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The start of the NFL season is still at least four months away, but bettors can hunt for early value in the futures market. The updated odds to win Most Valuable Player (MVP) has the usual suspects listed as the favorites, but the best bet lurks much further down the board.
|Field - All Not Listed||+2500|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||+8000|
Odds courtesy of theScore Bet
It's not surprising to see Patrick Mahomes (+400) and Lamar Jackson (+600) top the list. Mahomes won the award in 2018 and Jackson took home the MVP last season. Both quarterbacks should be in the conversation again this year while leading two Super Bowl favorites in the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, respectively.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has yet to win MVP, but after previously knocking on the door, this could be his year. Wilson has thrown 66 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions over the last two seasons and enters the 2020 campaign surrounded by the most talented skill position players of his career. With odds slightly longer than Mahomes and Jackson, Wilson is worth a play at +800.
Beyond the top three, the most interesting player is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz at +1600. It can't be understated how bad the Eagles' receivers were over the final month of last season. Because of injuries, Wentz was literally throwing to guys off of the street. Still, he finished with over 4,000 yards passing, 27 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions.
Philadelphia spent the offseason addressing the receiver position, adding Marquise Goodwin, Jalen Reagor, and John Hightower. Those three, along with the return of DeSean Jackson, give Wentz the weapons he needs to have a career-best season. He's a strong bet to win MVP at 16-1.
Recent history suggests bettors should look beyond the MVP favorites. Mahomes and Jackson opened at 50-1 in 2018 and 66-1 in 2019 to win the award, respectively. There are plenty of players on the board this year dripping with value, like the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (+4000) and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (+6000). However, the best value on the board is Denver Broncos signal-caller Drew Lock at 100-1.
To put Lock's value into perspective, his odds are longer than Cam Newton (+6000), Jameis Winston (+6000), and Andy Dalton's (+8000). Newton isn't even on a team yet and the other two enter 2020 as backups.
No team upgraded its offensive personnel this offseason more than the Broncos. They signed running back Melvin Gordon and selected big-play receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler early in the draft. The trio joins receiver Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant to potentially give Denver one of the NFL's most potent offenses.
Lock started the last five games of 2019, compiling a 4-1 record and completing 64.1% of his passes with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. The strong-armed quarterback has the talent around him to have a big year and if the Broncos can compete with the Chiefs in the AFC West, Lock will be in the discussion to win the award. He's the best bet on the board right now at 100-1.
Deshaun Watson is a great player but he's way overvalued as the fourth favorite at +1200. The Houston Texans still have enough weapons to be competitive in the AFC South but the loss of star receiver DeAndre Hopkins is a major blow. Even with Hopkins, Watson has never thrown for more than 26 touchdowns in a season.
Oddsmakers aren't high on the Texans this year, either, making them +144 to make the playoffs and setting Houston's win total at 7.5. There are better options on the board at longer odds than Watson.
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.