With the NFL regular season winding its way towards December and eventually the postseason in January and February, the focus on postseason awards has intensified. Just as is the case with Champions League predictions on the pitch, markets are volatile and ever changing. In American football with the prevalence of injuries, markets can shift in an instant and provide golden closing line value for some and disaster for others.
In this piece, we will use some of the same basic concepts when making Champions League picks, to handicap who is not only the best bet to come away with the NFL MVP but at this point who represents the best value and may be worth taking a shot on. In betting on futures, sometimes when there is an overwhelming favorite, it’s okay to just sit out the wager or try and take a shot and find some value and be ahead of market movements.
Given the pivotal role a quarterback plays and has on the success of a football team, it isn’t shocking in the least that since 2000, just four non-signal callers have won the award and since 2012, only quarterbacks have captured it. Therefore, when studying contenders, even if there’s a price you like for a non-quarterback, we’d recommend sticking with the signal callers given the past history and behavior of the voters frequently rewarding strong QB play.
The current, and short-priced favorite, to win the award is Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes, the 2018 MVP who currently is priced anywhere from + 125 to + 150. Mahomes has been on fire as of late, putting up a pair of 400+ yard performances. In Weeks 7-10 (Chiefs were on a bye Week 8), he tossed eight touchdown passes as his team won three in a row, bouncing back from a home defeat to Buffalo.
At this point, given his short price and the Chiefs relatively benign late-season schedule, we’d recommend sitting this one out. In early October Mahomes was 5-1; that was the time to take him. Now, in our estimation, it’s either sit out the wager or wait for it to fluctuate up somewhat.
Three In Single Digits
A trio of signal callers are currently priced in single digits. Just as is the case when looking to turn a profit with Champions League predictions today, value is the name of the game. The players in this bracket are Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts of the Eagles and Buffalo’s Josh Allen. We can say with almost absolute certainty that if Mahomes does not come away with the award, one of these players will.
In terms of knowing when to buy, now is the time to put down money on Allen. Like a stock that has fallen but you know is going to make a comeback, the Bills QB, should his elbow continue to heal, can be a major factor down the stretch.
In late October and even early November, Allen was priced lower than Mahomes is now at +120 in most places. The obvious reason for the market shift was his injury and corresponding negligible dip in performance. Here is our take on Allen and his chances: right now his price (6-1) is ripe for the picking. For bettors that place the wager they need to hope for two things, firstly that the elbow injury isn’t as bad as people say and that Allen will regain his early-season form and the Bills will start winning again. Secondly, a slight regression on Mahomes. part is needed.
With four divisional games remaining, two at home and two on the road, the time is now for Buffalo to live up to their potential and begin to reel off win after win. If they’re able to do that, Allen will likely be a catalyst for it and hence, his chances of coming away with the award will increase making the bet at the current odds of 6-1 a prudent play.
While Hurts and Tagovailoa have done nothing wrong, it is our feeling that they don’t possess nearly the same upside as Allen and while their teams are winning, both quarterbacks are surrounded with elite skill position talent and strong defenses and are not as pivotal to their team’s fortunes as Allen or Mahomes is.