There was a small fortune to be made at this time last year had you put down a fair chunk of change on Patrick Mahomes winning the NFL’s MVP award. In fact, I remember sitting in the Caesars Palace sportsbook with a friend discussing long-shot MVP chances and pointing out the undeniable value in long-shot second-year quarterbacks such as Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and Mitch Trubisky.
Depending on where and when you picked up your ticket, a wise fan could have gotten Mahomes to win last year’s MVP award anywhere around the 55-to-1 and 66-to-1 ranges. In other words, a $100 bet at 55/1 would have paid out $5,600 with a Mahomes MVP win. And at 66/1, a payout of $6,700 was on the horizon. Sigh. Some missed opportunities sting more than others. HOWEVER, I am here to keep myself (and others) from making the same mistake twice.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky opened up as a 75-to-1 long-shot to win the 2019 NFL MVP award. Mahomes (7/2) is the favorite, followed by a collection of quarterbacks at 7/1 (Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers), and one 6/1 favorite (Andrew Luck). Other notable quarterbacks with odds worth keeping tabs on are Aaron Rodgers (8/1), baker Mayfield (9/1), Drew Brees (10/1), and Jared Goff (25/1). I suppose I could even say it’s worth it to track Deshaun Watson (25/1), Ben Roethlisberger (30/1), and even Jimmy Garoppolo (40/1) for the sake of value. But those Trubisky odds at 75/1 really speak to me, though I’ll admit I have my biases.
Trubisky earned a trip to the Pro Bowl after completing a season in which he threw for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns, posted a 95.4 passer rating, and a 72.8 rating per ESPN’s QBR, which ranked third in the NFL behind only Mahomes and Brees. That’s keeping with some pretty good company. And while his Pro Football Focus grades leave much to be desired, Trubisky taking another leap in Year 3 as a starter can’t be out of the question.
ESPN’s projection peg Trubisky to have a solid season, forecasting a 3,819-yard, 25-touchdown season. Those numbers look good on the computer screen, but don’t quite translate to MVP consideration. But if Trubisky can maintain the 5.5 TD% he posted in his first season in Matt Nagy’s offense, then that touchdown number bumps up to 29. And while that’s still not enough to get him into the conversation, it puts him near the 30-touchdown milestone marker that would probably get him some worthwhile buzz.
In the end, the value in snagging Trubisky at 75/1 to win the MVP comes via some nuggets that are on the periphery. For example, 11 of the last 12 league MVP winners have been quarterbacks. And each of those quarterbacks played on division-winners. So if Trubisky can lead the way to a Bears division title and put up strong numbers, there is an outside chance he could do what might be unthinkable now and become the first Bears player to win the MVP since Walter Payton in 1977.
Of course, Trubisky will need to put up some lofty numbers in order to do so have averaged more than 4,800 passing yards and 40 touchdowns. So while I probably wouldn’t throw down a cool Benjamin Franklin on Trubisky to win the NFL MVP in 2019, a modest $10 wager could net a $760 payout if the long-shot cashes out. And if it were to happen, odds are the Bears’ season would be in pretty good shape.
Embedded below is a full look at the early MVP odds. Anyone else catch your eye?
Now up— odds to win NFL MVP pic.twitter.com/jYjMgiS412
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) June 14, 2019