Everyone knows the propensity for quarterbacks to win the NFL MVP Award on an annual basis. Putting hard-earned money on a player at any other position is definitely a gamble. However, there are some interesting options this year if you’re in the mood to go with a long-shot.
In this piece, we’ll give you five interesting non-quarterback bets to consider. We would recommend hedging any of these long-shot plays by also putting some money on the franchise quarterback of your choice. However, these five options could pay off big when the 2019 season comes to a close.
A really motivated Odell Beckham is going to be an absolute nightmare for opposing defensive backs. This is a wide receiver who is going to do everything within his power to enjoy a career season in 2019.
The simple truth is Beckham put up big numbers at wide receiver with Eli Manning at his quarterback. Baker Mayfield is a definite upgrade under center. The Browns are going to get a ton of attention this season and Beckham will get lots of plaudits if he plays well. Take a flier on him at 150:1 and pull for him to power the Browns to a division title. That could be enough to vault him into the MVP debate.
Beckham isn’t the only receiver we like as a long shot. Hopkins isn’t as loud off the field, but his game does a lot of talking in between the lines. If the Texans can take advantage of the power vacuum in the AFC South it could be Hopkins, and not quarterback Deshaun Watson who finds himself in the MVP race.
The risk here is that Houston’s offensive line is still one of the worst units in the NFL. Watson may not survive a full 16-game slate. It’s still a roll of the dice worth making. Hopkins has the talent to break long-standing records at the receiver position. He may not have the biggest reputation in the league, but he’s absolutely one of the top five players at his position.
With all due respect to talented wide receivers all around the league, running backs have a better shot at taking home MVP honors. Cook at 110:1 is absolutely a bet you should consider. Those odds are particularly interesting if, like me, you think Minnesota is a legitimate Super Bowl contender this year.
The Vikings know Cook is one of the most dynamic backs in football, the question is whether or not he can stay healthy for a full season. If he can, he’ll see plenty of carries and catches out of the backfield. His penchant for long touchdowns will also aid his MVP candidacy. If Cook can stay healthy, he’s got a shot to be an All-Pro and an MVP.
There’s been a lot of talk about Gurley’s long-term career prognosis this offseason. Yes, he suffers from some type of arthritis in his knees. No, his arthritis isn’t currently bothering him at this point in the preseason.
The Rams are going to try to limit his touches to keep him fresh down the stretch, but Gurley has looked as explosive as ever when he’s been permitted to participate in preseason activities. He’ll need a little bit of luck to win an MVP Award, but so does every other player in the NFL. Betting on arguably the most talented back in the league is never a bad idea.
As you can guess, we’re not overly concerned about Elliott’s holdout with the Cowboys. There’s always a chance he could miss meaningful game time, but the odds still favor him returning to the team in time to be a full participant in Week 1.
If that happens, Elliott is poised to have a monster year. The presence of Amari Cooper at wide receiver for a full season will give the Cowboys offense more balance than they’ve enjoyed in previous seasons. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore promises to include running backs more in the passing game than ever before. Add it all up and it’s easy to see how Elliott can pay off big as an MVP long shot.