Allen jumps Tua as MVP favorite following duel in Buffalo
One-fifth of the season is officially in the books. While there's a whole lot to be decided, let's check in on the MVP race through four games.
Patrick Mahomes entered the season as the favorite, fresh off an MVP campaign and Super Bowl victory. Although he's still undisputedly the best quarterback in the league, he's looked more human than usual this season.
Joe Burrow - the second favorite - hasn't had the start to the year everyone expected after his last two seasons catapulted him into the upper tier of quarterbacks. His team is 1-3, in large part due to his questionable play, and he's still managing a calf injury that sidelined him for most of training camp.
His odds have skyrocketed from +700 a month ago to +7500.
The two new leaders - Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa - reside in the AFC East and just battled it out in Buffalo on Sunday.
Tagovailoa was +2000 to win MVP before the season, but after a 466-yard and three-touchdown performance in Week 1, he immediately shot up the board.
He became the favorite at +600 following Week 1 and remained the favorite until this Sunday.
Allen, meanwhile, saw his odds go in the other direction following a Week 1 loss to the Jets in which he tossed three interceptions.
He went from the third-best odds at +800 to the sixth-best at +1200. Since the opener, however, Allen has been the MVP candidate he's projected to be just about every year. He's led his team to three straight wins and has only thrown one interception in those games.
Entering Sunday's much-anticipated Week 4 matchup between the undefeated Dolphins and Bills, Tagovailoa remained the favorite. His team scored a 57-year high of 70 points in its win the week prior. Allen shot up the board, but he still trailed his counterpart.
Those two flipped after the Bills beat the Dolphins, 48-20, and Allen outplayed Tagovailoa. Allen tallied 320 passing yards and five total touchdowns, while Tagovailoa racked up 282 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Allen's now +350 to win the award (bet $10 to win $35). Tagovailoa is +500.
Those weren't the only odds that slid in the Bills' favor following the divisional matchup. The Dolphins were favorites to win the AFC East at -125, while the Bills were +130. Now, the Bills are the favorites at -125 and the Dolphins are +120.
The hype has cooled on Tagovailoa and the Dolphins' offense, but Allen and Tagovailoa will likely remain neck-and-neck the entire season, as will their teams in the race to win the AFC East, and the AFC.
The next time they play is the final game of the regular season on Jan. 7, which could be to decide the division title.
While Allen and Tagovailoa are atop the leaderboard, one surprising candidate has emerged in 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, who entered the season at +15000. Since the boom of the passing era this century, the award is almost always won by a quarterback, but all positions are technically eligible.
McCaffrey is now tied for the sixth-best odds at +2000, along with his 49ers teammate and quarterback Brock Purdy. McCaffrey would be the first running back to win the award since Adrian Peterson in 2012 and the fifth rusher to win since the turn of the century.
The two-time NFL All-Pro is undisputedly the best offensive player on a team with the second-most total yards in the league. He's accumulated 459 rushing yards - the most in the league - and averaging 5.7 yards per rush on one of the two remaining undefeated teams.
It seems nearly impossible for a running back to dethrone a quarterback as the MVP in this modern era, but if there's anyone who can do it, it's McCaffrey, who is leading one of the best squads in the league and is on pace for the best season of his career.
Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @soshtry for more betting coverage.