Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens ran away with the NFL MVP award in 2019. The second-year signal-caller threw for 3,127 yards, a league-leading 36 passing touchdowns and just six interceptions in his first year as the full-time starter. He also added 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, as the Ravens finished with a league-best 14-2 record. It was the second straight year a young quarterback won the MVP award, as Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs took home the honors in 2018.
What are the chances a young quarterback makes it three straight years in 2020? There are a few great candidates around the league that could pull it off. When it comes to the best odds, Mahomes (9/2) and Jackson (7/1) lead the pack, but they aren’t the favorites among bettors so far when it comes to the percentage of the total number of tickets sold. In fact, you would probably be surprised by at least one quarterback who bettors are high on entering the 2020 season.
Let’s take a look at the three players who currently are the most popular 2020 NFL MVP bets, according to William Hill.
The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft last season, beating out the likes of Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown. While the Cardinals went 5-10-1, Murray completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns, 12 picks, and an 87.4 passer rating. He added 544 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Naturally, he’s expected to take another step forward in year two with prospective offensive genius Kliff Kingsbury — who was high on Murray before most of the football world knew his name. The Cardinals also acquired four-time Pro Bowl wideout DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans , so Murray now has two true No. 1 wide receivers to play with this season. He’s currently listed at 20/1 odds, and bettors have been all over it.
T2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, 50/1 odds, (8 percent of tickets)
This has to be the most surprising name in the top three. Allen threw for 3,089 yards, 20 touchdowns, and nine interceptions as he led the Bills to a 10-6 record and their second playoff berth in the last three years. They did choke in the AFC wild-card game against the Texans, but that’s not a fair representation of how Buffalo’s season actually went. The Bills had the No. 3 defense in the league last year when it came to yards allowed per game, and they rode that unit all the way to the playoffs. Allen’s nine rushing touchdowns didn’t hurt Buffalo either. You can say he was more of a game manager in 2019, but with the cannon-like arm Allen has and the mobility he possesses, many figure he will take a big step forward in year three.
Another reason to be high on Allen is that he finally has a true No. 1 wideout for the first time in his career. The Bills made a big trade for former Minnesota Vikings star wideout Stefon Diggs, who has recorded two straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Don’t sleep on the Bills in 2020. With Tom Brady now in the NFC South, they might be the favorites to win the division.
Interestingly enough, Allen has also racked up the highest percent of dollars wagered in Vegas so far (22 percent), following by Dak Prescott (25/1 odds, 18 percent) and Murray (20/1 odds, 14 percent).
T2. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 18/1 odds, (8 percent of tickets)
One of the greatest quarterbacks of all time may be turning 43 this offseason, but everyone seems to think this change of scenery is going to benefit him. Brady is currently listed with the fourth-best odds behind Russell Wilson, Jackson, and Mahomes, and has been a popular bet far. It’s hard to imagine he won’t be able to take an offense with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard to the next level and he certainly has come through when it has mattered most during his 20 years in the NFL. Bruce Arians and Brady seem like they could be a dynamic duo in this league, and the latter is motivated to show he can shine outside of Bill Belichick’s system in New England.