2021-22 NFL MVP: Predictions, Odds for Award's Top Candidates

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2022

2021-22 NFL MVP: Predictions, Odds for Award's Top Candidates

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    Eight NFL teams are still vying for the league's ultimate prize, the Lombardi Trophy. However, the Lombardi isn't the only notable award that will be handed out in the coming weeks. Individual awards, like the NFL's Most Valuable Player, will be awarded at the NFL Honors.

    The Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans are still in the mix for Super Bowl LVI. What does the race for MVP look like? Let's dive in.

    Here, you'll find the latest MVP odds, a look at the top candidates and our prediction for 2021 NFL MVP.

Latest MVP Odds and Overview

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    MVP odds are no longer available at  DraftKings Sportsbook, which isn't entirely surprising. The same voters who decide the MVP also vote on the All-Pro selections. All-Pro information is available.

    "Aaron Rodgers got 34 votes to 16 for Tom Brady for All-Pro. It’s the same voters so Rodgers essentially just won MVP," NFL Media's Gregg Rosenthal tweeted on January 14.

    However, when Bleacher Report's Alex Ballentine checked in on the odds on Tuesday, they were as follows:

    • Aaron Rodgers: -400
    • Tom Brady: +500
    • Joe Burrow: +1000
    • Jonathan Taylor: +1600
    • Cooper Kupp: +2000
    • Josh Allen: +5000
    • Patrick Mahomes: +5000

    The NFL MVP is supposed to be a regular-season-award, and with the regular season over, the race for MVP should be settled. However, voters have their own decision-making processes, and we've seen changes before. Two years ago, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson received 47 votes for first-team All-Pro. He went on to unanimously win the MVP.

    So, while Rodgers appears to be the overwhelming favorite—and sportsbooks are taking MVP off the board because of it—he hasn't won the MVP award just yet. We're unlikely to see a shocker here, but it's worth checking in on the top candidates just in case.

Top Candidates

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    Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

    Rodgers is the favorite for a reason. The Packers went 13-3 as a starter this season and was 13-2 in games that he started and finished. It also helps his case that in the one game he missed—Week 9 against Kansas City—Green Bay mustered only seven points and lost.

    Statistically, Rodgers was equally impressive. He finished the year with 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He led the league with a 111.9 passer rating.

    Rodgers wasn't quite as prolific as he was a year ago, but he was arguably the best passer in the NFL once again this season.


    Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady may not have been as efficient as Rodgers this season, but he was nevertheless statistically impressive. He led the league with 485 completions, 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdown passes.

    Brady did throw 12 interceptions, but that's a comparatively low number given his 719 passing attempts.

    Hurting Brady's candidacy is the Week 15 shutout loss to the New Orleans Saints. Brady was rolling to that point, but against New Orleans, he finished a dismal 26-of-48 for 214 yards with an interception. Rodgers had his own bad game this season, but it came back in Week 1.

    Recency bias may keep Brady from winning this year's MVP.


    Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

    Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow did his fair share of leading the league. He led the NFL in completion percentage (70.4) and yards per attempt (8.9). That's a rare combination of downfield passing and efficiency that demonstrates just how good the second-year signal-caller has become.

    One could easily argue that no quarterback was better down the stretch than Burrow. In his last two regular-season starts—against the Baltimore Ravens and the Chiefs—he threw for a combined 972 yards with eight touchdown passes and no interceptions.


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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    Look, anything could happen between now and February 10, when the NFL Honors will take place. It's entirely possible that some voters believe that Rodgers is the best quarterback but not the league's most valuable player.

    Again, something similar happened the year Jackson won the MVP award.

    Associated Press voter Hub Arkush has already gone on record saying that he won't vote for Rodgers for MVP.

    I can guarantee you I will not be the only one not voting for him," Arkush told 670 The Score in Chicago (h/t ProFootballTalk's Michael David Smith).

    There's a chance (there's always a chance) that enough voters feel that Brady or Burrow was more valuable to his team than Rodgers—even if they weren't the best quarterback. Still, our guess is that Rodgers holds enough of a margin to take home a second-consecutive MVP award.

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