When Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills went to Arrowhead in mid-October and knocked off Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, it seemed like the last few months of the season would serve as Allen's MVP coronation.
The NFL season is long and unpredictable, however, and that is perhaps no better represented than in the altered outlook for the Bills and Allen, who are a far cry from the unstoppable force they appeared to be just a month ago.
Odds to win 2022-23 NFL MVP
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City Chiefs||QB||-160|
|Jalen Hurts||Philadelphia Eagles||QB||+350|
|Tua Tagovailoa||Miami Dolphins||QB||+500|
|Joe Burrow||Cincinnati Bengals||QB||+1,400|
|Josh Allen||Buffalo Bills||QB||+1,400|
|Dak Prescott||Dallas Cowboys||QB||+6,000|
|Lamar Jackson||Baltimore Ravens||QB||+6,000|
|Geno Smith||Seattle Seahawks||QB||+8,000|
|Kirk Cousins||Minnesota Vikings||QB||+8,000|
|Tyreek Hill||Miami Dolphins||WR||+10,000|
|Justin Jefferson||Minnesota Vikings||WR||+10,000|
|Jimmy Garoppolo||San Francisco 49ers||QB||+10,000|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of November 29, 2022.
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Favorites to win NFL MVP
Patrick Mahomes (-160)
Since being beaten by the Bills and Allen at home in mid-October, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have gone on a roll, undefeated in their last five. That run has seen Mahomes' MVP candidacy shine, with singular moments of brilliance in primetime wins over the Titans and Chargers.
Despite a weakened cast of pass catchers, Mahomes is absolutely dealing at the moment and leads the league in both yards and touchdowns for the 9-2 Chiefs.
Jalen Hurts (+350)
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles have successfully rebounded from their first and only loss of the season, with the dual-threat shredding the Packers in primetime in Week 12.
In his second full season as the Eagles' starting QB, Hurts has been positioned to succeed and is doing just that. A terrific line, a trio of high-level pass catchers, and a smart scheme have enabled Hurts to thrive and made him a legit MVP candidate.
Tua Tagovailoa (+500)
Football is wildly complex but sometimes it's awfully, awfully simple. When you have a scheme that manufactures separation for two of the league's most electric threats at receiver and a pinpoint-accurate passer, it gets pretty simple.
That's been the case for Tua Tagovailoa in 2022, with the maligned passer thriving in a friendly offense and surrounded by the game-breaking talents of Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. With Miami leading the AFC East, Tua's place among the MVP contenders is hard to argue with.
Josh Allen (+1,400)
Josh Allen and the Bills retained top billing as the league's best player and team throughout the offseason and the first two months of the season. However, after Buffalo tripped up against the Jets and then lost the game of the year to the Vikings, Allen has fallen out of the Top 3 completely.
Buffalo got back on track in Week 11, beating the Browns in Detroit, but were taken down to the wire against the Lions on Thanksgiving in another uninspiring win.
Joe Burrow (+1,400)
Much like last season, Joe Burrow is thriving behind newfound protection and has the Bengals playing like a dangerous out for anyone in the AFC. With a trio of wins putting them at 7-4, they're looking especially dangerous and still have Ja'Marr Chase to return to the lineup — which is expected in the very near future.
How to bet futures odds
Futures betting is different than betting on an individual game because you need to consider the long haul as opposed to a single event. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when betting futures odds.
Change your strategy at different points in the season
While some futures bets must be placed before the season begins and are then removed off the board (such as team win totals), other wagers will change odds as the season goes on.
If you are wagering money on a futures bet with changing odds keep in mind that there is less variance at the beginning of the season (when more players and teams are still in contention) and more variance as the season goes on (when teams and players at the top separate themselves from those at the bottom).
In the preseason and beginning of the season, betting on dark horses can prove very profitable. But as the season continues, expect to see odds tighten around the favorites. At that point it becomes wise to focus on the players near the top of the odds board and betting big underdogs is practically like giving your money away.
Look for value with underdogs
While the bigger names tend to be strong MVP betting favorites, there are also live long shots that can provide tremendous value. Look at younger players on the verge of breaking out, or guys that have already been playing at a high level but could take the next step now that they are in an ideal situation with a new team, coach or system.
Other players that can give a great payout are established stars coming off under-performing seasons due to injuries or other factors. If you're lucky you might be able to catch them in a bounce-back year.
Follow the narrative
When placing futures bets on individual awards, keep in mind that voters, not a scoreboard are often the deciding factor. Voters can be influenced by a variety of factors, including media coverage and public opinion. Consider what the media narrative is for a particular season and which players they seem to be rooting for and against.
For example, in LeBron James' first season in Miami, he was viewed as a villain or heel by the media and Derrick Rose, who ended up winning MVP, was the perfect foil for that. When Ron Dayne won the Heisman trophy back in 1999 it was viewed by many as a well-deserved reward for his entire career at Wisconsin.
Research historical trends
Historical trends, especially recent ones, can give you a good idea of which way voters tend to lean.
The NBA MVP, for example, almost always goes to a player on the best or second-best regular-season team in the league. While the NFL MVP has been handed out to a quarterback in 12 of the last 13 seasons.
Identifying those trends is a good way to separate the true contenders from the pretenders.
NFL MVP winners by position
|Position||NFL MVP Awards|
The NFL MVP Award has been dominated by offensive players since its inception. Alan Page (1971) and Lawrence Taylor (1986) are the only defensive players to receive the honor since 1957.
NFL MVP winners by team
|Team||NFL MVP Awards|
|Green Bay Packers||10|
|San Francisco 49ers||5|
|Los Angeles Rams||4|
|Las Vegas Raiders||4|
|New England Patriots||3|
The rest of the league has a way to go before catching up with the Packers. Green Bay's 10 NFL MVP trophies are split among Paul Hornmung (1961), Jim Taylor (1962), Bart Starr (1966), Brett Favre (1995, 1996, 1997), and Aaron Rodgers (2011, 2014, 2020, 2021).
NFL MVP Odds FAQs
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (-160) is the betting favorite to win the 2022-23 NFL MVP.
Aaron Rodgers won his fourth MVP last season with pre-season odds of +900. He's on the board to win it once again at +1,000.
Tom Brady's MVP odds sit at +15,000.
Running back Adrian Peterson won the 2012 NFL MVP. A quarterback has won the award in nine consecutive seasons.