Reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes is still the MVP front-runner entering Week 2, but a second-year quarterback is quickly making his case after an eye-popping season debut.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson skyrocketed up the odds board this week thanks to a career performance against the Miami Dolphins, shortening his odds from 50-1 a week ago to 10-1 on Tuesday.
Jackson entered the year at 100-1 amid questions surrounding his accuracy and general competence at the quarterback position. He answered those with a fervor, finishing 17 of 20 for 324 yards, five touchdowns, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating despite sitting out most of the second half.
He had an answer for some of his critics, too:
Jokes aside, Jackson's dual-threat ability gives him a legitimate shot to win the award should his arm prove consistent this year. He rushed just three times for six yards against the Dolphins but netted 695 yards and five touchdowns on 147 carries a year ago.
Here are the updated MVP odds after Week 1 (shorter than 50-1) with some notable contenders listed below:
|PLAYER||CURRENT ODDS||ODDS BEFORE WEEK 1|
Jackson's performance ultimately overshadowed what Mahomes did in Jacksonville. The Chiefs QB threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns, shortening his odds from 4-1 to 7-2 to maintain pole position in the MVP race.
For reference, Mahomes threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns in his 2018 debut on just 55.6% completion.
Will this go on forever? Brady put on another clinic Sunday for the New England Patriots, posting 341 yards and three touchdowns against the hapless Pittsburgh Steelers' secondary. It was a vintage Brady performance that came without new receiver Antonio Brown, whose status is uncertain after rape accusations surfaced Tuesday.
It almost doesn't matter who Brady is throwing to - he turned Phillip Dorsett into a temporary All-Pro and buried Pittsburgh before halftime. A laughably easy slate through the first half of the year could see Brady gain steam for an undefeated Patriots team. Sound familiar?
Outside of Jackson, arguably nobody played better than Dak Prescott, who led the Dallas Cowboys to an impressive Week 1 win with a remarkable display of efficiency. Prescott finished 25 of 32 for 405 yards and four touchdowns in new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore's system.
Prescott's Week 1 could be a harbinger of 2019 success in a revamped offense. After opening at 100-1, the Cowboys QB already looks like a steal for anyone who grabbed him before the year.
The biggest loser Sunday was Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who entered the year with the fourth-shortest odds at 14-1. He didn't look like an MVP candidate against the Tennessee Titans after getting picked off three times and sacked five more in a 43-13 beatdown.
Mayfield's odds moved to 30-1, even longer than his 25-1 opening price. He could be worth a buy in this spot given the promise he showed a year ago, though he plays three stout defenses in the next three weeks. Wait and see on Mayfield.
The lone non-QB shorter than 50-1, Christian McCaffrey teased his "1,000-1,000" upside with 128 rushing yards and 81 receiving yards in the Carolina Panthers' loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. He entered the year trailing New Orleans Saints star Alvin Kamara (50-1) but surpassed him this week and now boasts the 16th-shortest odds in the field.
McCaffrey is on pace for 2,048 rushing yards and 1,296 receiving yards. Although the Rams' defense is no slouch, the running back's push for 2,000 total yards seems well within play.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.