Tom Brady isn't the MVP favorite. Not by himself anyway.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is the co-favorite along with, surprisingly, Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills looked miserable in a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Yet, the odds for Allen and Brady to win MVP are both +350 at BetMGM.
Surprisingly enough, we're halfway through an 18-week NFL season. We took a look at the team odds at the midway point this week, and now it's time to look at where the individual awards stand, with all odds from BetMGM.
MVP: Tom Brady is in good position
The smart money, as Yahoo Sportsbook's Peter Truszkowski pointed out, could be on Lamar Jackson at +1100. I would sign off on that too. If Jackson goes 5,000 passing and 1,000 rushing, how can he not win the award? But there are six players ahead of Jackson in the BetMGM odds.
Allen being a co-favorite is odd. The Bills are mildly disappointing at 5-3 and Allen has had some rough games. Allen could play well in the second half and win it, but his co-favorite status is based more on projections than what he has done so far. He probably wouldn't get a single MVP vote if the season ended today.
Brady would likely win if the vote was today. He has 25 touchdown passes already. I'm not sure how or if age should factor into the decision, but what he's doing at 44 is unheard of. It looks like his award to lose, but there's a long time for someone to pass him.
The chalky bet: Brady
The value bet: Jackson
Who is going to win it?: Brady, the narrative will be too hard to ignore
Defensive player of the year: T.J. Watt is gaining steam
Myles Garrett is the favorite at +300 with his 12 sacks, but T.J. Watt has been phenomenal lately. Watt has 11.5 sacks and his odds are down to +325. Watt almost won the award last season. I don't mind a bet on either AFC North star defender at their odds.
One name to keep an eye on is Matthew Judon of the New England Patriots. He is having a fantastic season and has put up nine sacks. Sacks are the first stat that matters to voters. If Judon can put up a big sack number in the second half and be close to Watt and Garrett for the league lead, and voters look at all he has done for the Patriots defense, he could cash a lovely +4000 ticket for DPOY. He would be a fine vote if the season ended today.
The chalky bet: Watt
The value bet: Judon
Rookies of the Year: Will Ja'Marr Chase run away with it?
Chase is having a great rookie season and could be the rare receiver to beat quarterbacks for an award. He had a rough Week 9 and that can't turn into a slump because it's so hard to beat QBs for any award. Chase is a strong -145 favorite to win offensive rookie of the year. Mac Jones is +350 for an improving Patriots team.
On the defensive side, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons is -125 and nobody else is better than +1100. Barring injury, Parsons is going to win.
The chalky offensive bet: Jones (QBs always end up winning, right?)
The value offensive bet: Justin Fields +4000
The only defensive bet: Parsons
The bet if Parsons gets hurt: Azeez Ojulari +1100
Comeback player of the year: It's Dak Prescott
Seriously, it's Prescott. Hope you got this bet in when he was still plus odds. He's -500 now.
The bet: Prescott like two months ago
Coach of the year: Kliff Kingsbury is proving haters wrong
It's OK if you weren't sold on Kingsbury, the Arizona Cardinals coach, before this season. It's not OK to deny what he has done. The Cardinals have been the NFL's most reliable team and their win Sunday over the 49ers without three offensive stars was impressive. Kingsbury is +400 as the favorite and those odds are still pretty good. Coach of the year is a hard award to handicap because it rarely goes to the best coach. If you're trying to find the right potential narrative to bet on, Sean Payton dealing with challenges including a QB change and him getting the Saints to the playoffs is worth a play at +2500.
The chalky bet: Kingsbury
The value bet: Payton
Offensive player of the year: Cooper Kupp has been amazing
This has turned into the non-QB award, which is fine. Though sometimes it just goes to the runner-up QB. Kupp is the favorite at +125 and he has earned that. His line of 74-1,019-10 is insane. I can't justify a bet at those odds, though he'd clearly be the winner today. There's too much season to go.
Jonathan Taylor seems likely to win a rushing title (he trails only injured Derrick Henry and is 100 yards ahead of third-place Nick Chubb), and he's getting good odds at +1400. He leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage, so he has a fine foundation after half the season. One lottery ticket is Deebo Samuel. He is fourth in total yards from scrimmage. He's breaking San Francisco 49ers receiving records set by Jerry Rice. If Samuel can have a big second half, somehow pass Kupp for the receiving title (Samuel has 882 yards, Kupp has 1,019 and the Rams have played one more game than San Francisco) and the 49ers make the playoffs, he has a shot at 100-to-1 odds. I don't think he'll win but you won't find many 100-to-1 bets in which there's a reasonable path to cash the ticket.
The non-Kupp bet: Taylor
The long shot bet: Samuel