Tonight’s Monday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs is far from short on storylines to say the least. Most notably, it’s last year’s Super Bowl rematch, the current leaders in both the AFC and NFC, and of course, the Kelce Bowl.
One narrative falling a bit under the radar, however, is that Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are currently neck-and-neck in NFL MVP odds at the moment. The winner of tonight’s game will inevitably come away as the new betting favorite, but who is the better bet for the rest of the season?
NFL MVP Odds: Jalen Hurts Is the Current Betting Favorite
The NFL MVP odds indicate that the sportsbooks anticipate this being an extremely competitive race for the rest of the season. However, currently at DraftKings Sportsbook, Hurts is the sole favorite.
Odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook
- Jalen Hurts (+280)
- Patrick Mahomes/Lamar Jackson (+330)
- Tua Tagovailoa (+500)
- C.J. Stroud (+1800)
- Brock Purdy/Christian McCaffrey (+2000)
Should Patrick Mahomes Be Favored Over Hurts?
Like when LeBron James was at the peak of his powers, you could argue that Mahomes is deserving of winning NFL MVP every season. He is undisputedly the best player in the sport and, without a doubt, the most valuable to his team.
But expectations for Mahomes are considerably high. And for his standards, is he having an MVP-caliber season?
Statistically, Mahomes is having another spectacular year, but he’s currently on track to have career lows in touchdowns, yards per game, yards per attempt, and QB rating over the course of an entire season. He’s also on pace to throw for a career high in interceptions.
Mahomes is also far from the only deserving candidate this season, with Hurts having a terrific case to win the award. For the second year in a row, Hurts has led the Eagles to an 8-1 start and is in great position to secure the top seed in the NFC.
Statistically, there hasn’t been much of a drop off from his breakout 2022 season, either. Hurts is on pace to surpass his passing yards per game, completion percentage, and touchdowns from a year ago.
Who Is the Better MVP Bet Moving Forward?
Even if there are seven weeks left in the regular season, tonight’s game will be pivotal in deciding the favorite going into next week. For Hurts, improving the Eagles’ record to 9-1 and a 2-0 start against a gauntlet of a schedule against the Cowboys (twice), Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, and Seahawks would improve his case even further.
Meanwhile, if Mahomes leads the Chiefs to victory, it will just strengthen the argument that he is by far the most valuable player in the league and, therefore, should win the award as long as he stays healthy and Kansas City occupies the top seed in the AFC.
Both quarterbacks are currently at the top of their respective conferences. And although there are still plenty of games left to be played, the MVP has been awarded to a quarterback on a top-seeded team for six consecutive seasons and to a team with a first-round bye for 10 consecutive seasons.
Although this is a narrative-driven award, with just two repeat winners this century working against Mahomes after he won last season, he still feels like the safer bet at the moment.
Hurts has a better argument for being the first-half MVP, but with the Eagles’ difficult remaining schedule, I’m more confident in the Chiefs securing a first-round bye, with Mahomes then winning almost by default.
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