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NFL Draft

Who’s The Best Bet To Win Super Bowl 55 MVP?

  • The Draft Network
  • February 2, 2021
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There’s no greater event for casual sports betting than the Super Bowl, as you can bet on anything from the winner of the game to how many times Tony Romo mentions his children during the broadcast. What style of mask will Andy Reid wear? Will Joe Biden tweet during the game? These are the questions that matter, folks.

I won’t be going over the silliness here. Instead, I’ll look at the top contenders for the MVP trophy, go over which lines to pass on and which lines to hit, and lock in my favorite bet for the 2021 Super Bowl MVP. All odds are courtesy of BetOnline.

The Chalk: Patrick Mahomes (-115)

And why wouldn’t he be? The quarterback of the winning team has been the MVP in three of the last four Super Bowls; eight of the last 11. Mahomes was the winner of the award in last year’s Super Bowl on 26-of-42 passing for 286 yards, two scores, and two picks—that’s not even a great stat line for Mahomes.

Looking at the Tampa defense makes Mahomes’ spot on the leaderboard all the more understandable. No team has defended the run as well—or discouraged opposing teams from running as much—as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have under Todd Bowles this season. With nose tackle Vita Vea back in the mix and Chiefs center Daniel Kilgore currently on the COVID-19 list, it’s tough to imagine the Chiefs generating much of a running game. If they win, it will be through the air.

At -115, it’s tough to say that Mahomes is a good value. The Chiefs are only -170 to win outright, and Mahomes is considered 10 times more likely to win the award over any other Chiefs player (the next closest is Travis Kelce at +1000 odds). I’d say there’s more safety, and better value, in taking the Chiefs’ moneyline and sprinkling other longshot MVP odds on Kansas City.

The Contender: Tom Brady (+240)

Brady is the only player with odds shorter than +1000, so he deserves a mention here. In the six Super Bowls that Brady has won in his career, he’s taken home the MVP trophy in four. Deion Branch (11 catches, 133 yards) won it for his efforts against the Eagles in 2005, and Julian Edelman (10 catches, 141 yards) took it home in the 10-3 snoozefest over the Los Angeles Rams in 2019. 

So when Brady doesn’t win, his weapons do.

At +240, Brady is a good look for a better return on investment than the Tampa Bay moneyline (+150), in that the narrative of Brady’s relocation to Tampa Bay and ascension beyond the Belichick pairing writes itself. Especially when you consider how many options he has to target in the passing game, it’s unlikely that any one of the Bucs’ wide receivers has a high-volume game that generates dominant numbers.

In that I believe the Chiefs will win, I’ll likely avoid this line. But using it to protect yourself from a heavy Kansas City liability isn’t a bad idea if you’re on the fence.

The Longshots: Travis Kelce (+1000) and Shaq Barrett (+6600)

Kelce is the highest-ranked Chief not named Mahomes, so he really isn’t much of a longshot. But if there’s value to be had in the MVP lines, I think it belongs to him. When quarterbacks don’t win this award, wide receivers do (the last running back to win the award was Terrell Davis in 1998). And while Kelce isn’t listed as a wide receiver, he acts like one for the Chiefs’ offense. 

Volume is the name of the game for a wide receiver to win MVP. Beyond Branch and Edelman, Santonio Holmes (9 catches, 131 yards, 1 touchdown) and Hines Ward (5 catches, 123 yards, 1 touchdown) all won the award with at least 11 targets in the passing game. Kelce hasn’t seen fewer than 10 targets since Week 12, when the Chiefs last played the Bucs, on a day in which Tyreek Hill dominated. In that the Bucs are likely to focus on Hill defensively, I think Kelce is in line for a monster day.

Kelce will be my big bet, but for fun, Barrett is a great option. The Chiefs will be down both starting tackles, Barrett is coming off a three-sack game against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, and the Bucs won’t be blitzing too much—they need to get pressure with four. If the Bucs somehow slow down the Kansas City machine, it will be because of immediate and constant pressure off the edge. That’s how Barrett wins.

The Best Bet: Travis Kelce (+1000)

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