Posted on September 14, 2019, by Travis Pulver
There are a lot of guys that fans expect to hear about when it comes to who is in the running for MVP. Aaron Rodgers is one name that always pops up as is Tom Brady’s, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes. But there is always someone that comes out of nowhere and forces fans and voters to take notice.
If his game in Week One is any indication, then Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson could soon become one of the favorites.
Jackson shocked the world by completing 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Ravens to a 59-10 blowout win over the Miami Dolphins. Now, the Dolphins are not exactly going to be a very competitive team this year, but it was still the kind of performance that makes people take notice.
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It also gets them thinking about something—MVP.
Coming into the season, Jackson wasn’t really in the MVP picture; his odds to win it were +5000 (or 50-1). While his ability to lead wasn’t really questioned, few believed he had the passing ability it takes to be a legitimate NFL quarterback. He wasn’t the best passer in college and only completed 58.2 percent of his throws during his rookie season.
But then he went and completed 85 percent of his throws against the Dolphins last week—and it seems some of the non-believers may be converting. Caesars was one of the many sportsbooks that shortened his MVP odds following last weekend’s game (from +5000 to +1800).
Caesar’s director of trading Jeff Davis had this to say to ESPN:
“In a market like MVP that doesn’t handle nearly as much money as the Super Bowl does, we have to be more aggressive with moves when we see something dramatic. While last week was likely an anomaly to some extent, the small flood of public money really adds up here. If we are too slow to react, we will end up with too much liability very quickly.”
If Jackson were to become a legitimate candidate and win MVP this year, it will be the second time he started the season as an underdog and went on to win a major award. When he won the Heisman in 2016, he began the year with +10000 (100-1) odds.
Patrick Mahomes had +10000 odds last season to win MVP when the season began.
Players that come out of the relative shadows and have big years have an advantage when it comes to winning things like the MVP. Everyone knows what to expect from the usual candidates like Tom Brady and Drew Brees. So, when they have big games it doesn’t create as much buzz.
However, when someone like Jackson (or Mahomes last year) has a big game, the fans and media take notice and talk about it. Then they watch to see if it happens again—and they start to bet on him.
Can Jackson keep it up, though? After all, his big day came against arguably the worst team in the NFL this season (so far). Also, he isn’t exactly facing a tough one this week either in the Arizona Cardinals. But beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Three will turn quite a few heads. However, his first real test as a passer will not come until Week Seven (Seahawks) or Nine (Patriots).
If he can build a solid body of work in the weeks leading up to those games (with a win over the Chiefs), those who bet on him now at +1800 or last week when his odds were +5000 could be really happy they did come award time.