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Lamar Jackson is being overlooked in NFL MVP race

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

November 9th, 2021

We’re about halfway through the 2021 National Football League season, and the race for the Most Valuable Player award is beginning to take shape. Just last month, gamblers had 40 players to choose from at +25000 or shorter, led by Kyler Murray at +500. That number’s now down to 18.

Quarterbacks are dominating the MVP conversation

Predictably, almost all of those players are quarterbacks. Josh Allen and Tom Brady are co-favored at +400, with Murray close behind at +450. Of the top 18 choices, only two aren’t under center; Cooper Kupp can be had at +15000, while DeAndre Hopkins sits at +25000.

MVP 2021/2022

Sat, February 12 2022, 10:00 PM

Allen, Josh

+400

Brady, Tom

+400

Murray, Kyler

+450

Stafford, Matthew

+700

Prescott, Dak

+800

Rodgers, Aaron

+1100

Jackson, Lamar

+1400

Herbert, Justin

+2000

Tannehill, Ryan

+3300

Mahomes, Patrick

+4000

Allen and Brady are logical, though Allen definitely took a hit with Buffalo’s stunning 9-6 loss to lowly Jacksonville on Saturday. If you’re looking for a bigger price, though, one can be had in the form of a former MVP that’s currently on the board at +1400.

Jackson has the Ravens flying high

I’m referring to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who’s helped lead his team to a 6-2 mark through eight games. That’s the second-best record in the AFC behind the Tennessee Titans, who will have to find a way forward without all-world running back Derrick Henry.

Jackson currently sits ninth in the league in passing yards, but as we all know, that’s only part of his appeal. His 600 rushing yards put him sixth in the entire league, ahead of premier running backs like Dalvin Cook (eighth), Alvin Kamara (11th), and Aaron Jones (12th). Consider this: From the quarterback position, Jackson has more rushing yards on his own than starting running backs D’Andre Swift and Josh Jacobs have combined.

Jackson should feast on the Dolphins on TNF

Baltimore’s remaining schedule isn’t the easiest, and they play in one of the tougher divisions in football. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Cincinnati are all solid teams capable of putting together big performances every week. However, Jackson and the Ravens face the below-average Miami Dolphins on Thursday before getting a few extra days to prepare for a trip to Chicago to play the Bears. These are both exploitable matchups for Jackson, and if he has a few big games, that +1400 price figures to come down.

If you like Jackson’s chances, I’d urge you to get that price while you can. If Baltimore keeps winning behind their quarterback’s arm and legs, I have to imagine many MVP voters will notice.

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