It’s P.J. Walker Game, Can Anybody Catch Him in the XFL MVP Odds Race
By: Travis Pulver
Three weeks into the XFL’s inaugural season, there were a few guys that definitely stood out from the rest. But there were also a handful of players that had played well; not great but well enough that if they started playing great, they could become the league MVP by the end of the season.
However, after four weeks and close to half of the season, it is a lot easier to weed out a lot of guys—like pretty much every defender, running back, and wide receiver not named Cam Phillips. However, after not factoring into Houston’s win over Dallas in Week Four, Phillips is a longshot (+4000, via PointsBet.com).
So–it is looking like the XFL MVP is going to be won by a quarterback. But it might not be the one everyone thinks.
XFL MVP Odds
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XFL MVP Odds: Still P.J. Walker’s to Lose?
When it comes to awards like MVP, we tend to get seduced by the flashy, exciting guys that make big plays, win games, and generates stats. That is why Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker is the current favorite at -149.
The Roughnecks are generating offense, making big plays in the passing game every week, scoring points, and, most importantly— winning games. As long as Houston remains undefeated, he will remain the favorite.
But as soon as they lose, St. Louis Battlehawks quarterback, Jordan Ta’amu, will likely move up and become the new favorite.
After generating 327 total yards of offense against the Seattle Dragons (in a 23-16 win) Saturday, his odds improved from +320 to +130. What’s holding him back now is not the loss the Battlehawks suffered at the hands of Walker’s Roughnecks, but Ta’amu’s lack of touchdowns.
So far this season, Walker has generated 1091 total yards of offense (987 passing, 104 rushing) and 13 total touchdowns (12 passing, one rushing) with two interceptions. Ta’amu has generated 1062 total yards (876 passing, 186 rushing) with only six touchdowns (five passing and one rushing)—but Ta’amu has a higher QB rating (105.9 to 104.5).
After Walker and Ta’amu, everyone is a longshot that will need a winning streak down the stretch combined with a meltdown by Walker and Ta’amu.
The Rest of the XFL MVP Odds… AKA… The Rest of the XFL QBs
Wildcats QB Josh Johnson (+1000) looked like a potential candidate when he led his team to a big win over the Defenders in Week Three. But then he and the Wildcats came back down to Earth against the Guardians last week.
Despite the interceptions, Landry Jones (+1600) was playing well and turning the Renegades into a contender. But with the knee injury, a partially torn MCL, he is going to miss at least two weeks (probably more).
Defenders QB Cardale Jones (+2500) looked good (but not great) against poor teams in Week One and Two. He played two better (but not the best) teams in Week Three and Four and looked like someone most intramural teams would bench.
But if you want to latch onto a longshot with a legit chance (assuming Walker and Ta’amu implode), take a hard look at Taylor Cornelius (+3500) and Luis Perez (+4000). Cornelius has been the more impressive of the two. But Perez took over an awful Guardians offense and made it look competent and efficient against the Wildcats.
Both will need to continue to play better and win out to have a chance. Unlikely, but in a new league like the XFL, such a turnaround and run is not unheard of or impossible.