Updated NFL MVP Odds After NFL Week 7

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2012

Updated NFL MVP Odds After NFL Week 7

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    Quarterbacks naturally dominate the list of prime candidates for the NFL's MVP award. After Week 7, some, including last season's winner Aaron Rodgers, are trending upwards.

    Rodgers is joined by some usual suspects such as Tom Brady. Two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning continues to strengthen his case with some late heroics against a divisional rival.

    Here is a list of updated NFL MVP odds after seven weeks, beginning with a pair of Houston Texans.

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

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    As the NFL's leading rusher, Arian Foster continues to be an outside choice to beat out one of the many quarterbacks who will contend for the league MVP award.

    Easily the most significant player for the Houston Texans, Foster leads all runners with 659 yards. Week 7 saw him amass 98 yards on 19 tough carries against the Baltimore Ravens. He also found the end zone twice, taking his season scoring tally to 10 touchdowns.

    What counts against Foster scooping the award is his mediocre 3.9 yards per carry average. That's down from last season's 4.4 and the career-high 4.9 mark he set in 2010.

    Odds: 50-1

J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

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    If any defensive player has a chance to take home the gong, it is Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The second-year pro has dominated in every game through seven weeks.

    Against the Ravens, Watt added two more batted passes to his season tally of 10. He also continues to lead the league in sacks with 9.5.

    Missing from Watt's stat sheet are some forced fumbles. It's tough enough for defensive players to win the award, so Watt must add some turnovers to his numbers to improve his odds.

    Odds: 50-1

Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

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    Victor Cruz has overcome a shaky performance on opening night to be the most prolific weapon in the New York Giants passing game. He has picked up the slack and run with it while Hakeem Nicks has struggled with injury since the departure in free agency of Mario Manningham.

    In Week 7, Cruz simply dominated the Washington Redskins and was the difference between the two NFC East rivals. He hauled in seven receptions for 131 yards and scored the game-winner on an 80-yard catch and run.

    That gave Cruz seven touchdowns after seven games, just two short of his mark for the entire 2011 campaign. At this pace, Cruz could end this season as the league's most prolific receiver, giving him a chance of also being its most valuable player.

    Odds: 40-1

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

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    It's a struggle to find enough superlatives to apply to Adrian Peterson's performances this season. He has produced a shock recovery from a serious knee injury to be the driving force behind the Minnesota Vikings' equally surprising 5-2 start.

    At 27, Peterson could be expected to have slowed, given his injury history and the number of carries he has amassed during his career. Yet he has 652 yards on the ground after seven weeks, good enough for the third-best mark in the NFL.

    Even more impressive is his 4.8 yards per carry average and a league-leading seven runs of 20 yards or more. Those figures prove Peterson is just as dynamic as ever, and if he carries the Vikings to the playoffs, the NFL will have to give him strong consideration as its most valuable player.

    Odds: 40-1

Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

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    Another week dominating the highlight reel is good enough to keep sensational rookie Robert Griffin III in the mix for NFL MVP. Only a defeat to the New York Giants and some costly second-half turnovers in Week 7 prevent the Washington Redskins quarterback from being higher on the list.

    A 101.8 rating is particularly impressive for a rookie, but it is Griffin's knack for the big play that gives him the best chance of capturing the award. His 4th-and-10 conversion in the fourth quarter against the Giants showcased the athleticism no other quarterback can match, as he outran Jason Pierre-Paul and eluded Osi Umenyiora.

    When Pierre-Paul closes in on any quarterback, that passer is usually planted in the turf. No other signal-caller but Griffin could have beaten Pierre-Paul's speed.

    Taking the 3-4 Redskins to the playoffs is a tall order for Griffin but would certainly boost the rookie's chances of capturing the award.

    Odds: 25-1

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

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    You should never feel safe betting against Tom Brady for the league's MVP award, and that's still true this season, despite the New England Patriots being far from dominant at 4-3.

    Brady has the second-most passing yards in the NFL with 2,104. He's also tied for the fewest interceptions with three.

    His scoring passes are slightly down, as are the big plays, with Brady completing only three attempts of 40 yards or more.

    That's contributed to a rating of 96.9, but don't count Brady out just yet, as he still has the weapons and the acumen to more than match the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning.

    Odds: 8-1

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

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    There are probably still sections of the NFL fanbase who doubt Eli Manning's credentials as an elite quarterback. He should probably just stop trying to convince those people, because in all honesty, there isn't much more Manning can do to prove his dominance.

    He tops the passing charts in yards after seven weeks with 2,109 and carried the Giants to victory in his last outing. Seven interceptions do count against Manning, but would the Giants even stand a chance without him?

    Certainly not, and shouldn't that be the most important question when deciding the league's most valuable player?

    Odds: 5-1

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

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    Quarterbacks as efficient as Aaron Rodgers usually aren't as dynamic or prolific. However, the Green Bay Packers ace manages to combine accuracy with big plays and makes it look easy.

    Rodgers leads the NFL in quarterback rating with a 109.6 mark and is tops in touchdown passes too, having completed 19 scoring strikes in just seven games.

    Last Sunday, Rodgers tormented the upstart Rams on the road in St. Louis. He threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Rodgers' odds were already high after destroying the Houston Texans' vaunted defense in Week 6.

    Having picked up the award last year and currently leading the major passing stats, it would take a brave person to bet against Rodgers for 2012 NFL MVP.

    Odds: 4-1