NFL Betting Guides

4 Tips To Help You Win With The NFL MVP Prop

The NFL MVP award is one of the greatest individual honors in the sport. Each year, as the season progresses, there is fervent debate as to who is the frontrunner for the award, who is in the conversation and who has fallen out of favor. It’s no surprise that bettors like to weigh in and make their predictions too. That being the case, this is one of the most popular individual player props to bet on in the preseason as well as the regular season. Before you bet your bucks, though, you should know a few things. This is a risky prop to bet on as a lot can go wrong. As long as you keep that in mind, we have four tips that can help put you in better position to win your NFL MVP prop bets.




It’s A Risky Bet

The first thing you want to know when you’re thinking about betting this prop is that it’s risky. There are many preseason futures to choose from but this one tends to be one of the harder ones to predict.

With a number of the other futures, like regular season win totals, for example, you can take a lot of things into account and make a calculated decision. If you’ve done a lot of research and examined schedules and looked at some of the other factors, you can make a logical deduction as to which way that bet should go. However, with the MVP award, it’s hard to really put yourself in a good position to win. For the most part, you’re just trying to thread the needle.

Remember that the NFL season is very unpredictable. That’s what makes it so entertaining to follow. Teams come out of nowhere, players surprise and injuries become a factor. Even if everything goes as you expected, the MVP award might go to someone else. Maybe it’s someone else on the same team or maybe another player had a monstrous season you simply hadn’t envisioned.

It’s fine to sprinkle some dollars on this prop but just know it’s tough to predict, for the most part. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at four tips to help you win with this prop.

Go The (More) Obvious Route

Casual bettors will look at a prop like the MVP award, see a number of names on the board and get tempted by the sizable payouts. There are obviously all sorts of possibilities for who could win and many bettors can envision a world where a number of different names come through. Could it be someone obvious? Sure. What about a rookie quarterback that’s highly touted? That’s possible. What about a running back or wide receiver if they have a 2000-yard season? That could happen too. That’s why it’s easy to look at the names and numbers, and get sucked into somebody who is further down the board and offering a huge payday. However, history shows that the obvious names are the players who are more likely to cash with this prop.

Taking a look at the last 10 seasons, here are the names that have won the award:

2022 – Patrick Mahomes

2021 – Aaron Rodgers

2020 – Aaron Rodgers

2019 – Lamar Jackson

2018 – Patrick Mahomes

2017 – Tom Brady

2016 – Matt Ryan

2015 – Cam Newton

2014 – Aaron Rodgers

2013 – Peyton Manning

2012 – Adrian Peterson

As you can see, there aren’t many surprises here. Many of these players were among the frontrunners to win the award each season. Maybe Adrian Peterson, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan were slight outliers but the rest were among the top five options. When you’re betting this prop, this is the range that you want to be looking in. Examine the top five, maybe top 10 guys on the board and go from there. If you’re looking beyond that, the data shows that you’re pushing the boundaries of what normally happens.

Quarterbacks Are The Way To Go

The NFL can change its rules at any point but for the time being, quarterbacks are the most valuable players on the field. The league has shifted to reward passing offenses over the last decade. Not only is it harder for defenses to cover wideouts and stop passing games, the value of running backs has been cheapened significantly. In the past, running backs used to be the biggest competitor to quarterbacks for the MVP award. Nowadays, if you’re betting on a quarterback, you’re making the smartest decision.

Taking a look at the above list of the 10 previous MVPs you’ll see that a running back won just once. On top of that, 15 of the last 16 MVP’s were quarterbacks with Peterson and his 2,097-yard season being the lone deviation. Quarterbacks have now won the award in 10 straight seasons. In the 2022 season, no running back even made the Top 10 in terms of voting for the NFL MVP award. Meanwhile, quarterbacks occupied the top four spots.

Anything can change but for now, you want to be shopping for quarterbacks if you’re betting on the NFL MVP award.

Consider Injury History

It’s always hard to handicap for injuries in the NFL. Many of these painful moments are random and unpredictable, so you can only hope for the best as a bettor. At the same time, you can try and protect yourself by betting on players that you know are more durable and avoid those who constantly go down.

A good example for the 2023 season might be someone like Lamar Jackson. Of course, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he won the MVP award this year. He’s more than capable of carrying the Baltimore Ravens and having the necessary stats to get the job done. At the same time, he has a significant injury history and you have to keep that in the back of your mind.

Lamar Jackson played 16, 15 and 15 games in his first three seasons. Since then, though, he’s only played in 12 games in each of the last two seasons. That has to give you some pause. Also, we know that Jackson is a quarterback that loves to run and he gets in harm’s way farm more than a stationary passer. That means that Jackson is at a higher risk to get hurt and miss some time.

Remember that when it comes to injuries, it doesn’t necessary mean to be lost for the entire season. Given how many players will be in the running for the award, missing two or three will damage the player’s stats enough to drop him out of contention.

Another thought to consider is to betting on players who are coming off injuries. Again, this is a futures bet where you need everything to go right. Players who are coming off serious injuries might not be themselves right away or might have some rust or might need or might never be the same. By going this route, your payout will probably increase as the odds associated with a player like this will be longer but you’re also adding risk to an already risky proposition.

Wait A Little Bit To Place Your Bet

There was a time when you could only bet futures like this in the preseason. You’d have to make your decision early and stick with it no matter what it was. Nowadays, though, most sportsbooks worth their salt will re-hang many of the futures – especially the MVP award – each and every week. That means that you can wait a little bit before you make your final decision.

When you’re placing your bets in the preseason, you’re working off a hypothesis that you believe will work out. However, we know that this league is wildly unpredictable and what you thought made sense earlier will quickly make no sense later. Just take a look back to the 2022 season. Aaron Rodgers was the two-time defending MVP and was at +700 to start the season. Many bettors locked in their bets on A-Rod thinking that he’d again be in the running. The Packers started the season 3-6 and were out of contention by the halfway point. Rodgers was already out of the MVP race at that point as his odds ballooned from to +5000. You could have saved yourself some frustration and a lost bet had you simply waited a little bit.

As the NFL season moves along, the races become a bit clearer. That goes for divisional futures, for the Super Bowl futures and the MVP award. Will you potentially lose out on a bit of a payday because the odds have shortened? Definitely. It’s not ideal in that regard. At the same time, this is a risky proposition and if you can just narrow the field down by a few players, your chances of winning – or at least avoiding a landmine – increase quite a bit.

A good strategy might be to start betting at the halfway point for the MVP award. At that point, you’ve hopefully dodged some bullets with the injuries, know who’s who in the league and can make a calculated decision on who’ll win.

Betting The MVP Award Prop

The NFL’s MVP award is one of the most prestigious awards. It’s also a part of the weekly conversation both in the media and in some betting circles – especially as the season progresses. That tends to draw in a lot of bettors to make their prediction but you have to be careful with this prop. Your best bet is to wait a little bit, to avoid players who have an injury history and bypass betting on non-quarterbacks. It’s still a hard prop to hit but this will at least put you in a much better position to pick a winner.

Outlier Team
October 5, 2023
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