Legendary Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown won the first two NFL Most Valuable Player Awards and added a third in 1965. No Browns player has won the award since, but clearly bettors at William Hill Sportsbook believe quarterback Baker Mayfield can end that drought in 2021 as no player on the MVP prop has taken more betting action than the former Heisman Trophy winner. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen is second.
A bettor in Illinois dropped $5,000 on Mayfield when the QB was at +4000 for a total potential payout of $205,000, which is the largest 2021-22 NFL MVP wager taken thus far at William Hill. In terms of money wagered on the NFL MVP prop, Mayfield is taking 12 percent. No other player has gotten more than seven percent. Mayfield is fifth in terms of tickets sold at six percent. All that action has dropped Mayfield’s odds considerably.
“MVP is certainly wide open, which is good,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “Everyone’s got a decent plus price and the tickets have been scattered all over so far. … “Baker played well in the playoffs last year. The Browns are still the hot commodity this offseason, people are betting them in every fashion. Cleveland has a lot of weapons and a strong offensive line, [Odell Beckham Jr.] is even healthy again. He opened at 40/1 and is down to 20/1, and we lose pretty good with Baker.”
Mayfield had his best season in 2020 in leading the Browns to the playoffs, completing 62.8 percent of his passes for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns, eight interceptions (by far a career low) and a rating of 95.9. The former No. 1 overall pick has plenty of weapons around him in running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, and tight ends Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant and David Njoku.
No Bills quarterback has won MVP and the franchise’s last winner was running back Thurman Thomas in 1991. Allen, who is probably getting a crazy-big contract extension any day now, is +1000 on that prop and tied for the most tickets sold on this wager at nine percent with new Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, and tied for second at seven percent on money wagered.
Last year, Allen set several franchise records in leading the Bills to the AFC title game, completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 4,544 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 picks for a rating of 107.2. He also rushed for 421 yards and eight scores in finishing a distant second to Aaron Rodgers for MVP.
Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft and Allen No. 7. Sadly, the Bills and Browns don’t play in the 2021 season but certainly could in the playoffs.
Patrick Mahomes remains the +450 favorite to win his second MVP and Rodgers +700 to repeat and win his fourth.
“Mahomes is at +450 now and we’re in really good shape with him, so that’s going to go up before the season starts,” Bogdanovich said. “Rodgers will probably go up too, just with all the distractions and the chance to repeat [as MVP] is tough. They’ve also been betting quarterbacks at higher prices given how wide open this race seems.”
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