Who Will Be the 2019-20 NFL MVP - Predictions and Odds (Updated)
At the end of every season, Associated Press writers decide which NFL athlete was the most valuable to not only his team that year, but the league in general, and they honor their Most Valuable player with a sweet trophy and total bragging rights.
For the 62nd time ever, an NFL MVP will be determined at the end of the 2019 regular season (which is the 100th for the league) and at this point in Week 16, the oddsmakers have a decent idea of who the winner of that prestigious award will be.
In this piece, we go over the odds and predictions of the top five NFL players most likely to become the next MVP, the superior athlete who will stand out among his highly athletic peers as one of the best to play the game of professional football in 2019.
But first, let’s answer some need-to-know questions about this long-standing pro football honor.
Who Was the 2018 NFL MVP?
Last season, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named the NFL MVP, and even though his team did not make it to the Super Bowl (they lost in overtime to the eventual winners, the New England Patriots), he ended up throwing for 5,000+ passing yards and 50 touchdowns, the only other person in NFL history to do so besides Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
Mahomes played football last season with childish abandon, seemingly reinventing the quarterback position, throwing from every conceivable angle (including left-handed) and switching off between being an effective pocket passer and an impossible to chase down scrambler.
Mahomes is not the favored to win the MVP for the 2019 NFL season, however, mainly because he’s not having the same type of season he had last year (he even sat out a couple of games with a dislocated knee cap), but also because two other quarterbacks are basically playing football the way he did last season and have moved ahead of him in the oddsmakers’ predictions.
Who is Leading the NFL MVP Race?
You’ll have to read the entire article to get the answer to that question (he’s listed at the very end), but here are a few hints to help you figure out the answer.
Hint 1: He played his college football in Louisville and by the time he declared himself eligible for the NFL draft in 2018, many experts tried to convince him to become a wide receiver since they doubted his arm strength.
Hint 2: For his second NFL season (which was this year), his general manager, head coach and offensive coordinator did their combined best to build the team around his unique abilities to a) hide the ball in the run/pass option offense until the last minute, and b) use his speed to scramble free while avoiding the big hits (so far).
Hint 3: This young man is humble and prefers bragging about his teammates over tooting his own horn, although the ‘flock of birds’ he plays with have had nothing but MVP comments about him.
Any clue who this once-in-a-lifetime quarterback is?
What Does the NFL MVP Get as His Prize?
The winner of the NFL MVP receives a cool looking trophy.
Here’s a shot of last year’s winner, Patrick Mahomes, with his:
As for cash and other prizes (like the new automobile that Super Bowl MVPs used to receive), there is not a lot of evidence that those types of accolades are handed out to the MVP.
Of course, when you are awarding multi-millionaire athletes, it’s mostly the rare trophy and unique bragging rights that carry the value, since they are already floating around in plenty of money and material goods.
Do Fans Vote for NFL MVP?
No, the fans actually have nothing to do with who receives the NFL MVP award.
Fans votes actually do count towards which players make the Pro Bowl (in addition to the coaches’ and players’ votes) but not the MVP.
The AP Most Valuable Player award (which, among all the MVP awards out there, is considered the de facto version for the league) is determined through a voting process involving a panel of 50 sportswriters who regularly follow the NFL, a list that remains fairly consistent from year to year.
When and Where Will the NFL MVP Award Winner Be Announced?
The voting for the NFL MVP is done at the end of the regular season, right before the playoffs get started, and the winner of the award is typically announced to the public the day before the Super Bowl takes place, which is always sometime at the beginning of February.
This year, the NFL Honors ceremony will take place on February 1 on the eve of Super Bowl LIV and it will happen at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami Florida.
The NFL Honors ceremony will be televised by FOX, though a host for the show has yet to be determined (last year it was comedian Steve Harvey and the year before it was comedian Rob Riggle).
Who Was the First NFL MVP Winner?
The first winner of the AP MVP was awarded back in 1957 to Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown, although technically in the record book it was called the “NFL Most Outstanding Player Award” that year and didn’t take its current form until after the 1962 season.
Brown also won the award in 1958, when he shared the honor with Baltimore Colts defensive end Gino Marchetti.
In 1965, after the honor became dubbed the MVP Award, Brown won it again for the third and last time in his career.
Who Was the Last Non-QB to Win MVP?
The last non-QB to win the NFL MVP honors was running back Adrian Peterson after the 2012 season.
This accolade favors offensive players, and since 1962 when the prize officially became known as the MVP award, of the 57 winners, 54 of them have played on offense.
There have been 38 quarterback winners and 16 running backs, with just 2 defensive players winning the award – Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971 and New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986.
Has a Wide Receiver Ever Won an NFL MVP?
No, never, but once a placekicker did.
In 1982, Washington Redskins placekicker Mark Moseley snagged the award after making 20-of-21 field goals (95.2% of them, which was then a record) and making 16-of-19 extra-point attempts.
That happened during the year the Skins won Super Bowl XVII over the Miami Dolphins by a score of 27-17 in the strike-shortened season, a game where Moseley kicked two field goals and was successful on all three of this extra-point attempts.
Has a Rookie Player Ever Won the NFL MVP?
Yes, Jim Brown in 1957, although, as stated above, it was not called the MVP award back then, instead went by the name of the “NFL Most Outstanding Player Award.”
Towards the end of the 2016 season, Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott came close to winning the award, but quarterback Matt Ryan ended up taking the prize despite his Atlanta Falcons losing in overtime to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI by a score of 28-34.
Who Is the Youngest NFL MVP?
To be the most valuable player in the league not only takes skill and talent, but it also takes experience and football IQ, something that most younger players tend to lack (at least compared to those veterans already playing in the league).
The youngest player to ever win the NFL MVP happened last season when 23-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes took home the award after a breakthrough season that almost ended in a Super Bowl appearance for his Kansas City Chiefs.
Before Mahomes, Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Dan Marino had been the youngest player to win the MVP, also 23-years-old at the time the award was given out in 1984.
Who Is the Oldest Player to Win NFL MVP?
Football players famously ‘retire’ young, the game being so brutal that most human bodies can’t withstand the punishment for more than a few years before injuries determine a player’s future instead of their talent.
The oldest player to ever win the MVP award is (of course) GOAT quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, who was 40-years old when he won it at the end of the 2017 season.
Brady has also won the award in 2010 and in 2007, making his MVP total 3.
Which NFL Player Has Won the Most MVP Honors?
That would be quarterback Peyton Manning, who won the award a whopping 5 times over the course of his 18-year NFL career with two different teams.
Are There Any NFL Franchises That Have NEVER Produced an MVP Winner?
Yes, actually there are 8 NFL teams who have never yielded an MVP award winner.
They are the:
- Baltimore Ravens
- New York Jets
- Houston Texans
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- St. Louis / Phoenix / Arizona Cardinals
- Philadelphia Eagles
- New Orleans Saints
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Looking at the predicted 2020 MVP winners, that list of no shows will most likely change at the end of this season.
Predictions and Odds of the 2020 MVP Winner
And now, without further ado, here are the current top five candidates for the 2019-2020 MVP award, plus at the end, we’ll tell you who the least likely player to win is and the odds of that happening.
Bet responsibly, of course, and know that these predictions and odds can change after each of these final three weeks of the season, so grab any good bets you see before things change and the oddsmakers start shifting things around.
For more on how to bet on DraftKings head to our complete review – DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Site & Mobile App Review.
Check out the latest odds for the NFL MVP 2019-2020 below.
5) Jimmy Garoppolo
|Sportsbook||Odds to Win MVP 2019/2020|
Size: 6’ 2”, 225 pounds
NFL Team: San Francisco 49ers
College: Eastern Illinois
2019 Stats Line: Completed 273-of-393 for 3,245 yards and 25 touchdowns with 11 interceptions with a completion percentage of 69.5.
Analysis: After his initial role as Tom Brady’s backup in New England for his first three NFL seasons, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finally got his own team at the end of the 2017 season when he was traded to the struggling San Francisco 49ers and went an undefeated 5-0 to end that season.
Injuries kept Garoppolo from playing much in 2018, but he came back with a bang this season, starting the year out on an 8-0 run that’s turned into an 11-2 record for the 49ers, including wins over such postseason-bound teams as the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New Orleans Saints.
The 49ers close out their incredible 2019 season playing the Rams in Week 16 and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17, and how Garoppolo plays in those crucial games will not only determine where his team sits in the postseason (right now they’re projected to be the first overall NFC seed) but also whether he is considered the league’s most valuable player overall.
4) Deshaun Watson
|Sportsbook||Odds to Win MVP 2019/2020|
Size: 6’ 2”, 215 pounds
NFL Team: Houston Texans
2019 Stats Line: Completed 295-of-436 for 3,425 yards and 24 touchdowns with 9 interceptions with a completion percentage of 67.7.
Analysis: The AFC South-leading Houston Texans are just lukewarm with an 8-5 record going into Week 15, but their quarterback Deshaun Watson is hot, hot, hot, having a season that at points reminded fans of his rookie year when his ability to throw for touchdowns blew the league away.
Watson has 24 passing touchdowns this season and his completion percentage is fairly close to 70, but it’s in the big games (like when his Texans beat the Patriots in Week 13 and the Chiefs in Week 6) that the 7th ranked quarterback’s talent really tend to stand out.
With a quarterback rating of almost 101 and a team that’s currently projected to be the 4th AFC playoff seed, it’s no surprise that Watson is on this list of possible MVP candidates. The true test of his worthiness will come in Week 15 and Week 17 when his Texans twice face the only team that can end their playoff hopes and dreams, the 8-5 Tennessee Titans, who would love to win the AFC West instead.
3) Patrick Mahomes
|Sportsbook||Odds to Win MVP 2019/2020|
Size: 6’ 3”, 230 pounds
NFL Team: Kansas City Chiefs
College: Texas Tech
2019 Stats Line: Completed 353-of-392 for 3,266 yards and 21 touchdowns with 3 interceptions with a completion percentage of 64.5.
Analysis: Last year’s winner of the NFL MVP award was also the front runner for it in the preseason, but many things have happened to Patrick Mahomes since then, including a dislocated kneecap in Week 7 that forced him to sit out a couple of games and gameplay that looked slightly less magical than it did a year ago.
Plus injuries to key passing targets (namely Tyreek Hill) didn’t help Mahomes this season and it kept his production lower than it might have been had everyone stayed healthy, although despite that he and head coach Andy Reid have been able to craft together a 9-4 record that puts them easily atop the AFC West and projected as the 3rd AFC seed in the playoffs.
To win the MVP award, though, Mahomes would most likely have to take his team the distance by helping them win out the rest of the 2019 season, which involves beating the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Chargers, all doable tasks for the offensively talented Kansas City Roster, especially with a healthy Mahomes under center.
2) Russell Wilson
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Size: 5’ 11”, 215 pounds
NFL Team: Seattle Seahawks
College: NC State (2007-10) and Wisconsin (2011)
2019 Stats Line: Completed 280-of-419 for 3,422 yards and 26 touchdowns with 5 interceptions with a completion percentage of 66.8.
Analysis: Starting at about Week 4 (which is when his Seattle Seahawks began their 8-2 run), the name you kept hearing in MVP conversations was quarterback Russell Wilson, whose uncanny ability to find the open receiver while being on the run has turned some NFL heads for sure.
Wilson has been a solid player his entire 8-year NFL career (his overall record is 85-39-1), but this season has really stood out among the others, resulting in an 8th overall ranking among his peers and an impressive 26 passing touchdowns with just 5 interceptions and an impressive quarterback rating of 107.5.
Right now, Wilson’s 10-3 Seahawks are battling the 11-2 San Francisco 49ers for dominance in the NFC West, and how Wilson handles his team’s Week 17 matchup with those Niners could make all the difference in whether he is considered a league MVP after all, with a win at least ensuring his reputation as a quarterback who can win the big games when they count.
1) Lamar Jackson
|Sportsbook||Odds to Win MVP 2019/2020|
Size: 6’ 2”, 212 pounds
NFL Team: Baltimore Ravens
2019 Stats Line: Completed 345-of-370 for 2,889 yards and 33 touchdowns with 6 interceptions with a completion percentage of 66.2.
Analysis: The game of football has been practically reinvented by the quick and speedy quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson, whose version of the RPO offense has been befuddling opponents since the first game of this season.
Jackson is the favorite to win the MVP award right now because he has led his team to an 11-2 record, has clinched his division, the AFC North, and since the Ravens have already beaten the New England Patriots this year, is projected to be the number one overall AFC seed in the playoff (with the home-field advantage that comes with it).
With the way this initially underrated athlete has turned his team around and has caused other teams to totally adjust the way they play the game of football, right now Lamar Jackson looks to be not only the most valuable player to his team but to the entire league in general.
NFL MVP Longest Shot
This final player on the list most likely doesn’t have a chance to snag this award, but he still gets odds from the oddsmakers and he still gets mad props for even being on the list.
Side Note: Just before the season started, the longest shot for MVP was New England Patriots’ slot receiver Julian Edelman at +25000, which is exactly half of what the current long shot is getting from the oddsmakers right now.
Size: 6’ 1”, 215 pounds
NFL Team: Cleveland Browns
2019 Stats Line: Completed 255-of-431 for 3,109 yards and 15 touchdowns with 16 interceptions with a completion percentage of 59.2.
Analysis: The Cleveland Browns fooled everybody this year – they actually (and shockingly) started out the season in many a Super Bowl conversation, but it didn’t take long (as in the first game where they got killed by the Tennessee Titans) to figure out that this team is too young and inexperienced as a group to really do any damage (yet).
As talented as Baker Mayfield is (he’s got an accurate rocket for an arm), he had a difficult time getting rid of the ball quickly this season because his offensive line (injured, understaffed and mostly lacking any big-name talent) failed to protect him effectively, the result being 33 sacks, 16 interceptions thrown and a 6-7 team record that does not look quite good enough to get them to the postseason.
Of course, Baker’s Browns were only one of two teams who actually beat the Baltimore Ravens (they play them again in Week 17) and once they fix their O-line problems during the offseason and Mayfield spends a little more time with his playmakers, these Browns could actually be as good as some have already predicted.