2020 NFL MVP Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds
2020 NFL MVP Odds
Odds as of September 15, provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
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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 63rd time ever, an NFL MVP will be determined at the end of the upcoming 2020 regular season and at this point in the offseason, the oddsmakers already have a decent idea of who the winner of that prestigious award will be.
In this piece, we go over the top NFL MVP odds and predictions, 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 2020.
But first, let’s answer some need-to-know questions about this long-standing pro football honor.
Who is Favorite to Win the NFL MVP in 2020?
Patrick Mahomes is the sportsbooks’ favorite to win the NFL MVP award in the 2020 season. The Texas Tech quarterback lead the Kansas City Chiefs to its first Super Bowl championship in 50 years in 2019, and is favorite to do the same in 2020.
Who Was the 2019 NFL MVP?
Last year, in his first full NFL season, Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson was named the NFL MVP after leading his team to an impressive 14-2 record and their second playoff appearance in two years.
Jackson uses his speed and agility to evade tackles, but it’s his ability to keep the football hidden until the last possible second in his unique version of the run/pass option attack that has put him on the map as a total game-changer.
It also doesn’t hurt that Jackson is young (23) and the current Ravens team that general manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh have surrounded him with were selected specifically based on his skills.
NFL MVP by Year
Here is a list of every NFL MVP winner by year:
|2019||Lamar Jackson||Baltimore Ravens|
|2018||Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City Chiefs|
|2017||Tom Brady||New England Patriots|
|2016||Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons|
|2015||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers|
|2014||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers|
|2013||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos|
|2012||Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings|
|2011||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers|
|2010||Tom Brady||New England Patriots|
|2009||Peyton Manning||Indianapolis Colts|
|2008||Peyton Manning||Indianapolis Colts|
|2007||Tom Brady||New England Patriots|
|2006||LaDainian Tomlinson||San Diego Chargers|
|2005||Shaun Alexander||Seattle Seahawks|
|2004||Peyton Manning||Indianapolis Colts|
|2003||Steve McNair||Tennessee Titans|
|2003||Peyton Manning||Indianapolis Colts|
|2002||Rich Gannon||Oakland Raiders|
|2001||Kurt Warner||St. Louis Rams|
|2000||Marshall Faulk||St. Louis Rams|
|1999||Kurt Warner||St. Louis Rams|
|1998||Terrell Davis||Denver Broncos|
|1997||Barry Sanders||Detroit Lions|
|1997||Brett Favre||Green Bay Packers|
|1996||Brett Favre||Green Bay Packers|
|1995||Brett Favre||Green Bay Packers|
|1994||Steve Young||San Francisco 49ers|
|1993||Emmitt Smith||Dallas Cowboys|
|1992||Steve Young||San Francisco 49ers|
|1991||Thurman Thomas||Buffalo Bills|
|1990||Joe Montana||San Francisco 49ers|
|1989||Joe Montana||San Francisco 49ers|
|1988||Boomer Esiason||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1987||John Elway||Denver Broncos|
|1986||Lawrence Taylor||New York Giants|
|1985||Marcus Allen||Los Angeles Raiders|
|1984||Dan Marino||Miami Dolphins|
|1983||Joe Theismann||Washington Redskins|
|1982||Mark Moseley||Washington Redskins|
|1981||Ken Anderson||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1980||Brian Sipe||Cleveland Browns|
|1979||Earl Campbell||Houston Oilers|
|1978||Terry Bradshaw||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|1977||Walter Payton||Chicago Bears|
|1976||Bert Jones||Baltimore Colts|
|1975||Fran Tarkenton||Minnesota Vikings|
|1974||Ken Stabler||Oakland Raiders|
|1973||O.J. Simpson||Buffalo Bills|
|1972||Larry Brown||Washington Redskins|
|1971||Alan Page||Minnesota Vikings|
|1970||John Brodie||San Francisco 49ers|
|1969||Roman Gabriel||Los Angeles Rams|
|1968||Earl Morrall||Baltimore Colts|
|1967||Johnny Unitas||Baltimore Colts|
|1966||Bart Starr||Green Bay Packers|
|1965||Jim Brown||Cleveland Browns|
|1964||Johnny Unitas||Baltimore Colts|
|1963||Y.A. Tittle||New York Giants|
|1962||Jim Taylor||Green Bay Packers|
|1961||Paul Hornung||Green Bay Packers|
|1960||Norm Van Brocklin||Philadelphia Eagles|
|1959||Johnny Unitas||Baltimore Colts|
|1958||Jim Brown||Cleveland Browns|
|1957||Jim Brown||Cleveland Browns|
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Does the NFL MVP Get Money?
The winner of the NFL MVP receives a cool looking trophy. 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 location of the NFL Honors ceremony has yet to be determined, but if history is any indication of the type of halls the NFL prefers to use, it will be a site worthy of this prestigious player award.
The NFL Honors ceremony will be televised, though a network and host for the show have yet to be determined (the last two years it was comedian Steve Harvey and in 2017 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 Ever?
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 in 2019 when 23-year-old quarterback Lamar Jackson took home the award after a breakthrough season in which he lead the Baltimore Ravens to the playoffs.
Before Jackson, Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes had been the youngest player to win the MVP in the season prior, also 23-years-old at the time.
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.
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.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Manning shared his first MVP in 2003 with Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair and then won the award again with the Colts in 2004, 2008 and 2009.
Peyton’s final MVP came in 2013 after he had been traded to the Denver Broncos and took them to Super Bowl XLVIII, which they sadly lost to the Seattle Seahawks by a lopsided score of 8-43.
Are There Any NFL Franchises That Have NEVER Produced an MVP Winner?
Yes, actually there are 7 NFL teams who have never yielded an MVP award winner.
They are the:
- 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.
2020 MVP Winner Predictions Top 5
And now, without further ado, here are the current top five candidates for the 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.
5) Drew Brees
Size: 6’ 0”, 209 pounds
NFL Team: New Orleans Saints
2019 Stats Line (just 9 games, due to thumb injury): Completed 281-of-378 for 2,979 yards and 27 touchdowns with 4 interceptions with a completion percentage of 74.3, which led the league.
Analysis: In the fourteen seasons of his 19-year NFL career that veteran quarterback Drew Brees has been under center in New Orleans, he has brought the team to the playoffs eight times and to a Super Bowl victory once in 2009, the Saints’ first and only appearance in a Big Game in franchise history.
Brees, a shoo-in as a first-round selection for the Football Hall of Fame when the time comes would most likely need to win his (and the Saints’) second Lombardi Trophy ever for him to be considered for the 2020 MVP since at this point, getting them to the playoffs is old hat for Brees.
If Brees were to win the MVP at the end of this season, he would become the oldest player in NFL history to have ever won the award, replacing his elder colleague, Tom Brady, for that honor (see above), and it would be Brees’ first regular-season MVP trophy, though he was named MVP of Super Bowl XLIV.
4) Deshaun Watson
Size: 6’ 2”, 215 pounds
NFL Team: Houston Texans
2019 Stats Line (15 games): Completed 333-of-495 for 3,852 yards and 26 touchdowns with 12 interceptions with a completion percentage of 67.3.
Analysis: For each of the last two seasons, Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson has been healthy enough to start under center in fifteen games and lead the team to the playoffs, last season losing in the Divisional playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Watson’s natural speed and ability to evade tacklers outside the pocket make him a dual-threat that defenses must game plan around, carrying the ball 82 times for 413 yards and 7 touchdowns last season, plus catching a 6-yard pass for a touchdown.
Watson has been sacked 106 times in the last two seasons, so for him to have a chance at the 2020 MVP award, his front line had better step up and start protecting the man (talking to you, Laremy Tunsil), since it’s difficult to be the league’s most valuable player from the bottom of the pile.
3) Lamar Jackson
Size: 6’ 2”, 212 pounds
NFL Team: Baltimore Ravens
2019 Stats Line (15 games): Completed 265-of-401 for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns with 6 interceptions with a completion percentage of 66.1.
Analysis: In just his second season in the NFL, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson essentially reinvented the way the run/pass option (RPO) offense is executed, his uncanny ability to hide the ball until the last moment and then run with the moves of a running back and the speed of a deep threat wide receiver earning him the 2019 MVP Award.
For Jackson to win that honor two seasons in a row, though, he would have to have an equally impressive regular season followed by an even better postseason run than he and the Ravens were able to muster in January, with Baltimore failing to get past the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional round, losing 12-28 in that one.
A Super Bowl appearance (at least, and even better, a win) would certainly help Jackson’s 2020 MVP cause, the 23-year-old seeming as confident as an old-time veteran with his ability to get his Ravens back to the Big Game to perhaps win their third-ever ring in franchise history.
2) Russell Wilson
Size: 5’ 11”, 215 pounds
NFL Team: Seattle Seahawks
College: NC State (2007-10) and Wisconsin (2011)
2019 Stats Line (16 games): Completed 341-of-516 for 4,110 yards and 31 touchdowns with 5 interceptions with a completion percentage of 66.1.
Analysis: Russell Wilson is at that perfect quarterbacking age – 31 – where he’s old enough now to have some solid NFL experience under center and the football IQ to understand exactly what defenses are trying to do to him, yet he’s still young enough to move his body outside the pocket to avoid said trouble, as evidenced by his 75 carries for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns last season.
Wilson has brought his Seattle Seahawks to the playoffs in seven of his eight NFL seasons, including two Super Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl XLVIII win in 2013, so to win the MVP in 2020 he would probably have to get his team back to the promised land (and better yet, another Lombardi Trophy), something Pete Carroll, the oldest head coach in the league at 66, would most likely appreciate sooner rather than later.
Last season Wilson signed a four-year, $140 million contract extension and became the highest-paid player in the NFL, so taking his Seahawks the distance again would definitely prove his net worth, plus it would be the icing on the cake of his already successful career, one which seems to be leading him gradually (and arguably) towards Canton, Ohio.
1) Patrick Mahomes
Size: 6’ 3”, 230 pounds
NFL Team: Kansas City Chiefs
College: Texas Tech
2019 Stats Line (14 games): Completed 319-of-484 for 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns with 5 interceptions with a completion percentage of 65.9.
Analysis: The winner of the 2018 NFL MVP Award, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is ready to start in just his fourth NFL season and already he has earned a Super Bowl ring and both a Super Bowl and league MVP Trophy, with him and his head coach, Andy Reid, poised to seek out a few more.
With the football IQ of a crafty veteran and an arm that fires deadly missiles regardless of where he happens to be scrambling (or looking), Mahomes is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players that will most likely be the league MVP on at least several more occasions, and 2020 seems just as likely a good year for that as any.
NFL MVP Longest Shot
These final two players on the list most likely won’t have a chance to snag this award, but they still receive odds from the oddsmakers and they still get mad props for even being on the list, especially the rookie.
Long Shot Veteran: Leonard Fournette (+25000)
Position: Running Back
Size: 6’ 0”, 228 pounds
NFL Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
2019 Stats Line: Carried the ball 265 times for 1,152 yards and 3 touchdowns, also with 76 catches for 522 yards.
Analysis: Last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette quietly became the seventh most productive at his position in the NFL, carrying the ball 265 times for a career-high 1,152 yards and 3 touchdowns with 76 catches for 522 yards in just his third year in the league.
There have only been sixteen running backs ever chosen as the NFL MVP, the last one was after the 2012 season when the Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was selected, so that helps to explain why Fournette is such a longshot with horrible odds.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has only been to the playoffs once in his three years in Jacksonville, which was the only time the team had been to the postseason since 2007, so a successful trip the playoffs on the legs of Fournette could be the ticket to his MVP Award at the end of the 2020 season.
Long Shot Rookie: Justin Herbert (+20000)
Size: 6’ 1”, 215 pounds
NFL Team: TBD (predicted to be a high first-round pick)
2019 Stats Line (14 games): Completed 286-of-428 for 3,471 yards and 32 touchdowns with 6 interceptions with a completion percentage of 66.8.
Analysis: For a rookie who hasn’t even been drafted yet to make this potential MVP list, even as a longshot, says a lot about the NFL potential of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.
Some mocks have Herbert going to the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round with their pick, the sixth overall, and they would most likely expect him to start the season under center since their franchise quarterback, Philip Rivers, has not been re-signed.
If Herbert were to lead the playoff starved Chargers back to the playoffs for just the third time in ten seasons, that could go a long way for the rookie to earn the league MVP honors, which would technically be the first time that’s ever happened in the history of the award*.
*Jim Brown won it as a rookie before it was called the MVP Award (see above).
Check back with WSN to see how the odds change in time and who will most likely become the 2020 NFL MVP.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.