Week 12 is in the books and a lot of the talk will be about playoff pictures and which teams are in or out. One of my favorite discussions this time of year though is about the best of the best players those teams into the playoffs, the MVPs. Let's take a look at the current odds for the current favorites to win the NFL's most prestigious individual award.
Tom Brady- New England Patriots, Current Odds at -175
It's another season with the same familiar story. The Patriots are tied for the #1 seed in the AFC at 9-2 (7-4 against the spread) and currently lead the AFC in points scored by a wide margin. And the one factor that seems to constantly make this offense go is the ageless Tom Brady.
The 40-year-old Brady (who doesn't look a day over 30) has thrown for over 3,300 yards with 26 touchdowns against only 3 interceptions with just over a 68% completion rate as he looks to take home his third MVP award. This offense has looked unstoppable for the majority of the time when Brady lines up under center. He is the current favorite to win the award and as much as many people don't like him it's hard to argue against his case. The Patriots close with two games against divisional foe and playoff contending Buffalo Bills as well as contest with their long-time rivals in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Barring a late collapse, injury, or a heroic effort from one of the other contenders it's going to be really tough to unseat the age-defying Brady.
Carson Wentz-Philadelphia Eagles, Current Odds at +125
And on the opposite side of the spectrum from Brady, we have 24-year-old Carson Wentz. There were signs last season that Wentz was going to be special but nobody could have predicted it would happen this fast. Eagle’s fans are in love with their young quarterback as he has led them to a 10-1 record quarterbacking the NFC's most potent offense as they lead the league in scoring. Gamblers are also in love with Wentz as the Eagles have gone 9-2 against the number rewarding backers with a healthy return on an almost weekly basis.
Wentz has thrown for 2,657 yards on just over 60% completions. He has tossed 28 touchdowns passes while only throwing 5 interceptions. The Eagles five remaining games start with a contest against the depleted Seattle team followed by a showdown with fellow sophomore quarterback star Jared Goff. They finish the season with contest against the lowly Giants, Raiders, and division rival Cowboys. If the Eagles keep winning with Wentz putting up similar numbers it will be hard to keep Wentz out of the final conversation for league MVP.
Looking for a Hot Streak
Let’s take a look at a few longshots that will be looking to distinguish themselves down the stretch as they lead their teams.
Drew Brees- New Orleans Saints +1600- If the Saints (8-3) can finish strong and win the ultra-tough NFC South division Brees may have a chance. The numbers may not be quite as gaudy as in years past but as a hefty running game has developed in New Orleans but at this point in his career Brees has to be happy with the wins.
Russell Wilson-Seattle Seahawks +1600- This guy has kept a downtrodden, depleted Seahawks team in the running for the playoffs almost single-handedly at times. He throws, he scrambles, he does everything in his power to keep his team and season alive. If Wilson can go on a miracle run and will the Seahawks to the division crown he could sneak into the conversation as a serious candidate.
Matt Ryan- Atlanta Falcons +3300- Once again looking like a real long shot to have a repeat MVP winner as Matty Ice appears to be on the outside looking in currently. Ryan has had a good year and the Falcons sit at 7-4 right in the thick of the postseason race but Ryan has failed to exceed or come close to duplicating last year's historic run statistically.
Might be time to change the award name to the most valuable quarterback as quarterbacks have won 9 out of the previous 10 awards and appear to be in line for number 10 here at season's end. Odds are still wide open between the top 2 and a few quality long shots for those looking for a little action. Good luck going forward and let's hope all the tickets are winners.