Super Bowl 2013: Making the Case for Massive Long-Shot MVP Winners

Tim KeeneyContributor IFebruary 3, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 20:  LaMichael James #23 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after the 49ers defesnse stops the Atlanta Falcons on fourth down in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome on January 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The best part of the Super Bowl is making long-shot bets. 

Sure, there's the whole thing about the two best teams in the league going at it for one of the highest honors in all of sports. Meh. 

I guess there's also all the tasty appetizers and drinks. I guess those are OK.

But the real best part of the Big Game is landing a 25-to-1 or 50-to-1 bet and then bragging about it to all your friends.

(And, of course, not telling anyone you actually made such a ridiculous bet if end up losing—which you probably will.)

Betting on the MVP gives you the greatest opportunity for a big-time payout, so let's take a look at an intriguing option from each squad. 

Note: All odds come from


Basic Super Bowl Odds

Spread: San Francisco (-3.5)

Moneyline: Baltimore (7/5), San Francisco (5/8)

Over/under: 47.5


Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens

Most of the talk will undoubtedly be surrounding Ray Lewis, but Ed Reed isn't necessarily a slouch. 

In order for a defensive player to win Super Bowl MVP, he'll likely have to either return an offensive mistake to the house or record multiple takeaways.

It's a good thing Reed is one of the best in NFL history at both of those things. 

The veteran safety is 10th all-time with 61 interceptions, 10th all-time with seven interceptions returned for touchdowns and No. 1 in interception return yardage. 

There's no better playmaker in the game, and if Reed, who has four interceptions, three fumbles forced and a score on the season, finds pay dirt off a takeaway, it will take a monumental performance to beat him. 

At 22-to-1, that's an easy risk to take. 


LaMichael James, RB, San Francisco 49ers

James certainly doesn't get a lot of carries, but he doesn't need them. 

Since finally getting a shot to prove his worth back in Week 14 against the Miami Dolphins, the rookie from Oregon has received 35 carries and pulled in five catches in six games.

That comes out to just 6.67 touches per contest, but James has reeled off an amazing 220 total yards, or 5.5 yards per touch. If you want to just look at the ground game, he is averaging 5.14 yards per carry and a staggering 6.93 in his last three contests.

All of this is a fancy way of saying James is a home-run threat. He's rattled off several long runs and as a change-of- pace back, he is an 80-yard dash to the end zone waiting to happen. 

But it doesn't end there. 

James has seen action as a kick returner, and he's proven to be quite dangerous back there, too. In just 18 tries, he has racked up 504 yards, or 28 yards per return. 

It's a long shot relying on a big play or two from a guy who touches the ball very few times, but at 50-to-1, it's worth it.