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Once Top Contenders, Dak Prescott & Lamar Jackson See Their NFL MVP Odds Continue to Fade

Is Dak still a darkhorse for NFL MVP? By Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Lamar Jackson’s MVP odds fell this week, despite Baltimore gutting out a win in Pittsburgh
  • Dak Prescott’s odds are also tumbling after getting whipped by Green Bay
  • Can either of these early season darlings get back into the 2019 NFL MVP race?

The Cowboys are going to regret not paying Dak Prescott sooner. Lamar Jackson vs Patrick Mahomes is the new Brady-Manning. These were things we said two weeks ago! My, how naive we were back then.

If you want to know how crazy things were back in the last week of September, neither of these quarterback’s NFL MVP odds were over +1000.

Now, well, things have changed.

2019 NFL MVP Odds

Player Odds
Patrick Mahomes +125
Russell Wilson +275
Christian McCaffrey +750
Deshaun Watson +750
Aaron Rodgers +1200
Tom Brady +1200
Carson Wentz +2000
Dak Prescott +2000
Jimmy Garoppolo +2500
Lamar Jackson +3300

*Odds taken 10/08/19

Jackson’s average MVP odds were as low as +870 two weeks ago. Prescott’s average was at +930 at the same time as the Cowboys opened the season 3-0. Will either of them see their odds trend back in that direction?

Weak Defenses Vaulted Them In the Race

Since both these QBs have followed the same script, I’m going to combine their names to save time here. Lamar Prescott took advantage of some absolutely atrocious defense to start the year, putting up legitimately perfect stats in Week 1.

But as it was soon clear that those early opponents weren’t all that opposed to allowing touchdowns, the question became, how would Dak Jackson perform against real defenses?

The answer? Poorly.

Jackson and Prescott Passer Rating by Week

Lamar Jackson
Dak Prescott

158.3 @ MIA Week 1 158.3 vs NYG
104.8 vs ARZ Week 2 123.5 @ WAS
70.3 @ KC Week 3 91.4 vs MIA
96.1 vs CLE Week 4 73.2 @ NO
54.9 @PIT Week 5 83.8 vs GB

At this rate, there’s a handful of teams across the league that should challenge for better records than the Cowboys and Ravens, who both have their roster flaws.

The only way for Dak and Lamar to stand out among the likely glut of 10-6 and 9-7 football teams is to keep putting up insane stats, which means taking advantage of the weak teams on their schedule. Good news is, they’ll get a pick me up this week.

With the Bengals and Jets on tap this week, both Jackson and Prescott will have a chance to juice their touchdown totals.

Are They Worth Backing?

Probably not. As said before, there’s going to be a bunch of teams around ten wins (including Russell Wilson’s Seahawks, who appear to be vastly overrated and can’t keep relying on missed field goals to win games).

However, while Jackson isn’t a favorite anymore, the fact that sportsbooks are giving him longer odds than Jimmy G is absurd. Garoppolo’s MVP case this season is that he hasn’t tripped over his own feet handing the ball off in Kyle Shanahan’s awesome run game. Lamar makes some sense as a +3300 MVP candidate.

The Play

Hopefully you were listening a few weeks ago when I said to jump on Christian McCaffrey. With the token non-QB role filled, the only chance at a long odds play getting in this race is a quarterback who has been overlooked.

Buoyed by an actual run game (for once), Detroit’s Matthew Stafford is averaging a career best 8 yards per attempt. The Lions have been surprisingly competitive so far, but are still not garnering national respect. That could change with a good showing in Green Bay on Monday night, in which case, Stafford’s MVP odds (+6600) should drastically improve.

I’d get on them now.

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