Mahomes, Mayfield Lead The Early NFL MVP Race

  • Peyton Manning is the last player to win back-to-back MVP awards (2008 & 2009).
  • Drew Brees finished second to Mahomes in MVP voting in 2018.
  • Baker Mayfield improved his passer rating 27.3 points over the second half of the 2018 season.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Patrick Mahomes will enter the 2019 NFL season as the reigning league MVP and the presumptive favorite to win again in the 2019-2020 season.

The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback threw for 50 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions in his 2018 MVP campaign; he sits at number one with +600 odds to win the MVP award once again this season.

Following behind Mahomes at +900 is the Cleveland Browns’ second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield. Although Mayfield is only in his sophomore campaign, the Browns expect him to pick up where he left off last season and put up big numbers in a substantial amount of wins this season.

Star wide receiver targets like Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. will certainly make Baker’s quest for MVP a bit easier; the Browns also expect Kareem Hunt to join their backfield after serving an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Coming in at third on the 2020 NFL MVP odds list is the Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz. With Nick Foles now in Jacksonville, Wentz assumes full responsibility and control over the Eagles offense. Wentz only appeared in 11 games for the Eagles last year and threw three times as many touchdowns as he did interceptions (21-7). If he can stay healthy he’ll likely improve his touchdown to interception ratio and his +1000 odds to win the MVP.

Behind Wentz, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is fourth in the rankings as a +1400 favorite. Rodgers has won the award twice before (once in 2011 and again in 2014) but is looking to reassert his dominance in the NFL after a disappointing 2018 season that was riddled with injuries and tension with former Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

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With a new offensive scheme under new head coach Matt LaFleur, Rodgers has little to no excuses as to why he shouldn’t return to his MVP-form.

Rounding out the top-five with +1500 odds to win the 2019 MVP award is Los Angeles Chargers veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers. Rivers made a strong push for the MVP last season but was ultimately edged out by Mahomes and Drew Brees. The Chargers are projected to be a top-five offense and even if running back Melvin Gordon continues to hold out and doesn’t play a single snap this season the Chargers still have a myriad of weapons at Rivers’ disposal.

With so many great offenses projected to put up big numbers, it’s not completely clear who has the best chance to win the 2020 MVP or how the odds will fluctuate during the season. The one thing that is almost for a certain in this MVP race is the fact that the winner will likely be a quarterback.

Saquon Barkley (+5000) is currently the only non-quarterback within the top 15 players on the 2019-20 NFL MVP odds board at USA online sportsbooks.