Mahomes (+500) is the clear heavy favorite, well out in front of No. 2 co-favorites Rodgers and Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen (+1000).
Here’s a look at the complete NFL MVP odds from DraftKings as the date for training camp openings closes in:
|Player||2021 NFL MVP odds|
|Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs||+500|
|Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers||+1000|
|Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills||+1000|
|Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks||+1400|
|Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys||+1400|
|Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams||+1600|
|Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1600|
|Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers||+1800|
|Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens||+1800|
|Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals||+2000|
|Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans||+2500|
|Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings||+2500|
|Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans||+3500|
|Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns||+3500|
|Jameis Winston, QB, New Orleans Saints||+3500|
|Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons||+3500|
|Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals||+4000|
|Carson Wentz, QB, Indianapolis Colts||+4000|
|Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers||+4000|
|Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins||+4000|
NFL MVP odds 2021: Breaking down biggest favorites
It didn’t even matter that Rodgers wasn’t given any new weapons to play with prior to last year. He used the fact that Green Bay drafted his eventual successor, Jordan Love, as motivation if anything, and put up probably his best season ever.
Once again, the Packers have failed to make any meaningful additions on offense. They should be feeling more heat to capitalize on Rodgers’ prime and earn more than one Super Bowl win, but alas. Whatever the circumstances in 2021, expect another monster showing from Green Bay’s golden-armed QB.
As good as Allen was when he took the biggest Year 3 leap in development seen at the position in NFL history, it feels like he’s destined to take at least a slight step back. If he maintained the level of play he showed in 2020, it’d be a stunning achievement.
While Stafford should benefit greatly in moving Detroit to the Los Angeles Rams, it’s bold to have him tied with the GOAT himself, Tom Brady. Consider, too, that Brady just played all of 2020 on a torn MCL and was still among the league’s elite QBs.
Well, maybe Brady’s success is foreshadowing how Stafford will thrive with much a better supporting cast around him under the watch of an offensive guru in Rams coach Sean McVay.
The concern regarding his MVP candidacy really isn’t whether Stafford can pick up McVay’s system. Stafford just isn’t the same type of dual-threat playmaker who can pile up yards on the ground like, say, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray or Russell Wilson.
Bottom line: Mahomes is the man to beat for a reason. He won the award in his first full year as a starter in 2018. Two full years removed from that, there’s no reason why Mahomes shouldn’t be considered the favorite. He’s due.
NFL MVP odds 2021: Best value among dark horses
Circling back to Brady, Tampa Bay is returning all its starters from the offense that won the Super Bowl last season, so TB12 seems like a really good MVP value play at +1600.
Brady might get an honorary, almost ceremonial MVP nod, even if other players put up slightly better numbers. That’s partially because he played at such an elite level in 2020 despite Father Time and pretty much every factor stacked against him to adjust quickly and thrive to such a degree.
With more time to get on the same page with everyone, it stands to reason Brady can improve on a 2020 campaign that saw him finish third in the NFL with 4,633 passing yards and 40 touchdown tosses.
Moving further down the line, how about Justin Herbert at +1800? Although he’s transitioning to a new offense, many didn’t believe Herbert had the wherewithal to play as an NFL rookie last year. We all saw how that misguided prognostication turned out.
As long as the Los Angeles Chargers’ upgraded offensive line holds up well enough, Herbert should be in ideal position to be a legitimate MVP candidate.
Among the true long shots, Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns isn’t a horrible bet at +3500. He’ll be in the best situation among the other QBs with those odds. It’s just a question of whether he’ll get enough opportunities to air it out, since Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt form arguably the NFL’s best backfield tandem.