What we all love about the NFL is there’s always something to talk about, no matter the time of the season. It should be a dead period of news, but we have 2021 CBA negotiation discussion and now, NFL MVP talk thanks to Louis Riddick.
Earlier this week, Riddick proclaimed his 2019 NFL MVP winner to be Carson Wentz:
QB Carson Wentz will be the #nfl #mvp for the 2019 season. Just wanted to put that out there on this spectacular holiday. You’re welcome. #eagles— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) May 27, 2019
Fortune favors the bold and this is a bold prediction. Now, I can vibe with bold predictions, especially when we put some odds behind it. Wentz is +1600 to take home the NFL MVP award, according to odds released by FanDuel earlier this month. That would give Wentz the seventh-best odds to win this award.
While Wentz is talented (duh) and has weapons plus that outstanding Eagles offensive line, he’s proven that staying healthy is an issue. His back isn’t stable and an awkward hit to the area could put him on injured reserve again. I can’t lay my money on him, so who do I put the money on? Let’s go over it.
Patrick Mahomes +600
Mahomes is the favorite to win again after taking home the 2018 MVP award. He lit the NFL on fire last season with 50 touchdowns and more than 5,000 yards passing. Only two other quarterbacks have thrown 50 touchdown passes in a season. The first was Tom Brady in 2007 and the second was Peyton Manning in 2013. Neither followed up with the same type of production the next season (though Brady was injured in 2008).
I expect Mahomes to have a slight drop-off as well. Mahomes could be without Tyreek Hill, too. If Hill is out, Mahomes will still complete a high percent of passes, but the big yards after the catch could disappear. Secondly, teams have spent all offseason trying to figure out ways to stop Mahomes. I wouldn’t put my money on Mahomes.
Andrew Luck +900
Luck is a baller. We know this. However, he’s never put up MVP-type numbers in his career. Can he do it this season? Yes, he could. Last season, with a new offense and coming off an injury, he threw for nearly 4,600 yards, 39 touchdowns, and completed 67 percent of passes. Luck needs to add five or six touchdowns and 400 yards, and he will have the numbers.
However, I worry about the Colts’ record. The last six quarterback MVPs have guided teams who have at least played in their conference title games. Are the Colts ready for that yet? They won’t be the favorite against the Chiefs or Patriots. While Luck can play at a MVP level, I wouldn’t bet on him winning the award either.
Drew Brees +1000
Nope. It’s clear Drew Brees is finally starting to show his age — just a bit. Plus, the Saints have become a more balanced offense with their rushing attack. In 2016, Brees threw 673 times for 5,208 yards. In 2017, he was down to 536 attempts and 4,334 yards. Last season, he had only 489 attempts for 3,992 yards. His numbers are going the opposite direction.
Tom Brady +1000
There’s always value in betting on Tom Brady, or the Patriots to win anything, but I don’t think the money on Brady is wise in this situation. Brady is breaking in a rookie wide receiver, and with the emergence of a rushing attack, he won’t be tasked with carrying the entire offense.
Aaron Rodgers +1200
This is where I’m putting my money. Aaron Rodgers is primed for a monster season and you’re getting supreme value in this pick. He’s finally in a new offense and it will refresh his play. While they might be lacking in weapons with household names, this offense should provide ways for their receivers to get open. The Packers have outstanding pass-protecting tackles that will keep Rodgers upright. Their defense is greatly improved and it will lead to more victories. If the Packers win the NFC North (I think they do), Rodgers wins the MVP award.
Baker Mayfield +1500
I’ve discussed this at length. I’m at a wait-and-see approach with the Browns. It continues with this play.
Carson Wentz +1600
I think there’s a lot of value in this pick. Wentz is coming off injury and is undervalued. He’s still a great talent at quarterback and the Eagles have reloaded on offense. Wentz’s issue is health, but at +1600 there is value on a Wentz wager.
If you’re looking for a non-quarterback to win the MVP award, it’s Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott at +3400. The last running back to win the MVP was Adrian Peterson in 2012 after rushing for 2,097 yards. That is the kind of season-long performance Elliott would need to win the award. With Cowboys center Travis Frederick back, it’s possible. Defenses will have to play the Cowboys more straight up with their pass catchers, and it should allow for fewer defenders in the box against Zeke. This would be the only bet I’d make on a non-quarterback.