2021 NFL MVP Odds: Chiefs Star Mahomes Favored

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Updated: April 15, 2021

It’s never too early to look at the NFL MVP odds race, especially with free agency now behind us. Though the season is still five months away, the NFL MVP favorites are becoming clear.

Who will win the award? Will Aaron Rodgers retain his NFL MVP crown next season or can Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes win again? Both are among the current NFL MVP odds leaders but the field is deep and tight.

Let’s take a look at the odds to win NFL MVP and see what the betting board looks like in April. 

Odds to win NFL MVP

Player Odds to win
Patrick Mahomes +600
Aaron Rodgers +800
Josh Allen +1,300
Tom Brady +1,400
Matthew Stafford +1,400
Lamar Jackson +1,600
Dak Prescott  +1,600
Kyler Murray +2,000
Russell Wilson +2,000
Justin Herbert +2,500
Ryan Tannehill +2,500
Derrick Henry +3,300
Christian McCaffrey +3,300
DeShaun Watson +3,300
Carson Wentz +3,300
Baker Mayfield +4,000
Joe Burrow +5,000
Kirk Cousins +5,000
Cam Newton +5,000
Derek Carr +6,000
Jalen Hurts +6,000
Tua Tagovailoa +6,000
Jamies Winston +6,000
Dalvin Cook +6,600
Trevor Lawrence +6,600
Matt Ryan +8,000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of April 15, 2021.

Favorites to win NFL MVP

A Super Bowl loss that saw Patrick Mahomes forced to operate as a one-man army did little to dissuade oddsmakers ahead of 2021. The Chiefs’ signal-caller is the early favorite to win the second MVP of his career, sitting at +600 odds after finishing third in the MVP race in 2020. Kansas City will see the majority of its offense return in ’21, as well as the offensive coaching staff, setting Mahomes up for an MVP run.

Despite eventually running away with the 2020 MVP award, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers finds himself second on the odds board to begin 2021 at +800. After Green Bay drafted his potential successor, Jordan Love, in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Rodgers put together one of the finest seasons of his Hall of Fame career. It will be difficult for Rodgers, 38, to replicate his 2020 campaign, but if last season taught us anything, it’s to not bet against the three-time MVP. 

Rounding out the Top 3 behind Mahomes and Rodgers is swashbuckling Bills quarterback Josh Allen (+1,300), who finished as the runner-up in 2020. The arrival of All-Pro wideout Stefon Diggs and a jump in accuracy at all three levels of the field last season saw Allen make the leap from “calamitous Cam Newton” to a near replica of Newton’s MVP-level play during the middle part of last decade. If his steady growth is any indication, Allen will be in the MVP conversation for years to come.

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl victory in his first season with the team, and new Rams QB Matthew Stafford are next at +1,400. The highest non-QB on the odds board is Titans running back Derrick Henry at +3,300.

How to bet futures odds

Futures betting is different than betting on an individual game because you need to consider the long haul as opposed to a single event. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when betting futures odds.  

Change your strategy at different points in the season

While some futures bets must be placed before the season begins and are then removed off the board (such as team win totals), other wagers will change odds as the season goes on.

If you are wagering money on a futures bet with changing odds keep in mind that there is less variance at the beginning of the season (when more players and teams are still in contention) and more variance as the season goes on (when teams and players at the top separate themselves from those at the bottom). 

In the preseason and beginning of the season, betting on dark horses can prove very profitable. But as the season continues, expect to see odds tighten around the favorites. At that point it becomes wise to focus on the players near the top of the odds board and betting big underdogs is practically like giving your money away.

Look for value with underdogs

While the bigger names tend to be strong MVP betting favorites, there are also live long shots that can provide tremendous value. Look at younger players on the verge of breaking out, or guys that have already been playing at a high level but could take the next step now that they are in an ideal situation with a new team, coach or system. 

Other players that can give a great payout are established stars coming off under-performing seasons due to injuries or other factors. If you’re lucky you might be able to catch them in a bounce-back year.  

 

Follow the narrative

When placing futures bets on individual awards, keep in mind that voters, not a scoreboard are often the deciding factor. Voters can be influenced by a variety of factors, including media coverage and public opinion. Consider what the media narrative is for a particular season and which players they seem to be rooting for and against. 

For example, in LeBron James’ first season in Miami he was viewed as a villain or heel by the media and Derrick Rose, who ended up winning MVP, was the perfect foil for that. When Ron Dayne won the Heisman trophy back in 1999 it was viewed by many as a well-deserved reward for his entire career at Wisconsin.  

Research historical trends

Historical trends, especially recent ones, can give you a good idea of which way voters tend to lean. 

The NBA MVP, for example, almost always goes to a player on the best or second-best regular-season team in the league. While the NFL MVP has been handed out to a quarterback in 12 of the last 13 seasons. 

Identifying those trends is a good way to separate the true contenders from the pretenders.

Where can I bet on NFL awards?

Most online books and casinos offer futures bets on NFL awards and odds generally begin to appear after free agency and the NFL Draft. Check out the NFL futures odds at the best sportsbooks available where you live. 


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