Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)
- Updated odds for the 2020-21 NFL MVP have been released
- Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes increased his lead on Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, and is now -300 to win
- Read below for a complete list of contenders and a breakdown between the two leaders
If Aaron Rodgers’ postgame remarks in the Green Bay Packers’ win against Carolina are any indication, he’s not thinking about his MVP chances so much as he is stringing together four quarters of consistent offense.
That is problematic for bettors considering him for the year-end honor, when his top competitor, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, lit up New Orleans’ typically strong pass defense on Sunday afternoon. Rodgers finished with just 143 yards passing and one touchdown while Mahomes delivered a 254-yard performance highlighted with three touchdown passes.
Rodgers was briefly favored to win ahead of Mahomes in the beginning of October, but fell back behind him again by the end of the month. By mid-November, Rodgers had gotten back within striking distance in the NFL MVP Odds, but now the gap has widened considerably back in Mahomes’ favor.
NFL MVP Odds
|Player||Average Odds Before Week 15||Odds After Week 15|
Updated odds from BetMGM on Dec. 20th
The Wrath of Rodgers
Rodgers had been on fire since Week 7 at Houston following a dud performance against Tampa Bay. After the Buccaneers intercepted him twice and held him to his lowest passing yard total of the season, he responded by throwing for more than 2,300 yards with 26 touchdowns over the proceeding eight weeks.
|Player||Passing Yards||Touchdowns||Interceptions||Completion %||Passer Rating|
Against Carolina, Rodgers was sacked five times for 47 yards and left Lambeau with a new season-low for passing yards in a game. After the game, he was critical of the Packers’ offense, particularly in the second half, where Green Bay only mustered 54 net yards. Against Houston in Week 8, he bounced back from his game against the Bucs with 283 yards passing and four touchdowns. Next week, the Packers host Tennessee, who has allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the league this season.
#Panthers Defense with their 5th sack of the day on #Packers QB: Rodgers.
This one could not have come in a better time.
Curious if taking the FG will come back to bite them, instead of going for the TD inside the 15, on the previous drive. pic.twitter.com/x8Q5zTMHea
— Lawrence Owen NFL (@Colts_Law) December 20, 2020
Rodgers leads the NFL in passing touchdowns and passer rating, but is behind Mahomes in passing yards, completions and ESPN’s Total QBR after this week. At home, Rodgers has actually thrown for fewer yards, touchdowns, and has been sacked more. Even though he’s likely to come back next week with guns blazing, he finishes the season at Chicago, which he has averaged just over 240 yards and two touchdowns against in his career. In their last meeting in Week 12, Rodgers completed 72%of his passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
The Momentum of Mahomes
Perhaps the best case to be made for Mahomes is the role he played in securing the top seed in the AFC for the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. Should Kansas City handle its business against Atlanta, that will clinch home field and a bye week to start the playoffs. However, that could also work against him should he play reduced minutes — or be held out — in the Chiefs’ final game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Patrick Mahomes straight out of backyard football🤯
— PFF (@PFF) December 20, 2020
Mahomes threw for close to 400 yards against Miami last weekend, but he also threw three of his five interceptions for the season in that game. Even in an otherwise forgettable performance, Rodgers became the first quarterback in league history to throw for 40 touchdowns three times in his career. Mahomes is close with 36, but if he can hit 40 as well over the course of the next two games, his reputation should be able to cover for whatever perceived advantage Rodgers might have.
Most Likely Outcome
When it comes to season-long awards such as League MVP, truly elite players tend to stay king of the mountain until they unseat themselves, rather than having another player force voters’ hand.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Nobody is questioning Rodgers’ ability to play at an MVP level in this or any other season, and he’s won the award twice before in 2011 and 2014. However, Mahomes missed a couple of games last year in defense of his 2018 MVP award, which cleared the path for Lamar Jackson to win. Holding Mahomes out of a potentially inconsequential Week 17 game seems less likely if Chiefs head coach Andy Reid senses that Rodgers could win it over his star QB.
Bettors shouldn’t feel too bad if they lose a bet on Rodgers to go bonkers in the last two weeks after the season he’s had. However, that’s what it’s going to take to edge out Mahomes, a past MVP that is currently the best player on the best team in the NFL.
Nick Krueger has over a decade of experience in sports media, covering a wide range of events including two Olympic Games for Yahoo Sports. Other areas of focus for Nick throughout his career have included college football recruiting, NCAA athletics and Major League Baseball Spring Training.