Betting odds and best plays for the 2020 NFL MVP award

All of the PFN betting team's analysis for the best odds to win the 2020 NFL MVP race in one spot -- will it be a front-runner or a dark horse?

The NFL MVP award is one of the most popular season-long bets for sportsbooks. With odds for a front-runner like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the +350 range as of this writing, they are fun lottery tickets for bettors with outstanding return. A $10 wager would’ve yielded $800 if you rolled the dice on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2019, with his 80/1 preseason odds to win the 2019 NFL MVP award.

Exercise due diligence and check multiple sportsbooks, odds can fluctuate considerably depending on the two books in question. The best returns on this type of bet happen during the offseason and simply put, as the season goes on, the race becomes clearer and sportsbooks adjust accordingly. If you are a beginning bettor and would like an introduction into making bets, check this out: how to make bets and different bet types.

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Context for the 2020 NFL MVP odds landing page

Every time a PFN betting analyst or site contributor discusses odds to win the 2020 NFL MVP award, we’ll update it here. Information will be segregated into official bets and leans, with the former having a higher confidence level than the latter. Articles with official bets will have specific wagering amounts. Feel free to adjust those amounts to be in line with your own betting system.

Each article will have a short description so you know what that particular article will entail. Because the odds to win the NFL MVP award can vacillate wildly, we’ll present everything in chronological order so you can take that into context — you’ve watched the NFL, you know the narratives can change on any given Sunday.

Context for the 2020 NFL MVP award itself

As unsexy and myopic as it is, the NFL MVP race is a quarterback award that rarely goes to another position, despite football being an interdependent sport. Frustrating as it may be to your holistic view of football, focusing on quarterbacks on teams you believe will make the playoffs is the number one place to start.

Courtesy of PFN betting analyst James Aguirre:

“You have to go back to 2012 to find the last time a non-QB won this award. Adrian Peterson led the league with over 2,000 yards rushing that year. Seven years before that, LaDanian Tomlinson and Shaun Alexander set the single-season record for rushing touchdowns in back-to-back seasons.

Only a handful of other running backs have earned MVP honors since 1989. The award has been dominated by quarterbacks: in particular, those who led their teams to the playoffs. Not a single MVP recipient since 1989 had their team miss the postseason. The majority of them led their team to a division title during their MVP season.”

Last ten NFL MVP winners

  • 2019 — Lamar Jackson, QB
  • 2018 — Patrick Mahomes, QB (OddsShark had Mahomes at +10000 in April of 2018)
  • 2017 — Tom Brady, QB
  • 2016 — Matt Ryan, QB
  • 2015 — Cam Newton, QB
  • 2014 — Aaron Rodgers, QB
  • 2013 — Peyton Manning, QB
  • 2012 — Adrian Peterson, RB
  • 2011 — Aaron Rodgers, QB
  • 2010 — Tom Brady, QB

Interesting Tidbits

  • There has not been a repeat winner of the Joe F. Carr Trophy since Peyton Manning won the award back-to-back in 2008 and 2009.
  • MVP’s are 79-46 in the postseason, but an MVP has not won a championship since Kurt Warner did in 1999.
  • 14 MVP’s have received no MVP votes outside of their lone winning season.

Official bets

Published 3/22 — early look at the field and examination of front-runners and young quarterbacks — Ben Rolfe, betting analyst

Published 5/17 — deep dive on Jimmy Garoppolo’s prospects at the MVP award — James Aguirre, betting analyst

Published 5/22 — is Derrick Henry a legitimate MVP candidate? (leading the league in rushing yards prop also discussed) — Ryan Gosling, betting analyst and lead editor at PFN

Published 5/29 — NFC South MVP odds (podcast available as well) — Chris Smith, senior betting analyst

Published 6/25 — NFL MVP Award: Searching for value in a crowded field — James Aguirre, betting analyst (Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Matthew Stafford discussed)


Published 5/19 — 10 dark horse NFL MVP candidates to consider in 2020 — Cole Thompson, lead NFL writer

If you need help with betting jargon, check this out: betting terms everyone should know.

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