NFL MVP Betting: Tom Brady Solidly Favored To Win Fourth Trophy

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates after a Buccaneers touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys
Image Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL MVP betting race currently doubles as a beauty pageant for quarterbacks overseeing Super Bowl-contending teams.

Of course, this is hardly a recent trend.

In the past 14 years, Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson is the only non-quarterback to win league MVP. Peterson prevailed in 2012, rushing for 2,097 yards — missing Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record by only 8 yards — and 12 touchdowns, just one year removed from an ACL tear.

Are there any non-QB candidates worth trumpeting in the 2021 MVP odds market? With NFL rushing yards/rushing TDs leader Jonathan Taylor (+2,000 odds at DraftKings) part of an erratic 7-6 Colts team, probably not. analyzes the latest MVP odds heading into Week 15. The odds-on favorite should surprise no one, since he’s 44 years old, wildly popular with TV audiences, and chasing his eighth Super Bowl title.

Odds via BetMGMCirca SportsDraftKingsFanDuel, and PointsBet USA, and updated as of 12 noon ET on Friday, Dec. 17.

QB Tom Brady (Buccaneers)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady reacts during a game
Image Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 10-3 (1st in NFC South)

BetMGM: -150
Circa Sports: -175
DraftKings: -175
FanDuel: -165
PointsBet USA: -170

2021 Stats: 4,134 passing yards, 38 total TDs, 10 INTs, 68.2% completion rate

The “Trinity of Power” argument seemingly gives Brady an airtight case for continuing to be the MVP frontrunner:

— The Bucs lead the NFL in scoring offense (31.5 points per game), passing offense (314.2 yards per game), and total offense (410.2 yards).

— Tampa Bay, Green Bay, and Arizona (all 10-3) are currently deadlocked with the NFL/NFC’s best record, with four weeks to play.

— Brady is on pace for 5,406 passing yards (318.0 per game) and 49.6 TDs (2.9 per game) — numbers that are superior to what he produced in his MVP-winning seasons of 2007, 2010, and 2017. In those three campaigns, Brady averaged 276.7 passing yards and 2.46 TDs per game.

Among his quarterbacking peers, Brady ranks first in completions, passing yards, passing yards per game, touchdown passes, and combined touchdowns. The 10-time Super Bowl participant also ranks second with explosive passing plays of 20-plus yards, trailing Raiders QB Derek Carr.

Put it all together, and it’s no wonder that Brady’s MVP case has gotten stronger since we last checked in on NFL MVP betting odds two weeks ago.

At that point, Brady was ranging from +250 to +325 at the five sportsbooks listed above. He also was in a fairly tight competition with fellow QBs Josh Allen (roughly +500), Aaron Rodgers (+600), and Patrick Mahomes (+800).

Now, only one passer has a realistic chance of denying Brady his fourth MVP trophy — and given the current odds, even that would require a sizable (Lambeau) leap.

QB Aaron Rodgers (Packers)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers uncorks a pass in an Oct. 4, 2021, game.
Image Credit: Samantha Madar-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 10-2 as starting QB (Green Bay: 10-3 overall, 1st in NFC North)

BetMGM: +550
Circa Sports: +525
DraftKings: +500
FanDuel: +500
PointsBet USA: +500

2021 Stats: 2,878 passing yards, 30 total TDs, 4 INTs, 67.3% completion rate

Rodgers — who is one Packers win or Vikings loss from clinching his seventh NFC North title as a starter — has averaged  344 yards passing and 3.7 touchdowns in his last three games.

He also has the Packers well-positioned for the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed. Because Green Bay holds the relevant tiebreakers against the Cardinals and Bucs, Rodgers and Co. control their own destiny for the conference’s lone playoff bye.

On the downside…

— Rodgers’ offense ranks 14th in scoring offense, which is noteworthy because Green Bay led the NFL in scoring in each of Rodgers’ three previous MVP seasons (35 points per game in 2011; 30.4 ppg in 2014; 31.8 ppg in 2020).

By contrast, the Packers rank sixth in total defense (323.6 yards per game) and seventh in scoring defense (allowing 20.9 points per game). In other words, Green Bay’s success this season isn’t entirely tied to Rodgers’ right arm, as was the case in MVP seasons past.

— Unlike Brady, Rodgers hasn’t started every game. After testing positive for COVID, he missed the Week 9 clash at Kansas City, which the Packers lost 13-7 behind backup QB Jordan Love.

Is it fair to blame Rodgers for missing that game? That’s in the hands of MVP voters to decide.

Regardless of why Rodgers missed a game, the fact he did means he’s unlikely to catch Brady in the major passing categories (minus interceptions).

Rodgers’ only hope for closing the NFL MVP odds gap: Secure home-field advantage for the playoffs; put up monster numbers while doing so; and hope Brady and the Buccaneers stumble down the stretch. (The latter is highly unlikely, considering Tampa Bay closes the season against the Saints, Panthers twice, and Jets.)

The Long Shot

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes rolls out looking to throw the ball
Image Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

QB Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs)

2021 Stats: 4,052 passing yards, 32 total TDs, 13 INTs, 65.6% completion rate

FanDuel, DraftKings, and PointsBet USA have Mahomes, entrenched as the No. 3 candidate at +1,000.

BetMGM has Mahomes (+1,100) sharing the third-place slot with Cardinals QB Kyler Murray — the same Murray who missed all of November with an ankle injury.

And at +1,700, Circa Sports has Mahomes lagging behind four quarterbacks (Brady, Rodgers, Murray, Matthew Stafford) … and Colts tailback Jonathan Taylor.

Bottom line: Taking a flier on Mahomes might be worth it for this reason: The 2018 NFL MVP has led the Chiefs to seven consecutive victories, and he closes the season against three playoff contenders: The Steelers (home), Bengals (road), and Broncos (road).

That’s certainly enough runway for Mahomes to lead the 10-4 Chiefs (best record in the AFC) to the AFC’s No. 1 postseason seed.

Jay Clemons
Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media's national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out,,, The Players' Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's pre-eminent award for Best Football Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and now American Affiliate's Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta. And for the betting community, covering the last two years of the sports calendar (2019-20 / 2020-21), Clemons enjoyed a rock-solid winning rate of 59.6 percent with point-spread and over/under selections (NFL, college football and college basketball.)