The Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl proposition bet is always one of NFLbets’ favorites to make. NFLbets’ll wager on anywhere from two to five players, spreading these bets proportionately among favorites (read: QB/QBs) and longshots.
Sometimes it works beautifully, sometimes it doesn’t. Somehow, for example, Von Miller got 17/1 odds in this prop for Super Bowl 50 after a defensive MVP season and backed by an offense helmed by a decrepit QB. Sure, the Panthers were 6-point favorites, but one little hedge made up for 16 bad bets that year.
In contrast, don’t even get NFLbets started about Freakin’ Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII. Seriously, any other f***ing year, Ben F***ing Roethlisberger wins the thing, but noooooooooooooooooo! The bookies had to take all my money that year.
This year, however, the pickings just aren’t as exciting. NFLbets has four for your consideration.
• Tom Brady. The boring and safe pick, at least a bet on ol’ Touchdown Tom is still paying kinda sorts reasonably well. After opening with a -110 payout, odds on Brady for MVP have lengthened to -170 as of the Thursday prior to the ’Bowl. We all know about Brady’s previous Super Bowl MVP awards and about how frequently QBs win (28 of 51, against, likesay, zero for any offensive lineman or tight end), so just hedge a bit of case on Brady already – unless you’re convinced the Eagles win this thing.
Other than Brady, woof. Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks, each getting 14/1 odds, are somewhat attractive as longshot bets, but quick – which will get the lion’s share of catches? “Neither” is also a legitimate answer.
Also interesting on the face of things could be Dion Lewis at 12/1; this is the first bona fide star the Patriots have had at halfback since Corey Dillion’s day and New England could certainly choose to grind it out in the first half, too. But only twice have the Belichick/Brady Patriots RBs topped 70 yards in a Super Bowl – and not one Patriots runner has topped *40* since Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. (And yeah, NFLbets knows Justin Timberlake is back for this year’s halftime show, but still.)
But there is one more player for whom the odds are long and yet is perfectly positioned to grab this award, with the acumen, the reputation and the career/season (because, let’s face it, the Super Bowl MVP is often an Oscar-like referendum on general performance) to steal this thing away from Mr. Bundchen.
• Rob Gronkowski (8/1). What’s that? A tight end has never won the Super Bowl MVP award? So? NFLbets dares say there’s never been a TE like Gronk in the history of the Super Bowl, and it doesn’t matter how good the Eagles defense is. (For the record, at 745 yards and five TDs allowed to TEs, the Eagles D was above-average in both categories.)
What would it take for Gronk to win the MVP award? Lest we forget, Santonio Holmes took an MVP with nine catches and a TD. Hines Ward only needed five and a TD in XL. Deion Branch did not score in Super Bowl XXXIX, but did bag 12 catches for 133 yards.
In 14 full games played this season, Gronkowski totaled 75 catches for 1,165 yards to go with 9 TDs; the former two numbers work out to just over 5 catches and 76 yards per game. Add one, likesay, 30-yard TD reception to that, maybe a significant third-down converting catch and suddenly that’s MVP territory. And if the Patriots win with Gronkowski as the leading receiver, it would imply that Brady’s performance may not have been top-level Bradyesqueness. So we’ll take Gronk.
• Nick Foles (+230). Aaaaand now we’re hedging. We know it sounds weird, but if you honestly believe the Eagles are winning this Super Bowl, you’d better be betting on Foles as well. On top of the inhearent bias toward the quarterback in naming a Super Bowl MVP, it’s nearly required that an underdog win means a QB MVP: Going back to 2002 and the Patriots’ first SB win, five underdogs have won while four winning QBs have taken the top player award along with the team’s Lombardi. See how low the odds are on Foles for MVP? There’s a reason for that…
• Malcolm Jenkins (200/1). That’s not a typo and NFLbets can’t believe it. So one of two Eagles All-Pro defenders and as safety the key to irritating Tom Brady and taking him out of his game is not even a serious candidate entering this game? Considering a $5 bet gets the enterprising and insightful Philly backer $1,000 and that, like the Patriots, the Eagles offense is likely to divvy up carries and touches among various backs and receivers, this is an easy bet to throw a few Moneys at.
– written by Os Davis