Hershkovich: Value on Browns' Baker Mayfield to Win 2021 NFL MVP

Cleveland's QB represents value in the betting market at 40-1

Less than a week after the NFL draft, we’ve already seen numerous betting markets shift. For one, the Broncos’ Super Bowl odds dipped from +6000 to +1600 — solely on the speculation that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could land in Denver.

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Let’s take a look at the MVP betting market, where the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to take home the award for a second time in his career.

Patrick Mahomes +600

Aaron Rodgers +800

Josh Allen +1200

Lamar Jackson +1400

Kyler Murray +1400

Tom Brady +1600

Matthew Stafford +1800

Dak Prescott +2000

Russell Wilson +2000

Christian McCaffrey +2500

Derrick Henry +2500

Justin Herbert +3000

Ryan Tannehill +3000

Browns signal caller Baker Mayfield (+4000) slots in directly below the top-13 shortest odds — tied with the Colts’ Carson Wentz. Mayfield racked up a 26:8 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his first go-around with Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski, including an 11:1 ratio with 2,049 passing yards over the final eight games of the campaign.

Not only will Mayfield have the same head coach and offensive scheme in consecutive seasons for the first time since his 2015-16 campaign (Bob Stoops, Oklahoma), but he’ll also have room to grow from a statistical standpoint — tied for No. 18 in yards per pass attempt (7.2). That’s a key component to consider when evaluating if a candidate can outperform his numbers from the previous season.

Moreover, I’m high on the Browns for the upcoming campaign, and the market reflects that with the second-shortest odds to win the AFC North (+150) and the fifth-shortest odds to win the Super Bowl (+1600). As You Better You Bet’s Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley discussed earlier in the week, finding value comes from an entire evaluation of the futures market.

“They (the Browns) have to go crazy to win the division (and top the Ravens),” Barkley said. “I would almost bet on some very high-ceiling outcomes with them at better prices.”

If you follow that logic, Mayfield has the highest upside from a market perspective, and he should have more reins on the offense, following a trip to the AFC Divisional Round, given his enhanced understanding of its concepts.

A quarterback has won NFL MVP in 13 of the past 14 seasons, so going that route is a no-brainer. You’re not going to find a better price tag on Mayfield than his current odds (+4000 at BetMGM), so act accordingly.


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