By: Matt Watkins
With 5 TDs on Monday Night, Lamar Jackson Has All the NFL MVP Odds in His Favor
And then there were two.
In reality, there’s one, but for the sake of argument and accounting for unforeseen circumstances – see Patrick Mahomes chances for the MVP getting derailed due to injury – let’s say there’s two.
At this point, the NFL MVP race is down to Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson. They are the only two you can get a betting line on that’s better than +1200. Jackson has moved into negative territory at -300. Any why not? A couple weeks ago, I asked if he could keep the momentum coming out of his first bye as an NFL starting quarterback.
He hasn’t just kept the momentum, he looks like an even better version than before. The latest installment of “what will Lamar do next” included completing 75 percent of his passes for 169 yards. Sounds somewhat pedestrian until you realize that a third of his completions went for touchdowns (that’s five for those who don’t want to do the math).
He also ran for 95 yards on eight carries. At this point, the best option teams may have when playing the Ravens is to give Jackson the LeBron treatment when he was taking undermanned Cavaliers teams to the NBA Finals; Let Jackson go off, do what he does, and try to shut down everyone else.
The Other Guy with Realistic NFL MVP Odds
A couple weeks ago, we said that Wilson (+300) was the MVP frontrunner because the Seahawks were playing good football, but Wilson was playing great football, propelling them to wins they shouldn’t be getting. Since then, the Seahawks are 2-0, so the winning is still there, including a victory against the previously unbeaten 49ers. The numbers haven’t been all that great, though.
62.7 percent completions for a guy who had completed 67.7 percent in the first nine games. 216 yards per game after 278 in the first nine games. Two interceptions after one in the first nine games. You get the idea. He’s also still the only one who has any chance at catching Jackson, but it would take a December like the October he put up to make it a race at this point.
Which leads us to week 13. If there is a week where there is a chance for the race to tighten, it’s this one. Baltimore hosts San Francisco (Super Bowl Preview?) in what will be the toughest defense Jackson has faced all year. Meanwhile, Wilson gets Minnesota at home on Monday night. Any home game is time for Wilson to shine. MNF is a bonus. Wilson lives for the big stage and with two teams at or near the top of their divisions, not to mention that Seattle could be playing for first place depending what happens in the Niners-Ravens game, the stage doesn’t get much bigger, which means Wilson will likely shine the brightest. This week is his chance to climb back into the lead.
NFL MVP Odds