback as that’s the position that clearly wins this award the most. Wide receivers are on the rise while running backs are fading, and in terms of defensive players, they’re nothing more than a dart throw.

What’s the Best Bet?

At this point, your best bet is the quarterback of the team you have pegged winning the Super Bowl. As of now, I like the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints to meet in the Super Bowl, so I like the quarterbacks of both teams.

With Jackson, I’ll pass for now as +275 isn’t a huge payout. If Baltimore does make it to the Super Bowl, I figure we’ll lose some value but not a ton (maybe he’ll be somewhere around +100), so I think it’s better to wait than risk him losing beforehand.

As for Brees, +800 is juicy. If the Saints do, in fact, get to the Super Bowl, he’ll also be in that neighborhood of +100 to +200, so I see some value here. He’s my pick off the board at this point.

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