NFL MVP Odds Update: Tua Tagovailoa Is the Early Leader
We have mostly completed three weeks of NFL action. And it has been quite the show; I think tumultuous is one of many words that could best describe the early theme this season.
Of course, I say mostly since it is Monday, and we still have a doubleheader looming tonight. In today's earlier bid, we will see NFC sides clash when the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers get together. In the later contest, it will be a Super Bowl LVI rematch between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals -- won't that be fun!
Still, enough ball has been played to this point for us to start forming our early-season MVP rankings. When perusing through the current NFL MVP odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, some of the expected names are there, including last year's winner, Patrick Mahomes.
With a couple of games still left to be played in Week 3, let us sift through the field of potential MVP candidates. Shocker: it is saturated with quarterbacks.
Still, if you're wondering, running back Christian McCaffrey currently has the shortest odds (+4500) in this market of any non-QB.
All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
Odds to win 2023-24 AP NFL MVP
*Denotes 2022-23 NFL AP MVP
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +350 (+500 last week)
There are certain individuals who expected Tua Tagovailoa to no longer be the starter for the Miami Dolphins by this point in Tua's career. Well, on the heels of Miami's 70-burger against the Denver Broncos, I think is safe to say that Tua will be the guy in Miami for quite some time: oh, the irony.
Tagovailoa was already showing strides as a professional quarterback last season, but due to multiple concussions, he was forced into short work. Now in the current campaign, Miami has averaged 43.3 points per game. A more staggering figure? The Dolphins are producing 550.3 total yards per contest at the moment.
Head coach Mike McDaniel has made a cohesive pairing with Tagovailoa, as the fourth-year quarterback is already displaying career highs in many categories, such as completion percentage (71.3%), touchdown rate (7.9%), air yards per attempt (10.8) and QBR (83.2).
Miami's offense looks faster than any exotic car you'll see motoring through South Beach. Considering that Tua has myriad electric playmakers at his disposal -- Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, De'Von Achane etc. -- the 'Fins are primed for a deep run in 2023. Tagovailoa could ultimately play the biggest benefactor by carrying home major hardware at season's end if Miami keeps up this pace.
Last week, Tua was listed at +500 odds in this market. Despite starting the season at 16-to-1 (on September 5th), he is now +350 to win the 2023-24 NFL MVP. Just saying ...
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +440 (+500 last week)
Genuinely, "Showtime" is something that never goes out of style, and Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are proving they may eventually rival that Los Angeles Lakers era of the 1980s. Hey, there are multiple championships, MVPs and A-list entertainers all in common. Of course, we all saw Taylor Swift at Arrowhead to watch Mahomes and Travis Kelce dismantle the Chicago Bears, 41-10.
Even when Mahomes is not at full form, he is still a top-tier quarterback in the NFL. Along with physical abilities, the seventh-year signal-caller has always played with the X-factor trait of extending plays and making the most of improvisation. When his first or second read is not there, he has the invaluable skill to navigate the pocket while keeping his eyes and accuracy downfield.
Mahomes has cashed this market twice in his career: last season and back in 2018-19. Through three games in the current campaign, he is top-six in passing yardage (803) and touchdowns thrown (7), but Kansas City's offense has not hit its stride yet. The Chiefs averaged just 18.5 points through the first two games (Kelce missed Week 1 with a knee issue and played limited snaps in Week 2).
With Mahomes at +440 odds to win his second consecutive AP NFL MVP award, perhaps now is the time to make a move on the NFL's best player.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +750 (+1000 last week)
After an abominable opening contest, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are once again building momentum. Notably, Buffalo's offense struggled the night Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles, losing to the New York Jets behind Allen's four total turnovers.
In the two games since, Allen has looked much more efficient, churning out five combined scores (four passing, one rushing) to only one interception -- that is a rate that Bills Mafia can absolutely live with. Now at 2-1, Buffalo is in a position to completely move on from Week 1's stinker.
Allen is the type of player who has all the physical tools to eventually win this award. Debatably, he has the strongest arm in the league. Also, Allen is uber-athletic outside the pocket, having scored 39 rushing touchdowns since being drafted in 2018 (most of any quarterback over that span). His 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame allows him to do so with the defender taking the brunt of the damage.
Prior to Week 3, Allen's odds to win the MVP were at +1000. Being that his poor primetime performance in Week 1 is getting further and further removed, Allen will likely continue to climb through the MVP leaderboard. He and the Bills have a marquee matchup in Week 4 -- we'll see how this market looks after Buffalo hosts Tua and the 'Fins next Sunday.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +1000 (+1000 last week)
As a reigning NFC champion and MVP runner-up, Jalen Hurts will likely go through this entire season with a chip on his shoulder. He and the Eagles are in action tonight at Tampa Bay.
The Birds have not played since Thursday before last (11 days ago), when they ran through the Minnesota Vikings, 34-28. In that contest, Hurts used his legs to provide two crucial rushing scores.
His passing has also been efficient in 2023 as he's showing a completion clip of 78.3% through two games. If Hurts can keep up similar play (his rating is 93.1 before Monday's game versus the Bucs), his dual-threat ability and high-volume scoring will definitely keep him in the MVP conversation.
Naturally, Hurts has been a popular selection for this market at FanDuel Sportsbook. Of all NFL players, Hurts is yielding both the most bets and the highest handle share to this point. A quality win tonight over fellow 2-0 Tampa Bay could have Hurts' MVP stock shortening. But as it is before tonight's kickoff, the +1000 odds are not a bad buy-in point at all.
Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +1300 (+1400 last week)
With the Los Angeles Chargers at 1-2 (featuring two meltdown losses) through three weeks of play, it can be a bit surprising to see Justin Herbert among the favorites. However, the below .500 record can't always be on the quarterback; Herbert has been quite effective in 2023. His offense has produced 28.7 points per game (sixth overall) while tossing six total touchdowns with no turnovers.
Behind a completion clip of 74.4%, Herbert has been efficient. His 939 passing yards currently rank third in the NFL after draftmate Tua (1,024) and Kirk Cousins (1,075). Herbert has the physical tools and a quality receiving corps with Keenan Allen (who just set the Chargers' all-time receiving yardage record last week), Austin Ekeler and Quentin Johnston to have blistering numbers.
With Mike Williams likely done for the season with a torn ACL, can the Bolts win enough games this season for Herbert to get real recognition for league MVP? Herbert began the year at +900 odds in this market. With his number now inflated at +1300, this may be the moment to take another look at the former Oregon Duck.
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