In more than half of the 48 Super Bowls ever played, the winning quarterback has taken home MVP honors. That would explain why Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks are the top two favorites in sports books' Super Bowl XLIX MVP odds.
Last year, Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith became just the ninth defensive player to win the award (Harvey Martin and Randy White were Super Bowl XII co-MVPs) thanks mostly to a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave his team a 22-0 halftime lead on its way to a 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Brady is the 8/5 favorite to win his third Super Bowl MVP at sports books monitored by OddsShark.com, having previously won the award in the Patriots' Super Bowl wins in 2002 and 2004. If he or Wilson (7/2) took home the hardware, it would mark the 27th time a quarterback has won Super Bowl MVP; in addition to Brady, Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, and Eli Manning have won it multiple times. Montana has won a record three MVPs to go along with his four Super Bowl rings, and Brady would likely tie both of his idol’s marks with a win over the Seahawks on Feb. 1.
The other top candidates to win MVP at Super Bowl XLIX are Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch (4/1), New England tight end Rob Gronkowski (9/1), and New England running back LeGarrette Blount (12/1). Gronkowski is trying to become the first tight end in Super Bowl history to win MVP, while Lynch or Blount could be the first running back to claim the award since Terrell Davis of the Denver Broncos won it in 1998. Davis is surprisingly one of only seven rushers ever to win MVP, with Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys in 1994 and Ottis Anderson of the New York Giants in 1991 being the only other backs to earn it in the past 30 years.
Bettors looking for a long shot within the 2015 Super Bowl MVP odds might consider wagering on Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis (33/1) or Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (50/1), both of whom are healthy and figure to play key roles in helping shut down the opposition. Revis' skills as a cover corner will be examined closely next to his Seattle counterpart Richard Sherman, who has built a reputation as one of the league's premier shutdown cornerbacks. Meanwhile, Wagner will not only be called upon to assist against the run but may also be responsible for holding Gronkowski in check.