No second-year quarterback has led his team to the Super Bowl since Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, something Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles hopes to do this season after a promising rookie year.
Wentz has led the Eagles on a league-best five-game winning streak and has emerged as one of the favorites on the odds to win NFL MVP at +300 (bet $100 to win $300) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Only two-time NFL MVP Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has lower odds at +200 heading into Week 8 of the season. Wentz has become the best signal-caller in the NFC with Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers injured and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons mired in a slump.
Ryan won the award last year, but has struggled with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian taking over for Kyle Shanahan, who is now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He is listed at +5000 to repeat and has thrown just seven touchdowns and six interceptions, which is one fewer pick than he had all of last year.
Wentz currently leads the league in touchdown passes with 17, two more than Brady and Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith is the +500 third choice to win NFL MVP honors for the first time followed by Wilson (+700). In addition, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and rookie Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans are each +1600 and have performed well through the first seven weeks.
Whichever team ends up with the league's best record might well see their quarterback walk away with the MVP award.
However, two running backs also have to be considered in the conversation based on how valuable they are—the true definition of MVP. Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams have carried each of their team's offenses and have been outstanding receivers out of the backfield as well. Bell has 33 receptions and Gurley 27, and they rank second and third in the NFL in rushing, respectively.
They are both +2500 to win MVP along with another pair of quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions and Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys.