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Will we see another surprise winner, or will Mahomes or Jackson add to their trophy case?
Here are the odds for NFL MVP (shorter than 100-1) with our best bets a week before the 2020 season.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||+8000|
It's easy to forget in the aftermath of the Jackson-Russell Wilson 2019 MVP debate that Prescott was a legitimate candidate for the much of the season, and the metrics back it up. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback finished the regular season fourth in ESPN's QBR (71.9), third in expected points added (93.1), and second in both passing yards (4,902) and first downs (229).
Dallas added Oklahoma star CeeDee Lamb to an offense that should be more aggressive with new coach Mike McCarthy replacing Jason Garrett. If Prescott puts up 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns - which he nearly did last year - with double-digit wins, this price will look silly.
After Mahomes and Jackson cashed as long shots in consecutive years, you'd think the market would have corrected on mobile, big-armed quarterbacks with first-round pedigree and elite roster talent around them. Yet here we are with Allen, the most obvious MVP long shot and a stellar value at 60-1.
We've already seen the Buffalo Bills quarterback make tremendous improvements to his game. He went from one of the league's worst intermediate passers in 2018 to one of the best in 2019, and he dramatically lowered his interception rate, too. Now he needs to improve under pressure and with his deep ball, just as Jackson did last year.
Having two of the premier deep-ball receivers in Stefon Diggs and John Brown will help matters, as will a third season with the same coaching staff and an improving offensive line. If Allen is the same QB he was in 2019, this is a wasted bet. But there's no better value on the board if he takes another leap.
Tannehill always had the talent to produce elite numbers, but he was long trapped behind a poor offensive line with bad receivers with the Miami Dolphins. In his first year with the Tennessee Titans, he showed just how good he can be in the right system.
His 117.5 passer rating was fourth-best in NFL history, and he became only the second quarterback in the Super Bowl era to complete more than 70% of his passes and average more than 9.0 yards per attempt. By season's end, he was the highest-graded quarterback by PFF over Drew Brees, Jackson, and Wilson - and that was without a full season as the starter, which he'll get heading into 2020.
You either believe in Tannehill's 2019 breakout or you don't, but the numbers support his success in a new environment. Skepticism is clearly baked into the price, which makes it well worth the gamble on a player with tons of upside.
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.