NFL Odds: Early Favorite For 2015 MVP
The 2015 NFL MVP race might seem pretty obvious. It’s Tom Brady and everyone else, right? That’s largely how Vegas sees it through the season’s first seven weeks, as Brady is ahead of the pack with 1/1 odds to win this year’s NFL MVP award. Few could argue with the odds or logic, either. The Patriots are 7-0, have scored less than 30 points just one time all season (28 points in the season opener) and Brady already has a ridiculous stat line of 2,400+ passing yards, 20 interceptions and just one pick.
Tom Brady’s numbers shouldn’t be overlooked, either. At his current rate, Brady is on pace for over 5,000 passing yards and over 40 touchdown passes. In fact, with a few more big outings like his week seven demolition of the Miami Dolphins, Brady could very well threaten Peyton Manning’s single-season records for yardage and touchdowns. All along the way, New England could either remain undefeated or at least be in prime position to win the AFC East and enter the playoffs ready to defend their Super Bowl title.
But while Brady is the best right now with the top MVP odds, he’s not the only legit candidate. Let’s take a look at the others with the best odds and make a case for them to beat out Brady for this year’s NFL MVP award:
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (2/1 odds)
Jordy Nelson went down for the year, Green Bay’s rush offense and run defense are suspect, and yet Rodgers has the green and gold sitting pretty at 6-0. Rodgers has put up solid numbers and gotten wins against some tough defenses and a big performance against the Broncos in Denver in week eight could vault him into a neck-and-neck run with Brady.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (9/1)
Newton might be even more impressive than Rodgers, as his top receiver (Kelvin Benjamin) also was lost for the season and he has even less to work with on offense. His Panthers are also 6-0 and with a big win on Monday Night Football this week, they’ll be 7-0 and looking like serious Super Bowl threats. Newton has been strong in the process, beating defenses with both his arm and legs and literally putting the team on his back for stretches. A huge win on the road against the Seahawks two weeks ago is a huge reason why he’s a top contender.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (18/1)
Dalton is probably more a product of the Bengals system, but he still deserves respect for the torrid run he’s on. Cincinnati hasn’t lost a game yet in 2015 and Dalton hasn’t had a poor effort during the entire insane run. A huge week eight matchup with the division rival Steelers could have his MVP odds spiking or dipping this week.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals (18/1)
Palmer is quarterbacking a legit title contender, but he probably has worse odds due to having help from a revamped running game and one of the NFL’s better defenses. He’s still got the numbers to prove he’s MVP worthy, though, and it doesn’t appear he’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Unlike the four passers ahead of him, however, he’s actually lost in 2015 (twice).
As you can see, top shelf quarterback play definitely reigns supreme in a passing league. Quarterbacks are probably the most impressive and important players on the field, but in some cases (Palmer and Dalton, perhaps), they’re getting a little too much credit. Let’s not forget about studs like Rob Gronkowski, who is 5th in the league in receiving yardage (he’s a tight end!) and also has more touchdown catches than anyone else. As amazing as Brady has been, there’s a pretty strong argument that he wouldn’t be nearly as good without The Gronk.
There is also Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who has emerged out of nowhere to lead the entire league in rushing (621 yards on the ground) and has more touchdowns from scrimmage (9) than anyone else in the league. Atlanta also has just one loss on the season, so if they keep up their current pace, it’d be awfully hard for him to not garner some serious consideration.
While some of the top contenders don’t really deserve serious consideration and some guys not even near the top actually do, there is only one leader in this race – Tom Brady. It’s boring and it’s obvious, but there’s actually nothing mundane about what he’s doing. Right or wrong, the guy is upset about the whole #deflategate scandal and is clearly on a mission. Part of that mission probably includes an MVP trophy, in addition to records, an undefeated season and another Super Bowl.