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Derrick Henry is the NFL MVP longshot you should be betting on

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

August 6th, 2021

The National Football League preseason is now upon us, and it’s as good a time as any to test the waters with some fun future wagers. We’ve already got a full slate of odds on which player will hoist the Most Valuable Player trophy at the end of the season, and there’s a legitimately fun value on the board at the moment.

MVP 2021/2022

Sat, February 12 2022, 10:00 PM

Mahomes, Patrick

+450

Rodgers, Aaron

+700

Allen, Josh (Bills)

+800

Brady, Tom

+1000

Jackson, Lamar

+1500

Wilson, Russell

+1500

Prescott, Dak

+1600

Stafford, Matthew

+1600

Herbert, Justin

+2000

Murray, Kyler

+2000

The NFL is obviously a passing league. This is reflected in the MVP odds, as the first 15 names on the list (and, by extension, the 15 shortest prices) are all quarterbacks. However, name number 16 is the one that draws my attention, and it’s a familiar one.

Henry is just hitting his stride

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns a season ago, and both of those totals led the league. At age 27, he should still have plenty of gas left in the tank, and with Tennessee’s acquisition of all-world wide receiver Julio Jones, it’s not as though opposing defenses can simply stack the box and dare Ryan Tannehill to throw the ball.

Henry’s odds are a juicy +5,000, and that strikes me as being a great value. Is it unlikely Henry wins the trophy? Perhaps. Only one non-quarterback has won the award since 2007. That happened in 2012, when Minnesota Vikings back Adrian Peterson threatened Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing record.

Henry has been a model of consistency

Even with that distinction, though, Peterson finished with 2,097 yards and 12 rushing scores in that campaign. Henry fell just 70 yards short of that mark last season while finding the end zone five more times. There isn’t that much difference between the two seasons. Furthermore, Henry will play an extra game this season due to the new 17-game slate. If the Titans star is able to surpass Peterson, Dickerson, and all the rest, his success may prove tough to deny.

I wouldn’t touch Henry at lower than +3,000. As mentioned, the voting is historically skewed to favor quarterbacks. However, +5,000 just seems like too big of a price. I’ll gladly take a small shot at that number and hope Henry has a historic season that’s too much for voters to ignore.

NFL MVP Pick: Derrick Henry (+5,000)

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