My sports book friends at Bovada (www.bovada.lv, Twitter: BovadaLV) released the opening odds to be named NFL MVP for 38 players. The odds ranged from 3/1 for top candidate Peyton Manning to 200/1 for 49ers RB Frank Gore.
Here are the odds for players of the Beast.
|Robert Griffin III||25/1|
Griffin is a heavy favorite to be named “comeback player of the year.” He is healthy, we think, one year removed from surgery on both knees. Mike Shanahan shut him down after 13 games last season “to preserve his health.” RG says he was not “benched.” Um, okay to both Mike and RG on that.
Hog Heaven will be polite and say, they are not in denial, nor are we gullible.
Griffin’s 2013 performance was better on paper than on video. On paper, he completed 60.1 percent of his passes with 7.01 yards per pass attempt. A poor throwing motion following surgery and lack of true offseason practice led to his uncharacteristically high interception rate.
The Redskins never required Griffin to win the starting job. Mike Shanahan named him starter promptly after the 2012 Draft. “All In for Day One” proved as irresistible to Shanahan in 2013 as it was to the rest of us.
Nor has new Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and OC Sean McVeay proven immune to RGFever.
Both proclaimed Griffin fully recovered and rave at his impressive athleticism. That’s to be expected.
Gruden has more to prove than Griffin. Was he hired because he is the best coaching practitioner of the west coast offense who can guide RG to the next step in his development? Or, is he here because of his brother’s famous name?
What are the odds?
Bookies set quarterbacks in the top 11 spots. QB hold 17 of the top 20 slots. McCoy, Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson broke the monopoly each with odds of 25/1.
That’s the way it is in the passing era, but it does not follow that MVP will play out that way.
“MVP” is awarded for performance leading a team to a Super Bowl appearance. The AP names the MVP before the Super Bowl game.
While quarterbacks are best positioned to win the honor, odds are a reflection of fan sentiment. The betting public puts its money on quarterbacks. Sports books pump the odds for players at other positions to balance the two sides of a bet.
Odds reflect the wisdom of the crowds and an indirect one at that.
The Associated Press has the most prominent “MVP” Award. The same group names NFL “All Pro” players.
The AP named quarterbacks MVP 11 times since 2000. Peyton Manning won the honor five times in that span. He shared the award with Steve McNair in 2003.
RB Adrian Peterson won the award in 2012. RBs Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson won in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Bovada and other sports books set the Redskins at 50/1 odds to win Super Bowl 2015. The Jaguars at 150/1 and Raiders at 100/1 are at the bottom of the heap.