The favorite at sportsbooks to win the NFL's regular-season MVP award has changed in each of the past four weeks.
It's Tua Tagovailoa's turn again this week. The quarterback of the Miami Dolphins' explosive offense is once again the consensus favorite at 4-1 at Caesars Sportsbook. Kansas City's reigning MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes (11-2) and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (+800) also have spent time as the MVP favorite this season. San Francisco's Brock Purdy (6-1) has emerged as a top-tier candidate, with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts also squarely in the conversation (+800).
The odds are very much subject to change in the volatile but increasing popular MVP betting market. Sportsbook PointsBet (Fanatics) says the NFL MVP market is popular enough that it chooses to keep the odds up throughout a Sunday when numbers can move from touchdown to touchdown, and injury to injury.
"We believe a Sunday NFL slate is exactly when clients want to bet this stuff," PointsBet's head of trading Kevin Lawler told ESPN.
"We took a lot of money on Purdy this [past] week," Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading at Caesars Sportsbook, said Sunday. "From week to week, it's going to change."
"It's always been a volatile market," Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, said. "It's driven by the media, too. You could write a glowing article tonight about Zach Wilson, and we'll see action about it."
Wilson, the New York Jets quarterback, is 300-1 to win MVP at Caesars. Wilson has not attracted a single bet over the past month at Caesars.
NFL betting notables
• The betting on Sunday's NFL slate was as lopsided as it's been this season, with the betting public overwhelmingly loading up on high-profile favorites. It wouldn't go well.
Sportsbooks enjoyed their best Sunday of the season, a boon fueled by the Browns' upset of the 49ers and the Jets' upset of the Eagles. San Francisco and Philadelphia each attracted over 90% of the bets and money wagered on their respective games at multiple sportsbooks.
"Whenever you have the two teams viewed as the best in the league lose outright, it's pretty much all you need to know," Pullen of Caesars Sportsbook told ESPN. "Those two games were obviously huge. Good win on the Vikings [vs. Bears], and some of the games we lost were not huge games in comparison to what the Jets and Browns wins were. Solid day, just stands to reason."
• The Jets rallying from behind to beat the Eagles produced the biggest win of the day for the sportsbook at The Borgata, according to sportsbook director Thomas Gable.
"We took some respected Jets money, but the public was heavily backing Philly," Gable said. "[We] ended up losing on the Philly first-half spread, but everyone who cashed on that seemed to roll it right back on the Eagles in the second half, and we saw how that went. Tough day for the public with the Niners going down too."
• Unders are 11-2-1 this week entering the Monday night game between the Chargers and Cowboys. According to ESPN Stats & Information, 62.5% of games so far have stayed under the total, the highest percentage of unders through Week 6 since 1991.
• The Patriots failed to cover the spread as an underdog for a ninth straight game Sunday, the second-longest such streak in the Super Bowl era. New England was a 3-point underdog at the Las Vegas Raiders and failed to cover in a 21-17 loss, thanks, in part, to surrendering a late safety that extended the margin of defeat to four. The 1995-96 Rams own the longest streak of failing to cover as an underdog at 11 games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Embattled Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is 0-11 against the spread in his past 11 games as an underdog.
"The safety in the Patriots-Raiders game caused a six-figure swing for us that wasn't in our favor," Gable of The Borgata said.
• The Texans topped the Saints 20-13 on Sunday, one of nine games that went under to the total this weekend with the Monday night game to go. It was the 12th consecutive game involving the Saints that has gone under the total, the longest such streak in the last 35 seasons.
Week 7 opening lines [via Caesars Sportsbook]
College football betting notables
• Ohio State opened as a 6-point home favorite over Penn State at Circa Sports, an influential sportsbook that's among the first to put up weekly college football lines. The line quickly moved toward Penn State, dropping to as low as Buckeyes -4, before settling back at a consensus -4.5 by Monday morning.
Additional notable opening lines [via Circa Sports]
• Stanford's money-line odds at DraftKings were 40-1 after falling behind 29-0 to Colorado at halftime. The Cardinal rallied from behind and won 49-46 in overtime. Stanford's improbable comeback jump-started a big weekend for the sportsbooks. "There are no words for that Colorado game," Murray of the SuperBook said. "Hard to believe ... good week for house for sure."