NFL MVP Odds: Ageless Tom Brady Leads MVP Race

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 odds race currently doubles as a beauty pageant for quarterbacks overseeing Super Bowl-contending teams. This, of course, is hardly a recent trend.

Of the last 14 MVP recipients, Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson is the only non-quarterback to win the award. Peterson took the honor 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.

Through the first two months of the 2021-22 season, it looked like we might finally see the quarterback MVP streak snapped. Then Tennessee Titans running back (and two-time defending NFL rushing champ) Derrick Henry suffered a season-ending foot injury.

As a result, this year’s NFL MVP odds race once again is a quarterbacks-only beauty contest — and isn’t it fitting that current favorite is a 44-year-old who would be favored to win an actual beauty contest against his much-younger peers?

Let’s break down the updated NFL MVP odds heading into Week 10.

Odds courtesy of BetMGM, Circa Sports, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet USA, and updated as of 1 p.m. EST Nov. 11.

QB Tom Brady (Buccaneers)

Tom Brady lifts his right arm to throw a pass
Image Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 6-2 (1st in NFC South)

BetMGM: +350
Circa Sports: +260
DraftKings: +350
FanDuel: +340
PointsBet USA: +300

2021 Stats: 2,650 passing yards, 26 total TDs, 5 INTs, 67.3% completion rate

A clip-and-save prediction: Brady will claim his fourth MVP trophy this season if the Buccaneers finish at least 13-4. Why such confidence? Because during his three previous MVP campaigns (2007, 2010, 2017) in New England, he led his team to an average of 14.3 victories (going a combined 43-5 overall).

Just as notable, in those three MVP seasons, Brady averaged 4,427 passing yards (276.7 per game) and 39.3 touchdowns (2.46 per game). This year, he’s on pace for 5,631 passing yards (331.2 per game) and 55.3 TDs (3.25 per game).

Again: The guy is 44 years old!

Even though Tampa Bay didn’t play last week, Brady still ranks either first or second in passing completions, passing yards, passing TDs, and explosive passing plays of 20-plus yards. He also has an outside shot at finishing the season with a 70-percent completion rate, which might be the only bucket-list item missing from his G.O.A.T. résumé.

QB Josh Allen (Bills)

Image Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 5-3 (1st in AFC East)

BetMGM: +350
Circa Sports: +600
DraftKings: +400
FanDuel: +300
PointsBet USA: +600

2021 Stats: 2,236 passing yards, 20 total TDs, 5 INTs, 65.5% completion rate

It’s surprising to see Allen ahead of Brady on a couple of NFL MVP odds boards since he and the Bills offense couldn’t generate a touchdown in last week’s loss to the Jaguars — the same Jacksonville defense that yielded 37 points to the Texans in Week 1.

Speaking of Jacksonville, we bring you this from the “For what it’s worth” department: Since the Jaguars entered the league in 1995, only two players have lost to Jacksonville in a season and still won MVP: Peyton Manning (in 2008) and Shaun Alexander (in 2005).

To reclaim some MVP momentum, Allen needs to recapture his dominant prowess from Weeks 3-8, when the Wyoming product averaged 304.6 yards passing and 3.6 total touchdowns. That won’t be easy, considering Allen still has to face Bill Belichick’s defense twice and go up against Brady and the Bucs in Tampa in Week 13.

QB Kyler Murray (Cardinals)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray scrambles with the ball during a game at the Tennessee Titans
Image Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 7-1 as starting QB (Arizona: 8-1 overall, 1st in NFC West)

BetMGM: +500
Circa Sports: +600
DraftKings: +650
FanDuel: +600
PointsBet USA: +600

2021 Stats: 2,276 passing yards, 20 total TDs, 7 INTs, 72.7% completion rate

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers recently joked that last week’s COVID-related absence would prevent him from capturing a fourth MVP trophy. If that’s indeed true — and since sportswriters who vote for this award are notoriously fickle, it very well could be — would Murray and Dak Prescott (+1200 at DraftKings) also be penalized for missing a game this season?

After all, the Cardinals and Cowboys won their respective games in which Murray (Week 9) and Prescott (Week 8) sat out due to injury. Conversely, the Packers managed just one touchdown in their Rodgers-less defeat to the Chiefs last week.

Two other factors that are negatively impacting Murray’s MVP candidacy: The Cardinals’ defense (17.2 points per game allowed) has been just as integral to the team’s NFL-best 8-1 record as their offense. Also, Murray has lacked consistency, tallying three-plus touchdowns in four games but mustering only four total scores in his other four starts.

QB Matthew Stafford (Rams)

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford throws a pass during a game against the Tennessee Titans
Image Credit: George Walker TODAY Network

Record: 7-2 (2nd in NFC West)

BetMGM: +750
Circa Sports: +500
DraftKings: +800
FanDuel: +700
PointsBet USA: +500

2021 Stats: 2,771 passing yards, 23 TDs, 6 INTs, 68.2% completion rate

Stafford has averaged 314 yards passing and 2.9 touchdowns and completed 69.3 percent of his passes in the Rams’ seven wins. However, in L.A.’s two losses, the veteran QB has accounted for just three total touchdowns — a baffling figure, since the Rams trailed by double digits in both contests, which is usually a scenario when quarterbacks pile up big numbers.

And therein lies the issue with Stafford’s MVP chances: If he puts up big numbers in leading the Rams to a bunch of blowout victories down the stretch, he should garner plenty of MVP love. But if Los Angeles is forced to play from behind, Stafford is going to have to perform far better than he has thus far in those situations.

In fact, he’ll probably need to channel his cellar-dwelling days with the Lions, when he was expected to rescue Detroit from a daunting deficit nearly every week.

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.)