- Tom Brady will be 42 years old before the 2019 NFL season kicks off
- Brady became the oldest player to ever win NFL MVP during the 2017 season
- His odds to win the 2019 NFL MVP opened at 10-1
Less than 16 months ago, Tom Brady became the oldest player in NFL history to win league MVP, being honored for his 4,577 passing yards, an NFL-high in 2017, and 32 touchdowns.
Less than 13 months ago, Brady opened as the favorite to win 2018 NFL MVP, sporting +600 odds. At 41 years old, he would go on to throw for 4,355 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. However, he didn’t even receive odds to win NFL MVP after Week 14, seeing +5300 odds entering the week.
Though Brady and the Patriots got the last laugh of the 2018-19 NFL season, capturing their sixth Lombardi Trophy during the Brady-Belichick era, we did see Tom Terrific take a backseat to New England’s power running game.
Online sports betting sites must be expecting a similar approach from the Pats in 2019, as Brady’s NFL MVP odds have opened at +1000, just fifth-best on the board.
2019 NFL MVP Odds
*Odds taken June 1; Follow the link in the table to odds for all 63 players listed
It’s the longest MVP odds Brady has opened with since 2016. Is there value in betting a quarterback who will be 42 years old before the season kicks off at 10-1?
Brady Will Have the Wins
Since 2001, just one player has won NFL MVP while their team recorded less than 11 wins. This award is not just for the best player in the league; it generally goes to the quarterback on one of the best teams in the league.
Once again, I believe Tom Brady will check off that box. No one in the AFC East did anything big enough to close the gap between them and the Pats significantly enough to be concerned in 2019. And according to our proper method for strength of schedule, New England has by far the easiest schedule in the league this season.
They’ll go at least 5-1 in the division, like they have each of the last three years, with the only potential loss coming in Miami, like it has each of the last two seasons.
Patriots’ Revamped Receiving Corps
Losing Rob Gronkowski is going to hurt. But it’s not like New England hasn’t had to play without him before. Gronk only started 11 games last season, 14 in 2017, and six in 2016.
To help replace their big tight end, New England has brought in Demaryius Thomas, Ben Watson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Dontrelle Inman, while spending a first-round pick on N’Keal Harry.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) May 26, 2019
None of them are Gronk, but there’s a lot of athleticism in that group. Brady and Belichick have won with worse.
Are the Patriots a Running Team Now?
Bill Belichick went against the grain in the 2018 NFL Draft when he selected RB Sony Michel in the first round. He had only taken one other running back in the first round during his tenure with the Pats.
But, as we’ve come to learn, Belichick clearly knew what he was doing. New England ran the ball 478 times in 2018, the third-most in the league, Michel racked up 931 yards on 209 carries in 13 games.
Sony Michel TD. Pats re-take the lead with 3 min to go.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 21, 2019
In the playoffs, the rookie averaged 112 yards and two touchdowns per game.
Add in James White, Rex Burkhead, and 2019 third-round pick Damien Harris, and you’ve got a lot of ball-carriers who you want to give touches. The 2019 Patriots could hand the ball off even more than they did in 2018.
Will Mahomes’ Numbers Regress?
Patrick Mahomes set the league on fire last season. His 13 touchdown passes in the first three games of the season are an NFL record, and he finished with a league-high 50, just five off the single-season record.
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2018
And who can forget the no-look passes?
NFL Films had a great angle of Mahomes’ no-look pass (via Inside the NFL) pic.twitter.com/9Jfn0UFeTz
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) December 12, 2018
It’s easy to say the third-year pivot will suffer through some regression in 2019, especially now that he’ll be trying to fend off the Madden curse. But I’m not sure I can subscribe to that line of thought.
Yes, three of his touchdown passes came from one-yard out and another 13 were six yards or less. But they also ran in six scores from a yard out, and another seven from within four yards. So it’s not like they only threw the ball inside the five-yard-line.
"Typically, after an offensive year like the @Chiefs had, the coaching staff is raided of most of its key pieces. In KC, Eric Bieniemy is back as the OC. Mike Kafka is back with the QBs. And oh yeah, Mahomes is just scratching the surface of what he can do." – @PSchrags pic.twitter.com/5WTmJmetGW
— GMFB (@gmfb) May 24, 2019
There were also no signs of defenses catching on last season. Mahomes threw 26 touchdowns in the first eight games of the season, and 24 in the final eight.
Sure, the Pats made him look mortal for a half in the AFC Championship, but he still finished with three touchdowns and a 117.0 passer rating.
Mahomes may not hit 50 again next year, but his numbers won’t be far off. Barring injury, this kid is too special to just assume he’ll regress in his second full year under center.
Who’s the Best Early MVP Bet?
Brady at 10-1 isn’t enticing enough to me. New England is going to win games in 2019, but I believe it’ll be with a power running game.
I like Mahomes to have another huge year, but 4-1 odds are too short to bet on in June. Who knows what could happen in the next three months. He could show up to training camp +20 pounds from all that ketchup.
The best bet on the board right now is Carson Wentz at +2000. The last time Wentz entered a season healthy, he was on pace to win MVP before blowing out his knee in Week 14.
If DeSean Jackson can stay healthy, Wentz will have arguably the best deep-threat in the league on his side, along with the very dependable Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz. At 20-1, there’s no better value than Wentz.