- In 2017 Todd Gurley broke out for 1,305 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns
- The RB received eight out of the 50 votes for MVP in 2017
- Gurley has the highest odds to win 2018 NFL MVP among all non-quarterbacks
Coming off a stellar 2017 campaign the buzz around the Los Angeles Rams is centered around running back Todd Gurley. The fourth-year player is coming into the season with the best odds to win the 2018 NFL MVP among non-quarterbacks, and rightfully so.
Average 2018 NFL MVP Odds
When odds opened for 2018 NFL MVP on April 10th, Gurley found himself alongside other premier RBs (and Antonio Brown) with average odds of +5000. At the time, David Johnson of the Cardinals opened with the best odds among non-QBs at +3300.
But since May 11th, Gurley has seen his average odds get significantly shorter, reaching just +2400 earlier this week. And one online sports betting site even has him as short as +2000, among many top quarterbacks.
Bovada’s 2018 NFL MVP Odds
|Player||Pos||Team||Odds to win 2018 NFL MVP at Bovada|
With great speed, vision and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, the talented back has emerged as one of the rising stars in the NFL. He is the key component in head coach Sean McVay’s offense that added wideout Brandin Cooks to go along with young quarterback Jared Goff.
All things point to the Rams being an extremely potent and prolific offense this season.
— Mitch Eby Edits (@MitchEbyEdits) July 23, 2018
Last year, Gurley finished 22 yards short of rookie Kareem Hunt for the rushing title and was the lone runner-up to Tom Brady for the MVP award. To help gain perspective, this is how good Gurley was in 2017.
What will it take for Gurley to win the 2018 NFL MVP?
Only 14 men have ever taken home the MVP award as a running back. Adrian Peterson was the last back to win the hardware in 2012.
Peterson had a career season with the Minnesota Vikings, less than a year after tearing his ACL. When taking a look at Gurley’s 2017 campaign and comparing it to Peterson’s MVP season, there are a few glaring differences.
|6.0||Yards per Carry||4.7|
|2,314||Yards from Scrimmage||2,093|
The first is the amount of rushing yards. Peterson ran for 789 more yards than Gurley did. He ran for over 150 yards in a game seven times that season, and ran for 484 more yards than the second-most productive rusher that year.
The other big stat is their Yards Per Carry (YPC). Peterson averaged 6.0 yards per carry which means that every two downs he was moving the chains. Gurley, meanwhile, finished with a respectable 4.7 YPC, which does not put you close to 2,000 yards and into the MVP conversation.
Not enough value with Gurley; bet a Quarterback for 2018 NFL MVP
When you look at the rules that the NFL has enforced over the last few years, the game has benefited quarterbacks like never before. In a league that is dominated by elite quarterback play, it becomes very hard for any other position player to truly take home the MVP.
It would take a truly extraordinary season from Gurley to win the MVP. It would be reasonable to predict around the same numbers or better from him in 2018. However, there is someone with far more intriguing odds. Last year, Deshaun Watson threw 19 passing touchdowns and ran for another two before tearing his ACL.
In a league that is dominated by elite quarterback play, it becomes very hard for any other position player to truly take home the MVP.
It was the most ever by a rookie quarterback in his first seven games. At +1500 and with a star wideout in DeAndre Hopkins, this is where your bet should go. Despite coming off a big knee injury, this is a genuinely competitive player who likes to win. The ability Watson has to pass the ball and run for first downs puts him as a top choice to win the MVP.