Tua Tagovailoa became the +300 MVP favorite at Caesars Sportsbook following last week's 70-20 win over the Denver Broncos. Tagovailoa entered the season at 20-1 but quickly joined Mahomes near the top of the odds board. He has opened the gap on last year's winner, who remains +550.
Now Tagovailoa takes on Josh Allen and the Bills in perhaps the most high-leverage game of the young season for the MVP race. The Dolphins enter the week as the -145 favorites to win the AFC East, and those odds will shorten even more with a road win in Buffalo. However, a Bills win, and the AFC East race is wide open.
With 14 of the past 18 MVPs earning No. 1 seeds, including each of the past six, winning the AFC East is imperative for both player's MVP cases.
Tua Tagovailoa: +300 (last week: +550)
Week 4: at Bills
After the Dolphins' 70-point performance against the Broncos last week, Tagovailoa opened up a gap on Mahomes to be the outright MVP favorite. This week, his Dolphins are underdogs for the first time this season in Buffalo in an early game in what ESPN Analytics projects as their toughest game all season. ESPN Analytics rates them as the two best teams in the NFL, so the winner may have an inside track at the No. 1 seed.
Tagovailoa is putting up elite numbers, leading the NFL in Total QBR and ranking second in passing yards and touchdowns. He is a very deserving favorite, but none of the past four MVP favorites entering Week 4 have gone on to win, and Tagovailoa's injury history still looms with 14 games remaining.
Patrick Mahomes: +550 (last week: +550)
Week 4: at Jets
Mahomes' odds are unchanged after last week's rout against the Bears. He has a chance to make a statement in prime time against the Jets this week, but he's unlikely to put up an elite statistical game, as the over/under of 42.5 matches the third-lowest of his career.
Nonetheless, the Chiefs are highly likely to get the win (74% according to ESPN Analytics), so Mahomes' odds are unlikely to lengthen, even if he doesn't light it up statistically.
Jalen Hurts: +750 (last week: +900)
Week 4: vs Commanders
Hurts' raw numbers don't blow you away this season, as he ranks 20th in passing yards with three passing touchdowns and three interceptions. He added his third touchdown on the ground last week. The best thing that happened for Hurts' MVP case last week was the Cowboys' shocking loss to the Cardinals. That moved the Eagles' chance to win the NFC East from 28% to 59%.
Hurts' MVP case will likely be built on team success, so an upcoming stretch against the Commanders, Rams and Jets could help his chances, but +750 is a hefty price to pay for someone who has not posted elite stats and has to contend with the 49ers and Cowboys for NFC supremacy.
Josh Allen: +900 (last week: +750)
Week 4: vs Dolphins
Allen faces an extremely high-leverage early-season game for MVP this week at home against Tagovailoa and the Dolphins. A win and the Bills are back on top of the AFC East with a relatively easy upcoming schedule.
A loss means the Bills are 0-2 in the division with a loss against the Jets and a home loss against the Dolphins. ESPN Analytics drops the Bills' chances to win the division to just 18% with a loss. If you like the Bills this week, +900 should age very well next week, but a loss could be a critical early blow to Allen's candidacy.
Lamar Jackson: +1200 (last week: +1000)
Week 4: at Browns
Jackson's odds dropped slightly after a loss to the Colts last week. The Ravens have been one of the most injured teams in the NFL this season, and that seems to be taking a toll on the roster. The good news for Jackson backers is that could lead to him rushing more, as his 101 yards last week were more than he had in the first two weeks combined.
The bad news is that this week, Jackson goes on the road against the best defense thus far this season in the Cleveland Browns, followed by another tough defense on the road in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Two wins, and the Ravens could be sitting pretty in the AFC North, but the path to the Ravens getting the No. 1 seed looks very difficult.
Odds courtesy Caesars Sportsbook.