As fans pour over the recent release of the 2022 NFL schedule, bettors took a look at the opening NFL odds for Week 1. Sharps are also keeping a close eye on the odds for the league’s many postseason awards, as potential value for these bets could pop up with any shift in the line.
The most prestigious of those awards is league MVP. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers enters his 18th NFL season coming off of his second straight (and fourth overall) Most Valuable Player honor, but he does so without his top passing target. That’s opened the door for other quarterbacks to lead early in the 2022 MVP odds race.
The players in the running for this honor captain teams with some of the best NFL Futures odds heading into the season. Here’s a look at the early odds for the 2022 AP NFL Most Valuable Player award, including five favorites and a couple longshots to consider.
The NFL Most Valuable Player award gets presented to the league’s most deserving candidate by the Associated Press every year, but the honor is almost exclusively for quarterbacks at this point. The last non-QB to win the award was Adrian Peterson (2012). Since 2001, only three non-quarterbacks took home the honor, and each was a running back. Only two defensive players and one kicker have ever won.
Only five players sport odds of 10/1 or better, and each of those is a starting quarterback on a contending team with solid Super Bowl odds.
Josh Allen +700 (consensus)
The Bills and Josh Allen enter the 2022 season with a ton of hype. Buffalo holds the best AFC Championship odds and expects to make another run to the Super Bowl. Allen comes in following a down year by his standards, but still put up 4,407 passing yards with 36 touchdowns. He did throw 15 interceptions, but balanced that with over 700 rushing yards and six rushing TDs.
It’s Allen’s dual-threat nature that has him leading in the early NFL MVP odds. It also helps that he threw nine touchdowns on 637 passing yards with zero INTs in the playoffs. Allen sits at +700 in most sportsbooks, including Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
Patrick Mahomes +750 (Caesars)
Mahomes remains near the top of the leader board for early NFL MVP odds thanks in large part to his consistent production over the last few seasons. While he’s coming off a down year by his standards, Mahomes still excelled with 4,839 passing yards and 37 touchdowns, but he did throw a career-high 13 interceptions and fumbled nine times.
FanDuel shows Allen and Mahomes as co-favorites at +700. Caesars lists Mahomes slightly behind Allen at +750, with the trade of Tyreek Hill fading his earliest odds. DraftKings actually set Mahomes at +900, though if he produces his late-season run from last year (9 touchdowns on 2,746 yards over his final 10 games) he should make a run for this award.
Tom Brady +800 (FanDuel)
Brady returned to the Bucs following a brief retirement this offseason, noting “unfinished business” as his primary motivator. Brady’s a three-time AP NFL MVP and even held +4500 odds after going into retirement. Once he announced his return, Brady’s odds improved dramatically, jumping to +800 at FanDuel, +900 at Caesars, and +1000 at DraftKings.
Brady helped improved Tampa Bay’s NFC Championship odds with his return. That isn’t a surprise, considering the 44-year-old threw for a career-high 5,316 passing yards and led the league with 43 passing touchdowns.
Aaron Rodgers +1000 (consensus)
Rodgers holds +1000 at most sportsbooks, including Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel, among others. He opened as a co-favorite for the award back in February, but he’s since seen his odds fade from +700 to where they sit now.
Rodgers seeks to tie Peyton Manning for the most NFL MVP awards at five with another stellar season. The 10-time Pro Bowler overcame a toe injury last year to throw for 4,115 yards and 37 touchdowns with just four interceptions over 16 games. But the loss of Davante Adams and other reliable wideouts makes Rodgers more of an underdog than in recent years when he’s captained one of the league’s most potent passing attacks.
Justin Herbert +1000 (DraftKings)
Herbert’s inclusion on the shortlist for best NFL MVP odds shows this is a numbers driven league. Herbert put up 5,014 passing yards and a franchise-record 38 touchdowns in his second season, earning his first Pro Bowl berth along the way. He did all that behind a subpar offensive line, which has been bolstered in the offseason. The Chargers also made it a point to re-sign Herbert’s favorite targets, hoping the third-year quarterback can continue his ascent.
To call Burrow a longshot for the NFL MVP award at +1300 odds is a stretch, but he’s squarely behind the favorites at this point. After throwing for over 4,600 yards and 34 touchdowns, leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl, Burrow won the Comeback Player of the Year award. That’s notable here because he started last season well behind the favorites for that award, too. Cincinnati improved their dreadful offensive line this offseason, so Burrow’s numbers should only improve in Year 3.
Jonathan Taylor checks in as a solid +5000 longshot in most sportsbooks, including Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. After leading the league in rushing (1,811) rushing touchdowns (18), and total touchdowns (20), he likely would’ve been the NFL MVP had the award gone to a non-quarterback. It’s been nine years since a non-QB took home this honor, and with Matt Ryan now the signal caller in Indy, there’s a legitimate chance Taylor remains in the mix for this award.
The longest of longshots on this list is Davante Adams. The Las Vegas Raiders traded for the 29-year-old wideout, and there’s little doubt he’ll be Derek Carr’s top target this season. After eight productive seasons helping Aaron Rodgers win this award in Green Bay, if Adams balls out this season, he might very well merit consideration for the award. Carr sports shorter NFL MVP odds (+2500), but Adams could be the first wide receiver to win the award.
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