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NFL MVP Power Rankings: Breaking Down the Field After Week 8

After Week 8, we take a look at the NFL MVP race and give you the best value plays, sleepers, and overrated players off of the top of the list by NFL expert Brett Oswalt.
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NFL MVP Power Rankings: Breaking Down the Field After Week 8 

Three Top Dogs 

Josh Allen (+300)

He owns +250 odds at a trio of sportsbooks, and as short as +200 odds elsewhere, Josh Allen is the consistent leader to win the hardware at year’s end. After all, he’s the leader of a 5-2 Bills team with more than 2,100 yards and 20 touchdowns in total offense. In addition, he’s on pace to surpass his rushing total from last year, while juicy matchups with the Jaguars and Jets will help Allen pad his overall stats over the next two weeks. 

Tom Brady (+550)

Tom Brady, while nearly 20 years Allen’s senior, checks in with the shortest odds (+400) of any other player across popular books. He has the distinct advantage of doing something special at a ridiculous age and might even break the passing touchdown record when all is said and done. 

Kyler Murray (+600)

Listed at +500 or +600 odds at most books, Kyler Murray shares the traits of Allen in that he’s a young quarterback leading a team with a high win total to this point. He’s been plagued by a couple of below-average games and injuries of late, yet he’s improved in most passing metrics this season and should also benefit from facing average defenses down the back half. 

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Two Overrated Contenders 

Dak Prescott (+750)

With six wins and only one loss to their ledger, the Cowboys figure to run away with the NFC East and make their way to the playoffs as a top-three seed. That much is in Dak Prescott’s favor, but the volume stats just aren’t there. The run game, an improved defense, and a recent injury have him outside the top 10 in passing yards and 8th in passing touchdowns. And he’s yet to add a rushing score to help out his case. It’s hard to swallow his +650 odds compared to the likes of Brady, Murray, and Matthew Stafford around that same return. 

Aaron Rodgers (+1100)

The same goes for Aaron Rodgers, though the reward of +800 or as long as +1100 odds is much closer to matching the risk. He and the Packers are off to a 7-1 start, but it’s been a more balanced approach, as Rogers rates just 13th in adjusted net yards per attempt and is off his 2020 pace for yards and touchdowns despite one additional game. Plus, he’s due to miss the Pack’s next game or two after contracting COVID-19 and entering healthy and safety protocols. 

One Great Value 

Matthew Stafford (+600)

Stafford carries +600 odds to earn his first MVP award, putting him in the second bucket of candidates. However, the 33-year-old veteran has a lot more working in his favor. For starters, the narrative is that after all these years, his personal success has just never mounted to team success – that is, until now, with the Rams tied atop the NFC West at 6-1. And on the stat sheet, he’s managed to play his way to second in both passing touchdowns and yards, but even more impressive a league-leading 9.56 adjusted net yards per attempt. For that, the Rams boast the league’s top-ranked pass and overall offense by DVOA. 

Three Deep Sleepers 

Joe Burrow (+5000)

Joe Burrow is as low as +3000 and as high as +5000 at two other sportsbooks. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of value to be had in the Cincinnati quarterback, and it’s quite plain to see. He ranks right behind the top dogs in terms of adjusted net years per attempt (sixth) and other various high-value categories. A very recent loss to the Jets of all teams does not help his chances, but even in that losing effort, he was able to notch a trio of passing touchdowns. If he can lead this young Bengals team to a playoff spot, it’s hard to argue against him as a serious candidate. 

Cooper Kupp (+20000)

Stafford isn’t the only player benefiting from a high-powered Sean McVay offense. We’ve seen Cooper Kupp find success before with Jared Goff under center, but with a higher-caliber quarterback tossing him passes, Kupp has taken things to another level. Not only does he have a league-high 10 receiving scores to date, but he’s second in the league in scrimmage years and is on pace for a near 2,000-yard season. This award has never gone to a receiver, but Kupp’s putting together a season reminiscent of Jerry Rice himself. It’s hard to build as strong of a case for anyone beyond his +8000 odds. 

Jonathan Taylor (+50000)

If anyone could provide the most bang for your buck, it’s Jonathan Taylor. The Colts back comes in between +20000 and +50000 odds and is one of only a few names to give consideration this far down the list. Sure, he’s a known commodity as a high fantasy football pick, but on the field, he’s second among non-receivers in yards per touch, at a much higher volume than the leader J.D. McKissic. Indianapolis is currently a far second to Tennessee in the standings, but a season-ending injury to Derrick Henry may have opened the door wide open in the race for the AFC South crown. If they go on a run, it will have more to do with Taylor than Carson Wentz and company.


Josh Allen+300
Tom Brady+550
Kyler Murray+600
Matthew Stafford+600
Dak Prescott+750
Aaron Rodgers+1100
Lamar Jackson+2500
Justin Herbert+3000
Derek Carr+4000
Patrick Mahomes+4000

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