In addition to being the biggest game of the NFL season and arguably the most important day of the sports calendar every year, the Super Bowl is also one of the biggest betting days of the year.
Betting on the outcome of the game isn’t the only option, of course. The Super Bowl is special, and so there are dozens of potential prop bets that fans can make. Arguably the biggest prop bet is who will win Super Bowl MVP honors.
In 54 previous Super Bowls, a quarterback has won MVP 30 times, including Patrick Mahomes last year. However, since the turn of the century, we’ve seen three linebackers and four wide receivers win the award. We’ve also seen role players and reserves come out of nowhere to win the honor in the past.
With that in mind, it’s worth breaking down the top contenders for MVP of Super Bowl 55.
Patrick Mahomes: -120
After winning Super Bowl MVP last year, it’s almost like oddsmakers are guaranteeing that Mahomes is going to win the award again.
Frankly, this might be the closest thing to a sure thing there is for a bet on Super Bowl MVP. Mahomes was close to flawless in the AFC Championship Game and he’s the biggest reason why the Chiefs are favored to win the game.
Unless Super Bowl 55 somehow becomes a defensive slugfest, there’s an excellent chance that Mahomes will be the MVP if the Chiefs end up winning.
Tom Brady: +200
There’s little chance of the Buccaneers' defense will be the catalyst in an upset. If the Bucs win, it’ll likely because Brady delivers a performance for the ages and outplays Mahomes.
Granted, he didn’t exactly look like a Super Bowl MVP in the NFC Championship Game, throwing three interceptions. But 20-plus years of experience tells us that one bets against Brady at their own peril.
Travis Kelce: +1000
A tight end has never won Super Bowl MVP, and understandably so. But Travis Kelce has a chance if he replicates his performance from the AFC Championship Game in which he caught 13 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
If Kansas City wins, Mahomes will likely be the obvious choice unless one of his receivers has well over 100 yards receiving and multiple touchdowns. Kelce is undoubtedly capable of doing that.
Tyreek Hill: +1000
The same logic that applies to Kelce also applies to Tyreek Hill. He’s had 282 receiving yards over two playoff games, so posting 100-plus receiving yards against the Bucs isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Hill may actually have a slight edge over Kelce in that he’s more prone to spectacular plays because of his ability to run around and past defenders. One or two jaw-dropping plays could help Hill make an impression on voters and help him beat out a few of his teammates for MVP honors.
Leonard Fournette: +2500
Honestly, oddsmakers might be overvaluing Leonard Fournette a little bit. While he’s come on strong late in the season, he’s now sharing carries with Ronald Jones. Plus, the Bucs are more likely to be a pass-heavy team against the Chiefs.
Also, Fournette isn’t a home run hitter, so it’s not like he’s going to bust out an 80-yard touchdown run that changes the game. He’ll no doubt be important to Tampa’s chances, but he has a narrow path to winning MVP, especially for the underdog Buccaneers.
Mike Evans: +2800
On paper, Mike Evans makes the most sense among Tampa’s receivers to win MVP. However, he’ll likely need multiple touchdowns and be on the receiving end of around 50% of Brady’s passing yards.
With so many receiving options on the Tampa Bay offense, it’s unlikely that Brady is going to lock in on one enough for someone to usurp MVP honors away from him if the Buccaneers win.
Chris Godwin: +3000
In a way, Chris Godwin might be a better bet than Evans. Much like Hill on the Kansas City sideline, Godwin has the ability to make highlight-reel plays after the catch.
He’s a flashier option than Evans, which means his plays could be more memorable, making him a better MVP option. That being said, both Evans and Godwin will have to compete with Antonio Brown, Cameron Brate, Scotty Miller and Rob Gronkowski for targets, so any Bucs receiver winning MVP is a long shot.
Tyrann Mathieu: +3000
The Honey Badger himself has the best MVP odds of any defensive player in this game. He’s the type of player who makes a splash and draws attention to himself.
Mathieu also has the skillset to impact the game in several ways. We know he can force fumbles, recover fumbles, intercept passes and even pressure the quarterback. In short, he’s capable of making plays all over the field, which is why he’s the best bet of any defensive player. The catch is that the Chiefs would have to win a low-scoring game for Mathieu to receive serious MVP consideration.
Remember, Brady won MVP in Super Bowl 49 even though Malcolm Butler had the game-sealing interception. For a defensive player to win MVP, it’s about gaudy numbers rather than one or two game-changing plays.
Chris Jones: +6600
If you want a deep sleeper at MVP, consider Chris Jones.
Obviously, the odds are against him, although it’d be a massive payday if he ends up winning. In 54 Super Bowls, just three defensive linemen have won MVP honors, with the last one being Richard Dent in Super Bowl 20. However, Jones is a disruptive force on the Kansas City defensive line, and he’s facing a quarterback in Brady who isn’t particularly mobile.
It’s not out of the question that Jones could put consistent pressure on Brady, record a couple of sacks, and either force or recover a fumble or two. Such a scenario would put him in the conversation for MVP, especially if the game surprises us by being a low-scoring affair.
Again, the odds or long, but one could argue that Jones has the best chance to win MVP out of all of the players who are long shots.
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