Super Bowl LVII MVP opening odds: Who to bet if you like the Eagles
Unwilling to trust the Rams to cover a number bigger than a field goal last year, we backed Los Angeles on the moneyline. Cool, a -170 moneyline winner. Where we really did some good work was Cooper Kupp's MVP performance, paying out early bets at +600. When it comes to the Super Bowl, it's rarely about the side and much more about everything around the winners and losers. The market for MVP is your best chance to bet a little to make a lot. Unless, as expected, a quarterback is handed the award.
When betting on Super Bowl MVP, it stands to reason you'd want to focus your selection(s) on the team that you think is going to win, though that doesn't mean you can't bet on the other team's players if there's enough value. Here, we'll look at how to bet the MVP if you like the Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII, whereas if you like Kansas City, the best value plays on the Chiefs are here.
Here's a look at the odds for Super Bowl LVII MVP, courtesy of theScore Bet:
Jalen Hurts is the +120 favorite to win MVP, which is an implied win probability of 45.5%, and the Eagles are -130, which implies that they win the game 56.5% of the time for them to be a fair bet. This 11% difference suggests how likely an Eagle other than Hurts is to win the award.
Best Eagles bet: DeVonta Smith (+2500)
The payout is just too short to back Hurts because the Eagles have too many other players that can be the reason they win, as evidenced by Hurts' combined 275 passing yards and 73 rushing yards over two playoff games.
We'll address my favorite way to play Eagles players shortly, but if the Chiefs are missing L'Jarius Sneed, and Trent McDuffie needs to follow AJ Brown - or if Sneed can play and neutralize Brown - then Smith gets the better matchup against the Chiefs' secondary, just like in the AFC title game with Tee Higgins, who had 83 yards and a touchdown. At twice the payout of Brown but just as likely to catch a deep pass and find the end zone more than once, he's the most reasonable play on the Philly side.
Let's take a handful of dollars and sprinkle them around on some players who could follow in the footsteps of Von Miller, Malcolm Smith, Dexter Jackson, Desmond Howard, and Larry Brown: six defensive/special teams players who've won MVP in the last 30 years.
Kenneth Gainwell (150-1)
Gainwell isn't a defensive player, but that's the point. We're getting a potential lead tailback at a massive price. The Eagles turned to Gainwell to close out the NFC Championship, as he out-carried Miles Sanders - who has much shorter odds at 30-1. Gainwell has 1.5 yards per carry more than Sanders in the playoffs and is more of a threat in the passing game, with five targets to Sanders' one.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson (150-1)
Gardner-Johnson tied for the league-lead in interceptions this season, so clearly the Eagles' style of defense provides him the opportunity to make plays around the ball. He also has something of a backstory, having been traded to the Eagles just before the season's start.
James Bradberry (150-1)
Bradberry and Darius Slay both had three interceptions this season and should have the same chances to make a game-changing play to topple Patrick Mahomes. Yet Bradberry is three times the payout to win MVP.
Josh Sweat (150-1)
Part of the Eagles' armada of pass-rushers, Sweat has better odds than other possible game-wreckers, Haason Reddick and Brandon Graham. But with 11 sacks this season and as many or more snaps per game than his teammates, he's just as likely to get to Mahomes more than once.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.