In four of the five Super Bowls that quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have won together, he has walked away with the MVP award. The lone exception came when the Patriots edged the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl 39, as wide receiver Deion Branch ended up taking the honor instead.
Fast-forward to a rematch between Philadelphia and New England in Super Bowl 52, and one of the big questions is, will anyone besides the heavily favored Brady win the MVP?
Brady is a -110 betting favorite (wager $110 to win $100) to take home his fifth Super Bowl MVP award at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. However, that is also assuming the Patriots tie the NFL record by capturing their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy. So what if New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, running back Dion Lewis or wide receiver Brandin Cooks prove to be bigger difference makers than Brady in the big game?
Just last year, many argued that running back James White should have been named Super Bowl MVP for the Patriots instead of Brady, who set records for most pass attempts, completions and yards in a 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons. Those marks did make it hard to go against Brady, although White could have won it.
This year, Gronkowski seems like a good wager at +900 odds (bet $100 to win $900) as long as he is medically cleared to play for the betting-favorite Patriots after suffering a concussion in the AFC Championship Game. Lewis (+1800), wide receiver Danny Amendola (+1800) and Cooks are possibilities as well if Brady's stats do not impress like in prior Super Bowls.
The most important criteria for winning MVP though is winning the game itself first. Only once in Super Bowl history has the MVP come from a losing team. That happened in Super Bowl 5 when linebacker Chuck Howley won the award with the Dallas Cowboys.
In addition, it certainly helps to play the quarterback position. In the previous 51 Super Bowls, a quarterback has been named MVP 28 times. For backers of the Eagles, that means quarterback Nick Foles is definitely worth a look to win Super Bowl 52 MVP at +325 odds if you believe they will win. Foles may have entered the season as a backup to Carson Wentz, but he may end up the hero on Super Bowl Sunday.