Best bets for NFL MVP: Look at it as a portfolio


A good way to diversify an NFL futures portfolio in the preseason is to include action on the Most Valuable Player Award. Plays on subjectively based futures are good companions for investments made on quantitative modeling. 

Part of handicapping MVP futures is to predict the storylines and media coverage that sets the agenda not only for the fans and sportsbooks but the voters as well. That means betting this future isn’t just about identifying those who will play at an MVP level. A number of players will do so. It is determining which players will get enough votes from the media members. 

Let’s examine some names on the MVP odds board for plays based on the media narratives that will surround their candidacy.

MVP futures conversation must begin with Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes (+ 500 DraftKings and BetMGM). Excuse me while I wipe the chalk dust from the keyboard, but at this point the favorite also comes with some value. If you plan to make any MVP bets, they must include Mahomes and be done soon since this is probably the highest number all season for the face of the league. 

A preseason Mahomes play positions the bettor to be in front of the favorable storylines about the Chiefs quarterback we should be seeing in the NFL media.

Last season Mahomes was installed as the preseason favorite around + 350. That of course didn’t happen, so this year books have kept him in the top spot but at a higher price, in turn making this square play a little more justifiable. 

Making a parallel to betting golf futures, I never consider the short-odds favorite sitting atop the leaderboard. There are 120 or more other contenders with countless other variables that act against the favorite. Not so much here with the MVP, since part of being the favorite comes with a boost as media members position him that way from the start and the pool of those looking to knock him off isn’t as deep.

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