There’s a new odds-on favorite to win NFL MVP in 2021. He’s also the player who won the league MVP race in 2020.
Aaron Rodgers is looking for his fourth MVP award and first repeat as the Packers’ quarterback. After the results of Week 15, Rodgers has edged Tom Brady, who’s vying for his first MVP with the Buccaneers and also his fourth overall.
Anything can happen, however, because there are still three regular-season games left before the playoffs to determine who should be the winner. Here’s a breakdown of the latest MVP odds from FanDuel going into Week 16 and who’s the best bet:
NFL MVP race 2021
1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers (+145)
2021 stats: 3,487 yards passing, 67.8 completion percentage, 7.9 yards per attempt, 30 TDs, 4 INTs, 110.4 passer rating, 67.3 ESPN QBR
Rodgers has been red-hot while playing through his toe injury and is back to the league’s highest level of efficiency. He won’t hit the 48 TDs of his spectacular 2020, but he’s made much fewer mistakes than the competition behind him. Should he hit 40 TDs with a big finish he will be tough to unseat. Taking him with these odds, however, is difficult given the remaining “if.”
2. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers (+185)
2021 stats: 4,348 yards passing, 67.1 completion percentage, 7.2 yards per attempt, 36 TDs, 11 INTs, 100.4 passer rating, 64.1 ESPN QBR
Brady picked a bad time to have his worst game of the season (by far) against the Saints on Sunday night in Week 15. Now his TD pass lead has dwindled and the double-digit picks don’t help in relation to Rodgers. Not having all his key wide receivers healthy will hurt, too. That said, the award is sometimes narrative-based, and him having another big overall season at age 44 will get some love, supported by the Super Bowl win in between seasons.
3. Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams (+900)
2021 stats: 4,142 yards passing, 67.6 completion percentage, 8.3 yards per attempt, 35 TDs, 10 INTs, 108.2 passer rating, 65.7 ESPN QBR
The narrative around Stafford was built up early, that he would take it to another level with his strong passing skills in Sean McVay’s offense. That’s been the case, but it’s not like he hasn’t done some of this before with the Lions numbers-wise and he’s also had more clunkers than Brady, despite outdueling him head-to-head. He remains inflated and overrated here, too.
4. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts (+950)
2021 stats: 1,518 rushing yards, 5.6 yards per rushing attempt, 108.4 rushing yards per game, 36 receptions, 336 yards, 19 total TDs
Taylor should not be behind Stafford and at this point, should have passed Brady in the odds. That makes him an incredible value and by far the best bet on the board. The key for him is surpassing 2,300 yards from scrimmage and 23 TDs. There’s no question the Colts would not be a playoff-caliber team without him. His 1,854 scrimmage yards represent 37 percent of their total offense.
5. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs (+1100)
2021 stats: 4,052 yards passing, 65.6 completion percentage, 7.4 yards per attempt, 30 TDs, 13 INTs, 95.8 passer rating, 58.2 ESPN QBR
So much for Mahomes’ un-Mahomes season. When pulling back and looking at his numbers, they stack up against the top QBs. But they’re just standing out enough to win a second MVP, even with the Chiefs ready to be the AFC’s top seed again.
6. Josh Allen, QB, Bills (+1500)
2021 stats: 3,734 yards passing, 65.2 completion percentage, 7.1 yards per attempt, 31 TDs, 12 INTs, 95.9 passer rating, 57.7 ESPN QBR
Allen, like Mahomes, was a distant MVP runner-up to Rodgers last season. He has had a big cooldown season although he’s taking over more of the Bills’ offense down the stretch. You can’t go with him or Mahomes in the muddled middle of these odds.
7. Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers (+3200)
2021 stats: 4,058 yards passing, 66.4 completion percentage, 7.5 yards per attempt, 32 TDs, 12 INTs, 99.1 passer rating, 66.2 ESPN QB
Herbert should be getting more attention with Brady and Rodgers. Everyone keeps talking about whether he’s the best young gun in the game. The Chargers wouldn’t be sniffing the playoffs without his super sophomore season. If you’re in the long shot mood, you might think about taking a shot, but unfortunately while Stafford gets the L.A. love, the voters have a blindspot for the other team in Tinseltown.