Here is how I would invest $100 for this year’s MVP award. There are some nice value spots in quarterbacks on playoff teams. I typically fade the favorite when betting futures and try to find the best player on teams destined for regular season success.
ANDREW LUCK (12-1) $30 to win $360
Luck will be bouncing back from an injury riddled 2015 season in which he played 7 games and never got into a rhythm. In 2014 Luck lit up the league with 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Most of that year Luck was the front-runner for the award, before Aaron Rodgers surpassed him with less mistakes and more wins.
At age 26, he is entering his prime and should win multiple MVP awards, 12-1 seems like a great price to pounce on.
ELI MANNING (25-1) $20 to win $500
The Giants addressed their defensive issues this offseason which should lead to more field time for Eli. Ben McAdoo moves from offensive coordinator to head coach, so you can expect Manning’s passing numbers to be very similar to the 600+ pass attempts of his past two seasons.
Manning has yet to win the award at age 35 but has enjoyed his greatest statistical seasons the past two years. Eli has played all 16 games every year besides his rookie season, an enormous model of consistency. The only downfall of this bet is his proclivity for extremely high interception totals.
TONY ROMO (25-1) $20 to win $500
The Cowboys are all around healthy and have added a 3-down back in the draft with Ezekiel Elliot. They have the top offensive line in the league, boasting 3 all-pros to protect Romo. This division is up for grabs and Romo will have less pressure to force things with Elliot in tow.
The Cowboys thinnest position is by far wide receiver, with Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley behind Dez Bryant on the depth chart. It will be interesting to see if Witten and Elliot can become consistent enough to help alleviate Bryant’s defensive attention. In 2014 the Cowboys narrowly lost to the Packers (on an overturned Dez catch) missing out on an NFC championship appearance. Winning the NFC East and securing a top playoff seed can be enough to win Romo the award.
ADRIAN PETERSON (33-1) $25 to win $825
The Vikings are quietly very good after producing an 11-5 season. They have a top defense and stifle opponents offensive momentum by feeding Peterson a heavy workload. Locked in for 300+ carries, Peterson can easily produce 1500+ rushing yards and 12+ touchdowns.
This is great value at 33-1 for an all-time great that is by no means past his prime and guaranteed a heavy workload.
DEREK CARR (50-1) $5 to win $250
The Raiders are the Cinderella team for the 2016 season. A great mix of savvy veterans and elite young stars. They have three top players in QB Derek Carr, WR Amari Cooper, and LB Khalil Mack. Carr produced a phenomenal sophomore campaign with 32 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions. He is a gutsy player who has drawn comparisons to Brett Favre for his style of play.
I believe the AFC is up for grabs with Tom Brady’s 4 game suspension, and 50-1 for a proven quarterback on a dangerous team seems like a nice longshot.
DON’T FALL FOR
J.J. WATT (25-1) The new face of the NFL will have to crush the all-time sack record AND make the Texans relevant to win the award, 25-1 is purely based on his popularity.
ROB GRONKOWSKI (66-1) Brady’s 4 game absence may equate to more targets for Gronk, but the signing of proven free agent TE Martellus Bennett could eat into Gronk’s red zone success.
ANY WIDE RECEIVER (66-1+) No receiver has ever won the award, a nod to the importance of the quarterback position. The only way I see this changing is if a wide-out breaks the all time receptions record, via a turnover prone quarterback.
Take a flier on Antonio Brown (66-1) and Julio Jones(100-1) if you can’t help yourself, both threatened Marvin Harrison’s 143 catch season, with 136 each last year.