The opening odds for the 2016 NFL MVP winner were released yesterday by Bovada, and at the top of the list are exactly the candidates you’d expect.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is first with 4/1 odds, while Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is second at 7/1. Panthers quarterback (and reigning MVP) Cam Newton is third with 15/2 odds, and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (8/1) and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (9/1) round out the top five. There really shouldn’t be any surprise with those five, but the player checking in at number six is interesting.
Bovada’s opening odds have Colts quarterback Andrew Luck with the sixth-best odds to win the MVP award this year at 12/1, tied with Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and ahead of Eli Manning, J.J. Watt, Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Todd Gurley, and Tony Romo (among others).
Luck isn’t the only Colts player included. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is buried way down on the list, but he’s tied for 47th with 250/1 odds, tying him with Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, DeMarco Murray, Jordy Nelson, Allen Robinson, Jonathan Stewart, and Demaryius Thomas. In other words, those are players who won’t win the award but who are still notable enough to receive odds.
It’s not uncommon for Andrew Luck to be so high on the list, as last year he opened the season with the second-best odds to win the MVP award behind only Aaron Rodgers. His season wound up to be a disastrous one, however, as he turned the football over 13 times in seven games and missed nine games due to injury. That led to a disappointing 8-8 season for the Colts, and the expectations for the team have cooled down significantly. Despite that, many people still expect Luck to return to form in 2016 and have a good season, like he had in each of his first three years in the NFL. If Andrew Luck can play well and help lead the Colts to a successful season, perhaps the perception that the Colts roster isn’t that good could help him win the award by showing how valuable he is to his team. Luck is certainly an underdog player to keep an eye on when discussing the MVP award.