NFL MVP, Super Bowl futures watch: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers offer value

Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports

The MVP race is starting to crystallize a bit, as some of the contenders have seemingly become pretenders. Obviously things can still change with 10 weeks remaining but the main candidates are currently correlated to team success.

MVP options

Following losses by both Arizona and Tampa Bay, Josh Allen has established himself as the betting favorite (+300). This is something we anticipated at a 10-1 price, given Buffalo's relatively easy remaining schedule at the time. The Bills are also the Super Bowl betting favorites, cementing the concept yet again that this award is connected to the QB of a top seed.

Dak Prescott (+750) looms as an attractive price but his team also just won without him. Will the Dallas Cowboys take additional precautionary measures this season? I would pass. Matthew Stafford (+600) is a strong candidate, as the Rams are one of four one-loss teams atop the NFC. I'd pass right now.

The two guys that have caught my eye are Tom Brady (+550) and Aaron Rodgers (+900). Brady is entering the bye week but the Bucs next face four teams with losing records and then host both the Bills and Saints. Those could be huge games for this race. Rodgers' case is pretty self-explanatory, after waltzing into Arizona and dethroning the league's remaining undefeated team without his top three wide receivers. The Packers do have some difficult games left but two opponents seem more beatable now, given Kansas City's struggles and Seattle having to endure life without Russell Wilson.

MVP Favorites

Josh Allen +300
Kyler Murray +500
Tom Brady +550
Matthew Stafford +600
Dak Prescott +750
Aaron Rodgers +900
Lamar Jackson +2000
Justin Herbert +3000
Derek Carr +4000
Patrick Mahomes +5000
Joe Burrow +5000

Super Bowl options

The Kansas City Chiefs demonstrated once again on Monday night why they should not be considered Super Bowl contenders but their 13-1 odds still seem way too favorable. There is nothing about them that feels like they warrant a wager. Additionally, for me, Kansas City sort of serves as a line of demarcation where I would not consider any team below them on the betting board. However, the Los Angeles Chargers (25-1) and New England Patriots (60-1) offer some intrigue though.

Among the favorites, the Bills truly feel like they are poised for the top seed. I understand they stumbled in Tennessee but the remaining schedule is so favorable. In my eyes, they are the conference's best team so I could not fault anyone for a play at +550. Remember, if they land home-field advantage, The Ralph will be raucous and chilly for visiting teams.

As for the NFC, you could certainly make a strong case for the Cowboys at 10-1. I still believe the defense has some concerns and a Mike McCarthy mishap will likely cost them a key game, perhaps in the playoffs. But Dak Prescott makes this team so offensively potent so the defense just needs to be decent and McCarthy hasn't even cost Dallas a cover (7-0 ATS), let alone a loss. He just feels like the guy at third base on the blackjack table who's making horrendous decisions; eventually, you're going to leave the table - and possibly be broke.

Super Bowl futures

Buffalo Bills +550
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +600
Los Angeles Rams +650
Green Bay Packers +900
Dallas Cowboys +1000
Arizona Cardinals +1100
Baltimore Ravens +1100
Kansas City Chiefs +1300
Tennessee Titans +1600
Los Angeles Chargers +2500
New Orleans Saints +3000
Cleveland Browns +4000

Other awards to watch

  • The Tennessee Titans just lost Derrick Henry for the season but they are still -1600 favorites to win the AFC South. That's clearly because they hold a three-game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Indianapolis Colts. Carson Wentz reverted back to the 2020 version and now it seems farfetched envisioning Indy surpassing Tennessee. But then again, +900 for a team that has a stout defense and is well-coached does seem tempting, given Henry's injury. For example, I'd much rather bet on the Packers (-2000) to win their division than I would the Titans. However, neither is a logical wager.

  • The conversation is officially underway. Caesars Sportsbook is offering +425 on the Lions becoming the NFL's first 0-17 team. After getting blown out as 3.5-point home underdogs, Detroit is making me a believer. I do think Dan Campbell has established healthy morale but at some point the losing becomes too much. I only see two potential wins. The first is at home to the Bears, who defeated them by 10 points at Soldier Field. The other is hosting the Packers in Week 18, when Green Bay could rest several starters. I am probably going to pull the trigger this week.