NFL Futures Betting: Who Will Be the MVP in 2021?
The NFL Draft is over. Free agency has all but dried up. The 2021 NFL season will be here before you know it. Get excited, people.
As our eyes turn towards the coming campaign, we can begin to speculate as to who the stars of the season will be. FanDuel Sportsbook has odds on who will be the MVP in the coming season. Here are some thoughts on some players you should consider if you fancy a flutter.
(MVP facts and Stats are courtesy of https://mvpvoting.wordpress.com/)
Cases for Some Favorites
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +500
The current favorite to be named the 2021 MVP is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Putting your money on a quarterback to take this award is a safe bet, as the position has taken the honors every year since 2013. Mahomes won the award in 2018 and received two votes in 2020. As the man at the helm of one of the NFL's most explosive offenses, Mahomes should be among the favorites for the trophy for many years to come. No one else is better than +900 to win this coming year's MVP.
Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay
If you don't like Mahomes’ short odds of carrying off his second MVP, how about Tom Brady as he looks to win the prize for the fourth time? Brady was named MVP following the 2007, 2010 and 2017 seasons, the last of which saw him become the oldest player to take home the prize. Brady has received at least one MVP vote in nine different seasons in his career, the second-most behind long-time rival Peyton Manning. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expected to once again be an elite team, Brady should be in the MVP mix this fall.
Cases for Some Long Shots
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee
If a running back were to finally break the quarterback dominance of this award, surely Derrick Henry would be the best bet to be that running back. Henry was named the Offensive Player of the Year for the 2020 season, and in so doing, he became one of four winners of that award to not receive a single MVP vote. The other three were Michael Thomas (2019) and Drew Brees (2008) as well as former Tennessee Titans back Chris Johnson (2009). Could Henry once again lead the NFL in rushing and put the Titans' offense on his back? Yes, he could. But even if he does those things, he's still a long shot to win the award. However, no other running back is at better than +7500 odds (Dalvin Cook).
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville
If you're OK with getting weird, perhaps you like the odds being offered on rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Since the 1957 season, 14 first-year players have received at least one MVP vote, although you have to go back to 2008 for the last such instance (Chris Johnson again). The Jacksonville Jaguars went 1-15 last season, earning the right to select Lawrence out of Clemson. If he, under new coach Urban Meyer, can completely turn the team around in his first season, he could jump into the conversation for the MVP as the season progresses. But it would be a major shock if he did so.
Aaron Donald, DL, LA Rams
There has been only one defensive player named MVP since the award started being given out annually in 1975. That was Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants back in 1986. You have to go back to 2014 for the last instance of a defensive player even receiving a single MVP vote, with Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks earning one that year from Tony Dungy. If a current defensive player can end the dominance of the offense, the smart money would be on Aaron Donald to do it. Donald has three Defensive Player of the Year awards on his resume, including one in 2020. There are few game-wreckers in the NFL like Donald, although Donald would need a lot of things to break his way to win MVP. It'll probably go to a quarterback, won't it?
My Pick: Mahomes
If pressed, I would go with Mahomes. The actions of the Chiefs this offseason show a team geared toward ensuring greater protection for their talented signal caller. The +500 odds aren't a terrible price for a favorite, especially one with the talent of Mahomes -- not to mention the firepower at his disposal. He'd certainly be the man getting my buck. They don't call me the last of the highrollers for nothing, you know.