Surprisingly, a second-year quarterback is now favored to win NFL MVP honors over a 40-year-old future Hall of Famer.
Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) is the even-money betting favorite on the NFL MVP odds to top Tom Brady of the New England Patriots (7-2) in what could be one of the closest races for the award in recent memory. Brady is listed as the +110 second choice (bet $100 to win $110) but would probably rather see Wentz win it.
As a two-time NFL MVP winner, Brady has never gotten to the Super Bowl after taking home the award. In fact, you have to go all the way back to the 1999 season to find the last time an NFL MVP ended up winning the Super Bowl in the same year. Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams is the last player to accomplish the feat, with Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons the latest to get to the big game but lose it last year opposite Brady.
Still, it is hard to discount what Brady has already accomplished this year at his age, leading the league in passing yardage (2,807) while throwing 19 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. The only numbers in Wentz’s favor over Brady at this point are touchdown passes (23) and wins. But as long as Wentz keeps winning, he will likely continue staying ahead of Brady and the other top contenders in the NFL MVP race.
Those other contenders include a long list of fellow signal-callers, most notably Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams (7-2) at +900 and Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) at +1400 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Goff is another second-year player who was selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, one spot ahead of Wentz. After improving tremendously compared to last year as a rookie, Goff has thrown for more yards and less interceptions than Wentz. Meanwhile, Smith has a better completion percentage than Brady with less picks (one).
The lone non-quarterback that might be worth considering in the MVP race is Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell at +5000, who was the league’s leading rusher with 840 yards heading into the team's Thursday night game against Tennessee.
Bell is tied as the eighth choice to win the award with quarterback Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys (5-4). They follow Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at +2000, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints (7-2) at +2500 and Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions (5-4) at +3300 on the board.