The XFL MVP Odds Have P.J. Walker Way Out in Front
By: Travis Pulver
‘MVP’ is such a subjective award. Many would argue that point and say that it isn’t while pointing at the stats and team records. You’ll never see an NBA player off a team that doesn’t make the playoffs named MVP. It is almost always someone off one of the top teams.
The NFL usually does something similar. That is just how it is. We tend to think that the most valuable player in the league is someone super-productive off one of, if not the, best team.
So far, that is the way it looks like the XFL is going to pan out. P.J. Walker is the clear-cut favorite. The Houston Roughnecks quarterback is producing at a level unlike any other quarterback in the league. It doesn’t hurt that he happens to be the leader of the only undefeated team in the league.
Walker covers all the bases that we like to see covered in an MVP. But a player’s value is not always something that is reflected in statistics. Last week’s performance by Walker is a prime example. Yes, he threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns, but his three turnovers helped keep Seattle in the game, too.
You could say the Roughnecks won because of him. But you could also say they won despite him—which means the door is open for someone else to walk through.
XFL MVP Odds: Could A Non-Quarterback Win?
When it comes to football, production on offense is what the fans and award voters like to see. Since the success of any offense begins and ends with the quarterback, they often receive the bulk of the credit when an offense does well.
That is why seven of the eight guys with XFL MVP odds at PointsBet.com are quarterbacks:
- P.J. Walker -400
- Jordan Ta’amu +210
- Josh Johnson +600
- Cam Phillips +1600
- Landry Jones +4000
- Taylor Cornelius +4000
- Luis Perez +4000
- Cardale Jones +5000
It isn’t clear if Cardale Jones is still going to start games for the Defenders. If he does, it is hard to see him named MVP unless he turns into Cam Newton for the remainder of the season. Landry Jones’s injury issues and interceptions make him a tough sell.
Luis Perez has the Guardians playing well and winning games, but can it be said that they are winning because of him? If not, he too becomes a tough sell.
Vipers quarterback Taylor Cornelius seems to be the kind of guy the XFL was made for. He didn’t play enough in college to get the attention of the NFL, but he has shown some real promise in the XFL. However, to become a viable MVP candidate, he needs to start doing one thing— win games.
That leaves Walker, Jordan Ta’amu, Josh Johnson, and the lone non-quarterback still getting odds—Houston Roughnecks wide receiver Cam Phillips.
Does Josh Johnson Have a Shot in the XFL MVP Odds Race?
With a great game against the Defenders two weeks ago and a productive one last week against the Vipers, Wildcats quarterback Josh Johnson has earned the right to be included in the conversation. But to overtake Walker or Ta’amu, he needs to become more consistent.
It wouldn’t hurt if Walker and Ta’amu were to struggle down the stretch. Failing to pull out a win against the Defenders last week hurts Ta’amu’s case—which means his margin for error going forward is minimal.
But what about Phillips? If he excels, that will just make Walker look better and boost his candidacy. So, how can his case improve? He needs to play well, even if Walker doesn’t. For example, take a look at how both performed last week against Seattle.
Walker had an overall good game in Week Five but also had three turnovers, which nearly cost Houston the game. Phillips, on the other hand, had ten catches (13 targets) for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
So—who should you bet on?
With half a season left in a brand new league with teams and players getting better every week, the XFL MVP could go to anyone. It all depends on how well everyone plays going forward. The first five games narrowed the pool of candidates down, but the last five will decide the winner.