Does Mahomes Deserve To Be Favored In NFL MVP Odds?

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TwinSpires Staff

October 19th, 2018

Patrick Mahomes has taken this league by storm. No player this season has seen their NFL MVP odds improve so dramatically than Mahomes, who began as a +8000 longshot and is now the favorite in the market heading in to Week 7. To put this in to perspective, Mahomes was graded in the preseason with odds equal to Blake Bortles, Mitch Trubisky and LeSean McCoy. Are his new odds worth taking, and are there better players worth betting on?


Player Team


Week 7 Odds

Notable Stat
Patrick Mahomes (QB) KC +8000 +250 1st in Touchdowns (18)
Drew Brees (QB) NO +300 +300 1st in QB Rating (122.3)
Todd Gurley (RB) LAR +400 +400 1st in Rush Yrds, TD’s
Tom Brady (QB) NE +800 +800 3x NFL MVP
Aaron Rodgers (QB) GB +900 +900 2nd in Pass Yrds (1,997)
Jared Goff (QB) LAR +1600 +1600 6th in QB Rating, 4th in Pass Yrds
Mahomes has been the most impressive player during the 2018 campaign. But the word "impressive" implies some nuanced factors, and one of those is that his outburst was completely unexpected. I'm refrencing those +8000 preseason odds. The biggest knock on Mahomes is that he's playing with an unbelievably talented team. You know who else had great stats through six games on this team? Alex Smith. Look at Smith's numbers from last season compared to the guy that replaced him:

Mahomes (2018) - 1,865 yards / 63.7 % / 18 TD / 4 INT / 112.20 RAT Smith (2017) - 1,637 Yards / 73.1 % / 12 TD / 0 INT / 119.03 RAT

Want to know something else crazy about Smith in 2017 and Mahomes in 2018? They both started 5-1 SU.

Smith and Mahomes are entirely different quarterbacks, which is only important to mention because it credits Andy Reid's ability to adapt his system to whomever's under center more than anything else. It's fair to note that Smith is a former first overall pick that has a ton of experience, but he never had the downfield arm talent that Mahomes has. Frankly, I don't think anyone outside of Aaron Rodgers has had the canon that Mahomes has strapped to his shoulder. It's unbelievable.

The sad fact about Mahomes as the leader in NFL MVP odds is that he doesn't present great value. The Chiefs are going to be a contending team, but are suffering due to a defense that has routinely ranked as one of the worst in the league. The Chiefs get the Bengals on Sunday Night and will continue to be a lights out offensive circus, mostly because they have to with a defense that allows 28.7 against.

Wouldn't you rather take a shot at Tom Brady's +800 number, considering that he could have a second-half outburst for the ages as he gels with Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman? What about Todd Gurley, who absolutely deserved to win the award last year? Gurley is on pace to crest 2,000 total yards again and is also on track to score well over 20+ touchdowns.

Betting on the NFL MVP odds for a mid-season favorite have usually never panned out, and the more people delve in to the Andy Reid as a coach who simply knows how to put a quarterback in a position to succeed. Brady at +800 offers the most assured value, while Brees actually feels like a stronger play with tight odds. Brees will be literally setting records every time he throws the ball this year, and is the second favorite at +300. Now's as good a time as any to mention that Brees has never won the award before.

Simply put, there's better value in this futures market. Mahomes probably deserves to be favored at this point to a certain extent, but he's not putting up a season that is discernibly more jaw dropping than Gurley or Brees.